History

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“Football” before the 19th century referred to any number of ball games played on foot. The rules of these games differed from one another, some allowing the use of hands “running games”, others forbidding it “kicking games”. One legend has it that the football game rugby, American football’s ancestor, was invented when an Englishman grew tired of the no hands restriction, picked the ball up, and ran. Modern day football grew out of a combination of a sport resembling rugby, played at the time in Canada, and an earlier version of soccer. As colleges formed teams and had to come up with a standard of rules everyone could follow, American football was born.

"The birth date of football in the United States is generally regarded by football historians as November 6, 1869, when teams from Rutgers and Princeton Universities met for the first intercollegiate football game. In those early games, there were 20 players to a team and football still more closely resembled rugby than modern football.

The game of football has a history of constant rule changes. Rule changes have been implemented to bolster the excitement of the game of football and to increase the game's safety.

In 1873, representatives from Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton, and Yale Universities met in New York City to formulate the first intercollegiate football rules for the increasingly popular game. These four teams established the Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA) and set 15 as the number of players allowed on each team" (http://www.hornetfootball.org/documents/football-history.htm).

 

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