Who invented American football? American football is probably the most popular sport in the United States. This sport is definitely a symbol of endurance and power. American football was played in the ancient Rome and Greece. Back then, it was a military practice and served as a method of military training. Of course, this version of football was different from what we have today. Modern version of football actually came from England. Let us learn more about the history of this sport.
American Football History
● American football originates from rugby. Rugby was invented in England, which is why we can say that the sport itself comes from England, although the rules were set in the United States.
● In the beginning, there were no rules. The sport was played in the American college campuses during the 19th century.
● The rules were different from college to college, which is why each of them had its version of football. Harvard students had a very violent version of football. This game caused many injuries (the day this game was played was the first Monday of a school year, so it was called “Bloody Monday”).
● During the 19th century, American football gained a lot of popularity. College campuses made some rules. Princeton was one of the first colleges to set the rules for American football, in 1867. These rules implied that each team could have twenty-five members. During the same year, American football was patented.
● In 1869, Princeton and Rutgers had the first intercollegiate match. In 1873, Princeton, Yale, Columbia and Rutgers representatives established the IFA and made the official rules for these matches. These rules were different from those used in Princeton. The number of players was different, and other details were altered, too.
● American football as we know it today was created by Walter Camp. This man is known as the creator of the modern American football. Camp was a coach at Yale and a member of the Intercollegiate Football Association. Back then, there were fifteen players in each team. Mr. Camp thought the number of players should be different, so IFA reduced the number of players to eleven and also established the rule related to the size of the field. Other rules and penalties were established as well, which was very important for safety. The scrimmage rules were also established by Mr. Camp. The scoring system was also established.
● However, even with all these rules, the game was still quite rough. In fact, some colleges banned the game because of its violent nature. Severe injuries were quite common. Several deaths happened as well, which brought some bad image to the sport. All this made the President Roosevelt react and say that the game was going to be banned if the rules remained unchanged.
● In the beginning of the 20th century, the new rules were introduced. These rules made the sport much safer. Now you know more about one of the most popular sports in the world and its history!