Info:NEXT FIXED MATCH
When our agent reads your message, he will inform you about the time and contents of the next match within 1 or 2 hours. If the information about the match is not available, you will be informed about the approximate date of the match.We have to comply with one rule we need to comply with in selling the match information, and this rule was agreed upon with players, coaches and teams in general.We are only selling on the Internet 2 or 3 matches of the 5-7 (on average) matches we receive a month. We cannot sell all the matches that we know about to protect the confidentiality of the players, because we usually receive 1-2 matches with fixed outcome from the same team, and if we sell all such matches, the amount of bets on a given outcome with the given team will be large enough to raise doubts, which eventually can result in legal proceedings for all the parties involved in the arrangement of a fixed match.Bets on fixed matches are our core business, and every year we need to develop our human resources base. The advantage of selling matches over the internet is mainly that we can use it to attract trusted people, our clients, to participate in our activity, if they need it, of course, and if they want it. Another advantage is that selling matches on the Internet decreases the amount of our bets approximately by 30%, which decreases the attention of bookmaker's offices and other services to our activities.It is difficult to keep any information confidential when the Internet is involved, so we have to introduce the above measures. These measures are certainly still insufficient, so we are developing some new projects that will decrease the risk of our business.
Odds From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For the alternative rock band, see Odds (band). "Odds against" redirects here. For the 1966 documentary film, see The Odds Against. This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citationsto additional sources. (May 2012) The odds in favor of an event or a proposition is the ratio of the probability that the event will happen to the probability that the event will not happen. For example, the odds that a randomly chosen day of the week is a Sunday are one to six, which is sometimes written 1 : 6.; see section 1.5 of Gelman et al. (2003). 'Odds' are an expression of relative probabilities. Often 'odds' are quoted as odds against, rather than as odds in favor. For example, the probability that a random day is a Sunday is one-seventh (1/7), hence the odds that a random day is a Sunday are 1 : 6. The odds against a random day being a Sunday are 6 : 1. The first figure represents the number of ways of failing to achieve the outcome and the second figure is the number of ways of achieving a favorableoutcome. In probability theory and Bayesian statistics, odds may sometimes be more natural or more convenient than probabilities. This is often the case in problems of sequential decision making as for instance in problems of how to stop (online) on a last specific event which is solved by the odds algorithm. Stating "odds against" is a convenient way to propose a bet. When a bookmaker offers betting odds of 6 : 1 against some event occurring, it means that he is prepared to pay out a prize of six times the stake, and return the stake as well, to anyone who places a bet, by making the stake, that the event will occur. If the event does not occur, then the bookmaker keeps the stake. For example, a winning bet of 10 at 6 : 1 against will win '6 × 10 = 60' with the original 10 stake also being returned. Betting odds are skewed to ensure that the bookmaker makes a profit — if true odds were offered the bookmaker would break even in the long run — so the numbers do not represent the bookmaker's true odds. "Odds on" means that the event is more likely to happen than not. This is sometimes expressed with the smaller number first (1 : 2) but more often using the word "on" (2 : 1 on) meaning that the event is twice as likely to happen as not. Contents [hide] • 1 Examples • 2 Chances versus odds • 3 Presentation of odds o 3.1 Decimal presentation o 3.2 Ratio presentation • 4 Gambling odds versus probabilities • 5 Even odds • 6 Historical • 7 See also • 8 References Examples Example #1: There are 5 pink marbles, 2 blue marbles, and 8 purple marbles. What are the odds in favor of picking a blue marble? Answer: The odds in favour of a blue marble are 2 : 13. One can equivalently say, that the odds are 13:2 against. There are 2 out of 15 chances in favour of blue, 13 out of 15 against blue. In probability theory and statistics, where the variable p is the probability in favor of a binary event, and the probability against the event is therefore 1-p, "the odds" of the event are the quotient of the two, or . That value may be regarded as the relative likelihood the event will happen, expressed as a fraction (if it is less than 1), or a multiple (if it is equal to or greater than one) of the likelihood that the event will not happen. In the first example above, saying the odds of a Sunday are "one to six" or, less commonly, "one-sixth" means the probability of picking a Sunday randomly is one-sixth the probability of not picking a Sunday. While the mathematical probability of an event has a value in the range from zero to one, "the odds" in favor of that same event lie between zero and infinity. The odds against the event with probability given as p are . The odds against Sunday are 6:1 or 6/1 = 6. It is 6 times as likely that a random day is not a Sunday. Example #2: There are 5 red marbles, 2 green marbles, and 8 yellow marbles. What are the odds against picking a yellow marble? Answer: 7 : 8 Chances versus odds Odds of so many to so many on (or against) some event refers to the ratio of numbers of (equal) chances in favor and against (or vice-versa); chances of so many, in so many refers to the number of (equal) chances in favour relative to the number for and against combined. For example, example #1 above, the "chance of picking a blue marble is 2 in 15", the "odds on picking a blue marble are 2 to 13", "the odds against picking a blue marble are 13 to 2". Odds of 1to 5 corresponds to 1 chance in 6. The words odds and chances are often interchangeably used to vaguely indicate some measure of probability; the intended meaning of the writer has to be deduced by noting whether the preposition between the two numbers is to or in. Presentation of odds Decimal presentation Taking an event with a 1 in 5 probability of occurring (i.e. a probability of 1/5, 0.2 or 20%), then the odds are 0.2 / (1 − 0.2) = 0.2 / 0.8 = 0.25. This figure (0.25) represents the monetary stake necessary for a person to gain one (monetary) unit on a successful wager when offered fair odds. This may be scaled up by any convenient factor to give whole number values. For example, if a stake of 0.25 wins 1 unit, then scaling by a factor of four means a stake of 1 wins 4 units. Ratio presentation Fixed odds gambling tends to represent the probability as fractional odds, and excludes the stake. For example, a probability 0.20 is represented as "4 to 1 against" (written as 4-1, 4:1, or 4/1), since there are five outcomes of which four are unsuccessful. Thus the stake returned must be added to the odds to compute the entire return of a successful bet. In craps the payout would be represented as "5 for 1", and in moneyline odds as +400 representing the gainfrom a 100 stake. By contrast, for an event with a 4 in 5 probability of occurring (i.e. a probability of 4/5, 0.8 or 80%), then the odds are 0.8 / (1 − 0.8) = 4. If one bets 4 units at these odds and the event occurs, one receives back 1 unit plus the original unit 4 units stake. This would be presented in fractional odds of "4 to 1 on'' (written as 1/4 or 1–4), in decimal odds as 1.25 to include the returned stake, in craps as "5 for 4", and in moneyline odds as −400 representing the stake necessary to gain 100. Fixed odds are not necessarily presented in the lowest possible terms; if there is a pattern of odds of 5–4, 7–4 and so on, odds which are mathematically 3–2 are more easily compared if expressed in the mathematically equivalent form 6–4. Similarly, 10–3 may be stated as 100–30. Gambling odds versus probabilities Main