Year by Year 1876

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In 1876 college football rode the success of the 1875 Harvard/Yale rugby match and a midseason conference of team representatives attended a meeting at the Massasoit House at Springfield Massachussets to put in place the uniform rugby union code and to make a few other changes to the rules. The scoring was changed making four touchdowns equal to one goal with their rule #7... a step away from the English rugby code...

7. A match shall be decided by a majority of touchdowns; a goal shall be equal to four tou8chdowns; but in the case of a tie a goal kicked from a touchdown shall take precedence over four touchdowns.

The minutes of this meeting - as well as all subsequent Massasoit rules committees were documented in Parke H. Davis' remarkable book Football, the American Game.

This book can be found in its entirety as the first entry under the library tab above. I'm sure I will revisit this appendix in his book as we move through the years of these Massasoit rules committees.

More important than the rule change on scoring was this convention's creation of a new Intercollegiate Football Association, and the agreement to meet yearly to discuss rules changes and the development of the game.

Princeton, Yale and Harvard were all players in this year and it was Yale with its future football
leader Walter Camp finishing undefeated at 3-0 and avenging Yale's loss at Harvard the year before.

In 1876 Harvard themselves finished 3-1 and added in two additional wins against Canadian teams. Princeton finished the year at 3-2, but Yale had the record and deserves mention for the 1876 college football championship.



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