Who invented football?


(ringing) – Hi, it’s Doug. This might be familiar to you. It’s a football. One of the most popular
sports in North America. But you know footballs haven’t
always looked like this. Back when football was first invented, a football looked more like this. Or like this. You can see they were
more round back then. Someone named Janzen has
a question about football. Let’s give him a call now. (ringing) – Hi Doug. – Hi Janzen. – I have a question for you. Who invented football? That’s a great question. It might seem weird to you to think of a game as something that was invented. When you think of an invention, you might think of something
more like a machine or a device that does something useful. But games are something involving rules and equipment and all of those are things that some person or group of people had to think up. So who thought up the idea of football? Well to start with, we’ve got to be clear with what we even mean
when we say football. In most of the world, if you say football,
that means this sport. What in American English,
people tend to call soccer. So what we’re talking
about is American football. In fact, the name football
to describe the sport, has led some people to wonder why do we even call it football when you hardly use your
feet to touch the ball? But that’s actually a
really interesting clue about how it got started because it turns out American football has a lot in common with another sport where you use your hands a lot. A sport started in a different country. It might be fun for you to try to guess which sport and country. Before I say anything more, now would be a good time to
pause the video and discuss. Okay, you ready? Even though American football is hugely popular in the United States, it owes a lot to a different sport started in Great Britain. You might know it. It’s a sport called rugby. Rugby has a lot in common
with American football. Both sports involve trying to carry a ball towards a goal. Even the shape of the ball is similar. And both sports involve trying to tackle the person carrying the ball in order to stop them from
reaching the goal zone. But American football has some important differences with rugby. For example, in American football, only one person is
allowed to throw the ball. That’s the quarterback and they throw the ball forwards. In rugby, any player can throw the ball and they usually move the ball forward by tossing it to each other side to side. There are other differences, too. A rugby coach named Walter Camp is often given credit for
inventing American football because about 100 years ago, he created many of the rules in American football that we have today. Rules that now make it a
different sport from rugby. But when we look at drawings and pictures from even further back in time, we can see that human beings have been playing ball games for thousands of years. Some of these ancient games are probably the early versions of
games you know today. Both American football and rugby might have come from the same sport, something originally called mob football, where two neighboring towns would compete against each other. You can see here, mob football is still played today in certain
towns in Great Britain. There are very few rules. As you can tell, there’s an unlimited number of players allowed and they try to stop each other from tossing the ball all the way to a goal in the other teams town. Back in ancient times, sometimes their goal was to toss a pig skin ball into the balcony of the other towns church. And it’s not just sports like football that has its beginnings in ancient times. Some of these ancient games involved hitting a ball with a stick. Does that remind you of anything? Other games involved only being able to use your hands, never your feet. Does that sound familiar? So in summary, many of the
rules of American football were invented by someone
named Walter Camp, but earlier versions of football have been played for centuries. That’s all for this weeks question. Thanks Janzen for asking it. Now for the next episode, I reached into my question jar and chose three questions submitted to me that I’m thinking about answering. When this video is done playing, you’ll get to vote on one. You can choose from what
is tape made out of, why is the ocean salty, or how does dust form. So submit your vote
when the video is over. I want to hear from all of you watching. There are mysteries all around us. Stay curious and see you next week.

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