NFL has been gaining loads of new viewers day by day. The intense level of marketing is the reason behind all of these days. However, there is plenty of confusion between these new viewers.
Most of these viewers ask why is American football called football even though it is played with hands involved. Well, they do raise a good question here because the game’s name states that the ball should be kicked and played with a foot, right?
But the case is different for the American version. And it is quite natural for a person that is new to the sport to ask this type of question. Well, as an OG viewer of the NFL, we believe we hold the responsibility to answer that question. And that is exactly what we are going to do through this article.
You will find all that you need to know about the game and the reason behind its naming. So, stick to the end if you really want to know it all!
Why Is American Football Called Football
The primary reason behind the naming is the origin. And the history is pretty similar to soccer. It started from rugby, and in that game, to successfully execute a goal, one must kick the ball with their feet. Likewise, for American football, the game is not mainly with the feet only.
There is certainly a kick in the game of American football. However, the name of the sports derives from the original form, which is called rugby. But the game is not entirely similar to rugby. American football has evolved a lot, and plenty of differences make these two sports stand out.
Soccer And Rugby
Plenty of fans will argue that the game of rugby and soccer do not have a relationship at all. However, they are entirely wrong. According to historians, because of the origin of the game, soccer is considered the European cousin of the game. Both started as a kicking game.
On that note, soccer is a game that is played with the foot only. And the game was originally called “Association Football.” Back in that time, newspapers referred to the games as “assoc.” However, that name quickly shorted to soc, and then it evolved a bit back into soccer.
On the other hand, rugby also started as a football game. The year 1823 was the time when it emerged to the world by the name of rugby. But how did that happen? Well, a famous player named Webb Ellis took the ball in hand instead of kicking it. By holding the ball in hand and he ran all the across the goal.
When that event took place, the observers did not really know what to think. But eventually, everyone thought that the idea is unique and should be recognized. That is where the schools around the area started to play the game of rugby football. However, eventually, the media shortened the name to rugby.
How Did American Football Get Its Name?
As you can see, both the game of rugby and soccer originated in a different country, but they finally found their way to America. However, when they entered the country, they got combined. But the transition did not occur before 1906. Players were not ready to accept that you can both kick and hold the ball with your hands.
After 1906, the transition was allowed, and football games all around the states followed the same principle. Nonetheless, as American Football is just another form of football game, they did not want to change the name. Instead, all of the major organizers decided to stick with the name football.
Can You Call The Game Of Soccer As Football?
Before we answer the question, let us learn a bit about the two sports. The game of soccer, which is only played through the foot all the time, has a unique rule. That rule states that if any player touches the ball with hands, they will commit a foul. So, that means that to play a game of soccer, you can use nothing but your feet.
Additionally, the official term of the game was “association football.” It was founded by the Football Association back in the year 1863. And they allowed the game of “soccer” to be called “football” as the game required the players to play using their feet.
For that reason, you can refer to the game of soccer as football. However, the opposite way around is not possible. The organization did not allow football to be called soccer because, in a soccer game, the players control the ball using their feet only. But for American football, the ball is controlled by hands.
How Did The Game Of Rugby Came To Existence?
Back in the 19th century, most British schools played many ball games similar to rugby and football that are played today. All of the games involved two teams and one ball. But there are loads of differences. Upon comparison, you will find that one game allowed the usage of the head while the other did not.
Additionally, there were many games like that where there was no need for different uniforms, which is a must for a game of rugby. For that reason, there was plenty of confusion. But in the year 1863, the public schools came together for a meeting to set everything right.
In that meeting, the majority of the schools decided that there should be a set of standard rules that all games must follow. And those set of standard rules were formed based on one thing, which we all know by Football Association. In other words, football.
Even though the meeting ended on good terms, a certain amount of schools did not like the standard rules. The reason behind that is that the rules were not that harsh compared to the ones they were following. For that reason, they decided to come up with their own set of rules.
That is where the use of an oblong ball came out to the world. And as the set of rules made by those particular schools allowed the players to handle the ball more with hands, this type of ball was perfect for the game. And of course, the game was named rugby by the officials of the schools.
The Spread Of Rugby In America
Just like football, the game of rugby became exceptionally popular after it emerged in the world. Schools all over the UK started playing this sport, and people viewing them exported the rules and ideas worldwide. However, the game of rugby is a subject of different interpretations.
First of all, in the UK, there was a split. There were players who wanted to play the game professionally, while many wanted to maintain amateur status. This split also caused a division between the two organizations, Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League.
Secondly, in the year 1869, the University of Rutgers played a game that consisted of 25 players. The game had a round ball involved, which the players could not carry or pick up. However, they were allowed to hit the ball with their hands and feet to score a goal. This game also was interpreted from the game rugby.
Lastly, plenty of different colleges in the US continued to play the game of rugby. But they were not the mix of interpretations that were in the UK. Instead, what the players followed were the major interpretations that were exported to export from the people of the UK.
Nonetheless, there were a few sets of rules that those colleges made up on their own. And they continued to follow the home team’s rules up until the officials got involved. They stepped in and came up with a general set of rules. Those rules are still followed.
What Do Canadians Call The American Football?
You might be a bit surprised to know that Canadians have a different name for American football. Instead, they can ll it Gridiron football, which also goes by North American Football. It is simply a football game that has the same set of rules as American football. But the name is a bit different for that region.
Can A NFL Fan Keep The Football?
When the football lands in the sitting area, they have the right to keep the ball. However, if there is any special occasion, the officials will not allow the fan to keep the ball. Also, a fan might choose to voluntarily return the ball. In return, they will get a team’s merchandise or a chance to meet a team member in person.
So, why is American football called football? Well, in short, there is a long history behind it. And it slowly evolved from the game of soccer and rugby. However, do keep one thing in mind that you can not call a game of football soccer. But the other way around is totally possible.