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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. Antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile are all types of metaphor. One of the most commonly cited examples of a metaphor in English literature is the "All the world's a stage" monologue from As You Like It:
The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying 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 lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with 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 three Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic women's gold medals, eight CONCACAF Gold Cups, and ten Algarve Cups. It medaled in every single 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.
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 Football (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 354th 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 11 June 2017) are:
The Egypt national football team, known colloquially as The Pharaohs, represents Egypt in men's International association football and is governed by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) founded in 1921, the governing body for football in Egypt. The team's historical stadium is Cairo International Stadium but since 2012 the team has played most home games at Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria.
Hossam Hassan Hussein is an Egyptian retired footballer who played as a striker, and the current manager of Smouha SC in the Egyptian Premier League.
Mohamed Abdullaziz Al-Deayea is a Saudi Arabian retired football goalkeeper. He played in four FIFA World Cups for the Saudi Arabia national team and earned a total of 178 officially recognized caps, the record for a goalkeeper. He also achieved the first best Goalkeeper of the Century from Asia award ahead of Nasser Hejazi in second and In-Young Choi in third place respectively.
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 22-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).
The British & Irish Lions is a rugby union team selected from players eligible for any of the Home Nations – the national teams of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The Lions are a Test side, and generally select international players, but they can pick uncapped players available to any one of the four unions. The team currently tours every four years, with these rotating among Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The most recent series, the 2017 series against New Zealand, was drawn 1-1.
Jonathan Peter Wilkinson, CBE is an English former rugby union player who represented England and the British and Irish Lions. He rose to prominence from 2001 to 2003, before and during the 2003 Rugby World Cup, 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 fourth in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 11 March 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 a retired 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. They are ranked second in the world by World Rugby as of 19 November 2018. The team competes annually in the current Six Nations Championship, which they have won fourteen times outright and shared nine times in its various formats. The team also competes every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions. 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.
The Salford Red Devils are a professional rugby league club in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, who play in the Super League. Formed in 1873, they have won six Championships and one Challenge Cup. Their home ground since 2012 has been the AJ Bell Stadium in Barton-upon-Irwell, before which they played at the Willows in Weaste. Before 1995, the club was known simply as Salford, from 1995–98 Salford Reds and from 1999–2013 Salford City Reds.
Jason Leonard is an English former rugby union player, who gained a world record-breaking 114 caps for England during his 14-year international rugby career.
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.
Alun-Wyn Jones is a Welsh rugby union player. He is the current captain of the Wales national team, and the former captain of the Ospreys in the Pro14. He is the world's most-capped lock forward and Wales' second most capped player behind Gethin Jenkins. He has also won nine caps for the British & Irish Lions.
The 1908 British Isles tour to New Zealand and Australia was the seventh tour by a British Isles team and the fourth to New Zealand and Australia. The tour is often referred to as the Anglo-Welsh Tour as only English and Welsh players were selected due to the Irish and Scottish Rugby Unions not participating. It is retrospectively classed as one of the British Lions tours, as the Lions naming convention was not adopted until 1950.
The 2012 autumn internationals, also known as the autumn tests, November tests and, in the Southern Hemisphere, the end of year tests, were international rugby union matches. They were predominantly played between visiting Southern Hemisphere countries and European nations.
For the most recent Mid-year window go to 2017 mid-year rugby union internationals
The 2014 mid-year rugby union internationals were international rugby union matches mostly played in the Southern Hemisphere during the June international window.
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.
Gordon Rimmer was an English rugby union player who played in the scrum-half position. Rimmer played club rugby with Waterloo FC, represented Lancashire county, was capped 12 times for England, and was a member of the British Lions team that toured in 1950.