Dec 22, 1992	The Official Rules Of Senior Amateur Recreational Football
Sep  6, 1994	Football Alternatives
Dec 27, 1996	Kids Playing Football

From: (Garry Archer)
Subject: Merry Christmas from the Old Farts.
Keywords: Fun, Laugh Dammit
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1992 21:38:03 GMT

The following was adapted from "The Official Rules of Coarse Football" where
it was written, "Only the strongest survive the shattering ordeal known as
Senior Amateur Recreational Soccer, or 'Coarse Football'.  Englishman Bev
Town puts forth the rules of this great game."  It was given to me by one
of my teammates from our Over-30 league.  For your amusement:


      (also known as "Master's League", "Over-30 League", "Old Farts League",
           "'Hey, look at them Old Guys trying to play soccer' League")

     1. Teams shall consist of more than 11 players on the day before the
        match, but less than 11 on the day of the match.

     2. No team shall possess its own kit.  If they do, it must be old
        and dingy.  Perhaps even smelly.

     3. If the kit is borrowed there shall be no more than eight matching

     4. Not more than any three players shall wear the same colour socks
        and there shall be at least three different colours of shirts worn.

     5. If the local pub has afternoon closing, the kick-off time and
        length of match shall be arranged such that the pub will be open
        at the end of said match.

     6. No match shall have a qualified referee, nor any linesman, assigned.
        If a qualified referee shows up he must know nothing about the offside

     7. A team captain's only function shall be to take part in the coin
        toss-up (if there is one).  No footballing ability is necessary or

     8. No quasi-professional jargon shall be used before, during or after
        a match with the exception of "Shut the back door!"

     9. Teams shall be permitted to use ringers, but it must be understood
        that each ringer playing for a team in one match shall be permitted
        to play against that team in the next.

    10. Each team shall laugh uncontrollably at any miskick, own goal, etc.
        Any team not following this rule will be deemed to be taking the game
        too seriously and shall not be asked to play again.

    11. No player shall intentionally foul an opponent, but unintentional
        fouls caused by ineptitude shall be permissible.

    12. Each team shall have a special team.  This shall consist of an
        aging former ball-player who can no longer run to save his life.
        He shall be stuck out on the wing and shall take all throw-ins,
        corners and free kicks.

    13. After the match both teams shall meet in the pub, but each team
        shall nominate a player who cannot attend because he/she has to
        meet his/her significant other.

    Otherwise all the usual rules of football shall apply, except with the
    mutual agreement of both teams and the referee (if there is one).


                        to all who read

                             CHEERS AND BEST WISHES!

Garry Archer Esq.
3M Health Information Systems,  Wallingford, Connecticut, U.S.A.

"An Englishman never enjoys himself, except for a noble purpose." - A.P.Herbert


From: (Garry Archer)
Subject: Re: Beginners question
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 1994

Steve T Bond ( writes:
>You'll need a football, four coats and about seven mates. One of these
>should be a fat kid who gets picked last when you choose the teams.
>Make two goals using the coats as posts and then argue for ten minutes
>over which goal is too small. Then start kicking the ball about and
>continue for over two hours, or until it is too dark to see the ball,
>or people have begun to fall over.
>And if there are any girls playing, their goals count double.

God, thanks Steve, this has just taken me back in time 30 years!!!

Other variations include:

One Ball, Many Kids Scenario:
Go to Woolworths with yer mum and beg her to buy a cheap plastic ball.
Show up with yer new ball at [pick one:  school, local park, middle of
quiet back street with lots of parked cars].  Suddenly yer the most
popular kid around for miles... since nobody else has a ball... Play
20-a-side, since that's how many kids in the near vicinity that can't
afford their own cheapo ball from Woolies.  Use brickends, coats or
pullovers for goals.  Stick the most useless footy players in the goals
that are usually too wide for most kids to play goal in.  First team
to score 20 goals wins :-)

Dribbling Practice:
Find regular old can.  Bachelor's Mushy Peas can will do.   Find street,
any old street.  No other special equipment required.  Drop can into
street.  Kick can using instep.  Chip can, see how high it can go.
Blast can against wall.  Reshape can.  Find parked cars in street.
Dribble can through cars.  Deduct points if can hits car doors.  If you
can't find can, any round rock will do.  If you can't find a round
rock, any rock or brickend will do.  If you can't find anything to kick,
just pretend.  Ignore weird looks of passers-by.

Anyone For Tennis (Part I)?:
Take cheapo plastic ball from Woolies and nine mates to tennis courts
without tennis nets up.  Close gate.  Take off pullovers/coats and
stick them into fence to mark location of goalposts.  Split into
two teams.  Play until yer get chased off by local park groundskeeper.

