Wednesday, October 22, 2008

History of Badminton

A little-known fact about badminton is that it demands high fitness levels from its players in addition to agility, speed and accuracy. Introduction of badminton at the Olympics added to its appeal. Read on to find out about the history of badminton. Learn more about the various badminton tournaments organized the world over.

The history of badminton shows that it had its roots in an old children’s game in England known as battledore and shuttlecock. British Army officers in India played a grown up version of this game. Known in its early days as ‘poona’, it was played with many people who tried to keep the ‘bird’ in air. A net came to be added later and badminton in its present form was born. This sport derived its name from Badminton House in Gloucestershire where the game was played at a lawn party. The International Badminton Federation (IBF) that was started in 1934 now has more than 130 member countries. The Asian countries now dominate the badminton scene and they continue to rule the roost as far as tournaments go. Badminton matches draw thousands of spectators in Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

Badminton in the U.S. began as a weekend meeting place for New York’s society leaders with the formation of the Badminton Club of New York in 1878. Clubs and YMCAs and educational institutions began to offer training in badminton. Several Hollywood personalities like James Cagney, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were avid badminton players. The United States Badminton Association (USBA) has its national office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This body focuses on promoting badminton within the country and developing players.

Badminton – Little Known Facts

A badminton shuttle has known to clock in excess of 180 mph. Did you know that the best badminton shuttle is one that is made from the feathers from the left wing of a goose?. Badminton players need to possess quick response and agility. With badminton matches lasting even up to a couple of hours, it is little wonder that badminton players need to have rigorous training to build up stamina and concentration. In addition, quick reflexes and rapid hand-eye coordination are a prerequisite for any aspiring badminton player. Badminton, unlike most other racquet sports does not use a ball but a shuttlecock that cannot touch the ground during a rally.

Look at these amazing statistics comparing a badminton match with a tennis match. Badminton provides a vigorous cardiovascular workout for the player. In fact, the Department of Physical Education at Baylor University describes it as ‘one of the finest conditioning game activities available’.

A statistical comparison reveals the following:

Tennis Time duration: 3 hours 18 minutes
Badminton Time duration: 1 hour 16 minutes

Tennis Ball/Shuttle in play: 18 minutes
Badminton Ball/Shuttle in play: 37 minutes

Tennis Match intensity: 9%
Badminton Match intensity: 48%

Tennis Shots: 1004
Badminton Shots: 1972

Tennis Shots per rally: 3.4
Badminton Shots per rally: 13.5

Tennis Distance covered: 2 miles
Badminton Distance covered: 4 miles

Badminton Rule

The badminton rule regarding the shuttle is that it can be made from natural, synthetic or a combination of both materials. The badminton shuttle is a combination of a few bird feathers, a wooden cork, string and glue. It must have 16 feathers fixed in the base. Test a shuttle using a full underhand stroke. The badminton racket also must conform to the badminton rulebook. A badminton racket is usually made from hickory carbon alloys or steel. The badminton game rally is aimed at hitting the shuttle over the net onto the opponent’s court. You lose the rally by either hitting outside the opponents court or hitting the shuttle into the net or even if the shuttle touches you or your clothing. The badminton rule allows you to accumulate points until you have reached the winning target before your opponent. The attacking and defensive factors are crucial to win a badminton game. The attacking game attempts to increase your chance of accumulating points. The defensive game aims at decreasing the opponent’s chance of accumulating points. The badminton rulebook prescribes the following scoring system:

* A match shall consist of the best of 3 games unless otherwise arranged.
* In doubles and men’s singles, the first side to score 15 points wins a game.
* In ladies’ singles, the first side to score 11 points wins the game.
* The side winning a game serves first in the next game.
* The badminton rule for scoring is that the serving side can add a point to its score.

Badminton Court - Badminton Court Size

The American Badminton Association recommends a ground space of about 1620 square feet for a badminton court size. The Singles badminton court is 17’ X 44’ whereas a doubles court is 20’ X 44’. There should be a minimum 5’ unobstructed area on all sides of the badminton court. The recommended surface for a badminton court is concrete or bituminous material. The badminton court can be optionally protected with a color coating if it is a permanent installation. The badminton court must be leveled and smooth but not slippery. The badminton court net can be made of fine cord of dark color and even thickness. The specifications for the badminton court net are that it should have a mesh of not less than 15 mm and not more than 20 mm. The net must be at least 6.1 meters wide.

