How American Football got started?
Like most sports, American Football was initially developed on college campuses when in the1870’s rugby challenges were initiated during college teams. American football took birth as a fusion of rugby and football.
As the sport became famous, a meeting was held in 1876 known as the Massoit Convention, where representatives from Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia gathered to adapt the rules of the game to suit their respective needs. The intercollegiate football association was also formed at this meeting to facilitate the growth of the sport.
Father of the American football, Walter Camp, helped evolve the game by suggesting that the number of players per team should be reduced to 11 from 15.He also introduced a new scoring system where the ‘Touchdown’ would mean 6 points.
The major changes that this Camp proposed were the system of ‘downs’ that means that a team only gets a certain number of plays before handing the ball over to the opposing team. The other significant change was the rule that allowed the players to pass the ball in front of them. In rugby, the players can only pass the ball towards the back which is one of the major differences between the two sports.
Due to the vicious nature of the game, a number of teenagers got injured. American football also saw dark times when eighteen football players were killed. At this stage, Theodore Roosevelt, the president of the United States, urged Camp to adapt the game to make it safer.
The introduction of a safe zone was made that would prevent the players getting over aggressive. The ban on interlocking formations was also implemented. This prevented the players from forming a human wall by crossing arms to protect the ball bearer.
The number of minimum players at a scrimmage was also set to 6 (later increased to 7). The new rules helped the sport gain fame internationally as the modern version of the sport.
Since then a few minor alterations to the rules were made over the course of the 20th Century but the fundamentals of the sport had already been laid out and are still preserved. NFL also came to being in the 20th Century and has flourished enough to be considered the most famous sport in the United States of America.