Rules of The Simplest Game
These rules were produced by Mr J.C. Thring, Assistant Master at Uppingham School and published in 1862.
- A goal is scored whenever the ball is forced through the goal and under the bar, except it be thrown by hand.
- Hands may be used only to stop a ball and place it on the ground before the feet.
- Kicks must be aimed only at the ball.
- A player may not kick the ball whilst in the air
- No tripping up or heel kicking allowed.
- Whenever a ball is kicked beyond the side flags, it must be returned by the player who kicked it, from the spot it passed the flag line, in a straight line towards the middle of the ground.
- When a ball is kicked behind the line of goal, it shall be kicked off from that line by one of the side whose goal it is.
- No player may stand within six paces of the kicker when he is kicking off.
- A player is "out of play" immediately he is in front of the ball, and must return behind the ball as soon as possible. If the ball is kicked by his own side past a player, he may not touch or kick it, or advance, until one of the other side has first kicked it, or one of his own side has been able to kick it on a level with, or in front of him.
- No charging allowed when a player is out of play; that is, immediately the ball is behind him.
The rule with emphasis is an early form of the offside rule.