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Origins of the Word "Soccer"


In the late 1800s it was the practice of the well-to-do students at Oxford University in England to shorten the length of some common words. At the same time they would add -er to the end of the word. For example, breakfast became known as "brekkers". There were two forms of "football" being played on campus at the time. One used the Rugby Rules and the other form used the rules governed by the Football Association of London. The prior was called "ruggers" on campus and the latter as "soccer" which was short for association and included the popular "-er" ending used by the "in" students. The phrasing caught on and became the popular nickname for the sport. In the United States it is used to differentiate soccer from what the rest of the world refers to as American Football - the pointy variety. In recent years the term soccer has actually become acceptable in the rest of the world.


Contributed by Miles Ball



Origin of the Referee

The term referee originated in association football (soccer). Originally the team captains would consult with each other in order to resolve any dispute on the pitch. Eventually this role was delegated to an umpire. Each team would bring their own partisan umpire allowing the team captains to concentrate on the game. Later, the referee, a third "neutral" official was added, this referee would be "referred to" if the umpires could not resolve a dispute. The referee did not take his place on the pitch until 1891, when the umpires became linesmen (now assistant referees). Today, in many amateur football matches, each side will still supply their own partisan assistant referees (still commonly called club linesmen) to assist the neutral referee appointed by the governing football association.


Contributed by Dino Andrianopoulos