Why is American football called football is still unknown to many people. American football is a game with an interesting story behind its name. It was first called “footy” in Australia and then rugby in the United States. The sport gradually got a code of rules that didn’t mention “football” either and Walter Camp decided to use the name “American football.”
Origins of American Football
It is widely recognized that American football has been greatly influenced by two distinct sports.
These sports were both developed in the 19th century and represent the two cultures that most influenced the formation of the sport, which are the British and Irish cultures.
During this time, there was a lot of communication between these two cultures through commerce and immigration, which led to constant competitions on both sides.
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One can see a clear influence of English rugby rules in American football through its formations (such as scrimmage, line-up and line of scrimmage).
Meanwhile, the Irish tradition of hurling played a major role in shaping American football.
As a result, the sport is known colloquially as “gridiron football”, which was the term that was used to describe it by the media and sportswriters.
Why Is American Football Called Football
The first documented football game played in the United States was between two teams from collegiate rugby teams at Yale University on November 6, 1873.
The game was referred to as “football” at the time, and no league to define rules and set a standard for games existed.
This first documented American football game drew more than 10,000 fans to Yale’s outdoor field.
Two of the players were named Walter Camp and Amos Alonzo Stagg.
Walter Camp continued to be a major influence on the sport of football for years to come.
This led many to start wondering why is american football called football.
However, a significant development in the history of this sport happened when the college students decided to choose a uniform and set some rules of their own.
They agreed that the game would be played with 25 players per team and with 8 bases instead of 15 as it was originally conceived by Rugby Football Union.
They also established a limit for the length of the game.
This led to the creation of a unique code for American football, which was developed in 1876 at the Massasoit convention.
How Did American Football Get Its Name
This code was referred to as the “Uniform Rules of Professional Football” and was subsequently renamed the “Collegiate Rules of Football”.
In this list of rules, there is no mention of “football”, which makes us wonder why is american football called football.
The reason for this can be found in the fact that there was another sport that was popular during this time — Australian rules football.
The sport was introduced in the United States at the same time as rugby was, and it was immediately labelled as “footy”.
In Australian English, the term “football” is used to refer to Australian rules football.
This term can also be used to refer to the United States and Canada.
When Walter Camp tried to get the “Collegiate Rules of Football” accepted as an official rule book for college football games, he encountered difficulties because of this word.
He then decided to get rid of the word altogether and replace it with “American football”.
This led to a discussion among the leaders of the American football community, where it was eventually agreed that all league games played in the United States will be referred to as “American football”, not as “footy”.
The Name ‘American Football’
The name “American football” was officially accepted at the Massasoit convention and it appeared for the first time in public documentation on October 21, 1876.
This decision was confirmed at a meeting held on November 17 in New York City, where the participants agreed that the name of the sport will be “American football”.
Some scholars believe that Walter Camp himself initially called his rules draft “Athletic Football”, but this is not true.
Walter Camp , who was a participant of the Massasoit convention, later decided to use the title “American football” in his rules. According to many historians, Walter Camp was inspired by the English term “sports” and not by “football”.
However, if we continue looking at the history of American football as it is seen today, the name “American football” would be almost impossible to imagine without Walter Camp.
American football is one of the most famous and popular sports in the world. With over 100 million players, 32 national collegiate leagues, and a large number of annual games, it is a game that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. And now you know why Americans call it football?