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In sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap.
Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Metaphors are often compared to other types of figurative language, such as antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile. One of the most commonly cited examples of a metaphor in English literature comes from the "All the world's a stage" monologue from As You Like It:
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
An early illustration of the first international football match between Scotland and England in 1872 shows the Scottish players wearing cowls, and the English wearing a variety of school caps. The practice was first approved on 10 May 1886 for association football after a proposal made by N. Lane Jackson, founder of the Corinthians:
The 1872 match between Scotland and England was the first ever association football official international match to be played. It was contested by the national teams of Scotland and England. The match took place on 30 November 1872 at West of Scotland Cricket Club's ground at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland. The match finished in a 0–0 draw and was watched by 4,000 spectators.
The cowl is an item of clothing consisting of a long, hooded garment with wide sleeves. Originally it may have referred simply to the hooded portion of a cloak. In contemporary usage, however, it is distinguished from a cloak or cape (cappa) by the fact that it refers to an entire closed garment. Today it is worn primarily by most Catholic and Anglican monks when participating in liturgical services.
Corinthian Football Club was an English amateur football club based in London between 1882 and 1939.
That all players taking part for England in future international matches be presented with a white silk cap with red rose embroidered on the front. These to be termed International Caps.
The act of awarding a cap is now international and is applied to other sports. Although in some sports physical caps may not now always be given (whether at all or for each appearance) the term "cap" for an international or other appearance has been retained as an indicator of the number of occasions on which a sportsperson has represented a team in a particular sport. Thus, a "cap" is awarded for each game played and so a player who has played x games, for the team, is said to have been capped x times or have won x caps.
The practice of awarding a physical cap varies from sport to sport. It may be awarded prior to a player's debut or, particularly for national teams, a commemorative cap may be awarded after a player reaches the 100th cap.
As an example, the England men's association football teams still awards physical caps. Players are awarded one cap for every match they play—unless they play in a World Cup or European Championship finals tournament. Then they are given a single cap for the competition—with the names of all their opponents stitched into the fabric of the cap itself. For example, when David Beckham made his one hundredth appearance for England, because a number of his appearances had been at World Cup and European Championship final tournaments for which he received only one cap, he received only his 85th physical cap.
The world record holder for the highest number of international caps as of 5 November 2010 is retired American player Kristine Lilly, who has 354 caps (between 1987 and 2010). In men's association football, the record belongs to former player Ahmed Hassan of Egypt; he surpassed Claudio Suárez with his 178th cap on 27 March 2012. The first footballer to win 100 international caps was Billy Wright of England's Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wright went on to appear 105 times for England, 90 of them he obtained whilst he was a captain.
The United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning four Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups. It medaled in every World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF. The United States women's national soccer team recently just won the 2019 World Cup for the 4th time by defeating Netherlands 2-0.
Kristine Marie Lilly Heavey, née Kristine Marie Lilly, is a retired American soccer player who last played professionally for Boston Breakers in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). She was a member of the United States women's national football team for 23 years and is the most capped football player in the history of the sport gaining her 352nd and final cap against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in November 2010. Lilly scored 130 goals for the United States women's national team, behind Mia Hamm's 158 goals, and Abby Wambach's 184.
Ahmed Hassan is a retired Egyptian footballer. He played as an attacking midfielder or on the right wing for Egyptian national team. He is the most capped international male footballer in history, with 184 appearances for The Pharaohs. He is regarded as one of the best players in African football history.
FIFA rules state that any club that refuses to release a player for national team duty is barred from using the player for two matches, a rule which is intended to discourage clubs from pretending that the player is injured. However, it is a player's choice to refuse to play for or retire from his or her national team.
Some current leading holders of association football caps (as of 8 September 2019) are:
Bold denotes players currently active in international football.
Bold denotes players currently active in international football.
In cricket, there are two types of caps. Firstly, there is the international type, as described above. Some countries also award a domestic type generally known as a "county cap". The latter system is most commonly applied in Englishcounty cricket. Most counties do not automatically award caps to players on their first appearance; instead, they have to be "earned" through good performances. Indeed, one can play at the highest domestic level for several years, and have a quite significant career in first-class cricket, without ever winning a cap.
The world record for the number of caps in Test cricket is held by Sachin Tendulkar of India, who has, over the course of a 24-year career, collected 200. Tendulkar also holds the record for One Day Internationals, with 463 caps.
