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The purpose of this article is to encourage recreational youth soccer leagues to ban slide tackling. The reasons are that there is too great a chance a player will get seriously hurt, young referees don’t know how to correctly interpret the rules regarding slide tackling, and players aren’t taught how to properly slide tackle.

Here are 2 examples of how dangerous it can be:

1. Years ago when I coached U12 recreational soccer a player slid straight into my son who was dribbling, went through the ball (contacted it but went on through it) and with cleats up hit my son in the shin guards and flipped him forward. It bruised his leg even through the shin guards and he could have been seriously hurt. The young ref thought it was OK because the tackler contacted the ball first. However, the FIFA rules say careless, reckless or dangerous play is a foul and “excessive force” is a Red Card.

2. I was watching a semi-pro game about 15 years ago and a defender tried a slide tackle, the dribbler jumped into the air and came down on his leg and broke both bones. The game was delayed for 30 minutes while we watched the player in agony and listened to him moaning in pain. Can you imagine how traumatic that would be for kids to see? Fortunately, my son wasn’t with me.

Honestly, I would have real concerns about allowing my child to play in a recreational soccer league that allows it. I will bet you that the adult recreational soccer leagues around your area don’t allow it, for obvious reasons. If a youth soccer league allowed it, I would talk to the opposing coach and ask if he would agree to tell his players not to slide tackle. If he wouldn’t agree, then I would tell him that I will have to tell my players to be watching for it and to jump into the air and don’t worry about coming down on the sliding player – the point being that if his players get hurt it is their coaches fault, because I have asked him to not allow it. I would also tell him that if there are any dangerous slide tackles I will pull my team off the field. I would print the page from the FIFA rules about “careless, reckless and dangerous play” and show it to the Referee and discuss what the Ref’s interpretation of the rules is. Specifically, a tackle can be “careless, reckless and dangerous” even if the ball is contacted – if the tackle is dangerous it should be a foul or even a Red Card if there is “excessive force”.

If your league needs another reason to not allow it, here are two:

1. Kids aren’t learning to play soccer when they are on the ground.

2. Can you imagine what would happen if a kid was seriously injured in a situation where the league allowed it knowing it could be dangerous (which we all know it can be) and didn’t require players to be taught how to properly slide tackle and how to avoid being injured? The lawsuit would be huge.

As a parent I would not allow my child to play in a recreational league that allowed slide tackling. Anybody who thinks it is a good idea needs to go out and be slide tackled a few times (once would probably be enough). Slide tackling is OK for great athletes, select soccer teams and professional soccer players, but not for recreational soccer players.

Any successful soccer player needs to be eating muscle-building foods for all-round strength and endurance. A well planned diet should consist of a lot of carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates are seen as the major source of energy and helps get a player through a long soccer game or a grueling training session. Protein is needed to help promote muscle growth.

Here are a few useful foods all soccer players should be eating for strength, endurance and stamina:

Beans

Black beans are rich in carbohydrates and protein and make a great choice to complement a meal with lean meat.

Chicken breast

Chicken breast is a great option to get plenty of protein. The breast part of the bird is preferred because it is the leanest and should be eaten with the skin removed to avoid eating unnecessary fat. Also, skinless turkey can be just as beneficial to the health.

Eggs

Eggs are a reliable option to give a boost of high-quality protein. Eating eggs for breakfast is a great way to start the day. Most of the protein is found in the egg while, which is also a useful source of vitamin D, zinc and selenium. But, the egg yolk also contains health benefits and gives extra protein.

Fruits and vegetables

Eating a varied range of fruits and vegetables is great for the carbohydrate content, as well as the vitamins and minerals that help with the growth of muscles. Popular options include mixed frozen vegetables, cucumbers, asparagus, tomatoes, berries, and bananas.

