Why Cycling Good For Health

Whether it’s to boost your fitness, health or bank balance, or as an environmental choice, taking up cycling could be one of the best decisions you ever make. Not convinced? Here are 30 major benefits of taking to two wheels.

1. You’ll get there faster

Commute by bike in the UK’s major cities and you’ll get there in half the time of cars, research by Citroen shows. In fact, if you drive for an hour in Cardiff’s rush hour, you’ll spend over 30 minutes going absolutely nowhere and average just 7mph, compared to averaging around 12-15mph while cycling.

 

2. Sleep more deeply

 

Sleep more deeply
Sleep more deeply
An early morning ride might knacker you out in the short term, but it’ll help you catch some quality shut-eye when you get back to your pillow. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result? The time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour.
“Exercising outside exposes you to daylight,” explains Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre. “This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.”

 

3. Look younger

secret-tips-to-look-youngerScientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. Harley Street dermatologist Dr Christopher Rowland Payne explains: “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, while flushing harmful toxins out. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimise collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process.” Don’t forget to slap on the factor 30 before you head out, though.

 

 

4. Boost your bowels

According to experts from Bristol University, the benefits of cycling extend deep into your core. “Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, limiting the amount of water absorbed back into your body and leaving you with softer stools, which are easier to pass,” explains Harley Street gastroenterologist Dr Ana Raimundo.
In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles. “As well as preventing you from feeling bloated, this helps protect you against bowel cancer,” Dr Raimundo says.

5. Increase your brain power

Increase your brain power
Increase your brain power
Need your grey matter to sparkle? Then get pedalling. Researchers from Illinois University found that a five percent improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30.
“It boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which fires and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s,” says the study’s author, Professor Arthur Kramer.

 

6. Beat illness

Forget apples, riding’s the way to keep the doctor at bay. “Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’re ready to fight off infection,” says Cath Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital in London.
In fact, according to research from the University of North Carolina, people who cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week take about half as many sick days as couch potatoes.
Riding’s the way to keep the doctor at bay:
Riding’s the way to keep the doctor at bay

 

7. Live longer

King’s College London compared over 2,400 identical twins and found those who did the equivalent of just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years ‘biologically younger’ even after discounting other influences, such as body mass index (BMI) and smoking.
“Those who exercise regularly are at significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer, high blood pressure and obesity,” says Dr Lynn Cherkas, who conducted the research. “The body becomes much more efficient at defending itself and regenerating new cells.”

 

8. Save the planet

Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around five percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution.
Bikes are efficient, too – you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy and, taking into account the ‘fuel’ you put in your ‘engine’, you do the equivalent of 2,924 miles to the gallon. You have your weight ratio to thank: you’re about six times heavier than your bike, but a car is 20 times heavier than you.

 

9. Improve your sex life

Being more physically active improves your vascular health, which has the knock-on effect of boosting your sex drive, according to health experts in the US. One study from Cornell University also concluded that male athletes have the sexual prowess of men two to five years younger, with physically fit females delaying the menopause by a similar amount of time.
Meanwhile, research carried out at Harvard University found that men aged over 50 who cycle for at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than those who do little exercise.

 

10. It’s good breeding

 It’s good breeding
It’s good breeding
A ‘bun in the oven’ could benefit from your riding as much as you. According to research from Michigan University in the US, mums-to-be who regularly exercise during pregnancy have an easier, less complicated labour, recover faster and enjoy better overall mood throughout the nine months. Your pride and joy also has a 50 percent lower chance of becoming obese and enjoys better in-utero neurodevelopment.
“There’s no doubt that moderate exercise such as cycling during pregnancy helps condition the mother and protect the foetus,” says Patrick O’Brien, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
A ‘bun in the oven’ could benefit from your riding as much as you:
A ‘bun in the oven’ could benefit from your riding as much as you

 

11. Heal your heart

Studies from Purdue University in the US have shown that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. And according to the British Heart Foundation, around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves fitter. Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise, it says.

 

12. Your boss will love you

No, we don’t mean your Lycra-clad buttocks will entice your superiors into a passionate office romance, but they’ll appreciate what cycling does for your usefulness to the company. A study of 200 people carried out by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management, and it boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress.
The study also reported that workers who exercised felt their interpersonal performance was better, they took fewer breaks and found it easier to finish work on time. Sadly, the study didn’t find a direct link between cycling and getting a promotion.

 

13. Cycle away from the big C

There’s plenty of evidence that any exercise is useful in warding off cancer, but some studies have shown that cycling is specifically good for keeping your cells in working order. One long-term study carried out by Finnish researchers found that men who exercised at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes a day were half as likely to develop cancer as those who didn’t. And one of the moderate forms of exercise they cited? Cycling to work. Other studies have found that women who cycle frequently reduce their risk of breast cancer by 34 percent.

