The Creation of Football
The story of football began in England sometime in the early 1800s when a soccer player, frustrated at using only his feet to manipulate the ball, decided to simply pick it up and run with it. Although it was against the rules of soccer, other players liked the new way of playing soccer and thus, the new sport of rugby was born.
The new sport soon became a world-wide success that very quickly found its way into America by the mid-1800s. Played by many northeastern colleges, it was not long before Harvard University and Yale University met in Masachussetts in 1876 to formalize the rules to rugby that were similar to those in England. There were differences however: instead of playing with a round ball, the schools opted for an egg-shaped ball. Also, the game's name was changed from rugby to football. Another result of the meeting was an organization called the Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA), that was created to preside over the Americanized sport.
Football was still mainly American rugby--much different from the popular sport known today. Over the course of three years, starting in 1880, Yale player Walter Camp eventually convinced the IFA to change a series of rules in football, to create a game that is very similar today. For that, Camp is considered by historians as the father of modern football.