The American version of football has evolved from games that are popular in other countries: football and rugby. The first form of American football appeared November 6, 1869.
Then the teams from Princeton and Rutgers, colleges in New Jersey, competed in a game that is more like a rugby match than a football match.
Walter Camp, a sensational player at Yale University and the driving force behind many of the new rules, is considered the father of American football. Camp has helped write the first rules for football that have already been played in East Coast colleges and in Canada since about 1876.
In 1880, Camp created the rules that reduced the number of players in a team from fifteen to eleven (today’s total), with a scrum line in the center of the field. In a fight, players on both sides close tightly together. Then the players kick the ball with their foot. Possession of the ball is unique to American football – and rugby and football prohibit it.
Camp also defended the rule that the team had to get five yards in three games to maintain possession. Today, teams must get ten yards in three games or decide to knock on the fourth down.
Camp developed the game development and appointed a referee. His innovation in 1888, is to select the ball. This allowed the players for the first time to make an attack below the waist and made the game more spectacular. It also popularized an offensive strategy known as the “flying wedge”, where a team (10 players) would be mass in front of one player with a wedge-shaped ball.
Football was almost banned in 1906 after 100 deaths (and a large number of serious injuries), but United States President Theodore Roosevelt saved the game by persuading to create more stringent rules and introduce
American Football Uniform for rough and tough game.
Although the game has been cleared over the years, football is a contact sport, as a result of which the possibility of injuries increases. Even with the rules and protective equipment, players are still vulnerable on the playing field.
During the first century, this type of football has become much more popular than professional football. The game has preserved (and still in many schools) the tradition of college rivalry. Eighty years ago, having more than 50,000 fans present at a big college game was quite common. During the same period of the game, the NFL, which officially began in 1920, was fortunate enough to attract only 5,000 fans.
Professional football emerged as an equal to American college football after its games began being broadcast on national television in the 1960s, but it took decades for the NFL to supplant European football. To this day, many colleges have as much fan support as some NFL teams.