All entries for Monday 27 March 2006

March 27, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #1

Football

Football, formally known as association football and known by some other countries as soccer, is a game in which the aim is to use any part of your body to propel the ball into a net held by one horizontal and two vertical poles. There is a line parallel to the goal which the ball is supposed to cross in order for a score to count but in practise this isn’t generally worried about.

Each team has a goalkeeper, usually the fat kid or the one whose hands need keeping warm the most, who will try to catch the ball or failing that knee an opponent when he jumps. The remainder of the ten players on the team are split between defenders (the kids who like to stand around and talk), midfielders (the kids who like to show off) and attackers (the kids with the biggest egos). Unlike most sports, players will often have to fulfil more than one of these roles in a given game, or in the case of Sunderland none of them.

Within the rather simple aims of the sport there are a number of sub-complexities. Besides the ultimate objective of the sport, valid subgames include debating, freestyle diving, improvised acting and the ever popular gum spitting contest. Whilst victory in none of these can be converted into game-winning points, they can be used to influence the flow of the game. In-game discipline is controlled by a single referee (either the PE teacher, the fat maths teacher or the kid who is even more unpopular than the keeper) who issues yellow and red cards to players who break the rules, although if you send your largest three players to have a polite chat with him he may reconsider his decision.

Competitions generally take place in either league format or cup format. In the league format, each team will usually play every other team at both their own and their opponent’s ground. The fixtures are usually arranged to cause upmost inconvenience for supporters of the travelling team, and are usually packed around public holidays and periods of expected bad weather. Cup games are normally single-elimination format arranged around league games in order to provide as much revenue for the leading clubs as possible.


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