Cambridge Rules of Football 1848 — Rule #3

Sep 21, 2022

I recently had occasion to visit Cambridge, England and while I was there, I was interested to learn a unique piece of football history. Apparently, the first known instance of codifying (or writing down) the rules of association football (or, what we Yanks call soccer) happened in Cambridge. In 1848, a group of Cambridge University students wrote out a set of 11 rules. They nailed these to the trees surrounding Parker’s Piece, what is today a large grassy park in the heart of central Cambridge.

Today, on the From the Touchline podcast, I take a look at Rule 3, which states:

After a goal, the losing side shall kick off; the sides changing goals, unless a previous arrangement be made to the contrary.

At the heart of rule #3 is a sense of fairness to the game. Even when two teams may not be equal (in skill, strength, or some other tangible way), there is a degree in which the rule is designed to give a losing team a chance. Today, I reflect on this Cambridge Rule of 1848 and look at some commands of God in scripture which help give advantage to those who are disadvantaged.

From the Touchline is a short-feature (10-15 min) podcast with Rev Brad Kenney, Founder and Executive Director of Soccer Chaplains United and Volunteer Chaplain to the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer. Rev Brad and occasional guests touch on various issues around the topics of faith, family, and football (soccer).

Also, don’t forget that you can listen in our app, SoccrChapUtd, in the Apple and Google store.

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