 

14. Lose weight in the saddle

 Lose weight in the saddle
Lose weight in the saddle
Loads of people who want to shift some heft think that heading out for a jog is the best way to start slimming down. But while running does burn a ton of fat, it’s not kind to you if you’re a little larger than you’d like to be. Think about it – two to three times your body weight goes crashing through your body when your foot strikes the ground. If you weigh 16 stone, that’s a lot of force! Instead, start out on a bike – most of your weight is taken by the saddle, so your skeleton doesn’t take a battering. Running can wait…

 

15. You’ll make more money

If you’re cycling to lose weight then you could be in line for a cash windfall… Well, sort of. Researcher Jay Zagorsky, from Ohio State University, analysed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth – which saw 7,300 people regularly interviewed between 1985 and 2000 – to see how their obesity and wealth changed over that period. Zagorsky concluded that a one unit increase in body mass index (BMI) score corresponded to an £800 or eight percent reduction in wealth. So, shed a few BMI points on the bike and start earning.

 

16. Avoid pollution

You’d think a city cyclist would suck up much more pollution than the drivers and passengers in the vehicles chucking out the noxious gases. Not so, according to a study carried out by Imperial College London. Researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars inhaled substantially more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians.
On average, taxi passengers were exposed to more than 100,000 ultrafine particles – which can settle in the lungs and damage cells – per cubic centimetre. Bus passengers sucked up just under 100,000 and people in cars inhaled about 40,000. Cyclists, meanwhile, were exposed to just 8,000 ultrafine particles per cubic centimetre. It’s thought that cyclists breathe in fewer fumes because we ride at the edge of the road and, unlike drivers, aren’t directly in the line of exhaust smoke.
Cyclists breathe in fewer fumes than drivers:
Cyclists breathe in fewer fumes than drivers

 

17. Enjoy healthy family time

Cycling is an activity the whole family can do together. The smallest tyke can clamber into a bike seat or tow-along buggy, and because it’s kind on your joints, there’s nothing to stop grandparents joining in too.
Moreover, your riding habit could be sowing the seeds for the next Bradley Wiggins. Studies have found that, unsurprisingly, kids are influenced by their parents’ exercise choices. Put simply, if your kids see you riding regularly, they think it’s normal and will want to follow your example. Don’t be surprised, though, if they become embarrassed by your tendency to mismatch fluorescent Lycra when they become teenagers.

 

18. It means guilt-free snacks

Upping your salt intake is seldom your doctor’s advice, but in the few days leading up to a big ride or sportive, that’s exactly what you should do. This gives you the perfect excuse to munch on crisps and other salty foods you might normally avoid. The sodium in them helps protect your body against hyponatraemia, a condition caused by drinking too much water without enough sodium that can lead to disorientation, illness and worse.

 

19. Get better at any sport

Whether you want to keep in prime shape or just improve your weekly tennis game, a stint in the saddle is the way to begin. A recent medical study from Norway carried the title Aerobic Endurance Training Improves Soccer Performance, which makes it pretty clear that the knock-on benefits to other sports and activities are immense.

 

20. Make creative breakthroughs

Writers, musicians, artists, top executives and all kinds of other professionals use exercise to solve mental blocks and make decisions – including Jeremy Paxman, Sir Alan Sugar and Spandau Ballet. A study found that just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise boosts at least one measure of creative thinking. Credit goes to the flow of oxygen to your grey matter when it matters most, sparking your neurons and giving you breathing space away from the muddle and pressures of ‘real life’.

 

21. You’re helping others

Helping-Others
Many cyclists turn their health, fitness and determination into fundraising efforts for the less fortunate. The London to Brighton bike ride has raised over £40 million for the British Heart Foundation since the two became involved in 1980, with countless other rides contributing to the coffers of worthy causes.

 

22. You can get fit without trying too hard

Regular, everyday cycling has huge benefits that can justify you binning your wallet-crippling gym membership. According to the National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation in the US, regular cyclists enjoy a fitness level equal to that of a person who’s 10 years younger.

 

23. Boost your bellows

No prizes for guessing that the lungs work considerably harder than usual when you ride. An adult cycling generally uses 10 times the oxygen they’d need to sit in front of the TV for the same period. Even better, regular cycling will help strengthen your cardiovascular system over time, enabling your heart and lungs to work more efficiently and getting more oxygen where it’s needed, quicker. This means you can do more exercise for less effort. How good does that sound?

 

24. Burn more fat

Burn more fat
Burn more fat
Sports physiologists have found that the body’s metabolic rate – the efficiency with which it burns calories and fat – is not only raised during a ride, but for several hours afterwards. “Even after cycling for 30 minutes, you could be burning a higher amount of total calories for a few hours after you stop,” says sports physiologist Mark Simpson of Loughborough University.
And as you get fitter, the benefits are more profound. One recent study showed that cyclists who incorporated fast intervals into their ride burned three-and-a-half times more body fat than those who cycled constantly but at a slower pace.
Cycling can help you lose pounds – but don’t take it too far!:
Cycling can help you lose pounds – but don’t take it too far!

 

25. You’re developing a positive addiction

Replace a harmful dependency – such as cigarettes, alcohol or eating too much chocolate – with a positive one, says William Glasser, author of Positive Addiction. The result? You’re a happier, healthier person getting the kind of fix that boosts the good things in life.

