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History of Football
More History Rules Football Quiz
Rugby was the sport from which football branched. Rugby was accidentally invented by William W. Ellis in England at about the late 19th century. He got made at the opposing team in a soccer game, so he picked up the ball and ran it into the net. What he did not know was he had invented one of the most popular games ever.
Football is not one game, but two games mixed. The two games are rugby and soccer. You will have to remember this later down.
The first game of rugby played in America was on November 6th, 1869. The team of Princeton played against the team of Rutgers. The team of Rutgers won.
In 1874 Harvard University and a unspecified university in Canada employed the rules of soccer and rugby together to make football. These were later named the Boston Rules.
The first ever "Boston Rules" game was played in 1875. The team of Yale lost 6-0 to the team of Harvard.
The system of downs was established in 1882. It meant the offense (the team trying to score) had to get five yards in before four downs. A down is made every time the offensive player with the ball is tackled.
The first ever pro football game ever played was between Latrobe and Jeanette. This game was played in 1895.
In 1920 the first attempt to make a pro league was tried for. This league was called the APFA. (American Professional Football Association) This attempt would later succeed and become the NFL (National Football League).
In the beginning of 1930 the NFL got the fan recognition it had been looking for for a long time. The first playoff game was in 1933. The teams of the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants proved to the fans there would be a champion every year.
In 1946 the NFL refused to recognize the AAC, the newly formed All-American League.