Canadian footballs evolution from rugby

Discussion in 'LWOS' started by CanadianSteve, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. CanadianSteve

    CanadianSteve Guest

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    After reading MFC's thread on the early history of league vs. union, I went to the Canadian Football League's site to see how the Canadian gridiron game evolved from rugby. Here are a few highlights from the CFL's history section:

    "1861 - Saturday, November 9th, first documented football game was played at the University of Toronto on the present site of University College.
    .
    1868 - First written account of a football game played in Quebec on Saturday, October 10th, 1868, was by R. Tait Mackenzie. It was between a team of officers from the English troops garrisoned in Montreal and a team of civilians, mainly from McGill University, and was played on the St.Catherine Street cricket grounds.
    1873 - The Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club formed the Toronto Argonaut Football Club on Saturday, October 4th and played its first game against the University of Toronto on Saturday, October 11th. The University of Toronto won by a Goal and a Try to Nil
    1874 - The rules of a hybrid game of English rugby devised by the University of McGill were first used in the United States in a game at Boston between McGill and Harvard. On Thursday, May 14th, Harvard won 3-0 using Harvard rules. The next day, the teams tied 0-0 while playing Canadian rules. Harvard liked the new game so much they introduced it into the Ivy League. Both U.S. and Canadian football evolved from these games.
    1880 - The "Open Formation" was introduced for the first time. Both teams were required to lineup across from each other.
    1883 - The Ontario Rugby Football Union was formed on January 6th; 10 days later the Quebec Rugby Football Union was formed. The ORFU played a Tie Schedule with teams of 15-men per side. Team A played Team B and the winner played Team C until only one team remained undefeated. Three divisions were formed in the ORFU. Referees were used for all games. A point-scoring system was put into place with 6 points for a Goal from the Field (field goal); 4 points for a Try (touchdown), Goals from a Try, Penalties and Free Kicks; 2 points for Safety Touches; and 1 point for Kicks to the Deadline, Rouges and Touch in Goals.

    1884 - The Canadian Rugby Football Union was formed on Thursday, February 7th at the Montreal Gymnasium and used the ORFU and New English Rugby Union Rules to form the Code of Rules for Canadian football.

    1885 - The ORFU divided into City and College groups. The CRFU stated that the playing field should be as close to 100 yards in length as practical by 65 yards wide.

    1886 - The CRFU ruled that a quarterback could run or kick the ball only after the defenders had pushed the ball through the scrimmage.
    .
    1887 - The ORFU withdrew from the CRFU and the governing body ceased to function. The ORFU adopted "heeling" the ball as a method of putting it into play. They also began using a 5-man scrimmage. Goals from the Field were reduced to 5 points.
     
  2. CanadianSteve

    CanadianSteve Guest

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    Here is the CFL history page if anyone's interested.
    http://www.cfl.ca/CFLArchives/home.html
    I can copy it but don't seem to know how to make it a link.
    In the above post I tried to include things that might relate to rules and how the Canadian game evolved from rugby. It doesn't spell out exactly how the game was played, but reading between the lines they took rugby union and slowly evolved it into the Canadian version of gridiron. In later years there are references to eliminating the "throw-in from the side" (lineout, I assume), introducing the forward pass, and changing the rules about blocking. I thought the reference to "heeling the ball" was interesting (1887), and the fact that they continued to call their organized leagues "Rugby Football Unions." This continued well into the 20th century
     
  3. imported_Willow

    imported_Willow Coach

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    That's a facsinating read Steve and very well set out.

    Interestingly, the early form of football involved village 'battles' where both sides would do whatever it took to get the ball into the opponents goal.

    These goals were at either end of the village and it was ok to kick , run, punch , the ball OR the opposition. The onlookers usually became violent as well.

    The game changed the rules so only the foot or head could touch the ball. Thiswas put in place to stop the chaos.

    Its ironic that modern soccer has become one ofthe most violent spectator sports...while its offshoots (RL, RU and American football) are played in front of loud but contained crowds.


     
  4. CanadianSteve

    CanadianSteve Guest

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    Willow: The "village battles" you describe reminds me of the origins of the sport of lacrosse, which was played originally by North American native Indians, with games played over long distances between 2 villages. That evolved into modern lacrosse which has 2 versions, field lacrosse which is popular in the northeastern US, and indoor or box lacrosse which is played in our hockey arenas, without the ice, and is more popular in Canada.
     
  5. imported_Willow

    imported_Willow Coach

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    Lacrosse has its origins amongst the native North Americans? Thats something I didn't know.
    Given the theory that sport was invented to stop wars, was Lacrosse played between 'Indian Nations' to keep the peace?
    I've been of the opinionthat over the generations,cricket has solved a number of international disagreements.

