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Sports in Great Britain.

          Britain doesn't often produce sportsmen or sportswomen who are successful in the world sporting championships but it has been good at inventing sports and writing the rules of games.
          Golf was first played in Scotland in the fifteenth century and the most famous golf club, Saint Andrews in Scotland, is still the most respectable authority on golf in the world.
          Cricket was first played in England in the sixteenth century and its rules were written in the eighteenth century.
          The nineteenth-century team sports, such as football, rugby and hockey, were first played in Britain public schools, The rules for all of those games were written between 1870 and 1890. The rules for lawn tennis were written in England in 1875.
          Britain's national sport is football. During the football season (August to May) most professional footballers play two matches every week. Many people say this is too many because the players cannot devote enough time and energy to international games.
          The 22 best English teams play in the Premier League, run by the Football Association (the FA). The other professional teams play in three divisions run by the Football League. Liverpool is the most successful team and have won the most games and tournaments.
          The most exciting games are often between teams from the same city; Manchester United and Manchester City; Arsenal and Chealsea from London; Celtic and Rangers from Glasgow. The highlight of the football season is the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in London. Eighty thousand fans fill the stadium and there is usually a very good atmosphere. The most successful FA Cup team is Tottenham Hotspur. They have won the cup eight times.
          Most people think of cricket as a slow sport, but the ball can be bowled at speed of 85 miles per hour.
          Cricket is a popular summer sport in England. It is not played much in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but it is played in the Commonwealth countries of Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies.
          Every year there are test matches between all these countries, A test match can last for up to five days. Usually the Commonwealth countries play much better and faster cricket than in England.
          Rugby is a type of football. It is played with an oval ball and players can both kick and run with it. There are two types of rugby: in Rugby Union there are 15 players, who are amateurs, and it is played by England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland (a joint team from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. There are regular matches between these countries. In Rugby League there are 13 players in a team, the players are all professionals and rugby is mostly played in the North of England and Australia.

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