 

26. Get (a legal) high

Once a thing of myth, the infamous ‘runner’s high’ has been proven beyond doubt by German scientists. Yet despite the name, this high is applicable to all endurance athletes. University of Bonn neurologists visualised endorphins in the brains of 10 volunteers before and after a two-hour cardio session using a technique called positive emission tomography (PET). Comparing the pre- and post-run scans, they found evidence of more opiate binding of the happy hormone in the frontal and limbic regions of the brain – areas known to be involved in emotional processing and dealing with stress.
“There’s a direct link between feelings of wellbeing and exercise, and for the first time this study proves the physiological mechanism behind that,” explains study co-ordinator Professor Henning Boecker.

 

27. Make friends and stay healthy

The social side of riding could be doing you as much good as the actual exercise. University of California researchers found socialising releases the hormone oxytocin, which buffers the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Another nine-year study from Harvard Medical School found those with the most friends cut the risk of an early death by more than 60 percent, reducing blood pressure and strengthening their immune system. The results were so significant that the researchers concluded not having close friends or confidants is as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight. Add in the fitness element of cycling too and you’re onto a winner.

 

28. Be happy

Even if you’re miserable when you saddle up, cranking through the miles will lift your spirits. “Any mild-to-moderate exercise releases natural feel-good endorphins that help counter stress and make you happy,” explains Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation. That’s probably why four times more GPs prescribe exercise therapy as their most common treatment for depression compared to three years ago. “Just three 30-minute sessions a week can be enough to give people the lift they need,” says McCulloch.

 

29. Feeling tired? Go for a ride

Feeling tired? Go for a ride
Feeling tired? Go for a ride
Sounds counter-intuitive but if you feel too tired for a ride, the best thing you can do is go for ride. Physical activity for even a few minutes is a surprisingly effective wake-up call. A review of 12 studies on the link between exercise and fatigue carried out between 1945 and 2005 found that exercise directly lowers fatigue levels.

 

30. Spend quality time with your partner

It doesn’t matter if your paces aren’t perfectly matched – just slow down and enjoy each other’s company. Many couples make one or two riding ‘dates’ every week. And it makes sense: exercise helps release feel-good hormones, so after a ride you’ll have a warm feeling towards each other even if he leaves the toilet seat up and her hair is blocking the plughole again.

HISTORY OF Football

History of Football – The Origins

The contemporary history of the world’s favourite game spans more than 100 years. It all began in 1863 in England, when rugby football and association football branched off on their different courses and the Football Association in England was formed – becoming the sport’s first governing body.

 

  kicking the ball
kicking the ball
Both codes stemmed from a common root and both have a long and intricately branched ancestral tree. A search down the centuries reveals at least half a dozen different games, varying to different degrees, and to which the historical development of football has been traced back. Whether this can be justified in some instances is disputable. Nevertheless, the fact remains that people have enjoyed kicking a ball about for thousands of years and there is absolutely no reason to consider it an aberration of the more ‘natural’ form of playing a ball with the hands.

 

On the contrary, apart from the need to employ the legs and feet in tough tussles for the ball, often without any laws for protection, it was recognised right at the outset that the art of controlling the ball with the feet was not easy and, as such, required no small measure of skill. The very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China.
This Han Dynasty forebear of football was called Tsu’ Chu and it consisted of kicking a leather ball filled with feathers and hair through an opening, measuring only 30-40cm in width, into a small net fixed onto long bamboo canes. According to one variation of this exercise, the player was not permitted to aim at his target unimpeded, but had to use his feet, chest, back and shoulders while trying to withstand the attacks of his opponents. Use of the hands was not permitted.

Another form of the game, also originating from the Far East, was the Japanese Kemari, which began some 500-600 years later and is still played today. This is a sport lacking the competitive element of Tsu’ Chu with no struggle for possession involved. Standing in a circle, the players had to pass the ball to each other, in a relatively small space, trying not to let it touch the ground.

The Greek ‘Episkyros’ – of which few concrete details survive – was much livelier, as was the Roman ‘Harpastum’. The latter was played out with a smaller ball by two teams on a rectangular field marked by boundary lines and a centre line. The objective was to get the ball over the opposition’s boundary lines and as players passed it between themselves, trickery was the order of the day. The game remained popular for 700-800 years, but, although the Romans took it to Britain with them, the use of feet was so small as to scarcely be of consequence.

 

