Hut! Hut! Hike!: Lateral and Handoff
— The Hut! Hut! Hike! series examines the origins of football terminology and how the game's evolution drove changes in its vocabulary. The full article (#6 in the series) is available to paid subscribers only. —
In football’s early years, all situations where one player handed or tossed the ball to a teammate were considered passes. Forward passes were those aimed at a teammate closer to the opponent’s goal line than the passer.
Frank Hinkey was football’s first four-time All-America while playing for Yale from 1891 to 1894. Like many alums of his time, Hinkey returned to Yale for a week or two in subsequent seasons to assist the team captain, who had primary responsibility for the team. However, times changed, and coaching became professionalized, leading the captain of Yale’s 1914 team to hire Hinkey as the head coach.
Looking to innovate and make Yale’s offense more explosive, Hinkey spent time in Canada consulting with Canadian Rugby teams, who played a form of football blending elements of American football and rugby.
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