article: Sports betting#Odds In gambling, the odds on display do not represent the true chances (as imagined by the bookmaker) that the event will or will not occur, but are the amount that the bookmaker will pay out on a winning bet, together with the required stake. For instance, if the bookmaker offers odds of 4:6 against a certain horse winning a race, this means that he'll accept a $6 stake in return for a payoff of $4, plus return of the stake, if the horse wins. If the horse loses, the bookmaker keeps the stake. In formulating his odds to display the bookmaker will have included a profit margin which effectively means that the payout to a successful bettor is less than that represented by the true chance of the event occurring. This profit is known as the 'over-round' on the 'book' (the 'book' refers to the old-fashioned ledger in which wagers were recorded, and is the derivation of the term 'bookmaker') and relates to the sum of the 'odds' in the following way: In a 3-horse race, for example, the true probabilities of each of the horses winning based on their relative abilities may be 50%, 40% and 10%. The total of these three percentages is 100%, thus representing a fair 'book'. The true odds against winning for each of the three horses are 1-1, 3-2 and 9-1 respectively. In order to generate a profit on the wagers accepted by the bookmaker he may decide to increase the values to 60%, 50% and 20% for the three horses, representing odds against of 4-6, 1-1 and 4-1. These values now total 130%, meaning that the book has an overround of 30 (130 − 100). This value of 30 represents the amount of profit for the bookmaker if he accepts bets in the correct proportions on each of the horses. The art of bookmaking is that he will take in, for example, $130 in wagers and only pay $100 back (including stakes) no matter which horse wins. Profiting in gambling involves predicting the relationship of the true probabilities to the payout odds. Sports information services are often used by professional and semi-professional sports bettors to help achieve this goal. The odds or amounts the bookmaker will pay are determined by the total amount that has been bet on all of the possible events. They reflect the balance of wagers on either side of the event, and include the deduction of a bookmaker’s brokerage fee ("vig" or vigorish). Also, depending on how the betting is affected by jurisdiction, taxes may be involved for the bookmaker and/or the winning player. This may be taken into account when offering the odds and/or may reduce the amount won by a player. Even odds The terms "even odds", "even money" or simply "evens" (1 to 1, or 2 for 1) imply that the payout will be one unit per unit wagered plus the original stake, that is, 'double-your-money'. Assuming there is no bookmaker fee or built-in profit margin, the actual probability of winning is 50%. The term "better than even odds" (or "better than evens") looks at it from the perspective of a gambler rather than a statistician. If the odds are Evens (1–1), and one bets 10 units, one would be returned 20 units, profiting 10 units. If the gamble was paying 4-1 and the event occurred, one would make 40 units, or a profit of 30 units. So, it is "better than evens" from the gambler's perspective because it pays out more than one-for-one. If an event is more likely to occur than an even chance, then the odds will be "worse than evens", and the bookmaker will pay out less than one-for-one. In popular parlance surrounding uncertain events, the expression "better than evens" usually implies a better than (greater than) 50% chance of the event occurring, which is exactly the opposite of the meaning of the expression when used in a gaming context. The odds are a ratio of probabilities; an odds ratio is a ratio of odds, that is, a ratio of ratios of probabilities. Odds-ratios are often used in analysis of clinical trials. While they have useful mathematical properties, they can produce counter-intuitive results: an event with an 80% probability of occurring is four times more likely to happen than an event with a 20% probability, but the odds are 16 times higher on the less likely event (4–1 against, or 4) than on the more likely one (1–4, or 4–1 on, or 0.25). The logarithm of the odds is the logit of the probability. Historical The language of odds such as "ten to one" for intuitively estimated risks is found in the sixteenth century, well before the discovery of mathematical probability. Shakespeare wrote: Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas That if we wrought out life 'twas ten to one —William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, Act I, Scene 1 lines 181–2. See also • Galton box • Gambling • Gaming mathematics • Formal mathematical specification of logistic regression • Mathematics of bookmaking • Odds algorithm • Optimal stopping • Statistical Soccer (Football) Predictions References • Andrew Gelman, John B. Carlin, Hal S. Stern, and Donald B. Rubin (2003), "Bayesian Data Analysis", Second Edition, CRC Press. 1. Jump up^ Wolfram MathWorld. "Wolfram MathWorld (Odds)". Wolfram Research Inc. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 2. Jump up^ Multi-State Lottery Association. "Welcome to Powerball - Prizes". Multi-State Lottery Association. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 3. Jump up^ Lisa Grossman (October 28, 2010). "Odds of Finding Earth-Size Exoplanets Are 1-in-4". Wired. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 4. Jump up^ Wolfram Alpha. "Wolfram Alpha (Poker Probabilities)". Wolfram Alpha. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 5. Jump up^ James, Franklin (2001). The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 280–281.
Sports betting From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. It is generally considered to be a form of gambling. Contents [hide] • 1 Types of bets o 1.1 United States of America • 2 Bookmaking • 3 Odds • 4 Legality • 5 Famous betting scandals • 6 See also • 7 Sources • 8 Notes Types of bets See also: Glossary of bets offered by UK bookmakers United States of America Aside from simple wagers such as betting a friend that one's favorite baseball team will win its division or buying a football "square" for the Super Bowl, sports betting is commonly performed through a bookmaker or through various online Internet outlets. The many types of bets include: • Straight Bets are wagers that are made against the spread. The spread, or line, is a number assigned by the bookmakers which handicaps one team and favors another. For example, in the NBA, when two teams play each other, one is perceived as being more likely to win. To attempt to make wagering on the underdog desirable, the bookmaker will give them points. Before game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat were expected to beat theOklahoma City Thunder. The line read: Miami -3, Oklahoma City +3. To determine who wins against the spread, the line is either added or subtracted from a teams final score. In the above example, if the bettor chose Miami, he would subtract 3 points from Miami's final score and compare that to Oklahoma's final score. For him to win his bet, Miami would have to win the game by 4 points or more. This is the most common type of bet in sports. • Proposition bets are wagers made on a very specific outcome of a match. Examples include predicting the number of goals each team scores in a handball match, betting whether a player will score in a football game, or wagering that a baseball player on one team will accumulate more hits than another player on the opposing team. • Parlays involve multiple bets (usually up to 12) and will reward a successful bettor with a large payout. For example, a bettor could include four different wagers in a four-team parlay, whereby he is wagering that all four bets will win. If any of the four bets fails to cover, the bettor loses the parlay, but if all four bets win, the bettor receives a substantially higher payout (usually 10-1 in the case of a four-teamer) than if he made the four wagers separately. • Progressive parlays. A progressive parlay involves multiple bets (usually up to 12) and rewards successful bettors with a large payout, though not as large as normal parlays. However in