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Who Kicked the First Soccer Ball?



Who Kicked the First Soccer Ball?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.18

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Eton, penance, romans, pitted, criminal, billion, ports, throne, punishment, illegal, behavior, forbidding, entire, medical, history, among
     content words:    Another Japanese, King Edward, King Henry VIII, Eton College, Cambridge University, New World, North America, World Cup Soccer Championship, United States, Olympic Games


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Who Kicked the First Soccer Ball?
By Jane Runyon
  

1     As most parents can tell you, children like to kick things. Children will kick rocks. Children will kick leaves. Children will kick the water in a puddle. It seems only natural that children and adults would like to kick a soccer ball. But how did the game of soccer get to be so popular? Where did it come from? Who invented the game?
 
2     Historians believe that the modern game of soccer is very similar to a game played almost 3,000 years ago. Games were not of great importance to the people that long ago. People then spent very little time including these games in their histories. Probably the first mention of a game where a ball is kicked around a field was in Japanese history about 1004 B.C. A book has been found that mentions a game between the Chinese and Japanese in 50 B.C. The ball used in this game was made of leather and filled with hair. Another Japanese history mentions a game like soccer being played in Kyoto about 611 A.D.
 
3     Romans played a type of soccer game. Two teams were pitted against each other. Each team had twenty-seven players on the field at one time. It must have been a very rough game. It was written that thirty-six of the fifty-four players had to have medical treatment after one game.

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