How in the world did modern day soccer come up with the random positional numbering system? Why aren’t the numbers in some numerical sequence, much like baseball, instead of what appears to be a random collection of numbers. In order to understand the evolution, we need to step back in time to 1939 when the English FA mandated players wear numbers on their jerseys. The English, being English, decided to assign numbers to positions and everyone at the time played a 2-3-5, or a pyramid. The goalie of course was #1, while the two defenders wore the numbers 2 and 3. The players in front of the defenders wore the numbers 4,5, and 6 and of course the front line, all five of them, would wear numbers 7 through 11. The diagram below offers a visual representation of a typical formation from the 1930s.

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