The first thing that you should be aware of is the fact that the term “football” is used to represent the game of American football, mainly in America and not the whole world. The rest of the world considers football to be the game that most Americans call “soccer”. Now, after confirming this piece of information, we will discuss about the time when American football started back in the 19th century.
Although it was not formulated with all the rules and concepts of American football as we are used to seeing nowadays, the first football game was played in between two college teams. It was played between Harvard and Tufts in the year 1875 and later in 1905, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) came into existence. Although this was indeed the first time that a game similar to American football was played for the first time officially, it was not until the intervention of the “Father of American Football”, Walter Camp, that a proper set of rules for governing the game was established. The changes that he made to the rules of football were finished and brought into effect in the year 1892. Even at this time, the “forward pass” was not in the rule books, but it was included in 1906. The National Football League (NFL) was originally named Professional Football Association when it was started in 1920.
American football was not exactly the same game when it started in 1875 and in fact, the first of the games were played without any relevant protection gear at all, much like rugby. The protective gears that the players wear today to protect themselves from injuries were first introduced by President Roosevelt as he was an anxious fan who wanted the American football players to be safe first and then play. It was at this time that the first of the helmets and the guards came to be used on the field. The free substitution rule came in effect in the 50s and changed the strategy of the game forever as this new rule now made it possible for a single team to play defensively and offensively at the same game by substituting with appropriate players.