History of Football – Opposition to the Game

History of Football - Opposition to the Game
History of Football – Opposition to the Game
if early football generated tremendous enthusiasm among common folk in Britain, it also withstood repeated – and unsuccessful – interventions from the authorities who frowned on this often violent recreation.
As long ago as 1314 the Lord Mayor of London saw fit to issue a proclamation forbidding football within the city due to the chaos it usually caused. Infringement of this law meant imprisonment .
During the 100 Years’ War between England and France from 1337 to 1453 the royal court was unfavourably disposed towards football. Kings Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V all made the game punishable by law because it prevented their subjects from practising more useful military disciplines, particularly archery.
All the Scottish kings of the 15th century deemed it necessary to censure and even prohibit football. Particularly famous was the decree proclaimed by the parliament convened by James I in 1424, which read: “That na man play at the Fute-ball”. None of these efforts had much effect. The popularity of the game among the people and their obvious delight in the rough and tumble for the ball went far too deep to be uprooted.
The passion for football was particularly exuberant in Elizabethan times. An influence that may have played a part in intensifying the native popularity for the game came from Renaissance Italy, notably from Florence although Venice and other cities also produced their own brand of the sport known as Calcio. This was more organised than the English equivalent and was played by teams dressed in coloured livery at important gala events held on certain holidays in Florence.
History of Football - Britain, the home of Football
History of Football – Britain, the home of Football
Richard Mulcaster
Richard Mulcaster
 In England the game was still as rough and lacking in refinement as ever, but it did at this time find a prominent supporter who commended if for other reasons. This supporter was Richard Mulcaster, the great pedagogue and head of the famous London schools of Merchant Taylors and St. Paul’s. He pointed out that the game, if requiring a little refinement, had a positive educational value as it promoted health and strength. His belief was that it would benefit from introducing a limited number of participants per team and, more importantly, a stricter referee.
Resentment of football up to this time had been focused on its capacity for public disturbance. For example, in Manchester in 1608, the game was banned because so many windows had been smashed. In the course of the 16th century a new type of attack was launched. With the spread of Puritanism, the cry went up against ‘frivolous’ amusements, and sport happened to be classified as such, football in particular.
The main objection was that it supposedly constituted a violation of peace on the Sabbath. Similar attacks were made against the theatre, which strait-laced Puritans regarded as a source of idleness and iniquity. This laid the foundations for the entertainment ban on Sundays – and from then on football on that day was taboo.
This remained the case for some 300 years, until the ban was lifted once again, at first unofficially and ultimately with the formal consent of The Football Association, albeit on a rather small scale.
All told there was scarcely any progress at all in the development of football for hundreds of years. But, although the game was persistently forbidden for 500 years, it was never completely suppressed.

History of Football – The Global Growth

History of Football - The Global Growth
History of Football – The Global Growth
A change did not come about until the beginning of the 19th century when school football became the custom, particularly in the famous public schools. This was the turning point. In this new environment, it was possible to make innovations and refinements to the game.
The rules were still relatively free and easy, with no standard form of the game. Each school in fact developed its own adaptation and, at times, these varied considerably. The traditional aspects of the game remained but innovations depended for the most part on the playing ground available. If use had to be made of a paved school playground, surrounded by a brick wall, then there was simply not enough space for the old hurly-burly ‘mob football’.
Circumstances such as these prompted schools like Charterhouse, Westminster, Eton and Harrow to favour a game more dependent on the players’ dribbling virtuosity than the robust energy required in a scrum. On the other hand, schools such as Cheltenham and Rugby were more inclined towards the more rugged game in which the ball could be touched with the hands or even carried.

 

19th century football
19th century football
As the 19 th century progressed, a new attitude developed towards football. The education authorities observed how well the sport served to encourage such fine qualities as loyalty, selflessness, cooperation, subordination and deference to the team spirit. Games became an integral part of the school curriculum and participation in football compulsory. Dr Thomas Arnold, the head of Rugby School, made further advances in this direction, when in 1846 in Rugby the first truly standardised rules for an organised game were laid down.
These were in any event quite rough enough: for example, they permitted kicking an opponent’s legs below the knees, with the reserve that he should not be held still while his shins were being worked on. Handling the ball was also allowed – and had been ever since the historic occasion in 1823 when William Webb Ellis, to the amazement of his own team and his opponents, made a run with the ball tucked under his arm. Many schools followed suit and adopted the rules laid down in Rugby; others, such as Eton, Harrow and Winchester, rejected this form of football, and gave preference to kicking the ball. Charterhouse and Westminster were also against handling the ball. However, they did not isolate their style as some schools did – instead they formed a nucleus from which this style of game began to spread.
Finally, in 1863, developments reached a climax. At Cambridge University, where in 1848 attempts had already been made by former pupils from the various schools to find a common denominator for all the different adaptations of the game, a fresh initiative began to establish some uniform standards and rules that would be accepted by everyone.
It was at this point that the majority spoke out against such rough customs as tripping, shin-kicking and so on. As it happened, the majority also expressed disapproval at carrying the ball. It was this that caused the Rugby group to withdraw. They would probably have agreed to refrain from shin-kicking, which was in fact later banned in the Rugby regulations, but they were reluctant to relinquish carrying the ball.
This Cambridge action was an endeavour to sort out the utter confusion surrounding the rules. The decisive meeting, however, came on 26 October 1863, when 11 eleven London clubs and schools sent their representatives to the Freemason’s Tavern. These representatives were intent on clarifying the muddle by establishing a set of fundamental rules, acceptable to all parties, to govern the matches played among them. This meeting marked the birth of The Football Association. The eternal dispute concerning shin-kicking, tripping and carrying the ball was discussed thoroughly at this and consecutive meetings until eventually on 8 December the die-hard exponents of the Rugby style – led by Blackheath – took their final leave. A stage had been reached where the ideals were no longer compatible. On 8 December 1863, football and rugby finally split. Their separation became totally irreconcilable six years hence when a provision was included in the football rules forbidding any handling of the ball (not only carrying it).
From there progress was lightning-quick. Only eight years after its foundation, The Football Association already had 50 member clubs. The first football competition in the world, the FA Cup, was established in 1872. By 1888 the first league championship was under way.
International matches were being staged in Great Britain before football had hardly been heard of in Europe. The first was played in 1872 and was contested by England and Scotland. This sudden boom of organised football accompanied by staggering crowds of spectators brought with it certain problems with which other countries did not face until much later on.
Professionalism was one of them. The first moves in this direction came in 1879, when Darwin, a small Lancashire club, twice managed to draw against the supposedly invincible Old Etonians in the FA Cup, before the famous team of London amateurs finally scraped through to win at the third attempt. Two Darwin players, the Scots John Love and Fergus Suter, are reported as being the first players ever to receive remuneration for their football talent. This practice grew rapidly and the FA found itself obliged to legalise professionalism as early as 1885. This development predated the formation of any national association outside of Great Britain (namely, in the Netherlands and Denmark) by exactly four years.
After the English FA, the next oldest are the Scottish FA (1873), the FA of Wales (1875) and the Irish FA (1880). Strictly speaking, at the time of the first international match, England had no other partner association against which to play. When Scotland played England in Glasgow on 30 November 1872, the Scottish FA did not even exist – it was not founded for another three months. The team England played that day was actually the oldest Scottish club team, Queen’s Park, but as today the Scottish side wore blue shirts and England white (albeit with shorts and socks in the colours of their public schools). Both teams employed what might today be considered rather attacking formations – Scotland (2-2-6), England (1-1-8) – but back then the game still retained many of the mob-football characteristics of kicking and rushing and, in tactics at least, probably more closely resembled modern-day rugby than football.
The spread of football outside of Great Britain, mainly due to the British influence abroad, started slowly, but it soon gathered momentum and rapidly reached all parts of the world.
The next countries to form football associations after the Netherlands and Denmark in 1889 were New Zealand (1891), Argentina (1893), Chile (1895), Switzerland, Belgium (1895), Italy (1898), Germany, Uruguay (both in 1900), Hungary (1901) and Finland (1907).
When FIFA was founded in Paris in May 1904 it had seven founder members: France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain (represented by Madrid FC), Sweden and Switzerland. The German Football Federation cabled its intention to join on the same day.
This international football community grew steadily, although it sometimes met with obstacles and setbacks. In 1912, 21 national associations were already affiliated to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). By 1925, the number had increased to 36, while in 1930 – the year of the first World Cup – it was 41.
Between 1937 and 1938, the modern-day Laws of the Game were set out by future FIFA President Stanley Rous. He took the original Laws, written in 1886 and subject subsequently to piecemeal alterations, and drafted them in a rational order. (They would be revised a second time in 1997.)
By the late 1930s there were 51 FIFA members; in 1950, after the interval caused by the Second World War, that number had reached 73. Over the next half-century, football’s popularity continued to attract new devotees and at the end of the 2007 FIFA Congress, FIFA had 208 members in every part of the world.

