Why is football played with eleven?

You don’t even notice it anymore: football teams all matter eleven players. This number was not chosen at random. On a long vintage see the influence of Britain’s national sport, cricket. It is a coincidence, even if the two sports were born in the same country.

Another track comes from the side of the british universities. The dormitories of the boarding schools had ten students and a supervisor, ten players and a goalkeeper. Logical, except that one of the first football matches, Sheffield FC against Hallam FC, was played in 1860 at 16 against 16. At the time, there were no regulations: another match between Cambridge and Shrewsbury School was played at 15 against 25!

The eleven-man team comes next the definition of the size of a football field. It is estimated that for there to be a minimum of spectacle, a player had to have enough time to control the ball, look for a partner with their eyes and give them a pass in three seconds.

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But if the players are too many, the pressure comes too quickly and it is impossible to play. Conversely, too few teams make the game less lively. After various attempts, we ended up settling on the figure of eleven per team. A standard that allows you to approach these three seconds of play, applied since 1863!

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