Why is American football called “Football” (when players use their hands)?

Sports historians debate over the origin of football’s name. One explanation is that, in the mid-1800s, American football evolved from the game of rugby, a rough-and-tumble sport that, in turn, evolved from a much bloodier medieval game called campball. In both rugby and campball, players use their feet as well as their hands to move the ball around, although tossing the ball forward is a no-no. Rules changed all the time in the early days of American football. Even forward tosses were illegal until 1906, when they were introduced to make the sport safer. Players’ use of feet in the game’s early days likely played a role in its name.


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