Badminton Lesson Plan

Any badminton lesson plan begins with serving. Aiming a good serve is vital – you need to either aim for the opponent’s backhand side of the service area or serve it short just over the net. Hold the badminton racket as if you were shaking hands with it. The doubles service needs short and accurate serving.

Nimble footwork is also a key focal point of any badminton lesson plan. It is vital to cover all corners of the court with minimal steps. A fast drop that is well placed can put the opponent under pressure. Making the opponent run back and forth on the court is another good badminton lesson plan.

Any badminton lesson plan needs to be adapted to suit your fitness levels. Extending your rally is a good strategy if your fitness level is superior to that of your opponent. This type of game hinges on your opponent making a mistake. In contrast, if you are facing an opponent with better fitness levels, you can resort to accuracy and consistency to control the pace of the game. Timing is another crucial area that any badminton lesson plan needs to address. It can make the difference between making and missing the match.

Badminton at the Olympics

Badminton made an entry on the Olympic scene in 1992. All eyes are now trained on the coming Summer Olympics at Athens. The last Olympics saw China leading the Badminton medals tally followed by Indonesia and Korea. In fact, the Chinese badminton squad swept the men’s singles and women’s doubles and made Olympic history by earning the gold, silver and bronze. They romped home with eight medals at the 2000 Olympics.

Badminton China Open

The China Open Badminton Championships 2007 was held at Guangzhou in the P. R. of China from November 20 – 25 2007. The Badminton China Open this year was marked by the dominance of Chinese women who took most of the medals

Top seeded Men’s Singles Players
1 BAO Chunlai China
2 Chong Wei LEE Malaysia
3 Sung Hwan PARK Korea

Top seeded Women’s Singles Players
1 Mew Choo WONG Malaysia
2 Xingfang XIE China
3 Lan LU China

Badminton Tournaments

It was in the 1980s that badminton became a professional sport when the IBF started the World Grand Prix Circuit. The USBA Classic Series is the premier badminton tournament in the U.S. wherein players compete in five regional tournaments.

Thomas Cup

The first Thomas Cup tournament was held in 1949 at Queen’s Hall in Preston. Late Sir George Thomas was the founder president of the IBF. The Cup has stayed with 3 Asian countries since its inaugural match – Indonesia, Malaysia and China. This badminton tournament is held every two years. The Thomas Cup is played over the best of five matches over one day.

Uber Cup

The Uber Cup was held in Lancashire in Britain as an alternative to the Thomas Cup in the Women’s category. U.S.A, Japan, China and Indonesia have retained the Uber Cup between themselves in all these years

Badminton Club

Badminton is played as a recreational and professional sport. A badminton club is the ideal place to begin your initiation into the sport. Most educational institutions and private clubs offer badminton coaching. A coach at the badminton club can guide with the right techniques to get your game going. Regular family memberships are also offered at many a badminton club. Badminton is an excellent aerobic sport that can enhance your fitness levels and provide you and your family a recreational activity.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Law 5 - The Referee

The Authority of the Referee

Each match is controlled 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.
Powers and Duties
The Referee:

* enforces the Laws of the Game
* controls the match in co-operation with the assistant referees and, where applicable, with the fourth official
* ensures that any ball meets the requirements of Law 2
* ensures that the players’ equipment meets the requirements of Law 4
* acts as timekeeper and keeps a record of the match
* stops, suspends or terminates the match, at his discretion, for any infringements of the Laws
* stops, suspends or terminates the match because of outside interference of any kind
* stops the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensures that he is removed from the field of play – an injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has restarted
* allows play to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in his opinion, only slightly injured
* ensures that any player bleeding from a wound leaves the field of play. The player may only return on receiving a signal from the referee who must be satisfied that the bleeding has stopped
* allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time
* punishes the more serious offence when a player commits more than one offence at the same time
* takes disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable and sending-off offences. He is not obliged to take this action immediately but must do so when the ball next goes out of play
* takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate surrounds
* acts on the advice of assistant referees regarding incidents which he has not seen
* ensures that no unauthorised persons enter the field of play
* restarts the match after it has been stopped
* provides the appropriate authorities with a match report which includes information on any disciplinary action taken against players, and/or team officials and any other incidents which occurred before, during or after the match
Decisions of the Referee

The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final.The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.