Rules Of Cricket

Welcome to the greatest game of all – Cricket. This site will help explain to an absolute beginner some of the basic rules of cricket.

Although there are many more rules in cricket than in many other sports, it is well worth your time learning them as it is a most rewarding sport.

Whether you are looking to play in the backyard with a mate or join a club Cricket-Rules will help you learn the basics and begin to enjoy one of the most popular sports in the world.

Cricket is a game played with a bat and ball on a large field, known as a ground, between two teams of 11 players each.

Test Cricket
Test Cricket
The object of the game is to score runs when at bat and to put out, or dismiss, the opposing batsmen when in the field. The cricket rules displayed on this page here are for the traditional form of cricket which is called “Test Cricket”.
However there are other formats of the game eg. 50 over matches, Twenty20 Cricket etc where the rules differ slightly.

Fielding positions in cricket for a right-handed batsman
A typical cricket field
Player: Official Cricket Rules
Cricket is a game played between two teams made up of eleven players each. There is also a reserve player called a “twelfth man” who is used should a player be injured during play.

The twelfth man is not allowed to bowl, bat, wicket keep or captain the team. His sole duty is to act as a substitute fielder.

The original player is free to return to the game as soon as they have recovered from their injury.

To apply the law and make sure the cricket rules are upheld throughout the game there are two umpires in place during games. Umpires are responsible for making decisions and notifying the scorers of these decisions.

Umpire s Signals

Two umpires are in place on the playing field while there is also a third umpire off the field who is in charge of video decisions.

This is where the call is too close for the on field umpires and they refer it to the third umpire who reviews slow motion video replays to make a decision.

Game Structure
Test cricket is a game that spans over two innings. This means that one team needs to bowl the other team out twice and score more runs than them to win the match. Another key difference between test cricket and other forms of cricket is the length of the innings. In test cricket there is no limit to the innings length. Whereas in one day cricket & Twenty20 cricket there are a certain amount of overs per innings. The only limits in test cricket is a 5 day length. Before the game begins an official will toss a coin. The captain who guesses the correct side of the coin will then choose if they want to bat or field first. One team will then bat while the other will bowl & field. The aim of the batting team is to score runs while the aim of the fielding team is to bowl ten people out and close the batting teams’ innings. Although there are eleven people in each team only ten people need to be bowled out as you cannot have one person batting alone. Batting is done in pairs.

