Ebenezer Cobb Morley: Meet The Man Behind The Rules of Football! Facts You Should Not Miss!

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Before Ebenezer Cobb Morley set down the rules of football in 1863, the game was much more chaotic than the version we know today. Here is how a Victorian lawyer ended up writing the rules of football Here are most important facts to know!
Before Ebenezer Cobb Morley set down the rules of football in 1863, the game was much more chaotic than the version we know today. Here is how a Victorian lawyer ended up writing the rules of football Here are most important facts to know!

Ebenezer Cobb Morley (1831-1924), the first man to write down the rules of football, was born 187 years ago today. Google doodle celebrates birthday of Ebenezer Cobb Morley, father of the Football Association.

A British by birth, Ebenezer Cobb Morley was a founding member and the first secretary of the Football Association or FA in 1863. FA is the oldest football body of the world and is credited with creating the rules and shaping modern football. FA is based in Wembly Stadium in London and administers the game in England.

“He was responsible for turning brutal football into a beautiful game,” writes Google Doodle Videos.

Ebenezer Cobb Morley
Ebenezer Cobb Morley

Born on August 16, 1831, at 10 Garden Square, Princess Street in UK’s Hull to a minister, Morley was a sports enthusiast and went on to study law. He moved to Barnes in 1858. He formed the Barnes Club and became a founding member of the Football Association in 1862. Then he became the association’s first secretary in 1863 and second president in 1867.

Morley wrote to Bell’s Life, a sports newspaper, to make the case for a more organised game. Following this, a group of members of football clubs across England met at Freeman’s Tavern, where Morley tabled his draft of 13 rules, which later went on to become the standard of play in England.

Morley’s 13 laws eventually reduced violence on the field and later formalised the rule of ‘offsides’ that prevents players from permanently stationing themselves behind an opponent’s defensive line, waiting for a pass

Here is the full list:
Ebenezer Cobb Morley
Ebenezer Cobb Morley

►The maximum length of the ground shall be 200 yards, the maximum breadth shall be 100 yards, the length and breadth shall be marked off with flags; and the goals shall be defined by two upright posts, 8 yards apart, without any tape or bar across them.

►The winner of the toss shall have the choice of goals. The game shall be commenced by a place kick from the centre of the ground by the side losing the toss, the other side shall not approach within 10 yards of the ball until it is kicked off.

►After a goal is won the losing side shall kick off and the goals shall be changed.

►A goal shall be won when the ball passes between the goal posts or over the space between the goal posts (at whatever height), not being thrown, knocked on, or carried.

►When the ball is in touch the first player who touches it shall throw it from the point on the boundary line where it left the ground, in a direction at right angles with the boundary line.

►When a player has kicked the ball any one of the same side who is nearer to the opponent’s goal line is out of play and may not touch the ball himself nor in any way whatever prevent any other player from doing so until the ball has been played, but no player is out of play when the ball is kicked from behind the goal line.

►In case the ball goes behind the goal line if a player on the side to whom the goal belongs first touches the ball, one of his sides shall be entitled to a free kick from the goal line at the point opposite the place where the ball shall be touched. If a player of the opposite side first touches the ball, one of his sides shall be entitled to a free kick (but at the goal only) from a point 15 yards from the goal line opposite the place where the ball is touched. The opposing side shall stand behind their goal line until he has had his kick.

►If a player makes a fair catch he shall be entitled to a free kick, provided he claims it by making a mark with his heel at once, and in order to take such a kick he may go back as far as he pleases, and no player on the opposite side shall advance beyond his mark until he has kicked.

►No player shall carry the ball.

►Neither tripping nor hacking shall be allowed and no player shall use his hands to hold or push an adversary.

►A player shall not throw the ball or pass it to another.

►No player shall take the ball from the ground with his hands while it is in play under any pretense whatever.

►No player shall wear projecting nails, iron plates, or gutta percha on the soles or heels of his boots.

Next time your football team is awarded a penalty, spare a thought for Ebenezer Cobb Morley

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