From the playing fields of Rugby and Eton: the transnational origins of American rugby and the making of American football
AbstractSome studies date the origins of US intercollegiate football – and, by extension, the modern game of American football – back to a soccer-style game played between Princeton and Rutgers universities in 1869. This article joins with others to argue that such a narrative is misleading, and goes further to clarify the significance of two “international” fixtures in 1873 and 1874, which had a formative and lasting impact on football in the United States. These games, contested between alumni from England’s Eton College and students at Yale University, and between students at Canada’s McGill University and Harvard University, combined to revolutionize the American football code. Between 1875 and 1880, previous soccer-style versions of US intercollegiate football were replaced with an imported, if somewhat modified, version of rugby football. It was the “American rugby” that arose as a result of these transnational exchanges that is the true ancestor of the gridiron game of today.
CitationBurns, A. (2021) From the playing fields of Rugby and Eton: the transnational origins of American rugby and the making of American football, Sport History Review, 52(2), pp. 315-331 https://doi.org/10.1123/shr.2020-0022
PublisherHuman Kinetics Publishers Inc.
JournalSport History Review
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Human Kinetics in Sport History Review on 18/03/2021, available online at: https://doi.org/10.1123/shr.2020-0022 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/