When we talk about football and how it all started, there is a never-ending debate. According to some historical sources, a game played using a ball and feet has been around for centuries, with records dating back to 2500 BC.
American football, however, is a more recent sport that originated in the late 19th century, but it has evolved and grown in popularity considerably.
So, let’s learn more about the most exciting game there is, American Football, how and where it all started.
How Did Football Start?
American football might be a relatively new sport, but it was inspired by games played hundreds of years ago.
Games that require players to control an object while others attempt to wrestle or tackle him have been around for centuries. There have been discoveries of such ball games in both Roman and Greek ages where there were two teams who attempted to score using a ball. While we don’t know the exact rules of the games, the basic concept is very similar to the American Football we play Today.
Various kinds of ball games later evolved during the Middle Ages in Europe, where cities or villages competed with each other. This was a sort of mob ball or mob soccer in which communities competed for accolades by defeating each other. A few paintings and illustrations suggest that it was a team sport.
When Did American Football Become What it is Today?
During the late 18th century, a cross between rugby and mob football was widely played in old American universities like Yale and Harward. This game was more like a violent soccer match. The games got so violent that some places started banning the sport.
Later, with better rules and different strategies, the game started getting better. However, to score a goal required kicking the ball. It wasn’t until 1895 that American Football saw and played. Today started taking shape.
Who is The Father of American Football?
Walter Camp is known as the Father of American Football for his contributions to the game. He was a Yale undergraduate and medical student who was team captain and played halfback, which was the equivalent of head coach in those days. More so than that, he was the one who influenced the newly formed IFA rules board.
Because of Walter Camp, the IFA introduced two significant changes to the budding sport. They changed the opening of the game by eliminating the “scrum” and replaced it with the requirement that a team surrenders the ball if it fails to travel down the field a certain distance in a particular number of attempts.
The line of scrimmage, the 11-player team, offensive signal calling, the quarterback position, and the scoring scale applied in American Football were all introduced by Camp. In addition to his work on the rules board, Camp led Yale’s football team to a record 67-2 throughout his years as coach, from 1882-to 1892
Which Was the First Professional Football League?
While the Ohio league was founded first, it wasn’t organized and was small; therefore, the American Professional Football Association (APFA) is recognized as the first professional football league. It was one of the first to employ appropriate payment systems and schedules. It consisted of 4 teams, and the teams from the former Ohio leagues also dissolved to join the APFA for better standards and professionalism.
Due to the rise in popularity and growth in size, APFA merged with NFL in 1970 to form the National Football League that all of us love and watch Today.
How Has the Football Uniform Changed Over the Years?
During the early years, uniforms were usually made out of wool as games were played outside in freezing temperatures. Players began to wear padding as the game’s rules evolved. The strongest and most flexible material available was leather, and the very first uniform padding made of leather was stitched directly onto wool sweaters.
The first under-jersey shoulder padding was made in 1901. They were made of “thick” leather and had elastic straps to keep them in place.
Helmets first came into play in 1893 but only became mandatory in 1943. Uniform logos also only originated in 1948, when a player from the Las Angeles Rams had ram horns painted on his helmet.
Neck rolls and big padding were introduced during the 1980s due to safety measures to protect players from serious injuries sustained during the game.
Uniforms now have become more lightweight, keeping the safety of players the main focus.
Our Final Thoughts
Now we know all about the history of American football and how the greatest game was created, you can enjoy playing it and watching it even more.
If you want to know more about American Football, be sure to check out some of the official NFL games and watch some of the country’s best players on the field. It will be cherry on top if you watch an NFL game while wearing your favorite players’ jersey to support them in the game. You can get your favorite player’s jersey or even get a personalized jersey as a reminder of your favorite game.
If you plan on enjoying a football game with your friends, you’ll need to get your hands on the best quality footballs, and if you are really passionate, an official NFL American Football will take your game to the next level.
American football has undergone a number of changes over the years. From the Medieval Period, the sports developed into the forerunners of rugby and soccer, where the beginnings of American Football were found.
Safety concerns contributed to laws and rules that differentiated it from its European rivals and shaped it into the American Football we know Today.
World War 1 also played an important role in the codification of regulations of the game. Professional teams were formed as a result of the rapid growth in popularity in the early twentieth century, which set the foundation for the present NFL. Rules were improved along the way when the NFL was founded, mostly impacted by television.
The query, “how did football start?” opens a whole topic of discussion, and as we read above, it took many twists and turns to get the game to where it is now, as the rules and regulations of the game developed and shaped it into the best game ever.