Today's Tidbit... 1876 IFA Rule #59: Officials ($)
This is #59 in a series covering football's original 61 rules adopted by the Intercollegiate Football Association in 1876. We review one rule each Friday.
One of the general themes readers of Football Archaeology hear repeatedly is the extent to which the athletes controlled the early game. The team captains selected and trained the team, decided when to ask for time out, and made all critical on-the-field decisions other than play calling that was often delegated to the quarterback.
In the version of the Rugby Rules adopted in Canada in 1873, the game did not have a referee or other officials. The team captains called or protested the opposing team's illegal actions and settled disputes like gentlemen. Their rule reflecting that stance was quite simple:
Rule 59 (Canada). The Captains of the respective sides shall be sole Arbiters of all disputes.