How did American football develop?
American football, while a relatively young sport, has a long history of development and evolution. While we tend to think of it as a uniquely American sport, its origin and history is complex and varied.
Beginnings of Football
Ball games or games involving an object a player possesses while others try to tackle or wrestle have a long history. We know of games such as Harpastum, which was Roman ball game probably similar to a Greek ball game called Episkyros. We don't the ext rules for each of these games but it seemed to involve a ball where two teams would try to score or place the ball in a position that would register the game's points while the other team would tackle and try to prevent the other team from scoring. In essence, the basic concept is the same as sports such as rugby and American football. Additionally, already the idea of using an air-filled ball had developed. Later in the Middle Age, in Europe, a type of ball game developed that had towns or cities competing with one another. In this game, which likely had different rules in various places, teams would form and a ball would be used where the goals were likey similar to Harpastum. This was a type of mob ball or mob football, where towns would try to have bragging rights by beating their rival towns. A few images from the Medieval period show it was a type of team activity.