Organized soccer is one of the most popular sports on the planet. There are about 25 million kids who play it all over the world. England is a prime location for playing and watching the sport. Soccer in England has been played since it was first started in 1848. That is the year the first rules and regulations for the sport were formalized at Cambridge University. The English football leagues have a structure that is hierarchical. The top 20 teams get to play in the Premier League. If you are looking to hop on one of the soccer tours to England, there are some things you can do to have a better time.
- Learn the lingo. We may call it soccer in the United States but if you are taking one of the soccer tours to England to see soccer events, you need to call the sport “football” and not “soccer” at least while you are outside of America. While most Americans think of American football when they hear the term, soccer is a really football. The only player on a soccer team who can touch the ball with their hands is the goalie, everyone else has to use their feet. In addition to calling the sport by the right name, you should take some time to learn the terminology of the game. This will help you keep up with the action and know what is going on throughout the match. If you know even just the difference in how overtime, called “extra time” in England, is treated, you will have a better experience.
- Pick a team to support. Before you head out on one of the soccer tours to England, you should take some time to learn about the different teams. You should look into the teams’ histories, heritage and how they are doing now. You do not need to memorize everything about the teams but knowing their colors and some basic info can help you have more fun. If you are taking your family on one of the soccer tours to England, get everyone in on the fun. This can be a fun way to start your trip.
- Learn the chant of your team. There are even specific chants for certain players. Learn a few. Get into the spirit by taking part. Be prepared to hear from raunchy chants in addition to the songs that are more traditional. Just know it is all done in good fun and that you should enjoy all of it. This is a big part of the English soccer tradition and can make the experience a lot more fun. No soccer match is complete without the chants!
- Beer is not a big thing at English soccer matches. In the United States, fans drink beer at every sports event. They assume that people in England do the same when they go to soccer, we have all heard of the “soccer hooligan.” The fact of the matter is that some soccer matches do not even allow it to be consumed during the game. Most have tea service at half time.
- English football does not have tailgating. This is another way English sporting events are different from their American counterparts. People in England take the sport very seriously. If they are going to have a beer or a meal, they do it at a pub.
- Take a tour of the venue. If you get to the area a few days before the match you are going to see, it is a very good use of your time to check out the stadium. The stadiums in England are different in a number of ways from those you find around the United States. For example, you will not find the equivalent of Fedex Field. The English stadiums are very much linked to English history. In 1958, a crash aboard an Air Munich flight killed half of the Manchester United team. Their stadium has a clock that has been stopped at the exact time of the crash.
The soccer, or football, experience is very different in England than in the United States. These six tips will help you have a better time.