Lean Ground Beef

Lean ground beef is not only packed with protein, but also rich in alpha lipoic acid, vitamin B6 and zinc. A 3 oz. serving has about 24 grams of protein and just 165 calories. Always go with the extra lean or lean ground beef to avoid extra fat content.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a further great breakfast option and a very reliable source of carbohydrates. Eating oatmeal first thing in the morning is certain to help get you going for the day and keeps you satisfied until midday lunch. A well-rounded breakfast can include oatmeal combined with pieces of fruit or even eggs.

Sweet potatoes

A further option to add to a lean protein for mealtime is sweet potatoes, which is a very useful carbohydrate. Sweet potatoes are appreciated for their ability to give a beneficial insulin spike. This helps to shorten the time it takes nutrients and protein to reach the muscles.

I have watched football all my life and would probably say I have an unhealthy obsession with the game and like all fans I have my own ideas of how to improve it. My main bugbear though is the linesman/referees assistant.

In the top flight in countries like England, Italy and Spain where money is available for it why do we only have two linesmen? Surely it makes sense to have four? Then they can make better judgements on calls on whether the ball crossed the line or not. Also it should increase the likelihood of an attacker getting the benefit of the doubt in offside calls if players are only given offside when both linesmen raise their flags.

But the main reason I have for pushing for four linesmen is because a referee needs their help. The four linesman could then pick up on shirt pulling, elbows and other goings on that goes on out of view of the referee.

What annoys me the most is the blatant body checks and shirt pulls that go on out of view of the referee to stop a player making a run in behind a defender. I do get sick of the media telling me that seeing players sent off spoils the game when to my mind what spoils the game are the cynical so-called ‘clever’ fouls that stop an attacker in full flow for very little punishment.

Plus I believe that if players got harsher punishment for those sort of fouls they would be a lot less likely to commit them in the first place. I do not believe they would lead to more bookings and red cards overall, just a lowering of cynical fouls.

After all they said the outlawing of the tackle from behind would lead to most games ending with at least one player being sent off but as we have seen all that has happened is that the players have altered their game to compensate for the rule changes.

The other thing, is that a linesman will then always be on the right side of the pitch – unlike now where players can get away with taking corners out of the quadrant etc because the linesman is on the other side of the pitch.

Apart from little modifications like this though I personally feel football has no need to change. Certainly I would hate to see the referee losing the power he currently has as while it might reduce the potential for corruption it would also lose the talking points that the ref provides by making human errors.

Lets face it we all want to talk about the referee not giving or giving a crucial penalty, missing a foul etc which gives us an easy excuse for our team losing rather than admitting it wasn’t good enough to beat the opposition.

After all who does not believe that their team is the greatest team there is? We all know that at every level, the fans chant that their team is the greatest the world has seen even though we know it isn’t true, we still believe it.

Having said that it would be an improvement if the match officials, a representative of the two clubs that have just played, and an independent official all sat down after a match and went through the match video checking their decisions. The club officials could then query decisions that the clubs disagreed with and retrospective punishments or reprieves could be handed out by the match referee.

Other than the refreshing summer drink to which it lends its name, the lemon has to be among the most disrespected fruits. Cars that frequently break down or do not run at all are called lemons, instead of tangerines or plums. An unhappy facial expression is often described as lemon-faced, based on the sourness it indicates.

Given its unappealing tradition, it is surprising to learn that popular bands have chosen that particular fruit for their names over more desirable ones such as bananas or pears. For example, the late Sixties and Seventies gave us the Lemon Pipers, who hit the charts with the single “Green Tambourine.”

A decade later fans of New Wave music took pleasure in a group that called themselves the Mighty Lemon Drops, whose sound was often compared to Echo and the Bunnymen. Then in the Nineties singer-songwriter Evan Dando fronted a post grunge band named the Lemon Heads, who attracted fans of Nirvana and the late Kurt Cobain.

Although the lemon has overwhelmingly beaten the rest of its juicy genus, other fruits have managed to appear in some popular band names. Here are ten of the best.

The Raspberries

Eric Carmen and his three young buddies made quite an impression in the early Seventies, scoring the huge hits “Go All the Way” and “I Wanna Be With You.”

