Association Foot Ball.

In the English Illustrated Magazine for January there is an article on Association Foot Ball written by C. W. Alcock, the secretary of the Foot Ball Association of England. The Association game is only thirty years old. It originated in England, where for the most part it has been developed. In 1872 the Scotch took up the game and international matches between England and Scotland sprang up. The game has had such popularity in England that is now played in Canada, India, and even South Africa.

Not all of the English schools play the Association game, and those that do cling to customs of their own and do not strictly adhere to the Association rules. The school at which a game is played most like the Association is Eton. Here a very small, light ball is used; this makes the play very lively and requires accurate kicking from the backs. It is hard to get a goal at Eton, because the goal posts are near together, and the cross bar is so low that it is difficult to kick the ball under it. When, however, what we should call a touch-down is made, the ball is brought out in front of the goal posts and there is a scrimmage. This increases the chances for a goal.

At Harrow the ball has only to go between the posts to be a goal. Here a player making a catch can kick the ball back to one of his own side; if this man makes a fair catch and calls "three yards," he is allowed a free kick and the other side cannot come within three yards of him.

The Association game has undergone a great change. It used to be a dribbling individual game, and long brilliant runs were common. Most of the force of the eleven was put into the forwards, there being only one full-back, one half-back and one goal keeper. Lately the game has become much more scientific. The defence has been strengthened by the addition of one more full-back, and one, afterwards two, half-backs. The forwards have to play a co-operative game and individual playing is made entirely subordinate to team work.

The Association game has taken very slight root in the United States; most of the American teams come from Canada.


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