Comparing: Football and Soccer


American football and soccer are two well-known disciplines of entertainment. Both these sports are very famous and mean a lot to their fans, and the players are famous and well paid. The history of American football can be traced to have started in the mid-19th century; it resulted due to the presence of divergences from rugby. The introduction of the line of scrimmage and down-and-distance rules are the main changes that transformed rugby into American football. However, the introduction of the forward pass by college coaches made the game was adored more in colleges. Bowl games introduction was the main development that even earned a tradition in colleges.

The difference in history of American Football and Soccer

Professional football started in 1892, with a game between Pittsburgh Athletic Club against Allegheny Athletic Association, where William Heffelfinger’s played for the latter team on a contract of $500. Later in 1920, American Professional Football Association was formed but changed its name to National Football League (NFL), and two years later it changed the major league of American football.

Popularity among this sport increased with the 1958 National Football League Championship Game, through a contest that was labeled as the greatest game to be ever played in the history of football. A competing league by then, the American Football League (AFL) was introduced and was inaugurated in 1960. It exerted pressure on the NFL that lead to their merger and establishment of the famous Super Bowl competition. On the other hand, soccer has its origin in every culture; no wonder it is the most-watched game in the world.

In China, it is said to have begun about 3000 years ago. England is the mother of modern-day soccer since it started in1863 after the splitting of two football associations. The split led to the formation of the first football association. The meeting in October 1963 between the London clubs and schools is a major highlight since it formulated fundamental rules acceptable to all parties to govern matches played amongst them.

In the same year, there was the birth of a Football Association. Over the years football grew all over Europe as well as the world due to England’s influence abroad with countries forming football associations. FIFA formation in Paris during 1904 was another milestone for modern-day Soccer. It started with seven countries and through the years, it has grown to include 204 members (Buttafuoco 10).

The way of playing the sport

Both football and soccer games are played by a total of 22 players, with each opposing team having eleven players. At any particular time during gameplay, each team must have a different uniform than the other. In American football, passing the ball is by the use of the hand where one catches and carries the ball, the only case when the players use their feet is during game kickoffs, field goals, extra points, and punts. In soccer, kicking the ball is primarily the method of passing the ball, and any use of the hands or the arm calls for a free-kick to the other team. The goalkeeper and an incident of a throw-in is an exception to this rule.

In soccer, the game is played uninterruptedly devoid of discontinuing after the other team gains possession of the ball. However, this is not the case in American football where players have to reset after each play (a down). Each team has four of the downs to gain 10 yards, known as the first down or when the ball is possessed by the opposing team. However, the team may decide to punt or kick the ball to the other team, if the team has not gotten the first down after the first play (Buttafuoco 15).

Rules and regulations of these sports

On rules and regulations, the field size for both is different. The American football field is approximately 120yards in length with dual 10-yard zones that are deep end on each end and 30 yards in width. On the other hand, a soccer field measures 100 yards by 130 yards long and 50 to 100yards wide, while the goalpost should be 8 yards long.

American football has four 12 minutes quarters while soccer has two halves, every 45 minutes with a time out of 15 minutes amid the two halves. In case the teams fail to score, two other half’s are added, each of 15 minutes. If the scores are still level at the end of the extra time, then penalties are taken to decide the winner; the penalty continues until a score difference is observed. In American football, if the game is tied up, it moves to extra time of 15 minutes, and the team that scores first wins the game. The time count in American football stops in certain events like in times of incomplete passes whereas else in soccer, the time does not stop ticking, and injury time is added in case of any incidences (Buttafuoco 18).

In American football, players are in and out substituted, while in soccer, the maximum number of substitutes is three, which means that eight of the eleven players have to complete the game. In both sports, the balls played are different. Soccer uses a spherical ball, having a diameter of about 22 centimeters. These balls are of different types; professional balls, indoor balls, promotional balls just to mention but a few. A pointed oval-shaped ball is what is used in American football ball, made up of four stitches of leather; its length is 28 centimeters and about 18 centimeters in diameter.

The approach of the referee in case they want to know the caution is different in the two sports. In soccer, the referee shows a yellow card while in American football he drops a red flag. The elements used in sports are also different in that the equipment used and the roles of players are different. In soccer, players just need to put on a short and a matching shirt, a pair of leggings with appropriate footwear, and skin guards, with the goalkeeper wearing gloves.

All these players have defined roles where they play. In American football, protection of the players is very important and is usually done thrice. Body protection is done by use of neck roll, shoulder pads, shock pads, arm pads, rib pads, elbow pads, lineman gloves, and receiver gloves. Finally, the legs protection includes the following: hip and tailbone pads, girdle, thigh and kneepads, football pants, and football cleats. The team is divided into separate units: the offensive team, the defensive team, and the special team (Ominsky 75).

Works Cited

Buttafuoco, Orazio. Soccer, The Universal Game. Pennsylvania: Dorrance Pub. Co., 1994. Print.

Ominsky, Dave. Soccer Made Simple: A Spectator’s Guide. Carifonia: First BaseSports, Inc. 1994. Print.

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Premium Papers. (2022, April 30). Comparing: Football and Soccer. Retrieved from


Premium Papers. (2022, April 30). Comparing: Football and Soccer.

Work Cited

"Comparing: Football and Soccer." Premium Papers, 30 Apr. 2022,


Premium Papers. (2022) 'Comparing: Football and Soccer'. 30 April.


Premium Papers. 2022. "Comparing: Football and Soccer." April 30, 2022.

1. Premium Papers. "Comparing: Football and Soccer." April 30, 2022.


Premium Papers. "Comparing: Football and Soccer." April 30, 2022.