Wild Cherry

One hit was all it took to jolt this group, a quintet of white boys who wanted to play funky music, into immortality.

Apples In Stereo

Among the pioneers of the genre called indie rock, this eclectic band has outlasted most of its early peers.

The Electric Prunes

Psychedelic rock combined with a clever play on words helped make these guys a household name for a while, as “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)” climbed the charts back in 1966.

Moby Grape

Former members of Jefferson Airplane formed this band that fused rock with country and jazz, drawing comparisons to Buffalo Springfield mainly because of its three guitar player lineup.

The Raisins

National success for the most part eluded this talented late Seventies group who had a minor hit with “Fear Is Never Boring”, but they remain much revered in their hometown of Cincinnati.

Strawberry Alarm Clock

By mixing incense with some peppermints back in 1967 these guys could smell, and taste, a Top Ten single.

Blind Melon

“No Rain” became the group’s smash hit, partly because of its infectious melody and partly due to its bee-themed video.

The Cranberries

No Need To Argue was the 1994 album that allowed the Irish alt band to break through, mainly due to strong singles like “Zombies” and “Ode To My Family.”

Smashing Pumpkins

Billy Corgan led this Nineties alternative rock ensemble, who in addition to dozens of hits earned an appearance on an episode of The Simpsons.

The group has gone through numerous line up changes, since they ventured, into the world of music; the only constant member in the band was Lemmy Kilmister. Apart from Lemmy being the lead singer of the band, he also featured in various films and television advertisements. The group won their first Grammy Award in 2005. The first album that MotorHead recorded scared, the recording company, which they were working with and this forced, the record label to shelve it.

Larry Wallis and Lucas Fox decided, to quit from the band before the band released their first album. Lemmy had no option but to replace them with Taylor and fast Eddie. The group recorded their first album in 1977, and it was released on a very small recording company. After Motor Head released their first album, they signed a record deal with a big recording company and recorded another album known as overkill. This album was released in 1978. In 1983, Motor Head recruited another guitar player Robertson. Ardent fans of the band, did not like him because of his orange hairstyle and music style. Most fans felt that, Robertson had brought musicianship in the group something, which the band did not require at all. Robertson decided to quit from the band in 1984.

Before Lemmy, formed this band he was previously playing in another popular band known as Hawkwind. But, he was fired from the band in 2005, because of drug problems. He went to London, to establish his own band to avoid being fired again. MotorHead started their music career, in a slow start but they appeared in various Television and Radio Shows. By, 1980s the band music was played by almost all radio stations in United States. The change of the band line up did not interfere, with the touring and release of other albums. Since 2000, Motor Head has released five studio albums. Most of their songs were used in films and movies. Lemmy also wrote theme music, for a professional wrestler, known as Triple H.

In 1994, the band went for a tour with Black Sabbath band in America, Japan, Australia and Argentina. According to music critics, MotorHead was one of the best heavy metal bands, from England that pioneered heavy metal in the 70s and 80s. Since the group, ventured into the world of music, the band has sold over forty million units globally and ten million in America. The band was classified as heavy metal and their fusion, helped to pioneer thrash metal. Most of the band lyrics were about power, drug use, war, sex and relationships. The band logo was made in 1977, by Joe Petagno and it appeared, in all the band album covers.

Sitting at the bottom of many file cabinets and dusty chests of drawers may lay a little treasure for the unsuspecting. While your portfolio may have dwindled during the latest bear market, your old stock certificates may be worth more than the original stock they once represented.

Old stock certificates have become quite valuable. Electronic record keeping has made the issuance of stock certificates by most companies quite rare. And as investors trade in their paper certificates for electronic shares they are most often destroyed by the transfer agent making their numbers even fewer.

Older stock certificates can be works of art, often done with colorful illustrations, making them unusual and interesting objects of art in any business or home. Like many antiquities, many vintage stock certificates also tell a unique story that cannot be captured in the electronic shares issued today. As such, they have become sought after by hobbyists, Wall Street collectors, and people looking for unique gifts.

