Cambridge Rules (1863)
PREFACE TO THE CAMBRIDGE RULES
The following Rules were drawn up with the object of ascertaining how far it was possible to establish a general game for the University of Cambridge, and also to provide a code of Rules, which having been tried by practice and found to answer, might be used in Cambridge football matches. Their tendency is to make the game as simple and natural as possible.
Rev. R. Burn, Shrewsbury (Chairman).
R. H. Blake Humfrey, Eton.
W. R. Collyer, Rugby.
W. P. Crawley, Marlborough.
M. T. Martin, Rugby.
J. T. Prior, Harrow.
W. T. Trench, Eton.
H. L. Williams, Harrow.
W. S. Wright, Winchester.
The length of the ground should not be more than 150 yards, and the breadth not more than 100 yards. The ground shall be marked out by posts, and two posts shall be placed on each side line, at distances of 25 yards from each goal line.
The goals shall consist of two upright poles at a distance of 15 feet from each other.
The choice of goals and kick off shall be determined by tossing, and the ball shall be kicked off from the middle of the ground.
In a match when half the time agreed upon has elapsed, the sides shall change goals, when the ball is next out of play. After a change or a goal obtained, the kick off shall be from the middle of the ground in the same direction as before. The time during which the match shall last, and the numbers on each side are to be settled by the heads of the sides.
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 whatsoever prevent any other player from doing so.
When the ball goes out of the ground by crossing the side lines, it is out of play, and shall be kicked straight into the ground again from the point where it is first stopped.
When a player has kicked the ball beyond the opponent's goal line, whoever first touches the ball when it is on the ground with his hand may have a free kick, bringing the ball 25 yards straight out from the goal line.
No player may touch the ball behind his opponent's goal line, who is behind it when the ball is kicked there.
If the ball is touched down behind the goal line and beyond the line of the side posts, the free kick shall be from the 25 yards post.
When a player has a free kick, no one of his own side may be between him and his opponent's goal line, and no one of the opposite side may stand within 10 yards of him.
A free kick may be taken in any manner the player chooses.
A goal is obtained when the ball goes out of the ground by passing between the poles, on in such a manner that it would have passed between them had they been of sufficient height.
The ball when in play may be stopped by any part of the body, but may not be held or hit by the hands, arms, or shoulders.
All charging is fair; but holding, pushing with the hands, tripping up, and shinning are forbidden.
- See also "Cambridge University", Bell's Life in London, 1863-11-21, p. 9. (Wikisource contributor note)