Once the first team has been bowled out the second team would then go into bat. Once the second team is then bowled out it would normally return to the first team batting again. However there is an exception to this in the cricket rules, it is called the follow-on. The follow-on is when the first team makes at least 200 runs more than the second team made (in a 5 day test match). This then gives the first team the option to make the second team bat again. This is particularly useful if the game is progressing slowly or affected by bad weather and there might not be enough time for both teams to play a full innings. Should this be the case the batting team’s captain also has the right to forfeit their innings at any time. This is called a declaration. Some may wonder why a captain would forfeit the opportunity for his team to bat. However if the game is coming close to a close and it looks like they will not be able to bowl the other team out again this could be an option. If one team is not bowled out twice and a winner determined in the five days of play the game is declared a draw. Therefore it may be worth declaring an innings to creat the possibility of a win rather than a draw.

Ways to score runs
The aim of the batsmen is to score runs. One of the main cricket rules is that for batsmen to score runs they must run to each other’s end of the pitch (from one end to the other). In doing this one run is scored. Cricket rules state they may run multiple runs per shot. As well as running they can also score runs by hitting boundaries. A boundary scores the batsmen either 4 or 6 runs. A four is scored by hitting the ball past the boundary after hitting the ground while a six is scored by hitting the ball past the boundary on the full (before it hits the ground). Cricket rules also state that once a 4 or 6 has been scored any runs physically ran by the batsman are null & void. They will only obtain the 4 or 6 runs.

Other ways runs can be scored according to the cricket rules include no balls, wide balls, byes & leg byes. Cricket rules state that all runs scored by these methods are awarded to the batting team but not the individual batters.

A “No Ball” can be declared for many reasons: If the bowler bowls the ball from the wrong place, the ball is declared dangerous (often happens when bowled at the batsmen’s body on the full), bounces more than twice or rolls before reaching the batsman or if fielders are standing in illegal positions. The batsman can hit a no ball and score runs off it but cannot be out from a no ball except if they are ran out, hit the ball twice, handle the ball or obstruct the field. The batsman gains any runs scored off the no ball for his shot while the team also gains one run for the no ball itself.
A “Wide Ball” will be declared if the umpire thinks the batsman did not have a reasonable opportunity to score off the delivery. However if the delivery is bowled over the batsmen’s head it will not be declared a wide but a no ball. Umpires are much stricter on wide deliveries in the shorter format of the game while being much more relaxed in test cricket. A wide delivery will add one run to the batting team and any runs scored by the batsman. The batsman is not able to get out off a wide delivery except if they are stumped, run out, handle the ball, hit their wicket or obstruct the field.
A “Bye” is where a ball that isn’t a no ball or wide passes the striking batsman and runs are scored without the batsman hitting the ball.
A “Leg Bye” is where runs are scored by hitting the batsman, but not the bat and the ball is not a no ball or wide. However no runs can be scored if the striking batsman didn’t attempt to play a shot or if he was avoiding the ball.
Ways Batsmen can be given out according to cricket rules
There are a number of different ways a batsman can be given out in the game of cricket. When a bowler gets a batsman out it is said that the bowler gets a “wicket”. Following are the different ways a batsman can be given out according to the rules of cricket:

Bowled – Cricket rules state that if the ball is bowled and hits the striking batsman’s wickets the batsman is given out (as long as at least one bail is removed by the ball). It does not matter whether the ball has touched the batsman’s bat, gloves, body or any other part of the batsman. However the ball is not allowed to have touched another player or umpire before hitting the wickets.
Caught – Cricket rules state that if a batsman hits the ball or touches the ball at all with his bat or hand/glove holding the bat then the batsman can be caught out. This is done by the fielders, wicket keeper or bowler catching the ball on the full (before it bounces). If this is done then cricket rules state the batsman is out.
Leg Before Wicket (LBW) – If the ball is bowled and it hits the batsman first without the bat hitting it then an LBW decision is possible. However for the umpire to give this out he must first look at some of the factors stated in the cricket rules. The first thing the umpire need to decide is would the ball have hit the wickets if the batsman was not there. If his answer to this is yes and the ball was not pitched on the leg side of the wicket he can safely give the batsman out. However if the ball hits the batsman outside the line of off stump while he was attempting to play a stroke then he is not out.
Stumped – A batsman can be given out according to cricket rules when the wicketkeeper puts down his wicket while he is out of his crease and not attempting a run (if he is attempting a run it would be a runout).
Run Out – Cricket rules state that a batsman is out if no part of his bat or body is grounded behind the popping crease while the ball is in play and the wicket is fairly put down by the fielding side.
Hit Wicket – Cricket rules specify that if a batsman hits his wicket down with his bat or body after the bowler has entered his delivery stried and the ball is in play then he is out. The striking batsman is also out if he hits his wicket down while setting off for his first run.
Handled The Ball – Cricket rules allow the batsman to be given out if he willingly handles the ball with the hand that is not touching the bat without the consent of the opposition.
Timed Out – An incoming batsman must be ready to face a ball or be at the non strikers end with his partner within three minutes of the outgoing batsman being dismissed. If this is not done the incoming batsman can be given out.
Hit The Ball Twice – Cricket rules state that if a batsman hits a ball twice other than for the purpose of protecting his wicket or with consent from the opposition he is out.
Obstructing The Field – A batsman is out if he willingly obstructs the opposition by word or action
There are many other cricket rules. However these are most of the basics and will get you well on your way to playing the game. Many of the more advanced rules & laws can be learned along the way and are not vital to general play

