Football is one of the most popular sports worldwide. There are roughly 250 million fans of this sport in over 200 countries and regions.
While its roots are ancient, football took its shape in the 18th century. Its development was closely tied to the growth of urbanization and industrialization in Victorian Britain.
After the formation of the Football Association in 1863, the game was codified. Rules for the game were drawn up, and the Football League was established in 1888. This league allowed leading teams from the North and Midlands to play against each other.
The Football League introduced a lower second division in 1893. Teams are placed in tables according to points scored. The top teams are declared champions.
The AFL Grand Final has the highest attendance of any club championship in the world. Thousands of fans turn out every year to watch their favorite teams compete.
The popularity of football has grown dramatically. In 2010, a combined television audience of 26 billion watched the finals of the World Cup. And four of the 10 most-watched programs in the United States were Super Bowl games.
However, injuries to players are a major problem. The most common injury in this sport is an ankle or knee. Some studies have found that more than twice as many boys are injured in football as in the next closest sport.
Players are not required to score in the game, though some skills are necessary. Skills include defense, box-outs, and hustling.