In football scoreboards news, we look at the history of American football, and how it led to the marginalization of kicking in the modern game.
In every type of football kicking the ball is an important element of the game. In association football (Soccer), Australian football, Gaelic football, and rugby football (the forefather of American football), kicking the ball is a vital way to score points, and to advance to the end zone.
As “football scoreboards news” found out, originally, in rugby, getting the ball to the end zone did not give you any points, but it did give you the chance to kick for points, and that is why it is called a “try.” This was the case in the very early days of American football, but it did not take long for those rules to change.
In 1876, Harvard played against Yale in rugby, and they agreed that only field goals would count as a score. Harvard got to the end zone three times, but couldn’t convert these “trys” into a goal. Yale, on the other hand, got to the end just once, but kicked the goal and won the game 1-0. Harvard was not impressed, and they quickly put pressure on for a new rule to be adopted, in which the match would be decided by the amount of touchdowns, and a field goal would count as four touchdowns. With this rule, kicking goals was still vital, but it was the first step towards the modern rules that we have today. With each year that passed, the emphasis shifted away from the goal to the touchdown.
For example, in 1883, Camp adopted a new scoring system, which was quickly adjusted by schools to look like this: a touchdown brought 4 points, a goal after a touchdown brought 2 points, and a field goal brought 5 points.
In 1898, the touchdown was given 5 points, and field goals dropped to 4 points. By 1912, the touchdown was given 6 points, and field goals 3 points. Field goals had finally been relegated to the position of “last-resort”. However, dropkicking was still important, and skilled drop kickers were an important part of the game. This all changed though in 1934, when a new much narrower and more pointy ball was introduced. Unlike with the older more rounded ball, drop kicking suddenly became almost impossible, and instantly ceased to be a part of the game, with placekicking became more important. It had only taken 50 years, and kicking as a whole had really lost its place in American football.
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