An exhibition game (also known as a friendly, a scrimmage, a demonstration, a preseason game, a warmup match, or a preparation match, depending at least in part on the sport) is a
An exhibition game may also be used to settle a challenge, to provide professional entertainment, to promote the sport, to commemorate an anniversary or a famous player, or to raise money for
In the early days of football, friendlies were the most common type of match. However, since the development of
Since the introduction of league football, most club sides play a number of friendlies before the start of each season (called pre-season friendlies). Friendly football matches are considered to be non-competitive and are only used to "warm up" players for a new season/competitive match. There is generally nothing competitive at stake and some rules may be changed or experimented with (such as unlimited substitutions, which allow teams to play younger, less experienced, players, and no cards). Frequently such games take place between a large club and small clubs that play nearby, such as those between
Although most friendlies are simply one-off matches arranged by the clubs themselves, in which a certain amount is paid by the challenger club to the incumbent club, some teams do compete in short tournaments, such as the Community Shield,
International teams also play friendlies, generally in preparation for the qualifying or final stages of major tournaments. This is essential, since national squads generally have much less time together in which to prepare. The biggest difference between friendlies at the club and international levels is that international friendlies mostly take place during club league seasons, not between them. This has on occasion led to disagreement between national associations and clubs as to the availability of players, who could become injured or fatigued in a friendly.
International friendlies give team managers the opportunity to experiment with team selection and tactics before the tournament proper, and also allow them to assess the abilities of players they may potentially select for the tournament squad. Players can be booked in international friendlies, and can be suspended from future international matches based on red cards or accumulated yellows in a specified period.
In the UK and Ireland, "exhibition match" and "friendly match" refer to two different types of games. The types described above as friendlies are not termed exhibition matches, while annual
A bounce game is generally a non-competitive football match played between two sides usually as part of a training exercise or to give players match practice.