Why is American football called football? Is there another name for it?


NFL has gained loads of new viewers day by day. The intense level of marketing is the reason behind it all these days. However, there is a lot of confusion among these new viewers.

Most of these viewers ask why american football is called football even if it is played with the hands involved. Well, they raise a good question here because the name of the game indicates that the ball should be kicked and played with one foot, right?

But the case is different for the American version. And it is only natural that a person who is new to sport should ask this type of question. Well, as an OG NFL viewer, we believe we have a responsibility to answer this question. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do through this article.

You will find everything you need to know about the game and the reason for its name. So stay until the end if you really want to know everything!

Why is American football called football

The main reason behind the name is the origin. And the story is quite similar to football. It started with rugby, and in this game, to get a goal you have to kick the ball with your feet. Likewise, for American football, the game is not played primarily with the feet alone.

There is definitely a kick in American football. However, the name of the sports derives from the original form, which is called rugby. But the game is not quite similar to rugby. American football has evolved a lot and there are many differences between these two sports.

Football and rugby

Many fans will say that rugby and football have no relation. However, they are dead wrong. According to historians, due to the origin of the game, football is considered the European cousin of the game. Both began as a kicking game.

On that note, football is a game played with the foot only. And the game was originally called “Association Football”. At that time, newspapers called the games “assoc”. However, this name was quickly abbreviated to soc, and then it returned to football a bit.

On the other hand, rugby also started out as a game of football. The year 1823 was the time when it appeared to the world as rugby. But how did this happen? Well, a famous player named Webb Ellis took the ball in hand instead of kicking it. Holding the ball in hand and he ran all the way to the goal.

When this event took place, observers weren’t sure what to think. But eventually everyone thought the idea was unique and needed to be recognized. This is where nearby schools started playing rugby. However, eventually the media shortened the name to rugby.

How did American football get its name?

As you can see, both rugby and football originated from another country, but eventually found their way to America. However, when they entered the country, they regrouped. But the transition did not happen until 1906. The players were not ready to accept that one can both kick and hold the ball with the hands.

After 1906, the transition was allowed, and football matches in all states followed the same principle. However, since American football is just another form of the game of football, they did not want to change the name. Instead, all of the major organizers have decided to stick with the name of football.

Can you call the game of soccer like soccer?

Before answering the question, let’s learn a bit about the two sports. Football, which is played only by the foot all the time, has a unique rule. This rule states that if a player touches the ball with his hands, he will be committing a foul. So this means that for playing football you can only use your feet.

In addition, the official term for the game was “association football”. It was founded by the Football Association in 1863. And they allowed the game of “football” to be called “football” because the game required players to play with their feet.

For this reason, you can call football football. However, the reverse is not possible. The organization did not allow football to be called football because in a football match the players control the ball using only their feet. But for American football, the ball is controlled by the hands.

How did rugby come about?

In the 19th century, most British schools played many ball games similar to rugby and football that are played today. All games involved two teams and a ball. But there are plenty of differences. After comparison, you will find that one game allowed the use of the head while the other did not.

Also, there were a lot of games like this where there was no need for different uniforms which is a must for a rugby match. For this reason, there was a lot of confusion. But in 1863, the public schools got together for a reunion to put everything back in order.

At this meeting, the majority of schools decided that there should be a standard set of rules that all games must follow. And this standard set of rules was formed on the basis of one thing, which we all know from the Football Association. In other words, football.

Although the meeting ended on good terms, a number of schools did not like the standard rules. The reason behind this is that the rules weren’t that harsh compared to the ones they followed. For this reason, they decided to create their own set of rules.

This is where the use of an oblong ball first appeared in the world. And since the set of rules developed by these particular schools allowed players to manipulate the ball more with their hands, this type of ball was perfect for the game. And of course, the game was named rugby by the school officials.

The spread of rugby in America

Much like football, rugby became exceptionally popular after its appearance in the world. Schools across the UK started playing the sport, and the people watching them exported the rules and ideas around the world. However, rugby is subject to different interpretations.

First of all, in the UK there was a split. There were some players who wanted to play the game professionally, while many wanted to maintain amateur status. This split also caused a split between the two organizations, Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League.

Second, in 1869, Rutgers University played a game consisting of 25 players. The game featured a round ball, which players could neither carry nor pick up. However, they were allowed to kick the ball with their hands and feet to score a goal. This game has also been interpreted from the game of rugby.

Finally, many different colleges in the United States have continued to play rugby. But they weren’t the mix of interpretations that were in the UK. Instead, what players followed were the main renditions that were exported to export from the British people.

Nonetheless, there were a few sets of rules that these colleges established on their own. And they continued to follow the home team rules until the officials got involved. They stepped in and came up with a set of general rules. These rules are always respected.

What do Canadians call American football?

You might be a little surprised to learn that Canadians have a different name for American football. Instead, they can play Gridiron football, which also goes through North American football. It is simply a game of football which has the same rules as American football. But the name is a little different for this region.

Can an NFL Fan Keep Football?

When the soccer ball lands in the seating area, they have the right to keep the ball. However, if there is a special occasion, the officials will not allow the supporter to keep the ball. Additionally, a fan may choose to voluntarily return the ball. In return, they will either receive a team’s merchandise or have the chance to meet a team member in person.

Final words

So, why american football is called football? In short, there is a long story behind all of this. And he slowly evolved from football and rugby. However, keep one thing in mind that you can’t call a football soccer game. But the reverse is quite possible.


About Betty J. Snyder

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