Today’s Tidbit… A Series Covering Football’s Original Rules
The topics covered by Today's Tidbit vary daily, though each relates to an element of football's past. Starting this week, each Friday Tidbit will cover one of the football rules adopted by the Intercollegiate Football Association in 1876, a meeting and set of rules that formalized American colleges' shift from playing soccer to rugby.
We will start with a Tidbit covering the 1876 meeting and rule #1. Then, we will address the other sixty rules in order, finishing on December 29, 2023, the Friday before the 2024 New Year's Day bowls. Each Tidbit will include links to related content and/or discuss where that rule today. Some rules will be recognizable and sensible, others incomprehensible, but each will show either rugby's continuing influence on football or how far the game evolved from its origins.
For those interested in reading ahead, the following books contain the rugby and football rules of 1876 (for free):
The Rugby Union rules of 1876 in Totten, Charles Adiel Lewis. Laws of Athletics and General Rules. San Francisco, The Presidio. 1881.
The Intercollegiate Football Association rules of 1876 in Davis, Parke H. Football: The American Intercollegiate Game. New York: Charles Scribner, 1911. p. 461
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