In comparison to other sports based on enrollment through the IMleagues website, soccer is one of the largest activities offered on BYU-Idaho campus.
This could be because of its origin being so long ago, or because people of all walks of life can play it together.
Whatever the reason, the soccer spirit is abundant.
Two teams facing off for glory, for pride or for fun? The moment the first kick takes off, students from all lifestyles begin to compete for whatever motivation fuels them.
“The fact remains that people have enjoyed kicking a ball about for thousands of years,” according to the FIFA website.
The soccer that is known today derives from many sources. One source, the game Tsu’ chu, which consisted of kicking a ball made of leather and hair into a goal 30-40 centimeters wide, was played in the Han Dynasty from 200-300 BC, according to the FIFA website.
The sport then developed and grew as other civilizations, such as Japan and Greece and the Roman Empire, added aspects to the game such as strategic passing, boundaries and teams.
Soccer today has progressed to be less violent but is still considered intense, as players must move quickly and strategically to prevent opponents from scoring.
At BYU-Idaho this year, competitive soccer has eight teams ranging in skill and experience, but they all have a chance at the championship.
Thomas Finn, a sophomore studying exercise physiology and the competitive coordinator over soccer, said, “Teams that in the beginning struggled are getting better. We have seven matches in the season, and it’s getting more competitive as the teams improve.”
Finn has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old and still loves playing and officiating today.
“Apart from how fun it is, I like what it does for a person,” Finn said. “It helps you make friends and get the frustration out.”
Apart from just relieving frustration or stress, soccer and other sports can help in deeper ways as well.
“It gives you the opportunity to learn something and get experience,” said Alayna Hammon, a senior studying health science and the women’s soccer coordinator. “It’s a great way to grow disciple leaders.”
Hammon invites students to participate in sports on campus, although she has a job and is a coordinator, she feels that she has learned time management and how great her body feels while participating in sports.
Finn said the players have been much calmer when handling situations this year than in previous years. She said this is due to the great example given by the coaches.
“It is bringing a better atmosphere to the field, and more people want to be referees because they aren’t being yelled at,” Finn said.