a progressive parlay, unlike a regular parlay, a reduced payout will still be made even should some of the bets lose. • Teasers. A teaser allows the bettor to combine his bets on two or more different games. The bettor can adjust the point spreads for the two games, but must get all the games correct to win and recognizes a lower return in comparison to parlays. • If bets. An if bet consists of at least two straight bets joined together by an if clause which determines the wager process. If the player’s first selection complies with the condition (clause), then the second selection will have action; if the second selection complies with the condition, then the third selection will have action and so on. • Run line, puck line, or goal line bets. These are wagers offered as alternatives to straight-up/moneyline prices in baseball, hockey, or soccer, respectively. These bets feature a fixed point spread that (usually) offers a higher payout for the favorite and a lower payout for the underdog (both in comparison to the moneyline). • Future wagers. While all sports wagers are by definition on future events, bets listed as "futures" generally have a long-term horizon measured in weeks or months; for example, a bet that a certain NFL team will win the Super Bowlfor the upcoming season. Such a bet must be made before the season starts in September, and winning bets will not pay off until the conclusion of the Super Bowl in January or February (although many of the losing bets will be clear well before then and can be closed out by the book). Odds for such a bet generally are expressed in a ratio of units paid to unit wagered. The team wagered upon might be 50-1 to win the Super Bowl, which means that the bet will pay 50 times the amount wagered if the team does so. • Head-to-Head. In these bets, bettor predicts competitors results against each other and not on the overall result of the event. One example are Formula One races, where you bet on two or three drivers and their placement among the others. Sometimes you can also bet a “tie”, in which one or both drivers either have the same time, drop out, or get disqualified. • Totalizators. In totalizators (sometimes called flexible-rate bets) the odds are changing in real-time according to the share of total exchange each of the possible outcomes have received taking into account the return rate of the bookmaker offering the bet. For example: If the bookmakers return percentage is 90%, 90% of the amount placed on the winning result will be given back to bettors and 10% goes to the bookmaker. Naturally the more money bet on a certain result, the smaller the odds on that outcome become. This is similar to parimutuel wagering in horse racing and dog racing. • 2nd half bets. A 2nd half (Second half) bet is also sometimes called a halftime bet. This bet is placed only at halftime of a particular sporting event. This bet can be placed on the spread(Line) or over/under. The resulting bet that is placed is won or lost only on the points scored by both teams in the second half only. • In-play betting. In-play betting is a feature offered by some online sports books that enables bettors to place new bets while a sporting event is in progress. Bookmaking Main article: Bookmaker The general role of the bookmaker is to function as a market maker for sports wagers, most of which have a binary outcome: a team either wins or loses. The bookmaker accepts both wagers, and maintains a spread (the vigorish) which will ensure a profit regardless of the outcome of the wager. The Federal Wire Act of 1961 was an attempt by the US government to prevent illegal bookmaking. However, this Act does not apply to other types of online gambling. TheSupreme Court has not ruled on the meaning of the Federal Wire Act as it pertains to online gambling. Bookmakers usually hold a 11-10 advantage over their customers—for small wagers it is closer to a 6-5 advantage—so the bookmaker will most likely survive over the long term. Successful bookmakers must be able to withstand a large short term loss. (Boyd, 1981) Many of the leading gambling bookmakers from the 1930s to the 1960s got their start during the prohibition era of the 1920s. They were often descendants of the influx of immigrants coming into the USA at this time. Although the common stereotype is that these bookies were of Italian descent, it has been proven that many of the leading bookies were of eastern European Jewish Ancestry. (Davies, 2001) Odds Odds for different outcomes in single bet are presented either in European format (decimal odds), UK format (fractional odds), or American format (moneyline odds). European format (decimal odds) are favored in continental Europe, Canada, and Australia. They are the ratio of the full payout to the stake, in a decimal format. Decimal odds of 2.00 are an even bet. UK format (fractional odds) are favored by British bookmakers. They are the ratio of the amount won to the stake. Fractional odds of 1/1 are an even bet. US format odds are favored in the United States. They are the amount won on a 100 stake when positive and the stake needed to win 100 when negative. US odds of 100 are an even bet. Decimal Fractional US HongKong Indo Malay Implied Probability 1.50 1/2 -200 0.50 -2.00 0.50 1 in 1.5 = 67% 2.00 Evs (1/1) +100 1.00 1.00 1.00 1 in 2 = 50% 2.50 3/2 +150 1.50 1.50 -0.67 1 in 2.5 = 40% 3.00 2/1 +200 2.00 2.00 -0.50 1 in 3 = 33% Conversion formulas x To Do this Decimal Fractional x-1, then convert to fraction Decimal US 100*(x-1) if x>=2; -100/(x-1) if x<2 Fractional Decimal divide fraction, then x+1 Fractional US divide fraction, then 100*x if x>=1; -100/x if x<1 US Decimal (x/100)+1 if x>0; (-100/x)+1 if x<0 US Fractional x/100, then convert to fraction if x>0; -100/x, then convert to fraction if x<0 Decimal HongKong x-1 HongKong Indo x if x>=1; (1/x)*-1 if x<1 HongKong Malay x if x<=1; (1/x)*-1 if X>1 In Asian betting markets, other frequently used formats for expressing odds include Hong Kong, Malaysian, and Indonesian-style odds formats. Odds are also quite often expressed in terms of implied probability, which corresponds to the probability with which the event in question would need to occur for the bet to be a breakeven proposition (on the average). Many online tools also exist for automated conversion between these odds formats. Legality In the United States of America, it is illegal to operate a betting scheme, except in a few states. In many European nations, bookmaking (the profession of accepting sports wagers) is regulated but not criminalized. The NCAA has threatened to ban all playoff games in Delaware if the state allows betting on college sports. New Jersey, which is also interested, has been similarly threatened. Interestingly for New Jersey, in a national poll released in December 2011, Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind asked voters whether they “support or oppose changing the federal law to allow sports betting” in their respective states. Just as many voters approved (42%) as opposed (42%) allowing sports betting. However, voters who already live in households where family members (including themselves) engage in sports betting had a strongly favored legalization of sports betting (71%-23%), while voters in households where sports betting is not an activity, opposed legalization (46%-36%). Peter J. Woolley, professor of political science and director of the poll commented on the findings, “Gambling has become, for good or ill, a national industry, and you can bet that politicians and casinos all over the country are closely following New Jersey’s plans.” In a different study released by FDU’s PublicMind in October 2011, results showed that New Jersey voters thought legalizing sports betting in New Jersey was a good idea. Half of New Jersey voters (52%) said that they approved the idea of legalizing sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and racetracks, 31% opposed it. In addition, there was a significant gender split: a majority of men approved of the idea by a wide margin (65-21), while only 39% of women approved and 41% opposed. The October results were stable, reflecting an earlier poll in April 2011 where New Jersey voters approved the legalization of sports betting in the state by a margin of 