With an exception of those who were lucky enough to attend some football academies, most of us played the beautiful game on the streets. While the pitch (think surface) varied, the rules always stayed the same; ready for memory lane? Check out our top rules below!


10. The Fat Kid Is Always The No. 5 Or Keeper 

I can recall this one; fat kids were considered to be stronger (best choice for defense), less quick (bad choice for attacking), and big enough to fill the goal (best choice for keeper).

Everyone feared the big guys at the back on their way to the goal…


9. The Ball Owner Selects the Players

Let’s make this clear; the ball owner was the KING of the pitch, usually as there was only two balls in the whole village! If you had some differences with the owner of the ball, no claims, you would never play. To play, you would go be friends with another ball owner in the same or next village.


8. The Ball Owner Can End The Match At Anytime

As the ball owner was the king, no one was allowed to trick him or make rough tackles on him. At any time, he could pick up his ball and go home and that would be the end of the game. To make this clean; if he shouted for the ball and you refused to assist him with a pass, he had rights to send you off-pitch.


7. The Best Players Were Always Selected First

Before any game starts, the transfer window would be open and breaking a record transfer fee was everyone’s aim (to be selected first). However, even if you were a Ronaldinho back then, and had issues with the ball owner, the transfer window was closed for you and you had to sit on the bench (read curb).


6. You Were Allowed To Change Goal Keeper

There were some multi-talented players; players who were best on each and every position. So you would be a forward, but asked to be a temporary goal keeper in case there is a penalty and then come back to your position…Crazy!!


5. If You Played Heavy Shots The Ball Owner Would Warn You

The ball owner was keen on his cherished ball; everyone was supposed to be careful with how and where he directs the ball. Heavy shots would attain a nail or thorn, and hence break the ball, so the ball owner had to warn anyone who tries long range goals or any heavy shot.


4. You Can’t Substitute The Owner Of The Ball

The owner of the ball was the captain, the manager, the boss, the referee, and the FIFA ambassador on the pitch. You couldn’t send him off-pitch, unless you guys had another ball.

You send him out; he takes the ball and leaves. End of the game, end of the tournament, and possibly end of the season as he may never want to come back!


3. You Will Always Go And Call The Owner Of The Ball At His House

There were no texting, inboxing, DMing, nor phone calling. You need to play; you go find the ball owner. Now if he is sleeping, or eating, or just busy, you wait until he comes. If he doesn’t feel like coming, and he doesn’t trust you enough to lend you the ball, even if it maybe an organized game, there is no game that day; no discussion.


2. Ball Owner Always Picks His Player First

As the transfer window opens, and best players are picked first, the ball owner must take the best or else there is no game. In this transfer window, there is no consent of the player; if the ball owner wants you, you go. You have no choice, he does.


1. Ball Owner Can Substitute Himself Into The Winning Team

The ball owner must win every match, and the league, if he wants to. If his team is losing, chances are, he substitutes himself into the winning team and you have no say, or else he closes the game.