Sports Team Certificates Some of the Most Sought After

Some of the most sought-after, and difficult-to-find, stock certificates on the market today are those of professional sports teams. Very few U.S. professional sports teams have ever “gone public” or issued stock certificates. Most sports organizations in the United States are operated as franchises with strict ownership rules.

The major professional sports leagues including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and the National Football League, have each adopted stringent rules and regulations that determine whether a team can go public. Needless to say, this is a tight club and they guard admittance vigilantly.

The Green Bay Packers are the only publicly owned NFL team that has issued stock. The Packers’ ownership group was grandfathered into the current policy that all-but restricts public ownership. The Green Bay Packers issued stock in 1923, 1935, 1950, and 1997. There are about 112,000 shareholders, who have no voting rights and cannot redeem shares for cash. Basically, each of these shareholders purchased a historic piece of memorabilia. Even though these shares held no intrinsic value, they have become quite valuable as a collectible. A 1997 issue can sell for up to $1000 in today’s market. Older issues are very difficult to find and rarely offered for sale.

Other major league sports teams that have issued stock over the years are:

Florida Panthers (NHL): went public (NASDAQ) in 1996 and subsequently sold to private investors in 2001. (One certificate sells for about $300 – $500)

Boston Celtics (NBA): became the first major sports franchise to go public (NYSE) in 1986 only to go private in 2003. (One certificate sells for about $150-$175)

Cleveland Indians (MLB): became the first Major League Baseball Team to go public in 1998. They were quickly purchased and turned private in 2000. (One certificates Sells for about $200-$250)

Many sports-related stock certificates also valuable

While “pure play” sport stock certificates are rare, other issues that may interest collectors in this category include the World Wrestling Federation, Madison Square Garden, Broadway Joe’s (former restaurant owned by Joe Namath), and the short-lived XFL. Also, be sure to look for minor league franchises and foreign sport stock certificates. Other countries, such as Canada, have many major-league-publicly-owned sport companies.

Sure, many major league franchises are owned by large corporations, but they are but a mere speck on their balance sheet. Which stock certificate would you rather have the Dodgers or Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp? So check your file cabinets and storage units. Those old stock certificates could be worth more than you think.

I love football. Every year I eagerly await the fall season not just for the cooler weather and the change of color on the leaves of the trees, but also because it means the start of the football season as well. Anticipation builds inside me at the thought of watching my team take the field once again and make a run for the top spot in their division.

I’ve been a fan of the game, and the same team, for decades. I have watched the players, the teams, and even the football industry evolve and change over time. American football has remained one of the most exciting and beautiful games in all of professional sports. For all its appeal, just how and where did American football originate? All sports have their beginnings and what I found out left me appreciating the game even more.

During the early 1800’s a popular game known as rugby, where a football is kicked at a goal and run over a line, had its beginnings at the famous Rugby Boy’s School in England. Around the same time in America, the emergence of a game called “ballown,” similar to Rugby, was played by a group of students from Princeton. East coast prep schools like Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and Rutgers College also competed in football-type games. At that time these early games resembled the more traditional “mob football” style played in England. The rules were simple with large numbers of players trying to advance the ball into a goal area usually by any means necessary. By 1855 manufactured inflatable balls were being used as football evolved into a kicking and running game.

Since there weren’t many rules established, violence and injury were common due to the roughness of the game. The increasing brutality of the game became such a public concern because of so many injuries and deaths, that some universities banned it. President Theodore Roosevelt even threatened to ban the game and urged Harvard, Princeton, and Yale to help make changes or lose the sport. Eventually the Intercollegiate Football Association was formed by representatives of Harvard, Columbia, and Princeton to establish a new code of rules mainly based on the rugby games.

