Evolution of football

China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam
(220 BCE)

Cuju - a game very similar to modern soccer - was played until about 1600.

Players used air-filled balls, could not use their hands and some matches used goal posts with a net.

There is no known connection to medieval football.

Greeks, Romans, Turks, Native Americans, Indigenous Australians, Maori Many cultures derived football-like games independently.

Northwestern Europe
(828 - 1800)

Medieval football - the common root of 'football' - a violent game with few rules.

Great Britain
(1800 - 1863)

Many British schools during this time played various forms of 'football' - but rules varied drastically.

(1859 - current)

Derived by an Australian upon return from Rugby School in England.

Uses a huge oval-shaped field (which can be also used for cricket) (Aussie rules).

(1863 - current)

Standardised rules were needed - Cambridge University students, and the newly formed Football Association would create a compromise set of rules for the game.

These rules would become 'association football' (soccer).

(1871 - current)

Rugby football - is officially formed by the Rugby Football Union - derived from the game played at 'Rugby School' (Rugby union).

United States
(1880 - current)

A Yale player modifies the rules of a rugby-like game to replace the scrum with the snap (American football).

(1887 - current)

The Gaelic Athletic Association published the rules to Gaelic football.

Northern England
(1895 - current)

When the Rugby Football Union banned professionals, northern clubs formed a new 'code' of laws (Rugby league).

(1903 - current)

The Burnside rules transformed a rugby-oriented game towards an American football style game (Canadian football).