53%-30%. However, nearly two-thirds (66%) of voters were not aware of the upcoming statewide referendum on the issue. Age proved to be a divide: Voters between the ages 18–34 were more likely to approve of sports betting than older voters. Dr. Woolley commented: “But...younger voters... are far less likely to vote than other voters... As always, a lot depends on who actually shows up to vote.” In February 2011 FDU’s PublicMind released a poll which showed that half (55%) of voters agreed “that people bet on sports games anyway, so government should allow it and tax it.” On the other hand, approximately (37%) of New Jersey voters concurred that betting on sports is “a bad idea because it promotes too much gambling and can corrupt sports.” Again, by a significant margin (70%-26%) that voters who already engage in sports betting in office pools tend to be more supportive of legal sports betting than other voters. Donald Hoover, FDU professor in International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and former casino executive commented on the results; “Betting on sports is not an uncommon practice for many New Jerseyans, but for the most part, the state doesn’t supervise it, doesn’t tax it and doesn’t take any revenue from it.” In 2010 a national poll, results showed that voters opposed sports betting in all states by a margin of 53-39. Woolley commented on the results: “If some states allow sports betting and profit by it, other states will want to follow.” Yet by December 2011 after NJ passed its sports betting referendum the national measure shifted to 42-42. In January 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation allowing sports betting in New Jersey after it was approved in a nonbinding voter referendum in 2011 and he announced on May 24, 2012 that he plans to go ahead and set up a system of wagering at the state’s racetracks and casinos this fall, before the National Football League season ends. In 2012, despite federal law preventions, the state legislature of New Jersey and Governor Chris Christie signed a law that would allow sports betting to take place in New Jersey race tracks and Atlantic City casinos. In August 2012, Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind conducted a study on the issue. Voters were asked whether New Jersey should allow sports betting even if federal law prevents it from doing so, or wait to allow sports betting until federal law permits it. Results showed that nearly half (45%) of voters wanted to allow sports betting, while (38%) decided to wait and allow sports betting once Congress allows it. Krista Jenkins, director of the poll commented; "Although support is not overwhelming, these numbers suggest the public is cautiously behind the goal of moving forward with legalized sports betting." In areas where sports betting is illegal, bettors usually make their sports wagers with illicit bookmakers (known colloquially as "bookies") and on the Internet, where thousands of online bookmakers accept wagers on sporting events around the world. The PublicMind's 2010 national survey found that 67% of Americans did not support the legalization of Internet betting websites in the United States whereas 21% said they would support legalization. The National Football League is fully against any sort of legalization of sports betting, strongly protesting it as to not bring corruption into the game. On the other hand, the CEO of the International Cricket Council believe sports betting, in particular in India, should be legalized to curb illegal bookies where match fixing has occurred from nontransparent bookmakers. Many of the illegal proceeds also allegedly go to fund terror, drugs and other illegal activities. Famous betting scandals In 1919, the Chicago White Sox faced the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. This series would go down as one of the biggest sports scandals of all time. As the story goes, professional gambler Joseph Sullivan paid eight members of the White Sox (The players involved were Oscar Felsch, Arnold Gandil, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Fred McMullin, Charles Risberg, George Weaver, and Claude Williams) around 10,000 dollars each to fix the World Series. All eight players were banned from playing professional baseball for the rest of their lives. Pete Rose, the all-time MLB leader in hits, was similarly banned from baseball in 1989 for betting on games. The rule against gambling in baseball is known as "Rule 21," which is publicly posted on dugout walls and states: "Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever on any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible." People permanently banned from Major League Baseball are also forever banned from entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame, although most such people have been reinstated a few years later by a later Commissioner of Baseball. (For instance, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were both banned from baseball in 1983 after taking jobs as casino greeters (which would have expelled them from the Hall of Fame had it been allowed to stand); they were reinstated two years later. Only Rose has yet to be reinstated. A 1906 betting scandal between the Massillon Tigers and Canton Bulldogs, two of the top teams in professional American football in the early 1900s, led to the demise of "big-money" professional football for several years. Modern research has suggested that the claims of betting were unsubstantiated. The “Cronje Affair,” was an India-South Africa Cricket match fixing scandal that was made public in 2000. It began in 1996 when Cronje was convinced by Gupta to throw a match during a Test in Kanpur. The evidence was found when Delhi police recorded illegal dealings between bookmaker Sanjay Chawla, and captain of the South African national cricket team Hansie Cronje. According to the Telegraph (2010) Cronje was paid off a total of £65,000 from Indian bookmarker Mukesh “John” Gupta. See also • Betting pool • Friendly political wager • Point shaving • Odds • Bookmaking • Financial betting • Statistical Soccer (Football) Predictions • Sports betting systems • Arbitrage betting Sources • Davies, Richard (2001). Betting the Line Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University Press ISBN 0-8142-0880-0 • Finley, Peter (2008). Sports Scandals Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press ISBN 978-0-313-34458-9 • Boyd, Kier (1981). Gambling Technology Washington, DC: FBI Laboratory • Rose, Pete (2004). My Prison Without Bars St. Martin's Press ISBN 1-57954-927-6 • Thompson, William (2001). Gambling in America--An Encyclopedia of History, Issues, and Society Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO ISBN 1-57607-159-6 Notes 1. Jump up^ Text of the law (18 USC CHAPTER 50) 2. Jump up^ Fifth Circuit ruling - PDF file 3. Jump up^ Associated Press: Fantasy Sports League May Run Afoul of NCAA 4. Jump up^ PressofAtlanticCity.com 5. ^ Jump up to:a b Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, (December 19, 2011). A Nation of Bettors? (press release) 6. Jump up^ Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, (October 10, 2011). NJ Voters Favor Sports Betting, but not Tax Credits for Meadowlands Developer (press release) 7. Jump up^ Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, (April 18, 2011) Odds Favor NJ Referendum on Sports Betting(press release) 8. Jump up^ Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, (February 21, 2011). Sports Betting, Sure Thing; Internet Betting, Nyet! (press release) 9. Jump up^ Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, (April 20, 2009). Legalized Sports Betting in New Jersey 10. Jump up^ Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, (March 11, 2010). US Public: Keep Las Vegas in Las Vegas (press release) 11. Jump up^ Coffey, Sarah (May 25, 2012). "N.J. Moves Towards Legal Sports Betting This Fall, in Time for NFL Season". The National Law Review. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 12. Jump up^ News Works, (August 17, 2012). Sports betting should be legal in the Garden State 13. Jump up^ Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, (August 21, 2012). Opinion divided, but majority give the state the green light to allow sports betting in defiance of federal law (press release) 14. Jump up^ Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll "US Public: Keep Las Vegas in Las Vegas" press release (March 2010) 15. Jump up^ Shriver, Roger. "NFL and ICC's Stance on Betting". 16. Jump up^ Finley, 2008 17. Jump up^ "Famous Cricket Spot-Fixing and Betting Scandals". 12June2013. Retrieved 22June2013. 18. Jump up^ "How Hansie Cronje became most infamous villain in cricket's fixing scandals". 26May2010. Retrieved 22June2013.
