Football is one of the oldest sports in the world. It is very hard to pinpoint the exact origins of this sport but it is somehow related with the invention of the ball. The game suffered a lot of modifications and transformations until it reached its final form. It was split into football, rugby and soccer and its popularity started to be associated with various countries. Nowadays football is the most popular sport in the USA but few people are familiar with the football history.
There are various legends and theories regarding the origins of this sport. It is believed that ancient Egyptians played an early form of soccer. According to other theories, football is a descendent of harpaston, an ancient Greek game. Unlike its modern versions, this ancient game had very little rules. All it required was a type of ball and a goal line. In order to score points a player needed to get the ball across the line by kicking it, throwing it or running with it across the line. It was a very popular recreational activity and it quickly spread across Europe.
The country that played the most important role in football history is definitely England. As soon as they discovered this sport, the British people became obsessed with it. In fact the popularity of the sport was so great that in the 12th century the kings of England forbade the practice of this sport. They believed that it was quite addictive and it drew attention from other national sports. Although this law didn’t stop people from playing it, it took a long time for football to develop into the game that it is today. It wasn’t until the early years of the 18th century that football was introduced as a school sport in England. Around that time the game was split into soccer, football and rugby.
The first game of American Football was played on November 6, 1869. Since then there have been a number of attempts to formulate a universal set or rules for this sport. In 1873 various prestigious universities got together in order to regulate the rules of college football games. According to these rules a team consisted of 15 players. A couple of years later the number of players dropped to 11. Several modifications followed such as the introduction of the down system in 1882.
The extraordinary popularity of this sport often lead to intense games which ended in injuries and even deaths. Back then the game was even more violent than it is today. A lot of players sustained serious injuries due to the fact that they had little protective equipment. Thus several universities decided to ban the sport. If things had continued down the same path it is very possible that the game would have eventually disappeared. Few people actually know that it was a presidential intervention that saved this game. President Theodore Roosevelt contributed greatly to the football history when he called upon the top three universities in the U.S.A, Harvard, Princeton and Yale and urged them to regulate this sport. The regulations enforced around that time were the foundations on which modern American Football was built.