Decisions of the International FA
Board Decision 1

A referee (or where applicable, an assistant referee or fourth official) is not held liable for:

* Any kind of injury suffered by a player, official or spectator.
* Any damage to property of any kind
* Any other loss suffered by any individual, club, company, association or other body, which is due or which may be due to any decision which he may take under the terms of the Laws of the Game or in respect of the normal procedures required to hold, play and control a match

This may include:

* a decision that the condition of the field of play or its surrounds or that the weather conditions are such as to allow or not to allow a match to take place
* a decision to abandon a match for whatever reason
* a decision as to the condition of the fixtures or equipment used during a match including the goalposts, crossbar, flagposts and the ball
* a decision to stop or not to stop a match due to spectator interference or any problem in the spectator area
* a decision to stop or not to stop play to allow an injured player to be removed from the field of play for treatment
* a decision to request or insist that an injured player be removed from the field of play for treatment
* a decision to allow or not to allow a player to wear certain apparel or equipment
* a decision (in so far as this may be his responsibility) to allow or not to allow any persons (including team or stadium officials, security officers, photographers or other media representatives) to be present in the vicinity of the field of play
* any other decision which he may take in accordance with the Laws of the Game or in conformity with his duties under the terms of FIFA, Confederation, National Association or League rules or regulations under which the match is played

Decision 2

In tournaments or competitions where a fourth official is appointed, his role and duties must be in accordance with the guidelines approved by the International FA Board, which are contained in this publication.
Decision 3

Facts connected with play shall include whether a goal is scored or not and the result of the match.
The Technical Area

The technical area described in Law 3, International FA Board Decision No. 2, relates particularly to matches played in stadia with a designated seated area for technical staff and substitutes as shown below.

It is recognised that technical areas may vary between stadia, for example in size or location, and the following notes are issued for general guidance.

* The technical area extends 1m on either side of the designated seated area and extends forward up to a distance of 1m from the touch line
* It is recommended that markings are used to define this area
* The number of persons permitted to occupy the technical area is defined by the competition rules
* The occupants of the technical area are identified before the beginning of the match in accordance with the competition rules
* Only one person at a time is authorised to convey tactical instructions and he must return to his position immediately after giving these instructions
* The coach and other officials must remain within the confines of the technical area except in special circumstances, for example, a physiotherapist or doctor entering the field of play, with the referee’s permission, to assess an injured player
* The coach and other occupants of the technical area must behave in a responsible manner

Law 4 - The Players Equipment


A player must not use equipment or wear anything which is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewellery).

Basic Equipment
The basic compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items:

* a jersey or shirt
if undergarments are worn, the colour of the sleeve should be the same main colour as the sleeve of the jersey or shirt
* shorts - if undershorts are worn, they are of the same main colour as the shorts
* stockings
* shinguards
* footwear

* are covered entirely by the stockings
* are made of a suitable material (rubber, plastic, or similar substances)
* provide a reasonable degree of protection


* each goalkeeper wears colours which distinguish him from the other players, the referee and the assistant referees

For any infringement of this Law:

* play need not be stopped
* the player at fault is instructed by the referee to leave the field of play to correct his equipment
* the player leaves the field of play when the ball next ceases to be in play, unless he has already corrected his equipment
* any player required to leave the field of play to correct his equipment, does not reenter without the permission of the referee
* the referee checks that the player’s equipment is correct before allowing him to reenter the field of play
* the player is only allowed to re-enter the field of play when the ball is out of play

A player who has been required to leave the field of play because of an infringement of this Law and who enters (or re-enters) the field of play without the permission of the referee is cautioned and shown the yellow card.

Restart of Play

If play is stopped by the referee to administer a caution:

* the match is restarted by an indirect free kick taken by a player of the opposing side, from the place where the ball was when the referee stopped the match*

Decision of the International FA Board

* Players must not reveal undershirts which contain slogans or advertising. The basic compulsory equipment must not contain any political, religious or personal statements. A player removing his jersey to reveal slogans or advertising will be sanctioned by the competition organiser. The team of a player whose basic compulsory equipment contains political, religious or personal slogans or statements will be sanctioned by the competition organiser or by FIFA.
* Jerseys must have sleeves.

Law 3 - The Number of Players


A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than eleven players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if either team consists of fewer than seven players.

Official Competitions

Up to a maximum of three substitutes may be used in any match played in an official competition under the auspices of FIFA, the Confederations or the National Associations.The rules of the competition must state how many substitutes may be nominated, from three up to a maximum of seven.

