The Origin of American Football. The origin of American football can be traced to early versions of rugby football. Both games have their origin in games played in the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century in which a ball is kicked at a goal and/or run over a line.
American football resulted from several major divergences from rugby, most notably the rule changes instituted by Walter Camp who is considered the "Father of American Football". Among these important changes were the introduction of the line of scrimmage and of down-and-distance rules. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, gameplay developments by college coaches such as Eddie Cochems, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Knute Rockne, and Glenn "Pop" Warner helped take advantage of the newly introduced forward pass and refined the game even further.¹
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