Anyone For Tennis (Part II)?:
Steal/Borrow sister's tennis ball.  Take tennis ball to school.
At breaktime organise game, either a) on playground, using 50ft wide,
3ft high walls either end as goals and play through 500 other kids
standing around minding _their_ own business, or b) on the tennis
courts which also act as basketball courts and netball courts.  Use
the basketball backboard/net stanchions as goals.  Goals only count
if they go _over_ the stanchion cross-member which is some three or
four inches off the ground.

Lessons learnt (the hard way):

        1) Dribbling skills (through multiple obstacles or with nonglobal-
                shaped objects or with difficult-to-control objects such
                as rocks, cans and tennis balls...).

        2) Shooting skills (shooting a cheapo-light-as-a-balloon ball,
                shooting a miniscule tennis ball up and through a
                small well-defined area).

        3) Passing skills (ever tried to pass a rock or a can?)

        4) Teamwork (lots of teamwork required with a cheapo plastic ball!)

        5) Interpersonal skills (or how to get 40 or 50 kids to like you
                for a couple of hours at least if you bring the cheapo
                ball from Woolies).

        6) Budgeting skills (spent absolutely nothing on any form of kit,
                boots or a ball --- managed to convince mum to buy the

        7) Hard life lesson (don't lose or bust the ball, you'll lose
                all your friends instantly, plus mum won't buy another
                one until next year...)

Basically, fun aside now, this is how many kids in Britain, if not
other parts of the world, got their big start in their footballing
careers!  Very few of us were formally coached except in games lessons
at school one afternoon per week!

From: (Garry Archer)
Subject: Eeee, When I Were a Lad... (Kids Playing Football).
Date: December 27, 1996

Ayup to all me old Mates in  Long time, no post to in this
once venerable group.  Its gone a bit down hill since the good ol' days.

Oh well, I'm at home, and sitting on me duff, not busting me balls at work
like usual and unable to post as much as I used to.

Well... I finally did it... _Finally_!  Yep, I bought the kids a "back-yard"
goal for Christmas -- Er, well, alright, yeah, _me_ and the kids! ;-)

I've been promising to do it for a couple or more years.  James will be 11
on Valentine's Day and our Andrew is 7 going on 17.  But the finances were
never right.  Well, they weren't even now, but it was something I _had_ to

So, "Goal Sporting Goods" produce great football/soccer goals.  They're in
all the popular catalogues here in the U.S.  I decided on getting their
6 foot by 8 foot steel goal with net and anchors.  Well, you see them in
the catalogues anywhere from $109 to $119, but you also have to pay tax
and $35 for shipping.

Bugger that, "Goal Sporting Goods" are just down the road from me in Essex,
Connecticut.  So I paid $125 plus tax, but saved on the shipping.

The kids were rightly surprised when they got it for Christmas.  They had
no idea and there were no announced plans for getting one.

So on Christmas afternoon we're out there in the freezing cold, slamming
the ball into the new net.  Oh wot a feeling!

This will be great for all three of us.  My 7-year old is really into it.
He's outside whenever he can get a chance to slam his ball into the net.

Aye, but as I was playing with me kids, me memories slid back a few years.
To when I were a lad, back home in dear old England.

Having one's own goal was a distant dream.  We were bloody lucky to have our
own ball, never mind our own goal!

When I were a lad, as young as me own kids are now, my ball was usually a
well-worn tennis ball.  My pitch was the street we lived on and my goal
was the little 3-foot high wall that ran along the front of our front
garden.  Kicking the tennis ball over the curb of the footpath in and
against the wall just added to the challenge.

At nights I used to take me dogs for a walk and take me tennis ball with me.
Down the fields I had hidden a small tin bath.  Sort of oval in shape, less
than three feet long and less than a couple of feet high.  I'd lay it on its
side and that became me goal.  While the dogs wandered off doing things dogs
do, I used to shoot me tennis ball into me tin bath goal.  I believe it
sharpened me shooting skills considerably.

At school, things were hardly any better.  At playtime (recess) we would
go onto the outdoor basketball court with a tennis ball.  The stanchions
of the basketball net were the goals.  There was a cross bar about six
inches off the ground.  The ball had to go _over_ that to score.

As we got older, we used to take our plastic football from Woolworths over
to the tennis courts behind the youth club.  The goal was the fence between
two posts at either end of the court.

Ah, them were the days.

As I type now, I can see me 7-year old kicking his size-4 Adidas Questra
into the new 6'x8' goal.  Watching the ball make a bulge in the net as
he zips one in again.

Given the start he has now, I often wonder if I could ever have been a better
player and become pro, or semi-pro.  Dreaming of playing for the Mighty
Gresley Rovers!