Other Matches

In National A team matches, up to a maximum of six substitutes may be used.

In all other matches, a greater number of substitutes may be used provided that:

* the teams concerned reach agreement on a maxinum number
* the referee is informed before the match

If the referee is not informed, or if no agreement is reached before the match, no more than six substitutes are allowed.

All Matches

In all matches the names of the substitutes must be given to the referee prior to the start of the match. Substitutes not so named may not take part in the match.

Substitution Procedure

To replace a player by a substitute, the following conditions must be observed:

* the referee is informed before any proposed substitution is made
* a substitute only enters the field of play after the player being replaced has left and after receiving a signal from the referee
* a substitute only enters the field of play at the halfway line and during a stoppage in the match
* a substitution is completed when a substitute enters the field of play
* from that moment, the substitute becomes a player and the player he has replaced ceases to be a player
* a player who has been replaced takes no further part in the match
* all substitutes are subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the referee, whether called upon to play or not

Changing the Goalkeeper

Any of the other players may change places with the goalkeeper, provided that:

* the referee is informed before the change is made
* the change is made during a stoppage in the match


If a substitute enters the field of play without the referee being informed:

* play is stopped
* the substitute is cautioned, shown the yellow card and required to leave the field of play
* play is restarted with an indirect free kick at the place it was located when play was stopped

If a player changes places with the goalkeeper without the referee being informed before the change is made:

* play continues
* the players concerned are cautioned and shown the yellow card when the ball is next out of play

For any other infringements of this Law:

* the players concerned are cautioned and shown the yellow card

Restart of Play

If play is stopped by the referee to administer a caution:

* the match is restarted by an indirect free kick, to be taken by a player of the opposing team from the place where the ball was when play was stopped*

Players and Substitutes Sent Off

A player who has been sent off before the kick-off may only be replaced by one of the named substitutes.

A named substitute who has been sent off either before the kick-off, or after play has started, may not be replaced.

Decisions of the International FA Board

Decision 1

Subject to the over-riding conditions of Law 3, the minimum number of players in a team is left to the discretion of National Associations. The Board is of the opinion however, that a match should not continue if there are fewer than seven players in either team.

Decision 2

A team official may convey tactical instructions to the players during the match and he must return to his position immediately after giving these instructions. All team officials must remain within the confines of the technical area, where such an area is provided, and they must behave in a responsible manner.

Law 2 - The Ball

Qualities and Measurements

The ball is:

  • spherical
  • made of leather or other suitable material
  • of a circumference of not more than 70cm (28ins) and not less than 68cm (27ins)
  • not more than 450g (16oz) in weight and not less than 410g (14oz) at the start of the match
  • of a pressure equal to 0.6–1.1 atmosphere (600–1100g/cm2) at sea level (8.5lbs/ 15.6lbs/

Replacement of a Defective Ball

If the ball bursts or becomes defective during the course of a match:

  • the match is stopped
  • it is restarted by dropping the replacement ball at the place where the first ball became defective*

If the ball bursts or becomes defective whilst not in play at a kick off, goal kick, corner kick, free kick, penalty kick or throw-in:

  • the match is restarted accordingly

The ball may not be changed during the match without the authority of the referee.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Football: Rules and regulations

Football Rules

The Football Association is responsible for ensuring that the international Laws of the Game are applied on the field, and that the rules and regulations concerned with running football in England are observed by officials, clubs and players off the pitch as well as on it.
The Laws of the Game are determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), and The Rules and Regulations of The Football Association, determined by The FA Council, are aimed at establishing an efficient and fair regulatory structure. These rules and regulations cover matters ranging from the affiliation of clubs and associations, to misconduct, financial dealings and arbitration...

The Rules of The Football Association

Rules 2008-2009 (download pdf)

  • FA Rule A - Constitution and administration of the Association
  • FA Rule B - Sanctioning of associations, competitions and matches
  • FA Rule C - Rules relating to players
  • FA Rule D - International and other representative matches and call-ups
  • FA Rule E - Conduct
  • FA Rule F - Powers of inquiry
  • FA Rule G - Disciplinary powers
  • FA Rule H - Appeals to the Appeal Board
  • FA Rule I - Financial records
  • FA Rule J - Rules, regulations and laws of the game
  • FA Rule K - Arbitration
  • FA Rule L - Fair play in football
Laws of the Game

The original Laws have changed only marginally over the years.

