Brief Introduction To Football In Ancient China . Daniel Xie.
Football in ancient China is called Cuju （similar to kickball), being popular in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.) and the Warring States Period (475-221B.C.). In the Han Dynasty, the first monograph on football, Twenty-Five Chapters on Cuju, had been published in China history. The Tang dynasty shows two major improvements in the technique of making football： first，the spherical cover made up of two sided parts had been replaced by the spheroid shaped cover made up of eight sided parts； second, the ball had been filled with an animal bladder instead of hair, "blow the bladder up, then tie it up; repeat the operation", until the bladder becomes an inflated ball. Because the spherical body is light, football players can kick it high. The goal was made with a pair of three zhangs high bamboo poles (zhang, a unit of length, equal to 3 1/3 meters). Kicking method takes different shape in different time. In the Han Dynasty, the game played by two teams who directly confront each other. But in the Tang Dynasty, between two teams that are assigned to both sides on the field of play stands the goal in the middle. The winner is the team who scores most goals. Women’s football got into shape in the Tang Dynasty. For women’s football，there is no goal on the field; nothing else than higher in sky and more variety in kicking. Such method comes to be known as "Bai Da". In the Song Dynasty, emphasis on football skills shifted from shooting accuracy to dexterity and ball control. Moreover, the Tang Dynasty shows an improvement in the technology of making ball, the ball was "made of twelve sided parts of fragrant leather". The raw material for football includes "stout tanned yellow leather that is cut and sewn with great care." Football is "sewed with close stitches, no stitch can be seen on the cover." The wrought ball just weighs "twelve liang (a unit of weight, equal to 50 grams)". And the ball must be made "in perfectly round shape using many sided parts".