The man responsible for shaping American football as we know it today was Walter Camp. He enrolled at Yale in 1876 and led the IFA’s rules committee. He proposed reducing the number of players from 15 to 11. He helped establish the line of scrimmage and the snap from center to quarterback. Camp also proposed that teams be required to advance the ball a minimum of five yards within three downs. More changes were instituted like the reduced size of the playing field, scoring rules, and game time. By 1887 a paid referee and an umpire were mandated for each game and tackling below the waist was allowed. In 1889 officials were given whistles and stopwatches. The forward pass, one of the most important changes in the game, didn’t become legal until 1906.

Although the rules were changing, football continued to be played violently in the style of the earlier mob games. Changes had to be made to make the game safer. These changes were discussed on December 28, 1905 by sixty-two schools who met in New York City. Eventually the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was formed as a result. Over a century later college football continues to thrive as one of the most popular collegiate games. After the demise of the IFA, the American Professional Football Association was formed in 1920. The association was later reorganized and in 1922 renamed the National Football League.

What are the best finger protection goalkeeper gloves to buy?

And what are the dangers of getting the wrong pair?

With literally thousands of goalkeeper glove design and brands on the market, and loads of different types of finger protection goalkeeper gloves, how do you pick the best gloves for you or your child!

I have been involved in goalkeeping at the highest level for 20 years now, so I know a good and BAD goalie glove!

I have coached over 10,000 goalkeepers over the past 20 years, and one of the MOST IMPORTANT bits of advice I tell my students when I advise them on buying finger protected gloves is, when you try them on, make sure you can make a FULL FIST!

If you cannot do this, DO NOT BOTHER BUYING!

If you cannot make a full fist and you try and punch the ball you can easily break your fingers. In the early days, the finger protection goalkeeper gloves were brilliant at stopping your fingers bending backwards but the goalkeeper wearing these gloves had a terrible time trying to make a fist!

As technology has improved, this problem seems to have been solved with the majority of glove designs, but in certain ‘replica’ finger protection goalkeeper gloves, this is still a massive problem.

I would also not recommend buying a pair of finger protection goalkeeper gloves under £40.

Reason being cheap Finger spines are most probably used. These Finger Spines easily snap and can be so SO dangerous. I know everybody likes a bargain and seeing a pair of finger protection gloves at £20 looks a better of a bargain, but the chances are they won’t be?

I know this because when i design our gloves i have a choice of finger spines, which are cheap, cheaper or expensive… i choose expensive as i want piece of mind for my students who wear our gloves. Plus they would give me so much stick if I used cheap materials.

Remember it only costs that little bit more for quality and piece of mind!

However the good news is, there are A LOT of goalkeeper gloves now with finger protection, but this causes you a headache… how do you choose the correct finger protection goalkeeper gloves?

This is what I advise my students.

1. First search the net and check out as many finger protection gloves as they can.

2. See which brands they like.

3. Try and see if local shop stocks them. (So they can try on without buying)

4. You can also order off a internet store and simply return if you do not like. (Please make sure the glove company will do refunds though with no bother… as some do not!)

5. Do not be afraid to try different goalkeeper gloves as most are more or less the same now.

In fact, do you know most goalkeeper gloves are now made in the same factory!

They obviously just have their own brand on. I will be very honest with you and say that the Just4keepers finger protection goalkeeper gloves are made in the same factory as about ten other branded gloves and they are all more or less the same as the other goalkeeper gloves!

It’s just down to what brand you like and how much you want to pay.

But the message I want to get across in this article, is DO NOT buy finger protection gloves were you cannot make a fist.

I hope this helps.

Best of goalkeeping,

Ray Newland

Whenever a quality pair of soccer cleats is sold, there is a very common question that is on the mind of almost each buyer: how long is my pair going to last? Well, this is the question that brought you to this page. Read on to know more.

First of all, if you are a regular player of soccer and play this game 7 days per week, expect your cleats to last two seasons at most. Here are a few factors that will affect the lifespan of your soccer cleats.

Lightweight shoes

Soccer shoes that are lightweight are not as durable as the heavier ones. This is because they are made from thinner stuff, which makes these shoes more fragile.

