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Get Active by Playing Soccer

Girl hits soccer ball with head

Soccer is the most popular and fastest growing sport in the world. It may also be one of the oldest. Sports similar to soccer were played in China in the second and third centuries as well as in ancient Greece and Rome.

What we consider modern soccer most likely began in England, where soccer became popular in the early 1800s. Although we call it soccer in the United States, it is called football in many other countries.

Here are some things you should know about soccer:

  • A formal game of soccer requires two teams of 11 players who try to move the ball into the other team’s goal. Each team has a goalkeeper, or goalie, who guards the goal and tries to keep balls out. Only the goalkeeper can use his or her hands.
  • If you don’t have two teams of 11 people, you can still play. All you need for a pick up game are an even number of people, two areas you can call goals and a soccer ball.
  • Playing soccer takes a lot of energy because it requires so much running up and down the field. Soccer can burn up to 680 calories per hour depending on how hard you play. It also takes coordination and balance, so the more you practice, the better you will become.
  • Soccer is a great way to meet new people and enjoy exercising in a group. Many community organizations offer both children’s and adult leagues for fun or competition. Check out the teams in your area, or just grab a few friends and hit the field whenever you feel like it.