A brief history of cricket

The origins of cricket lie somewhere in the Dark Ages – probably after the Roman Empire, almost certainly before the Normans invaded England, and almost certainly somewhere in Northern Europe. All research concedes that the game derived from a very old, widespread and uncomplicated pastime by which one player served up an object, be it a small piece of wood or a ball, and another hit it with a suitably fashioned club.
history-and-sport-the-story-of-cricket-2-638How and when this club-ball game developed into one where the hitter defended a target against the thrower is simply not known. Nor is there any evidence as to when points were awarded dependent upon how far the hitter was able to despatch the missile; nor when helpers joined the two-player contest, thus beginning the evolution into a team game; nor when the defining concept of placing wickets at either end of the pitch was adopted Etymological scholarship has variously placed the game in the Celtic, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, Dutch and Norman-French traditions; sociological historians have variously attributed its mediaeval development to high-born country landowners, emigré Flemish cloth-workers, shepherds on the close-cropped downland of south-east England and the close-knit communities of iron- and glass-workers deep in the Kentish Weald. Most of these theories have a solid academic basis, but none is backed with enough evidence to establish a watertight case. The research goes on.
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What is agreed is that by Tudor times cricket had evolved far enough from club-ball to be recognisable as the game played today; that it was well established in many parts of Kent, Sussex and Surrey; that within a few years it had become a feature of leisure time at a significant number of schools; and – a sure sign of the wide acceptance of any game – that it had become popular enough among young men to earn the disapproval of local magistrates.
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Dates in cricket history
1550 (approx) Evidence of cricket being played in Guildford, Surrey.
1598 Cricket mentioned in Florio’s Italian-English dictionary.
1610 Reference to “cricketing” between Weald and Upland near Chevening, Kent. 1611 Randle Cotgrave’s French-English dictionary translates the French word “crosse” as a cricket staff.
Two youths fined for playing cricket at Sidlesham, Sussex.
1624 Jasper Vinall becomes first man known to be killed playing cricket: hit by a bat while trying to catch the ball – at Horsted Green, Sussex.
1676 First reference to cricket being played abroad, by British residents in Aleppo, Syria.
1694 Two shillings and sixpence paid for a “wagger” (wager) about a cricket match at Lewes.
1697 First reference to “a great match” with 11 players a side for fifty guineas, in Sussex.
1700 Cricket match announced on Clapham Common.
1709 First recorded inter-county match: Kent v Surrey.
1710 First reference to cricket at Cambridge University.
1727 Articles of Agreement written governing the conduct of matches between the teams of the Duke of Richmond and Mr Brodrick of Peperharow, Surrey.
1729 Date of earliest surviving bat, belonging to John Chitty, now in the pavilion at The Oval.
1730 First recorded match at the Artillery Ground, off City Road, central London, still the cricketing home of the Honourable Artillery Company.
1744 Kent beat All England by one wicket at the Artillery Ground.
First known version of the Laws of Cricket, issued by the London Club, formalising the pitch as 22 yards long.
1767 (approx) Foundation of the Hambledon Club in Hampshire, the leading club in England for the next 30 years.
1769 First recorded century, by John Minshull for Duke of Dorset’s XI v Wrotham.
1771 Width of bat limited to 4 1/4 inches, where it has remained ever since.
1774 LBW law devised.
1776 Earliest known scorecards, at the Vine Club, Sevenoaks, Kent.
1780 The first six-seamed cricket ball, manufactured by Dukes of Penshurst, Kent.
1787 First match at Thomas Lord’s first ground, Dorset Square, Marylebone – White Conduit Club v Middlesex.
Formation of Marylebone Cricket Club by members of the White Conduit Club.
1788 First revision of the Laws of Cricket by MCC.
1794 First recorded inter-schools match: Charterhouse v Westminster.
1795 First recorded case of a dismissal “leg before wicket”.
1806 First Gentlemen v Players match at Lord’s.
1807 First mention of “straight-armed” (i.e. round-arm) bowling: by John Willes of Kent.
1809 Thomas Lord’s second ground opened at North Bank, St John’s Wood.
1811 First recorded women’s county match: Surrey v Hampshire at Ball’s Pond, London.
1814 Lord’s third ground opened on its present site, also in St John’s Wood.
1827 First Oxford v Cambridge match, at Lord’s. A draw.
1828 MCC authorise the bowler to raise his hand level with the elbow.
1833 John Nyren publishes his classic Young Cricketer’s Tutor and The Cricketers of My Time.
1836 First North v South match, for many years regarded as the principal fixture of the season.
1836 (approx) Batting pads invented.
1841 General Lord Hill, commander-in-chief of the British Army, orders that a cricket ground be made an adjunct of every military barracks.
1844 First official international match: Canada v United States.
1845 First match played at The Oval.
1846 The All-England XI, organised by William Clarke, begins playing matches, often against odds, throughout the country.
1849 First Yorkshire v Lancashire match.
1850 Wicket-keeping gloves first used.
1850 John Wisden bowls all ten batsmen in an innings for North v South.
1853 First mention of a champion county: Nottinghamshire.