Playing Surface

Just like other things, the surface you are going to play soccer on is also important. For grassy surfaces, we suggest that you buy firm ground cleats. You must not wear these cleats to play on artificial turf or the lifespan of your cleats will decrease significantly.

Your activity level

If you play 7 days a week, you should by an additional pair of soccer cleats. Wearing the same pair of shoes throughout the week will reduce their lifespan.

How Hard You Play

If you don’t play as aggressively as the professional players, your shoes will last longer and vice versa. So, you need to be realistic and go for the right pair of shoes based on your aggression level during a play. If you want your cleats to last the longest, make sure you take good care of them. Here are a few tips that can help you with this:

Loosen Your Cleats

Whenever you buy a new pair of cleats, you should put them on for jogging or before a game. This way you can loosen up your cleats. After a few days, the new shoes will become the right fit for your feet. Then you can use these cleats for your soccer play on the ground.

Dry Your Shoes

After each play, we suggest that you air dry your shoes. Another good tip is to stuff a few pages of some newspaper in each pair. The paper will absorb the extra dampness and will also keep your pair in shape. Excessive exposure to the sun is bad for your shoes, especially when they are drying.

Detachable Cleats

After each play, you should remove your detachable cleats. If you don’t remove them after a play and walk on hard surfaces, your cleats will become blunt. As a result, you won’t be able to use them.

Clean Them

Each time you get back home from the playground, don’t forget to clean your soccer cleats. This will prevent the dust and debris from causing damage to the leather. Aside from this, you should remove debris from the stitches of the shoes as well. It’s better not to use cleaning agents while cleaning your cleats.

Leather creams

It’s a good idea to use a good leather cream on your shoes as it will keep your shoes soft.

Don’t use hot water

It’s very important that you don’t use hot water to clean your cleats or you will end up ruining them for good.

So, I hope now you have a pretty good idea of how long your soccer cleats will last if you take the right steps.

The soccer shirts worn by players these days are very bright and colorful, making it very easy to identify teams. But there was a time when there was no real uniform dress code and every payer wore white shirts with long sleeves. The only way to distinguish between teams was colorful caps and scarves. This created confusion for the spectators and the scorers. Gradually, the demand for uniforms for players rose giving birth to the first soccer shirts, which have now become legendary with players and teams alike.

As soccer clubs turned the game into a professional sport, all teams had to register their specific colors so as to avoid confusion with other teams. Soccer fans all over the world wear the colors of the teams. This has become a good way of increasing company sales and thus contributed to the economy too.

By the start of the twentieth century, shirts in various colors and designs including stripes made an appearance. The cheap, plain white cotton fabric gave way to synthetic materials such as nylon, which is lighter and allows sweat to evaporate, making it very comfortable for players to wear during a match. Now for summers players wear short sleeves, while in winters, they switch to long sleeves shirts.

Along with the shirts came the numbers from one to eleven on the back of the shirts. But as strategies and positions changed, so did the numbers. Nowadays the players wear their lucky numbers. Initially, the name of the team and club would be in front while the number and name of the player would be at the back of the shirt.

With the onset of globalization, advertising companies realized that there was a huge marketing potential. So they began to display their names on the shirts and paid the teams to wear their brand. Designs including logos and badges of teams were worn and every time a team changed its advertisers, the designs changed. The fans, in order to keep up with the changing pace, began buying the new brands.

As science and technology has advanced, the fabric of the soccer shirts has greatly improved. The fabric used for the shirts can adjust itself to the needs of the player and the weather i.e., it keeps the players warm in winter and cool in summer. Rapidly changing technology promises to invent shirts that will be able to monitor the heart rates and fatigue levels of the players.

Technology is also playing a very important role in making the soccer shirt more fashionable. A plethora of new designs and colors has indeed made the game more enjoyable. Cheap replicas are also available on the internet and fans often trade soccer shirts via the internet for profit. Big companies now vie for a chance to sponsor soccer teams as it is a great way to boost their sales. They even offer huge discounts and other offers to attract customers. Thus, soccer has been commercialized in a big way, through its shirt.