CAPSTONE: Kicking’ it Toward Progress: Soccer 101

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By Juan Bustos —

There’s an old rugby saying about soccer and that is that soccer is gentleman’s sport played by hooligans and rugby is a hooligan sport played by gentleman. For one NJCU student soccer is a gentleman’s sport and he’s trying to create more gentlemen to play it.

“How can we turn inner city schools into suburban schools,” asks Anthony Ramirez. He’s a 26-year-old Bogotá resident. Ramirez genuinely cares about income and socially inequality. So much so that he lists them as his main reasons behind majoring in History.

“Jersey City needs a lot of improvements and I want to improve the quality of life in the inner city.” Ramirez has been influenced to the point where he’s trying to start a soccer clinic with the goal of creating changes among the city kids. He believes that soccer teaches the characteristics of equality and in the pitch all things are equal. This is the power of the sport.

Soccer is the most popular game in the world played by over 200 countries. The most popular event in soccer universe occurs every four years and it’s known as the World Cup. It’s watch by over 3 billion people. That’s 6 times as many people watching the Super Bowl.

The rules to the modern game were established in 1863 and it’s govern today by FIFA. The current FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently told the BBC, “racism and discrimination have no place in football.”

In order to play soccer all you need is a round spherical ball. Long considered the easiest game to play. That is of course if you can handle your feet as well as you can handle your arms and hands. Only the goalie is allowed to handle the ball with his or her arms and hands. But even the goalie is limited because he or she can only go out to certain point called “the goalie’s box”.

The soccer field is called the pitch and it’s rectangle shape about 120 yards long and 70 yards wide. There are 2 goals at each end of the pitch. The object of the game is to drive the ball through the goals as many times as you can before time runs out. Each match is 90 minutes long with a 15-minute break after 45 minutes of play. Every field player can use every part of the body except the hands to move the ball forward.

Some good terms to know in soccer:

Kick-off – First pass of the match.

Throw in – when the ball goes out of bounds the opposing team throws it back in.

Corner Kick – When the defending team kick past it’s own goal and gets kicked in at the corners by the opposing team

Free Kick – Awarded to the opposing team after a foul

Penalty Kick – Awarded the opposing team when the foul is in the penalty box.

Yellow Card – A caution card after a bad foul.

Red Card – given after a terrible foul and the player is ejected from the game. Two yellows equal a red card.

GOALLLLLLLLL – What you scream when your team scores a goal.

Sports have the power to distract us from our everyday ailments and fill us with hope. It’s an excitement for a better tomorrow. But with no other sport is this truer than soccer. Soccer stopped the British and German armies from temporarily annihilating themselves during WWI. On Christmas Eve in 1914, both armies huddled in there respective trenches readied to destroy one another. When a German officer saw two British soldiers kicking the ball around in no man’s land. One by one, men from both trenches came out and started kicking the ball around. And for a few hours, the world was not at war.