Association football From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Soccer" redirects here. For other uses, see Soccer (disambiguation). This article is about the sport of Association football. For the English Football Association, see The Football Association. For the term Football association, see Football association. Association football An attacking player (No. 10) attempts to kick the ball past the opposing team's goalkeeper and between the goalposts to score a goal. Highestgoverning body FIFA Nickname(s) Football, soccer, footy/footie, the beautiful game First played 19 December 1863 Characteristics Contact Yes Team members 11 per side Mixed gender Yes, separate competitions Categorization Team sport, ball sport Equipment Football (or soccer ball) Venue Football pitch (also known as "football field" "football ground", "soccer field", "soccer pitch", or simply "pitch") Olympic Yes, since the 1900 Olympics Paralympic Yes, 5-a-side since 2004 and 7-a-side since1984 Country or region Worldwide Association football, commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by using any part of the body besides the arms and hands to get the football into the opposing goal. The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play and then only in their penalty area. Outfield players mostly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use their head or torso to strike the ball instead. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. The Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA;French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association) which organises a World Cup every four years. Contents [hide] • 1 History • 2 Etymology and names • 3 Gameplay • 4 Laws o 4.1 Players, equipment, and officials o 4.2 Pitch o 4.3 Duration and tie-breaking methods o 4.4 Ball in and out of play o 4.5 Misconduct 4.5.1 On-field 4.5.2 Off-field • 5 Governing bodies • 6 International competitions • 7 Domestic competitions • 8 Women's association football • 9 Variants and casual play • 10 See also • 11 References • 12 External links History Main article: History of association football England playing Scotland in arepresentative match in 1872 atThe Oval The Royal Engineers team who reached the first FA Cup final in 1872 Two of the earliest recorded football type games from Europe include Episkyros from Ancient Greece and the Roman version Harpastum, which similar to pre-codified "Mob Football" involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other competitive games revolving around the kicking of a ball have been played in a few countries throughout history, such as cuju in China. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan and woggabaliri in Australia. The modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century. The Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were particularly influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester and Shrewsbury schools. They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football. Some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School also devised an influential set of rules. These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association (The FA) in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse. The Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which eventually produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand; the second for obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under the charge of Ebenezer Cobb Morley, went on to ratify the original thirteen laws of the game. These rules included handling of the ball by "marks" and the lack of a crossbar, rules which made it remarkably similar to Victorian rules football being developed at that time in Australia. The Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s with the FA absorbing some of its rules until there was little difference between the games. The laws of the game are currently determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The Board was formed in 1886 after a meeting in Manchester of The Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales, and the Irish Football Association. The world's oldest football competition is the FA Cup, which was founded by C. W. Alcock and has been contested by English teams since 1872. The first official international football match took place in 1872 between Scotland and England in Glasgow, again at the instigation of C. W. Alcock. England is home to the world's first football league, which was founded in Birmingham in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. The original format contained 12 clubs from the Midlands and Northern England. FIFA, the international football body, was formed in Paris in 1904 and declared that they would adhere to Laws of the Game of the Football Association. The growing popularity of the international game led to the admittance of FIFA representatives to the International Football Association Board in 1913. The board currently consists of four representatives from FIFA and one representative from each of the four British associations. Today, football is played at a professional level all over the world. Millions of people regularly go to football stadiums to follow their favourite teams, while billions more watch the game on television or on the internet. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level. According to a survey conducted by FIFA published in 2001, over 240 million people from more than 200 countries regularly play football. Football has the highest global television audience in sport. In many parts of the world football evokes great passions and plays an important role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations. R. Kapuscinski says that people who are polite, modest or even humble in Europe fall easily into rage with playing or watching soccer games. The Côte d'Ivoire national football team helped secure a truce to the nation's civil war in 2006 and it helped further reduce tensions between government and rebel forces in 2007 by playing a match in the rebel capital of Bouaké, an occasion that brought both armies together peacefully for the first time. By contrast, football is widely considered to have been the final proximate cause for the Football War in June 1969 between El Salvador and Honduras. The sport also exacerbated tensions at the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s, when a match between Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade degenerated into rioting in May 1990. Etymology and names Main article: Names for association football The rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time, specifically rugby football. The term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford "-er" abbreviation of the word "association". Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom, and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. Other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, may use either or both terms. Gameplay A goalkeeper saving a close-range shot from inside the penalty area Association football is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game. The game is played using a spherical ball (of 71 cm (28 in) circumference in FIFA play), known as the football (or soccer ball). Two teams of eleven players each compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals then the game is a draw. Each team is led by a captain who has only one official responsibility as mandated by the Laws of the Game: to be involved in the coin toss prior to kick-off or penalty kicks. The primary law is that players other than goalkeepers may not deliberately handle the ball with their hands or arms during play, though they do use their hands during a throw-in restart. Although players usually use their feet to move the ball around, they may use any part of their body (notably, "heading" with the forehead) other than their hands or arms. Within normal play, all players are free to play the ball in any direction and move throughout the pitch, though the ball cannot be received in an offside position. In typical game play, players attempt to create goal-scoring opportunities through individual control of the ball, such as by dribbling, passing the ball to a team-mate, and by taking shots at the goal, which is guarded by the opposing goalkeeper. Opposing players may try to regain control of the ball by intercepting a pass or through tackling the opponent in possession of the ball; however, physical contact between opponents is restricted. Football is generally a free-flowing game, with play stopping only when the ball has left the field of play or when play is stopped by the referee for an infringement of the rules. After a stoppage, play recommences with a specified restart. At a professional level, most matches produce only a few goals. For example, the 2005–06 season of the English Premier League produced an average of 2.48 goals per match. The Laws of the Game do not specify any player positions other than goalkeeper, but a number of specialised roles have evolved. Broadly, these include three main categories: strikers, or forwards, whose main task is to score goals; defenders, who specialise in preventing their opponents from scoring; and midfielders, who dispossess the opposition and keep possession of the ball in order to pass it to the forwards on their team. Players in these positions are referred to as outfield players, in order to distinguish them from the goalkeeper. These positions are further subdivided according to the area of the field in which the player spends most time. For example, there are central defenders, and left and right midfielders. The ten outfield players may be arranged in any combination. The number of players in each position determines the style of the team's play; more forwards and fewer defenders creates a more aggressive and offensive-minded game, while the reverse creates a slower, more defensive style of play. While players typically spend most of the game in a specific position, there are few restrictions on player movement, and players can switch positions at any time. The layout of a team's players is known as a formation. Defining the team's formation and tactics is usually the prerogative of the team's manager. Laws "Rules of football" redirects here. For the rules of other football games, see Football. Main article: Laws of the Game (association football) There are 17 laws in the official Laws of the Game, each containing a collection of stipulation and guidelines. The same laws are designed to apply to all levels of football, although certain modifications for groups such as juniors, seniors, women and people with physical disabilities are permitted. The laws are often framed in broad terms, which allow flexibility in their application depending on the nature of the game. The Laws of the Game are published by FIFA, but are maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). In addition to the seventeen laws, numerous IFAB decisions and other directives contribute to the regulation of football. Players, equipment, and officials See also: Association football positions, Formation (association football), and Kit (association football) Each team consists of a maximum of eleven players (excluding substitutes), one of whom must be the goalkeeper. Competition rules may state a minimum number of players required to constitute a team, which is usually seven. Goalkeepers are the only players allowed to play the ball with their hands or arms, provided they do so within the penalty area in front of their own goal. Though there are a variety of positions in which the outfield (non-goalkeeper) players are strategically placed by a coach, these positions are not defined or required by the Laws. The basic equipment or kit players are required to wear includes a shirt, shorts, socks, footwear and adequate shin guards. An athletic supporter and protective cup is highly recommended for male players by medical experts and professionals. Headgear is not a required piece of basic equipment, but players today may choose to wear it to protect themselves from head injury. Players are forbidden to wear or use anything that is dangerous to themselves or another player, such as jewellery or watches. The goalkeeper must wear clothing that is easily distinguishable from that worn by the other players and the match officials. A number of players may be replaced by substitutes during the course of the game. The maximum number of substitutions permitted in most competitive international and domestic league games is three, though the permitted number may vary in other competitions or in friendly matches. Common reasons for a substitution include injury, tiredness, ineffectiveness, a tactical switch, or timewasting at the end of a finely poised game. In standard adult matches, a player who has been substituted may not take further part in a match. IFAB recommends that "that a match should not continue if there are fewer than seven players in either team." Any decision regarding points awarded for abandoned games is left to the individual football associations. A game is officiated by a referee, who has "full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed" (Law 5), and whose decisions are final. The referee is assisted by two assistant referees. In many high-level games there is also a fourth official who assists the referee and may replace another official should the need arise. Pitch Main article: Association football pitch Standard pitch measurements (See Imperial version) As the Laws were formulated in England, and were initially administered solely by the four British football associations within IFAB, the standard dimensions of a football pitch were originally expressed in imperial units. The Laws now express dimensions with approximate metric equivalents (followed by traditional units in brackets), though popular use tends to continue to use traditional units in English-speaking countries with a relatively recent history of metrication (or only partial metrication), such as Britain. The length of the pitch for international adult matches is in the range of 100–110 m (110–120 yd) and the width is in the range of 64–75 m (70–80 yd). Fields for non-international matches may be 90–120 m (100–130 yd) length and 45–90 m (50–100 yd) in width, provided that the pitch does not become square. In 2008, the IFAB initially approved a fixed size of 105 m (344 ft) long and 68 m (223 ft) wide as a standard pitch dimension for international matches; however, this decision was later put on hold and was never actually implemented. The longer boundary lines are touchlines, while the shorter boundaries (on which the goals are placed) are goal lines. A rectangular goal is positioned at the middle of each goal line. The inner edges of the vertical goal posts must be 7.32 m (8 yd) apart, and the lower edge of the horizontal crossbar supported by the goal posts must be 2.44 m (8 ft) above the ground. Nets are usually placed behind the goal, but are not required by the Laws. In front of each goal is an area known as the penalty area. This area is marked by the goal line, two lines starting on the goal line 16.5 m (18 yd) from the goalposts and extending 16.5 m (18 yd) into the pitch perpendicular to the goal line, and a line joining them. This area has a number of functions, the most prominent being to mark where the goalkeeper may handle the ball and where a penalty foul by a member of the defending team becomes punishable by a penalty kick. Other markings define the position of the ball or players at kick-offs, goal kicks, penalty kicks and corner kicks. Duration and tie-breaking methods A standard adult football match consists of two periods of 45 minutes each, known as halves. Each half runs continuously, meaning that the clock is not stopped when the ball is out of play. There is usually a 15-minute half-time break between halves. The end of the match is known as full-time. The referee is the official timekeeper for