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Tue, Aug 09, 2022 12:00 AM PT




































































Football

Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called football include association football (known as soccer in North America and Oceania); gridiron football (specifically American football or Canadian football); Australian rules football; rugby union and rugby league; and Gaelic football. These various forms of football share to varying extent common origins and are known as football codes. There are a number of references to traditional, ancient, or prehistoric ball games played in many different parts of the world. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games at English public schools during the 19th century. The expansion and cultural influence of the British Empire allowed these rules of football to spread to areas of British influence outside the directly controlled Empire. By the end of the 19th century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rules of local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage. In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football associations. During the 20th century, several of the various kinds of football grew to become some of the most popular team sports in the world.

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Gareth Thomas (rugby)

Gareth Thomas (born 25 July 1974), nicknamed "Alfie", is a Welsh former professional rugby union and rugby league player, who represented Wales in both sports. With 100 test match appearances he was the most capped Welsh rugby union player until he was overtaken by Stephen Jones in September 2011. He is currently ranked 14th among international try scorers, and is the third highest Wales try scorer behind Shane Williams & George North. He also won four rugby league caps for Wales, scoring three tries. He played rugby union as a fullback, wing or centre for Bridgend, Cardiff, the Celtic Warriors, Toulouse, Cardiff Blues, and Wales. In 2010 he changed codes to rugby league when he transferred from Cardiff Blues to the Crusaders in Super League, and later played for Wales. He retired from rugby in October 2011.Thomas came out as gay in December 2009. The following year he was voted the most influential gay person in the UK in The Independent on Sunday Pink List and received Stonewall’s Hero of the Year award.

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Leigh Sports Village

Leigh Sports Village is an £83 million multi-use sports, retail and housing development in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England. The centrepiece of the development is a 12,000-capacity stadium which is home to professional rugby league team Leigh Centurions, Manchester United's under-19 and under-23 teams and Manchester United W.F.C. The complex also plays host to amateur rugby league club Leigh East and amateur athletics club Leigh Harriers, who both occupy dedicated facilities on the site. Other facilities on site include the Leigh campus of Wigan and Leigh College, Leigh Sports Centre, which includes a gym, multi-use sports hall and swimming pool, a Holiday Inn Express hotel, a Morrisons supermarket and the Whistling Wren pub. During 2022, it hosted matches in the UEFA Women's Euro 2022.

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Line-out (rugby union)

A line-out or lineout is a means by which, in rugby union, play is restarted after the ball has gone into touch. When the ball goes out of the field of play, the opposing team is normally awarded a line-out; the exception is after the ball is kicked into touch from a penalty kick, when the team that was awarded the penalty throws into the line-out. In 2021 World Rugby began trialling what was dubbed the "50:22" (or "50–22") rule, wherein the kicking team has the throw-in if the ball travels from the kicker's half and bounces beyond the opposing 22-meter line. This was inspired by rugby league's 40/20 kick.A line-out is formed by players from each team lining up inside the touchline, at 90° to it. A player from the side that did not put the ball into touch then throws the ball back into play. A line-out is one of the two methods of restarting play after the ball has gone into touch, the other is the "quick throw-in" (sometimes referred to as a quick line-out). Due to the specific rules placed on quick throw-ins they are uncommon in a rugby match, with the majority of restarts from touch taking the form of a line-out.

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Major League Rugby

Major League Rugby (MLR or USMLR) is a professional rugby union competition and the top-level championship for clubs in North America. In the 2022 season it was contested by thirteen teams: twelve from the United States and one from Canada. Officially sanctioned by USA Rugby—a member union of Rugby Americas North (RAN)—and consequently part of World Rugby, the league was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. With its initial beginnings as part of established amateur rugby clubs in major North American urban areas, MLR began its first season in 2018 as an initiative of the American rugby community in partnership with private investors. Three further American clubs, in Atlanta, Boston, and Washington D.C., began play in 2020.Major League Rugby implemented its first collegiate MLR Draft in 2020. In 2020, Major League Rugby teams started forming youth academies.The 2020 season was suspended on March 12, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 18, the league announced that they would resume play in 2021, with two new teams in both Los Angeles in 2021 and Dallas joining in 2022 (delayed by one year).

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Super Rugby

Super Rugby is a men's professional rugby union club competition involving teams from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. It previously included teams from Argentina, Japan, and South Africa. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the South Pacific Championship in 1986, with teams from a number of southern nations, the Super Rugby started as the Super 12 in the 1996 season with 12 teams from 3 countries: Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The Super 12 was established by SANZAR after the sport became professional in 1995. At its peak the tournament featured the top players from nations representing 16 of the 24 top-three finishes in the history of the Rugby World Cup. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the competition to split into three, the reformed competition in 2021 and beyond will only include Oceanian clubs representing Australia, New Zealand and from the Pacific islands (specifically a Fijian team, and a New Zealand-based Pacifika side representing Samoan, Tongan and other Pacific communities). The name was changed to Super 14 with the addition of two teams for the 2006 season, and with expansion to 15 teams in the three countries for the 2011 season, the competition was rebranded as Super Rugby (with no number). In 2016 two new teams, the Jaguares from Argentina and Sunwolves from Japan, joined the competition, playing in two newly separated African groups. In 2018, the competition underwent another change in format, this time dropping two teams (the Cheetahs and Kings) from the South African conference, and one (Western Force) from the Australian conference. This left the competition with 15 teams.

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