     
  6. Cronulla_Mania

    Cronulla_Mania Bench

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    Willow, i was under the impression that sport was created to provide an opportunity for people to get incredibly pissed and wolf whistle at girls walking past! ;)

    So what was the first sport created?? I know the ancient olympics comprised of sports such as Discuss,Running and Wrestling. But of the major modern day codes, i think id be safe in saying that Soccer was the first to come about....(But i could be wrong, perhaps it is Cricket)

    Just on another side note, i was doing a bit of reading last night on the history of the AFL. The game was created by an English man who wished to differentiate the rules from Rugby. There is a much closer relationship to Rugby in AFL then i ever thought was possible. Anyway, in the initical clashes, all games were conducted on a challenge basis and would usually go for hours. To win the game, a team had to kick only 1 goal through the centre posts. To win a match, it was the first team to win 2 out of 3 'games'. Surprisingly, games went for hours and even over 2 days if no result was achieved before dusk. The game was also viewed as being 'humourous' in early days, with most people attending seeing it as a comical viewing, with the constant fumbles and droppings of the ball seen as humour (and im being serious here). The history is very interesting, almost as interesting as league.

    Anyway, those notes on the history of the Canadian Football league were very interesting Steve. I thank you very much for adding those notes. It seems that it was another game that stemmed from Rugby. As much as many of us may bag the code, many sports have EVOLVED from Union. And i use the word evolved in the strongest terms possible, as i think the offsprings from Rugby have widely been accepted as more entertaining. But thats all a matter of opinion, a bit hard to prove

    Cheers,
    Moff.
     
  7. ex-manager

    ex-manager Juniors

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    Football of one form or another must surely be the oldest team sport. The Chinese played a type of football known as Tsu chu, about 2,500 years ago. Cricket probably dates only as far back as the middle ages. The sport of Lacrosse probably predates cricket. The Frenchnamed the sport Lacrosse. Boxing is probably another ancient sport, as is wrestling.
     
  8. Cronulla_Mania

    Cronulla_Mania Bench

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    You are right Gav, i was more thinking of Soccer in its current form though.I think u would find that Tsu Chu would be markedly different to what soccer is today (although i wonder if they still took dives back then) [​IMG]

    Wrestling is definitely amongst the oldest sports in the world. Im not sure if boxing was around in ancient times, although there is a good chance it was...

    Im sure that horse racing in one form or another is probably another ancient sport. Or maybe camel racing?

    Moff.
     
  9. ex-manager

    ex-manager Juniors

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    Moff, the modern form of soccer which the English codified only dates back to the 1860's.

    Equestrian sports probably do go back a long way. The Afghans used to play a crude form of polo where the head of some victim of war was used instead of a ball.

    Lacrosse was once known as Baggataway.


     
  10. imported_Willow

    imported_Willow Coach

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    I don't remember the book but I do remember reading about the origins of sport a number of years ago.
    Kicking and running with a ball of some sort has been going on in western culture for over 1000 years. Bat and ball games are almost as old. Eastern cultures have had ball games that are even older.

    For the oldest sport, we have to look at pre-history and there's enough evidence to suggest that weapon throwing wins hands down when it comes to oldest sports.
    This would pre-date most other sports. The only exception I can think of is running or swimming but its possible this was more like a pastime rather than a sport.

    There is a place in PNG (or thereabouts) where neighbouring tribes had been at war for generations and they were wiping each other out.

    To solve this problem, the tribal leaders got together about 100 years ago and decided to hold an annual sporting event where both tribes would meet in a field and throw spears. The idea being to show who was the best through healthy competition. The occasional fight would still break out and someone might get a spear in the neck but this was considered a better alternative to the slaughter of previous generations.

    Apparently, this is considered a good case study for the origin of sport.

     
  11. Paul

    Paul Guest

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    Gav, I think you may be referring to the Afghan sport of Buzkashi , in which a goat's carcass is fought over by two teams of horesemen, virtually free for all, in which the object is to place the carcas in a "goal". These "goals" may be some considerable (kms) distance from each other. Apparently the "sport"used to be very popular in pre-Taliban Afghanistan, is is now making a comeback! Apparently it was developed by Uzbek warriors, who used it as practice for recovering wounded or dismounted riders from the field of battle.
     
  12. imported_kier

    imported_kier Juniors

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    The origins of AFL are closely linked to football as played in British public schools - 3 of the 4 "founding" members of the VFL were educated in such establishments. However, the idea that there was a specific desire to distance the VFL/AFL game from "rugby" is a myth.

    The was no such codified game as "rugby" until the 1870s.........and the formation of the VFL predates even the formation of the FA (soccer) in 1863.

    It was a desire to eliminate "english" roots from the historyof VFL that led to the propagation of the story - along with the exclusion of the GB educated origionators of the sport in favour of Australian born sportsmen. Similar to the commonbelief that Webb Ellis and co were playing soccer in 1823........

    There is an excellent essay in the book "The Cultural Bond: Sport, Empire, Society" on the subject. "The Cambridge Connection: The English Origins of Australian Rules Football".