Today's 17 Laws continue to be based upon the rules that were first ratified by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) when it was founded in 1886.

Changes have occurred in accordance with the specific evolution and demands of modern-day football, but the key element remains of football being seen as essentially a simple game, with laws that can be applied in the same way at any level from the World Cup Final to a friendly game on a local park.

You can read all the laws of the game by clicking on any of the links below. We also give you details of the laws that apply to small-sided football and mini-soccer...

Law 1 - The Field of Play

Field Surface

Matches may be played on natural or artificial surfaces, according to the rules of the competition.


The field of play must be rectangular. The length of the touch line must be greater than the length of the goal line.

Length: minimum 90m (100yds), maximum 120m (130yds)

Width: minimum 45m (50yds), maximum 90m (100yds)

International matches

Length: minimum 100m (110yds), maximum 110m (120yds)

Width: minimum 64m (70yds), maximum 75m (80yds)

Field Markings

The field of play is marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries.

The two longer boundary lines are called touch lines The two shorter lines are called goal lines

All lines are not more than 12cm (5ins) wide.

The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line.

The centre mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of 9.15m(10yds) is marked around it.

The Goal Area

A goal area is defined at each end of the field as follows:

Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal lines, 5.5m (6yds) from the inside of the goalpost.These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of 5.5m (6yds) and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.

The Penalty Area

A penalty area is defined at each end of the field as follows:

Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 16.5m (18yds) from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance of 16.5m (18yds) and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the penalty area.

Within each penalty area a penalty mark is made 11m (12yds) from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them. An arc of a circle with a radius of 9.15m (10yds) is drawn outside the penalty area from each penalty mark.


A flagpost, not less than 1.5m (5ft) high, with a non pointed top and a flag is placed at each corner.

Flagposts may also be placed at each end of the halfway line, not less then 1m (1yd) outside the touch line.

The Corner Arc

A quarter circle with a radius of 1m (1 yd) from each corner flagpost is drawn inside the field of play.


Goals must be placed on the centre of each goal line.

They consist of two upright posts equidistant from the corner flagposts and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar.

The distance between the posts is 7.32m (8yds) and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is 2.44m (8ft).

Both goalposts and the crossbar have the same width and depth which do not exceed 12cm(5ins). The goal lines are the same width as the depth of the goalposts and the crossbar. Nets may be attached to the goals and the ground behind the goal, provided that they are properly supported and do not interfere with the goalkeeper.

The goalposts and crossbars must be white.


Goals must be anchored securely to the ground. Portable goals may only be used if they satisfy this requirement.

Decisions of the International FA Board

Decision 1

If the crossbar becomes displaced or broken, play is stopped until it has been repaired or replaced in position. If a repair is not possible, the match is abandoned. The use of a rope to replace the crossbar is not permitted. If the crossbar can be repaired, the match is restarted with a dropped ball at the place where the ball was located when play was stopped.*

Decision 2

Goalposts and crossbars must be made of wood, metal or other approved material. Their shape may be square, rectangular, round or elliptical and they must not be dangerous to players.

Decision 3

No kind of commercial advertising, whether real or virtual, is permitted on the field of play and the field equipment (including the goal nets and the areas they enclose) from the time the teams enter the field of play until they have left it at half-time and from the time the teams re-enter the field of play until the end of the match. In particular, no advertising materials of any kind may be displayed on goals, nets, flagposts or their flags. No extraneous equipment (cameras, microphones, etc.) may be attached to these items.

Decision 4

There should be no advertising of any kind on the ground within the technical area or within one metre from the touch line. Further, no advertising shall be allowed in the area between the goal line and the goal nets.

Decision 5

The reproduction whether real or virtual, of representative logos or emblems of FIFA, Confederations, National Associations, Leagues, Clubs or other bodies, is forbidden on the field of play and field equipment (including the goal nets and the areas they enclose) during playing time, as described in Decision 3.

Decision 6

A mark may be made off the field of play, 9.15 metres (10yds) from the corner arc and at right angles to the goal line, to ensure that this distance is observed when a corner kick is being taken.

Decision 7

Where artificial surfaces are used in either competition matches between representative teams of associations affiliated to FIFA or international club competition matches, the surface must meet the requirements of the FIFA Quality Concept for Artificial Turf or the International Artificial Turf Standard, unless special dispensation is given by FIFA.