the match, and may make an allowance for time lost through substitutions, injured players requiring attention, or other stoppages. This added time is most commonly referred to as stoppage time or injury time, while loss time can also be used as a synonym. The duration of stoppage time is at the sole discretion of the referee. The referee alone signals the end of the match. In matches where a fourth official is appointed, toward the end of the half the referee signals how many minutes of stoppage time he intends to add. The fourth official then informs the players and spectators by holding up a board showing this number. The signalled stoppage time may be further extended by the referee. Added time was introduced because of an incident which happened in 1891 during a match between Stoke and Aston Villa. Trailing 1–0 and with just two minutes remaining, Stoke were awarded a penalty. Villa's goalkeeper kicked the ball out of the ground, and by the time the ball had been recovered, the 90 minutes had elapsed and the game was over. The same law also stands that the duration of either half is extended until the penalty kick to be taken or retaken is completed, thus no game shall end with a penalty to be taken. In league competitions, games may end in a draw. In knockout competitions where a winner is required various methods may be employed to break such a deadlock, some competitions may invoke replays. A game tied at the end of regulation time may go into extra time, which consists of two further 15-minute periods. If the score is still tied after extra time, some competitions allow the use of penalty shootouts (known officially in the Laws of the Game as "kicks from the penalty mark") to determine which team will progress to the next stage of the tournament. Goals scored during extra time periods count toward the final score of the game, but kicks from the penalty mark are only used to decide the team that progresses to the next part of the tournament (with goals scored in a penalty shootout not making up part of the final score). In competitions using two-legged matches, each team competes at home once, with an aggregate score from the two matches deciding which team progresses. Where aggregates are equal, the away goals rule may be used to determine the winners, in which case the winner is the team that scored the most goals in the leg they played away from home. If the result is still equal, extra time and potentially a penalty shootout are required. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the IFAB experimented with ways of creating a winner without requiring a penalty shootout, which was often seen as an undesirable way to end a match. These involved rules ending a game in extra time early, either when the first goal in extra time was scored (golden goal), or if one team held a lead at the end of the first period of extra time (silver goal). Golden goal was used at the World Cup in 1998 and 2002. The first World Cup game decided by a golden goal was France's victory over Paraguay in 1998. Germany was the first nation to score a golden goal in a major competition, beating Czech Republic in the final of Euro 1996. Silver goal was used in Euro 2004. Both these experiments have been discontinued by IFAB. Ball in and out of play Main article: Ball in and out of play Under the Laws, the two basic states of play during a game are ball in play and ball out of play. From the beginning of each playing period with a kick-off until the end of the playing period, the ball is in play at all times, except when either the ball leaves the field of play, or play is stopped by the referee. When the ball becomes out of play, play is restarted by one of eight restart methods depending on how it went out of play: A player takes a free kick, while the opposition form a "wall" to try to block the ball • Kick-off: following a goal by the opposing team, or to begin each period of play. • Throw-in: when the ball has crossed the touchline; awarded to opposing team to that which last touched the ball. • Goal kick: when the ball has wholly crossed the goal line without a goal having been scored and having last been touched by a player of the attacking team; awarded to defending team. • Corner kick: when the ball has wholly crossed the goal line without a goal having been scored and having last been touched by a player of the defending team; awarded to attacking team. • Indirect free kick: awarded to the opposing team following "non-penal" fouls, certain technical infringements, or when play is stopped to caution or dismiss an opponent without a specific foul having occurred. A goal may not be scored directly (without the ball first touching another player) from an indirect free kick. • Direct free kick: awarded to fouled team following certain listed "penal" fouls. A goal may be scored directly from a direct free kick. • Penalty kick: awarded to the fouled team following a foul usually punishable by a direct free kick but that has occurred within their opponent's penalty area. • Dropped-ball: occurs when the referee has stopped play for any other reason, such as a serious injury to a player, interference by an external party, or a ball becoming defective. Misconduct Main article: Foul (association football) On-field Players are cautioned with a yellow card, and dismissed from the game with a red card. These colours were first introduced at the 1970 FIFA World Cup and used consistently since. A player scores a penalty kick given after an offence is committed inside the penalty area A foul occurs when a player commits an offence listed in the Laws of the Game while the ball is in play. The offences that constitute a foul are listed in Law 12. Handling the ball deliberately, tripping an opponent, or pushing an opponent, are examples of "penal fouls", punishable by a direct free kick or penalty kick depending on where the offence occurred. Other fouls are punishable by an indirect free kick. The referee may punish a player's or substitute's misconduct by a caution (yellow card) or dismissal (red card). A second yellow card at the same game leads to a red card, and therefore to a dismissal. A player given a yellow card is said to have been "booked", the referee writing the player's name in his official notebook. If a player has been dismissed, no substitute can be brought on in their place. Misconduct may occur at any time, and while the offences that constitute misconduct are listed, the definitions are broad. In particular, the offence of "unsporting behaviour" may be used to deal with most events that violate the spirit of the game, even if they are not listed as specific offences. A referee can show a yellow or red card to a player, substitute or substituted player. Non-players such as managers and support staff cannot be shown the yellow or red card, but may be expelled from the technical area if they fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Rather than stopping play, the referee may allow play to continue if doing so will benefit the team against which an offence has been committed. This is known as "playing an advantage". The referee may "call back" play and penalise the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue within "a few seconds". Even if an offence is not penalised due to advantage being played, the offender may still be sanctioned for misconduct at the next stoppage of play. The referee's decision in all on-pitch matters is considered final. The score of a match cannot be altered after the game, even if later evidence shows that decisions (including awards/non-awards of goals) were incorrect. Off-field See also: Foul (association football)#Post-match Along with the general administration of the sport, football associations and competition organisers also enforce good conduct in wider aspects of the game, dealing with issues such as comments to the press, clubs' financial management, doping, age fraud and match fixing. Some on-field incidents, if considered very serious (such as allegations of racial abuse), may result in further action than that which is in power of an on-field referee. Some associations allow for appeals against player suspensions incurred on-field if clubs feel a referee was incorrect or unduly harsh. Sanctions for such infractions