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How  football originated 

Written by Blaine Kimery  23 Nov 2020

      Who doesn't love spending the weekends watching football all the way from the first weekend in September until Super Bowl Sunday in February? Well have you ever wondered how football started and were it came from?  

     It all began in the mid 1800's in the UK with the sport of rugby, a game in which 13-15 players use an oval ball and tried to kick it through the goal posts. Rugby was around well before this time frame, but it was not until the mid-19th century that a player for the first time picked up the ball and ran it instead of kicking the ball. This is a big reason for the development of American football.

    With the addition of some major rule changes football was born. The biggest changes were made by Walter Camp, Yale University, and Hopkins School Graduate. These schools introduced the line of scrimmage, down and distance rule, along with the acceptance of the forward pass. At first the only way to score points was by kicking the ball and it wasn't until 1875 that the touchdown was invented this was 6 years after what is said to be the first intercollegiate football matchup between Rutgers and Princeton. At first the field goal was worth more points than the touchdown but in 1881 the touchdown overtook the field goal. The first time a team threw the ball is believed to be in 1895 in which was an attempt to score as time ran out, or in other words what we would describe now as a hail marry. At this time, the forward pass was still an illegal play and it was formalized in 1906.

    In 1905 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was born. The NCAA helped to formalize rules and set up formal college football matchups across the country. In 1909 the six points for a touchdown and three for a field goal were formalized.

    At the time the game of football was extremely violent. We think football can be violent now but think about no pads and helmets. Players at the high school level were being severely injured and, in some cases, killed. This led to some rule changes in the 1905-1906-time frame. Rules began to establish that protected the players from violence and this started to separate football from the sport of rugby in the UK and Australia.

    In 1920 professional football began and the name was officially changed to the NFL in 1922. Then in 1932 a championship was added to the end of the season and just like that we move into the modern age of football. In the 1930's the passing rules were further modified along with penalties and loss of possession because of incomplete passes. After World War 2 the NFL developed more team and in 1958 there was the first broadcasted championship.

        Today football is watched all over the world and even more so in America. Every Saturday and Sunday people spend hours watching college and professional football and none of it would have happened if a man did not pick up the ball and start running. Now football is the biggest sport in America and is played on some of the biggest stages.


(How did American football develop, 6 Mar. 2019,

(History of American football, 31 Oct.2020,