Cambridge Rules (1863)

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Cambridge Football Rules (1863)
Cambridge University Football Club

Laws of the Cambridge University Football Club (October 1863). This edition of the laws influenced the Football Association's first set of laws, approved in December of the same year.

2384277Cambridge Football Rules1863Cambridge University Football Club

It having been thought desirable to establish a general game for the University of Cambridge, the accompanying rules have been drawn up for that purpose. The first game will be played on Friday, Nov 20, at 2:15 p.m. on Parker's Piece. All members of the University who take an interest in the game, and are desirous of attending, can do so on payment of a subscription of one shilling per term. Committee: 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. William, Harrow; and W. S. Wright, Westminster.


1. The length of the ground should not be more than 150 yards, and the breadth of 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.

2. The goals shall consist of two upright poles at a distance of 15 feet from each other.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. No player may touch the ball behind his opponent's goal line who is behind it when the ball is kicked there.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. A free kick may be taken in any manner the player may choose.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. All charging is fair; but holding, pushing with the hands, tripping up, and shinning are forbidden.


R. Burn (Chairman),
R. H. B. Humfrey,
W. R. Collyer,
W. P. Crawley,
M. T. Martin

J. T. Prior,
W. T. Trench,
H. L. Williams,
W. S. Wright



This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1929.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1924, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

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