College Football The Complete History

College Football The Complete History



The very first university football game was played between Princeton and Rutgers on November 6th, 1869 at​ New Brunswick in​ New Jersey. There were different things between the game played that day and the games we watch today. in​ the early days of​ college football, the football was round and the field 120 yards long and 75 yards wide and each team had 25 players.

The popularity of​ college football was fairly low in​ the early days and there were only 6 teams by the time a​ rugby ball was adopted for playing with and the first officials of​ the game were used. in​ the following year a​ crossbar was added to​ the goalposts and these remain in​ use for college football games to​ this day. The college football field was also made smaller and the members of​ each team were reduced to​ 15.

In 1876 a​ crossbar was added to​ the goal posts at​ a​ height of​ 10 feet (in effect to​ the present day), and the field was reduced to​ nearly modern dimensions. at​ the same time the number of​ players on each side was lowered to​ 15.

It took until 1880 before more revisions were made to​ the rules and the teams were limited to​ 11 players. in​ 1882, the downs system was introduced in​ college football games although it​ began as​ a​ requirement for a​ team to​ make 5 yards in​ 3 downs which remained in​ effect until it​ was changed to​ 10 yards in​ 4 downs in​ 1912. The college football game now became much more popular and widespread with over 250 colleges playing by 1900.

The first real college football uniform was designed in​ 1877 and included a​ tightly laced canvas jacket, black knee pants, stockings and a​ jersey with orange trim. This form of​ college football uniform did not offer the players very much protection, unlike the college football uniforms used today and a​ number of​ college football players suffered serious injury and some were even killed.

The number of​ officials at​ a​ college football game grew from a​ single referee in​ 1885 to​ a​ trio in​ 1894. These three college football officials were a​ referee, an​ umpire and a​ linesman. Eventually, a​ field judge was added to​ the team of​ college football officials in​ 1915, then a​ back judge in​ 1955, a​ line judge in​ 1972 and finally, in​ 1983, a​ side judge.

By 1894 the officiating crew had grown from a​ single referee (first required in​ 1885) to​ a​ trio: referee, umpire, and linesman. a​ field judge was added for a​ brief period starting in​ 1908, and was made a​ permanent part of​ the crew in​ 1915. a​ back judge was not added until 1955, with a​ line judge added in​ 1972 and a​ side judge in​ 1983.

In 1905 there was such an​ outcry about the violence of​ a​ college football game that a​ governing body was needed to​ oversee changes in​ the game. This became the National Collegiate Athletic Association and it​ still exists to​ create rule changes and procedures to​ ensure the safety of​ college football players.




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