The game of soccer is considered by many to be the greatest sport in the world. It is certainly the most popular, and people play it on all continents, regardless of background. There are plenty of people out there who might dismiss it as something that is not a sport, but there is enough activity and competition to qualify for sure.
Is soccer a sport? Soccer is not only a sport, it’s the most popular sport in the world. While it might not be as physical as some of the other sports out there, it is still a very competitive match between two teams. It is played at various levels, with the highest levels paying their players millions of dollars a year for their services.
The Basic Concept of Soccer
At its core, soccer matches consists of two teams trying to score goals against their opposition. The soccer ball needs to go in the opposite team’s goal, and it can’t be touched with hands at any time by anyone on the pitch.
The matchup consists of two teams of 11, although it can be shrunk in more informal settings if two teams want to do that. Only the goalie can touch the ball with hands, but everyone else can only use their feet up to their knee and head.
There are many more details to the game, including formations and strategic sets put together on offense and defense. Individual talent matters, but team’s who have a lot of familiarity with each other tend to have the most success.
Why Do Some People Call Soccer Not a Sport?
Most of the talk about soccer not being a sport is related to the game’s lack of physicality. In particular, fans of more physical sports like to pretend that there is no contact in soccer.
Excessive contact indeed is a foul, and there is some flopping involved as players try to sell fouls, but it is still very much a sport. In fact, it is one of the more physically demanding sports out there, as a player must be able to excel in so many different things. On top of all that, excellent stamina is a key component since there are limited subs every match.
Why Soccer Is The Most Popular Sport In The World
There are many different reasons soccer has grown over the years, but there are a few qualities that stand out above the rest. It seems like no matter where a person goes in the world, there are plenty of fans playing or watching. There are many reasons why this is the case.
Soccer is played by athletes of all different backgrounds, thanks to just how easy it is to get started. All that is needed to practice the game is a ball and some open space. People can pass and dribble on their own, and it can prepare them for more serious matches down the road.
Some sports are very limiting due to how much equipment is needed to participate. Even some of the most impoverished communities in the world still enjoy soccer because of simplicity. This creates a larger player pool from an early age, ensuring that many top athletes end up playing professionally.
No matter if the sport is enjoyed professionally or at a local schoolyard, accessibility matters when growing the game. Kids at an early age are exposed to the game in various forms of media. It is one of the first games played in school. On the pitch, everyone seems equal.
Since there are so many countries that take soccer very seriously, international competition hooks many fans into the game. The biggest event every four years is the World Cup, and it is a way for countries to go up against each other and see who has the best players in the world.
Even at the club level, there are talented teams in many different countries. No matter where a person lives, there is some soccer level that is playing at a high-level. Any chance to see professionals that close can make a person fall in love with the sport.
Playable All Around The Year
There will always be conditions that seem less than ideal for soccer, but it is a sport that can be played 12 months of the year, in any weather. Some matchups will be harder than others, but it is not that big a deal for people to try out different setups.
For example, the Premier League in England plays throughout the winter months. It can seem very cold and even dangerous at times, but they do an excellent job keeping the fields in solid working order.
That ideal time for weather is always going to be when it is relatively nice out, but adjusting to different times a year makes it a great sport. It changes some of the aspects of the game, but that can make things fun.
The initial thought of soccer by a lot of people is that the game is boring. While there are certain times when a soccer game can get particularly boring, it is one of the fastest moving sports from a playing and watching perspective.
The clock never stops with soccer, which helps tremendously to keep every game on track. It is a dream come true for TV networks trying to fit a game into a specific window. It will always last a set time, which works out for other programming and the fans. As a comparison, NFL games in MLB games routinely take over 3 1/2 hours, while the NBA is creeping up on three hours themselves.
What Does The Future of Soccer Look Like?
For a sport that has been global for so long, it seems like there is a little room for growth overall. However, there are still a few areas in which soccer can really take off and become bigger.
The biggest market that still has a lot of potential growth is in the United States. Soccer is late to the game in the country, and they are competing against a lot of other sports, but Major League Soccer has shown that there is some interest in the country. Many soccer fans have their own rooting interest in the top leagues, and there is a potential to really see things take off.
If the United States starts to have a few homegrown talents among the best in the world, soccer could grow even more. There is speculation that decades from now, the United States could be home to one of the world’s top club leagues, and the money is certainly there to make that happen.