1858 First recorded instance of a hat being awarded to a bowler taking three wickets with consecutive balls.
1859 First touring team to leave England, captained by George Parr, draws enthusiastic crowds in the US and Canada.
1864 Overhand bowling authorised by MCC.
John Wisden’s The Cricketer’s Almanack first published.
1868 Team of Australian aborigines tour England.
1873 WG Grace becomes the first player to record 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a season.
First regulations restricting county qualifications, often regarded as the official start of the County Championship.
1877 First Test match: Australia beat England by 45 runs in Melbourne.
1880 First Test in England: a five-wicket win against Australia at The Oval.
1882 Following England’s first defeat by Australia in England, an “obituary notice” to English cricket in the Sporting Times leads to the tradition of The Ashes.
1889 South Africa’s first Test match.
Declarations first authorised, but only on the third day, or in a one-day match.
1890 County Championship officially constituted.
Present Lord’s pavilion opened.
1895 WG Grace scores 1,000 runs in May, and reaches his 100th hundred.
1899 AEJ Collins scores 628 not out in a junior house match at Clifton College, the highest individual score in any match.
Selectors choose England team for home Tests, instead of host club issuing invitations.
1900 Six-ball over becomes the norm, instead of five.
1909 Imperial Cricket Conference (ICC – now the International Cricket Council) set up, with England, Australia and South Africa the original members.
1910 Six runs given for any hit over the boundary, instead of only for a hit out of the ground.
1912 First and only triangular Test series played in England, involving England, Australia and South Africa.
1915 WG Grace dies, aged 67.
1926 Victoria score 1,107 v New South Wales at Melbourne, the record total for a first-class innings.
1928 West Indies’ first Test match.
AP “Tich” Freeman of Kent and England becomes the only player to take more than 300 first-class wickets in a season: 304.
1930 New Zealand’s first Test match.
Donald Bradman’s first tour of England: he scores 974 runs in the five Ashes Tests, still a record for any Test series.
1931 Stumps made higher (28 inches not 27) and wider (nine inches not eight – this was optional until 1947).
1932 India’s first Test match.
Hedley Verity of Yorkshire takes ten wickets for ten runs v Nottinghamshire, the best innings analysis in first-class cricket.
1932-33 The Bodyline tour of Australia in which England bowl at batsmen’s bodies with a packed leg-side field to neutralise Bradman’s scoring.
1934 Jack Hobbs retires, with 197 centuries and 61,237 runs, both records. First women’s Test: Australia v England at Brisbane.
1935 MCC condemn and outlaw Bodyline.
1947 Denis Compton of Middlesex and England scores a record 3,816 runs in an English season.
1948 First five-day Tests in England.
Bradman concludes Test career with a second-ball duck at The Oval and a batting average of 99.94 – four runs short of 100.
1952 Pakistan’s first Test match.
1953 England regain the Ashes after a 19-year gap, the longest ever.
1956 Jim Laker of England takes 19 wickets for 90 v Australia at Manchester, the best match analysis in first-class cricket.
1957 Declarations authorised at any time.
1960 First tied Test, Australia v West Indies at Brisbane.
1963 Distinction between amateur and professional cricketers abolished in English cricket.
The first major one-day tournament begins in England: the Gillette Cup.
1969 Limited-over Sunday league inaugurated for first-class counties.
1970 Proposed South African tour of England cancelled: South Africa excluded from international cricket because of their government’s apartheid policies.
1971 First one-day international: Australia v England at Melbourne.
1975 First World Cup: West Indies beat Australia in final at Lord’s.
1976 First women’s match at Lord’s, England v Australia.
1977 Centenary Test at Melbourne, with identical result to the first match: Australia beat England by 45 runs.
Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer, signs 51 of the world’s leading players in defiance of the cricketing authorities.
1978 Graham Yallop of Australia wears a protective helmet to bat in a Test match, the first player to do so.
1979 Packer and official cricket agree peace deal.
1980 Eight-ball over abolished in Australia, making the six-ball over universal.
1981 England beat Australia in Leeds Test, after following on with bookmakers offering odds of 500 to 1 against them winning.
1982 Sri Lanka’s first Test match.
1991 South Africa return, with a one-day international in India.
1992 Zimbabwe’s first Test match.
Durham become the first county since Glamorgan in 1921 to attain firstclass status.
1993 The ICC ceases to be administered by MCC, becoming an independent organisation with its own chief executive.
1994 Brian Lara of Warwickshire becomes the only player to pass 500 in a firstclass innings: 501 not out v Durham.
2000 South Africa’s captain Hansie Cronje banned from cricket for life after admitting receiving bribes from bookmakers in match-fixing scandal.
Bangladesh’s first Test match.
County Championship split into two divisions, with promotion and relegation.
The Laws of Cricket revised and rewritten.
2001 Sir Donald Bradman dies, aged 92.
2003 Twenty20 Cup, a 20-over-per-side evening tournament, inaugurated in England.
2004 Lara becomes the first man to score 400 in a Test innings, against England.
2005 The ICC introduces Powerplays and Supersubs in ODIs, and hosts the inaugural Superseries.
2006 Pakistan forfeit a Test at The Oval after being accused of ball tampering.