In rugby union, 35 players have reached 100 international caps as of 5 June 2012. Players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are eligible for selection to the British and Irish Lions touring squad. Lions matches are classed as full international tests, and caps are awarded. The Pacific Islanders team, composed of players from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Niue and Cook Islands have a similar arrangement, although no players involved have so far reached 100 caps (Fijian Nicky Little is closest with 71 caps).
Players still active at Test level are in bold type.
In rugby league, only three players have achieved 50 Test match caps. The record for most caps is held by former Australian Kangaroos player & captain Darren Lockyer with 59 games. Former New Zealand Kiwis player & captain Ruben Wiki has 55 caps, and the current Australian Kangaroos player & captain Cameron Smith has 50 caps.
Players still active at Test level are in bold type.
The most capped Briton is Warrington Wolves forward Adrian Morley, who has 52 caps (30 for Great Britain, 22 for England).
Jonathan Peter Wilkinson, CBE is an English former rugby union player. A fly-half, he played for Newcastle Falcons and Toulon and represented England and the British and Irish Lions. He is particularly known for scoring the winning drop goal in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final and is widely acknowledged as one of the best rugby union players of all time.
The Australia national rugby union team, nicknamed the Wallabies, is controlled by Rugby Australia. The team first played at Sydney in 1899, winning their first test match against the touring British Isles team.
The England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won this championship on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful outright winners in the tournament's history. They are ranked third in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 7 October 2019. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, when they won the tournament back in 2003. They were also runners-up in 1991 and 2007.
Brian Gerard O'Driscoll is an Irish professional rugby union player. He played at outside centre for the Irish provincial team Leinster and for Ireland. He captained Ireland from 2003 until 2012, and captained the British and Irish Lions for their 2005 tour of New Zealand. He is regarded by critics as one of the greatest rugby players of all time.
The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. The team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship and every four years in the Rugby World Cup. Ireland is also one of the four unions that make up the British and Irish Lions – players eligible to play for Ireland are also eligible for the Lions.
Joseph Paul Richard Worsley, is a retired English rugby union player who played flanker for Wasps and England.
The Canada national rugby union team is governed by Rugby Canada, and play in red and white. Canada is classified by World Rugby as a tier two rugby nation. There are ten tier one nations, and thirteen tier two nations. Canada competes in competitions such as the Americas Rugby Championship and the Rugby World Cup.
Warren David Gatland, OBE is a New Zealand rugby union coach, currently the head coach of Wales. Since he became coach in 2007, Wales have won four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams, and reached the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup. Gatland was also head coach of the British and Irish Lions on their 2013 tour of Australia, where they won the Test series 2-1, and 2017 tour of New Zealand, when the series was drawn.
Martyn Elwyn Williams, is a former Wales and British and Irish Lions international rugby union player. A flanker, he was Wales' most-capped forward with 100 caps until surpassed by Gethin Jenkins on 30 November 2013. He remains Wales most capped back row forward.
Elton Flatley is a former Australian international rugby union footballer. He played for the Queensland Reds.
A test match in rugby union is an international match, usually played between two senior national teams, that is recognised as such by at least one of the teams' national governing bodies.
George Philip North is a Welsh professional rugby union player who plays for the Ospreys in the Pro14 and the Wales national team. He has won 89 caps for Wales and three for the British and Irish Lions. His usual position is wing, but he has also played at outside centre.
For the most recent Mid-year window go to 2018 June rugby union tests
The 2013 mid-year rugby union tests were international rugby union matches that were played in June 2013, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 2014 Six Nations Championship, known as the 2014 RBS 6 Nations because of the tournament's sponsorship by the Royal Bank of Scotland, was the 15th series of the Six Nations Championship, the annual northern hemisphere rugby union championship. It was contested by England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Including the competition's previous incarnations as the Home Nations Championship and Five Nations Championship, it was the 120th edition of the tournament.
The British and Irish Lions toured New Zealand during June and July 2017. The Lions, a rugby union team selected from players eligible to represent England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales, played ten matches: against all five New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, the NZ Provincial Barbarians, the Māori All Blacks and three test matches against New Zealand.
The 2014 mid-year rugby union internationals were international rugby union matches mostly played in the Southern Hemisphere during the June international window.
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The 2017 mid-year rugby union internationals were international rugby union matches that were mostly played in the Southern Hemisphere during the June international window.