One of the things that really fuels our love of the game is all of the rich traditions that have been passed down for generations. No matter how old you are or what experience level you’re playing at, there will always be those things that unite you with all other soccer players and fans around the world. One game, one love! So with the FA Cup Final quickly approaching, we wanted to share some of our favorite soccer traditions that have developed over the years. In no particular order, we really love…
1. The FA Cup
The Football Association Cup (or FA Cup) is the oldest association football competition in the world that earned its namesake from the organization that organizes it every year – the Football Association. This event takes place in England and is open to all teams who compete in the Premier League, Football League, and the first 5 finishers of the FA National League System. There’s also an equivalent for the ladies, called FA Women’s Cup. Arsenal is playing Aston Villa for the Men’s Final on May 30th, make sure you tune in!
When you first started playing recreational soccer, there was no type of excitement and fulfillment like what you felt when you were running through an end-of-the-game victory tunnel made by the arms and bodies of all of your fans. Even after a tough loss, this was enough to give you that little pick me up to dust yourself off and get ready for your next match.
Part of what makes soccer so great is the fierce competition between each team to be the one who is claimed victorious at the end of the game, but every fan or player knows, there is no competition like the competition between rivals. These are the games that you get extra psyched for and usually are played at that next level. For fans, there’s nothing like bringing this competition into the stands and out-cheering your rivals. Liverpool without Man U? FC Barcelona without Real Madrid? Ronaldo without Messi? It just doesn’t. make. sense.
4. Chants and Cheers
Nothing helps create that intense and spirited environment like the chanting and cheering of fans. Those traditional chants that encourage your team to keep going or encourage the other team to screw up that goal kick keep the game lively and exciting! For players, there’s nothing more uniting than reciting your team’s cheer right before entering the pitch. Now everyone repeat after me: “I….I believe…”
5. Half-Time Snacks
Another sacred past-time of youth soccer. Those orange slices at half-time were exactly what you needed to refuel and work extra hard in the second half. Any treats that you also got after the game were a great winning bonus or an even better pick-me-up after a loss. We’re not quite sure why this tradition didn’t stick after a certain age, but we’re willing to start a movement if you are.
6. Swapping Jerseys
Another longstanding tradition within the soccer world, exchanging jerseys at the end of a soccer match has been dubbed a sign of respect. The fate of the jerseys after they are exchanged is different depending on the player. Sometimes washed, sometimes not; or maybe they are given away or framed for display as a memory and a story of a particular match or battle with a certain player.
7. SOCCER SCARVES!
Last but definitely not least, and arguably one of our favorite soccer traditions, the soccer scarf! So versatile in its ability to be worn and displayed, the soccer scarf unites players and fans alike as they express their love and loyalty for their favorite team.
Which soccer tradition is your favorite? Did we miss any important ones? Share your ideas with us below!