Decision 8

Where a technical area exists, it must meet the requirements approved by the International FA Board, which are contained in this publication.

The history of cricket

The game of cricket is the second most popular game in the world, second only to soccer. Cricket appears to have an eventful and colorful history, although the exact origins of the game are unknown. As far back as the 1300's, a mention of the game "creag" is found. However it is unclear whether this is the beginnings of modern-day cricket. The name "cricket" may have come from the word "cric". The word cric stood for the hooked staffs carried by Shepards. These may have been the first cricket bats. Cricket in its early days in England was considered a child's game, not to be played by serious adults.In 1598 there was a written record of a game called "creckett" or "crickett". This may be the first recorded mention of the game that is played today. By 1611 cricket had become an adult game. Considered illegal and immoral, two men were arrested for playing the game rather than going to church. More and more arrests were made as the game grew in popularity.

At the end of the English Civil War in 1648, the new government clamped down on recreational cricket that was played on Sundays. In these days cricket was played mostly by the working class and Sunday was their only opportunity to play. Interest in the sport seemed to diminish. As the years progressed, cricket once again regained popularity as a betting game. In the year 1688 the Puritan government of England was gone and the Monarchy was in power again. Cricket was favored by the government and regained some respectability. There were still huge problems in the world of cricket however. Betting and rioting marred the game. Around the year 1784 a London magistrate deemed cricket to be "respectable" even though there were still problems with wagering.

Finally in the year 1788 the "Laws of Cricket" were born. The Laws were written by the Marylebone Cricket Club. Except for some minor revisions, these laws are still adhered to in present day cricket. One notable change was in 1864 when over arm bowling was first used legally. Cricket is the only sport today that has laws instead of rules. Gaining even more respectability in the late 1700s, cricket became the game of "gentlemen". The Laws of Cricket were used for play in England and the Eastern United States. These laws covered the length of the pitch, the distance from the pitching crease to the bowling crease, wicket size, and ball weight.

The cricket fields were leveled and manicured in the 1800's. Up until this time the fields were rough and bumpy. South Africa and Australia began to play cricket seriously during this time. In the year 1844 the first international game of cricket was played in the state of New York in the United States. This match was played between the United States and Canada. Later, in 1877, England traveled to Australia for the first international test match. The match was played in Melbourne Australia. The Australians won the match by 45 runs.

A few years later in 1882, Australia again beat England. It was a close match with Australia winning by 8 runs. This prompted an English writer to publish an obituary for English cricket. The obituary pronounced it "dead". It went on to say that the body would be cremated and that the ashes would be spread over Australia. The next summer England played another series against Australia. This was dubbed by the press as an English endeavor to "reclaim the ashes". A small trophy filled with ashes was made and given to the British Captain. To this day, all test matches between England and Australia are said to be played "for the ashes".

In the year 1900 cricket made its first and only appearance in the Olympics. The match was between France and Britain. Most of the French players came from the British Embassy in France, so mostly British players played the match. Britain won the match and the gold medal. Today there is a renewed interest in cricket becoming an Olympic game.

The ICC was formed in 1909. The Imperial Cricket Conference was formed to govern the laws of cricket. The ICC is known today as the International Cricket Conference. The founding countries of the ICC were England, South Africa, and Australia.

The years 1932 and 1933 saw the laws of cricket being tightened. English players were throwing short-pitched balls at the Australian batters in an attempt at intimidation. England won this series, but ill feelings still exist between Australian and English players because of this series.

In the 1960's some English teams began playing a shortened version of cricket that allowed a match to be completed in only one day. Up until this time the average cricket match could last up to five days. Some fans and players felt this shortened form of cricket to be an insult to the game, so it was not widely accepted by traditional cricket fans. The first one-day international match was played in Melbourne, Australia in 1971. This match prompted the ICC to organize the "Cricket World Cup" to be played every four years. These matches are strictly one-day matches.

In 1981 the ICC banned underarm bowling as a result of a match between New Zealand and Australia. Australian captain Greg Chappell ordered his brother Trevor to use the underarm bowling technique to stop New Zealand from winning a match. Greg's actions angered many in the cricketing community prompting the change.

Today cricket remains a well-loved sport. Some young men in Australia and England grow up hoping to one day "play for the ashes". It is a sport steeped in tradition and its fans are loyal. Although the history of cricket was rocky at times, it's a solid sport that will be around for years to come.