American football (eng. American football, eng. gridiron) known in the United States as football (eng. football) is a contact team sport. It is played by two teams of eleven players from each side. Football is played with an oval ball on a rectangular field 120 yards (109.728 m) long and 53.3 yards (48.738 m) wide, with slingshot-style goals at either end. 100 yards of the length of the field (~ 91.45 meters) is the playing area, 10 extreme yards on both sides are the teams’ end zones. A team must have possession of the ball to advance it into the end zone by carrying or passing the ball. First, one of the teams must advance the ball 10 yards (4 attempts are given). If they succeed, they get four more attempts. Otherwise, the ball goes to the opponents. Points can be scored by carrying the ball to the end of the zone (touchdown) or scoring it into the goal (field goal), and the defense can also score points by making a safety. The team with the most points at the end of the match wins.

American football developed from early forms of rugby and football, which is commonly referred to as “soccer” in the United States. It is believed that the first game was played on November 6, 1869 according to one of the variants of the rules of the game of soccer. In 1880 Walter Camp (English) Russian. (Eng. Walter Camp), known as the “Father of American Football” (he was a player, referee and sports commentator), was the first to change the indefinite rules of the game to concrete ones: he introduced a snap (drawing the ball with a backward pass), reduced the number of players to eleven. The new rules legalized the forward pass, the creation of a neutral zone, set the width of the field.

American football is the most popular sport in the US right now, and the National Football League (NFL) is the most popular league in North America.


Players from the Canadian and US teams at the London Stadium in 1944
The history of American football is inextricably linked with the development of football and rugby. According to legend, in 1823 at Rugby School during a football match, sixteen-year-old William Webb Ellis grabbed the ball and ran towards the opponents. At the same time, it should be understood that here football means one of the many variants of the game, the rules of which were determined by each school at its own discretion and were not something settled. Despite the fact that the fact was not reliably established, after many years a monument was erected to Ellis, and a sign was hung on the walls of his college [2]:

let this board commemorate the glorious deed of William Webb Ellis, the first to dare to break the rules by grabbing the ball in his hands and running with it. This is how the game of rugby was born in 1823.

The game was called “rugby football” (football according to the rules of the Rugby school), today in most countries it is usually just rugby.

November 6, 1869 in the American city of New Brunswick (New Jersey), the teams of Rutgers and Princeton universities met on the football field and played football according to the rules, which were based on the rules of the Football Association in the version of Rutgers University, that is, the ball was round and it was forbidden to take it in his hands, they were only allowed to hit the ball, from close to rugby rules there was only the number of players on the field – 25 on each side. Accordingly, there were no touchdowns then. According to the regulations, the game continued to 6 goals, and the match ended with the victory of Rutgers University 6-4. Nevertheless, the date is considered the official birthday of American football. Only in 1874, in a series of games[en] between Princeton University and Montreal McGill University, which used a variant of rugby rules for football, began to play something more like modern American football and give one point for bringing the ball into the final enemy zone. There were no uniform rules, which led to an increase in the number of points awarded for a touchdown, as well as the permission to pass forward and tackle an opponent in the knee area. Due to the latter, the injury rate of players has increased significantly source not specified 4025 days.

In 1905, the Chicago Tribune ran a front-page headline: “18 Football Players Killed, 159 Seriously Injured.”