LE SCAN SPORT – American football born in the second half of the 19th century, the biggest crowd of this year, the Super Bowl is scheduled for next night (0:30 in France), its origin in rugby is at fifteen.
On November 6, 1869, the Princeton and Rutgers teams faced a university game, considered the first American football game in history. In fact, there are 25 players on both sides of the field – against 11 today – and there is no offside rule, and this match is far from the standard of modern American football.
During the 19th century, many games derived from rugby and European football were played by American students. Each university practiced its own sport – “balloon”, “old division football” or “Boston game” – according to its own rules. Light years away from today’s Super Bowl, the game played by Princeton and Rudders players is the first experience of harmonizing the rules of a game between different universities.
Four years later, Yale, Colombia, Princeton and Rudders established the first rules of inter-varsity football. In 1876, Harvard introduced a new code close to rugby, which introduced the Touchdown rule instead of testing.
Walter Camp, father of American American football
In the 1880s, the Yale student, Walter Camp, revolutionized American football by giving it a distant identity far removed from rugby. Nicknamed the “Father of American Football”, he establishes some of the basic rules of the game – the scrimmage – the imaginary line that separates the two teams during each engagement – and adjusts the dimensions of the field (48.8 by 109 m). Walter Camp also caused the fall – the times when a team had the ball to get to the ground – and found the position of quarterback.
Spread to American football universities in the late 19th century, the first major official competition, the Rose Bowl, was held in 1902 in Pasadena, California. Later, American football experienced other technological changes and became more professional, especially since the NFL (National Football League) was formed in 1922. The Super Bowl tradition was born much later, in 1967.