Walter Camp: The True Founder of American Football

Football season has sprung and the sport is in full swing. Many fans love the ruggedness of American Football. It is not a sport for the weak. Fans follow their favorite teams and cheer them on at home, games, and businesses. Here is a little history to help in the appreciation of this cherished American sport. Rule changes in rugby football gave birth to modern day American Football. Walter Camp instituted changes helped define the modern game. The rule changes made in 1879 gave football its start. College coaches contributed to changes in game play that helped football become a dominant sport in America. The popularity of college football is what pushed the sports dominance in the 20th century.

Walter Camp was born in Connecticut and studied at Yale. From the years of 1888 to 1914, Camp served as the main athletic director and head football coach for Yale University. He played football at Yale and instituted some of the most notable and renowned rule changes in the game. Due to these significant rule changes, he is often referred to as the founder or father of American Football. Rules were taken and altered from the popular games of rugby and soccer to create a new set of standards for the sport. 2020 nfl draft TV coverage William Ebb Ellis also influenced these change by running with the ball during a rugby game in 1823. This was an immediate breach of the existing rules and paved the way for future changes. A convention held in 1876 formed the initial rules of American Football. After the rules had been defined, Walter Camp continued to edit and change rulebooks until he passed on in 1925.

Walter Camp contributed many football adaptations that now make the game what it is today. He reduced the team size from fifteen to eleven. The line of scrimmage was created. A team was set to have undisputed possession until their own violations force them to hand over the ball. Two new positions were formed: quarterback and center. The forward pass was also invented by Walter Camp. A standard scoring system and numerical scoring were defined. Other notable changes included safeties, interferences, and penalties. In 1888, above knee tackling was allowed. Then in 1912, touchdown and field goal points were changed to six and three points. All are very important changes that molded American Football into its modern creation.

The National Football League did not actually form until 1920. During this time, many teams dropped out of the league and did not play their set schedules. A total of four teams played the entire season. One year later twenty-one teams had joined the NFL. Membership continued to grow and the first playoff game was officially held in 1932. The NFL Players association and additional developments in the fifties helped stabilize the leagues presence over the next many years. Without the rule changes of Walter Camp, many of these advancements may have never occurred. Thus we pay tribute to his dedication to this exciting game that we have all grown accustomed to. Leo Wells has many invigorating discussions about this great American sport that can be viewed at Leo-wells-on-sports.com.

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