This is article #12 in a series covering the origins of football’s terminology. All are available under the Terminology tab above. My book, Hut! Hut! Hike! describes the emergence of more than 400 football terms. The transition from the scrummage to the scrimmage in 1880 allowed the development of structured offensive plays, but that change did not occur overnight. Initially, the scrimmage was merely a controlled method of initiating action in a rugby-style game. Over several years, however, offenses recognized that coordinated effort was more effective than winging it. For example, teams covered punts more effectively on early downs when each member of the punting team knew their team was punting. Likewise, offensive linemen blocked better when they knew the ball would be run to the right or left.