What Is the History of the Game American Football?

American football is a popular sport in the United States that has been enjoyed by fans for over a century. The game has a rich history, with many changes and adaptations made over the years. In this article, we will explore the history of American football from its origins to present day.

Origins of American Football

The origins of American football can be traced back to rugby, which was played in England in the mid-19th century. In 1869, the first intercollegiate football game was played between Rutgers and Princeton. At this time, the rules of the game were much different than they are today – there were no forward passes or touchdowns, and players were not allowed to run with the ball.

The Evolution of Rules

Over time, rules were added and changed to make the game safer and more exciting for players and fans alike. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to ban football because of its violent nature. As a result, new rules were implemented to make the game less dangerous.

One major change was the introduction of the forward pass in 1906. This allowed teams to throw the ball downfield instead of relying solely on running plays. Another significant rule change was reducing field size from 110 yards to 100 yards in 1912.


In 1920, the National Football League (NFL) was formed as a professional league for American football teams. The league has since grown into one of America’s most popular sports leagues, with millions of fans tuning in every week during football season.

Modern Day American Football

Today’s game is much different than it was during its early years. While some aspects have remained unchanged – such as tackling and blocking – there have been many advancements made in terms of technology and player safety.

Modern-day helmets are designed to protect players from head injuries, and the NFL has implemented strict concussion protocols to ensure that players are not put back into the game too soon after a head injury. Additionally, the league has made an effort to crack down on dangerous hits and unnecessary roughness.


In conclusion, American football has come a long way since its early days in England and the United States. From its origins in rugby to the modern-day NFL, the game has undergone many changes and adaptations to become the exciting sport that it is today. Despite challenges along the way, such as concerns over player safety, American football continues to be a beloved pastime for millions of fans around the world.