     
  13. CanadianSteve

    CanadianSteve Guest

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    I found this article on MSN Encarta's online encyclopedia. It does include the Webb Ellis myth, so I'm not sure if it's accurate in the North American parts either.

    Article View

    Football
    Football, outdoor game, played by two opposing teams with a ball of various types, usually an inflated bladder or rubber bag in a leather or rubber
    cover, spherical or ellipsoidal in shape. The object of the game is to score points by carrying the ball across the goal line of the opponents, or by
    kicking the ball through or over the goal of the opponents. The principal types of football played today are American football; association football,
    or Soccer; Canadian football; Australian football; Gaelic football; and Rugby football. Touch football is an informal variation of the game, with any
    number of players and using any kind of field. Instead of being tackled, the ball carrier is stopped by being touched.

    Football is a game of antiquity, known to many peoples. The ancient Greeks played a form of football known as harpaston, and the Romans played a
    similar game, harpastum. In medieval times a form of football known as calcio flourished in Italy. Natives of Polynesia are known to have played a
    variety of the game with a football made of bamboo fibers, and the Inuit played a form of football with a leather ball filled with moss.

    Most modern versions of football, however, originated in England, where a form of the game was known in the 12th century. In subsequent centuries
    football became so popular that various English monarchs, including Edward II and Henry VI, forbade the game on the theory that it took interest
    away from the military sport of archery. Nevertheless, football grew steadily in popularity. At the beginning of the 19th century several types of the
    game—all permitting players to kick the ball but not carry it—were being played at various English schools, including Eton, Harrow, and Rugby. The
    modification of the game that permits carrying the ball was first introduced at Rugby in 1823 when one schoolboy disregarded the established rules,
    tucked the ball under his arm, and dashed across the goal of the opponents. Thereafter numerous football clubs sprang up in England, some playing
    the kicking game, others the ball-carrying game. In 1863 a number of clubs devoted to the kicking game met in London, organized the London
    Football Association, and adopted a code of uniform rules; this type of game was henceforth known as association football, and later soccer, a word
    derived from association. In 1871 a group devoted to the ball-carrying game organized the Rugby Football Union and adopted the rules then in vogue
    at Rugby School; that form of the game thereafter was known as rugby football. The two organizations still exist, and each exercises control over its
    respective game.

    Football was first played in Australia about the middle of the 19th century, based on rugby, soccer, and Gaelic football. Australian Rules football (as
    it is officially called) is a fast-paced game, played on an oval field with teams of 18 players. The ball cannot be thrown but can be caught; overhand
    catching, known as high marking, and long kicking are the two distinctive features of the game.

    In the United States, a form of football using a blown-up bladder was played in the colony of Virginia in 1609. In 1820 students at the College of New
    Jersey (now Princeton University) participated in a soccerlike game, called ballown, in which they advanced the ball by punching it with their fists.
    Intercollegiate competition began on November 6, 1869, with a game between Rutgers and Princeton. The game, however, resembled soccer more
    than modern-day American football. Columbia, Cornell, and other eastern U.S. colleges soon after sent representative teams into intercollegiate
    competition.

    Harvard, preferring to use its own rules, abstained from this competition. In 1874 Harvard met McGill University of Montréal, Canada, in a match
    played under the rugbylike rules of the Canadians. The Harvard players, impressed, altered their own rules accordingly. Harvard and Yale played a
    football game for the first time on November 13, 1875, using Harvard's rules.

    The following year, representatives of Harvard, Yale, and Columbia answered an invitation from Princeton football representatives to attend a
    parley at Springfield, Massachusetts. The result of the convention included a new set of football rules and the formation of the Intercollegiate
    Football Association. Although the rugbylike rules of Harvard again prevailed, certain soccer rules were incorporated. The resulting combination of
    rugby and soccer became popular, and as time went on the rules were constantly changed until a new game evolved. The Intercollegiate Football
    Association was dissolved in 1894, and in the same year a rules committee, dominated by the Yale graduate and football pioneer Walter Chauncey
    Camp, was formed by the influential eastern schools. In 1905 an independent association of colleges also formed a rules committee; the two
    committees soon merged, and since that time American collegiate football has been governed by them. The first professional football game in the
    United States was played in 1895.


    "Football," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2002
    http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
    © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

    I also read a piece in an alumni magazine from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario whereI went to teacher's college and played 1 year on the football team. The article was about the history of the school's football team, the Queen's Golden Gaels. It said the team was called the rugby football team in the late 1800s and up to the 1930's, and said in the 30s it divided into 2 distinct sports, Canadian football and rugby. In those days universities in Canada played each other and city football clubs, which later became the CFL professional clubs. So I think what they called rugby football was the early Canadian football (gridiron) game, still related to rugby but evolving into the modern football game.

     
  14. CanadianSteve

    CanadianSteve Guest

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    I thought this was a good thread. Just re-read it with interest.
     
  15. El Duque

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    Moff posts under Cronulla Mania now eh. Interesting.
     
  16. CanadianSteve

    CanadianSteve Guest

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