may be levied on individuals or on to clubs as a whole. Penalties may include fines, points deductions (in league competitions) or even expulsion from competitions. For example, the English and Scottish leagues will often deduct 10 points from a team that enters financial administration. Among other administrative sanctions are penalties against game forfeiture. Teams that had forfeited a game or had been forfeited against would be awarded a technical loss or win. Governing bodies See also: Association football around the world The recognised international governing body of football (and associated games, such as futsal and beach soccer) is FIFA. The FIFA headquarters are located in Zurich. Six regional confederations are associated with FIFA; these are: • Asia: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) • Africa: Confederation of African Football (CAF) • Europe: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) • North/Central America & Caribbean: Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) • Oceania: Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) • South America: Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol/Confederação Sul-americana de Futebol (South American Football Confederation; CONMEBOL) National associations oversee football within individual countries. These are generally synonymous with sovereign states, (for example: the Fédération Camerounaise de Football in Cameroon) but also include a smaller number of associations responsible for sub-national entities or autonomous regions (for example the Scottish Football Association in Scotland). 208 national associations are affiliated both with FIFA and with their respective continental confederations. While FIFA is responsible for arranging competitions and most rules related to international competition, the actual Laws of the Game are set by the International Football Association Board, where each of the UK Associations has one vote, while FIFA collectively has four votes. International competitions Main article: List of association football competitions A minute's silence before an international match The major international competition in football is the World Cup, organised by FIFA. This competition takes place over every four years. Approximately 190–200 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. The finals tournament, which is held every four years, involves 32 national teams competing over a four-week period. The most recent tournament, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, was held in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July, the first to be held on the African continent. There has been a football tournament at every Summer Olympic Games since 1900, except at the 1932 games in Los Angeles. Before the inception of the World Cup, the Olympics (especially during the 1920s) had the same status as the World Cup. Originally, the event was for amateurs only; however, since the 1984 Summer Olympics, professional players have been permitted, albeit with certain restrictions which prevent countries from fielding their strongest sides. Currently, the Olympic men's tournament is played at Under-23 level. In the past the Olympics have allowed a restricted number of over-age players per team;. A women's tournament was added in 1996; in contrast to the men's event, full international sides without age restrictions play the women's Olympic tournament. After the World Cup, the most important international football competitions are the continental championships, which are organised by each continental confederation and contested between national teams. These are the European Championship (UEFA), the Copa América (CONMEBOL), African Cup of Nations (CAF), the Asian Cup (AFC), the CONCACAF Gold Cup(CONCACAF) and the OFC Nations Cup (OFC). The FIFA Confederations Cup is contested by the winners of all 6 continental championships, the current FIFA World Cup champions and the country which is hosting the Confederations Cup. This is generally regarded as a warm-up tournament for the upcoming FIFA World Cup and does not carry the same prestige as the World Cup itself. The most prestigious competitions in club football are the respective continental championships, which are generally contested between national champions, for example the UEFA Champions League in Europe and the Copa Libertadores de América in South America. The winners of each continental competition contest the FIFA Club World Cup. Domestic competitions Main article: Association football around the world Borussia Dortmund against Schalke in the Bundesliga, the top football league in Germany The governing bodies in each country operate league systems in a domestic season, normally comprising several divisions, in which the teams gain points throughout the season depending on results. Teams are placed into tables, placing them in order according to points accrued. Most commonly, each team plays every other team in its league at home and away in each season, in a round-robin tournament. At the end of a season, the top team is declared the champion. The top few teams may be promoted to a higher division, and one or more of the teams finishing at the bottom are relegated to a lower division. The teams finishing at the top of a country's league may be eligible also to play in international club competitions in the following season. The main exceptions to this system occur in some Latin American leagues, which divide football championships into two sections named Apertura and Clausura (Spanish for Opening and Closing), awarding a champion for each. The majority of countries supplement the league system with one or more "cup" competitions organised on a knock-out basis. Some countries' top divisions feature highly paid star players; in smaller countries and lower divisions, players may be part-timers with a second job, or amateurs. The five top European leagues – the Bundesliga (Germany), Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France) – attract most of the world's best players and each of the leagues has a total wage cost in excess of £600 million/€763 million/US$1.185 billion. Women's association football Main article: Women's association football Two players trying to gain control of the ball in the Frauen-Bundesliga Women have been playing association football since the first recorded women's game in 1895 in North London. It has traditionally been associated with charity games and physical exercise, particularly in the United Kingdom. This perception began to change in the 1970s with the breakthrough of organised women's association football. Association football is the most prominentteam sport for women in several countries, and one of the few women's team sports with professional leagues. The growth in women's football has seen major competitions being launched at both national and international level mirroring the male competitions. Women's football faced many struggles throughout its fight for right. It had a "golden age" in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s when crowds reached 50,000 at some matches; this was stopped on 5 December 1921 when England's Football Association voted to ban the game from grounds used by its member clubs. The FA's ban was rescinded in December 1969 with UEFA voting to officially recognise women's football in 1971. The FIFA Women's World Cup was inaugurated in 1991 and has been held every four years since. Variants and casual play See also: Variants of association football and Street football Variants of football have been codified for reduced-sized teams (i.e. Five-a-side football) play in non-field environments (i.e. Beach soccer, Indoor soccer, and Futsal) and for teams with disabilities (i.e. Paralympic association football). One of the attractions of association football is that a casual game can be played with only minimal equipment – a basic game can be played on almost any open area of reasonable size with just a ball and items to mark the positions of two sets of goalposts. Such games can often have team sizes that vary considerably from 11-a-side, use a limited and/or modified subset of the official rules, and are likely to be self-officiated by the players.
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