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The Origins of Football

Thursday, October 7, 2021 | 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Jim Craft, B.A., M.A., Historian

Let’s go watch a game of football! Yes, but which one — gridiron, soccer, rugby union, rugby league, Gaelic, Australian Rules, Canadian? We all know there are several types of football. What is less well known is that the games of football came from “folk football” that developed in the British “public schools” in mid-19th century — and that those “public school” games had themselves sprung from games that existed for a thousand years in Britain. Jim will discuss how the games evolved from “folk football,” a pastime almost devoid of rules that could have more
than 100 participants and played on fields with goals several miles apart. And he will share the fascinating tale of how different approaches to improving the game lead to the modern games of soccer, rugby and American football by the first decade of the 20th Century.

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