Released: February 1, 2009

Retired: February 2, 2009

VFK History of American Football Quest


American Football can trace its origins back to the 1800's to the English game of Rugby. Rugby was a rough sport made popular by the Rugby Boys' School in England. Football also borrows from the early game of soccer which was being played back in the 1820's. On today's quest, we will explore the history of one of the most popular sports in America and the game being played on Super Bowl Sunday.


Name Price Location Released/Retired Photo Notes
1000 Credits Released: May 22, 2008 Credits
Football Chair Quest Prize VFK History of American Football Quest Released: February 1, 2009

Retired: February 2, 2009

Item 68 1


1. The game which today is called football began as a game played by students at the New Jersey College of Princeton. To play the rough game, players first used their fists, then their feet to advance the ball past the opposing team and to the one goal. The rules were flexible in this earliest version of football. What was the name of this game?

  • Rigby
  • Ballown
  • Calladal
  • Foot Polo

2. A similar game played by the freshman and sophomore classes at Harvard was played each school year on the first Monday. The game was very rough and many players were hurt. The game however, soon grew in popularity and was played on the Boston Common in the 1860's. Go to the inside of the Marshall's office in the Wild West and say a quote by the well known football coach, Lou Holtz. Say, "Don't be a spectator, don't let life pass you by."

3. In 1865, shortly after the Civil War, football games began to be organized at the colleges. Princeton decided to set some fundamental rules in 1867. In addition, nearby Rutgers College also established some rudimentary rules. Because the two colleges were so close, on November 6th, 1869, the two colleges played the very first intercollegiate football game. Rutgers won the match, beating Princeton with a score of six goals to four. In what year was the football patented?

  • 1869
  • 1871
  • 1865
  • 1867

4. By 1873, several colleges sent representatives to New York City to establish the first intercollegiate football rules. These colleges, Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton, and Yale set rules for the game which had been growing in popularity. In addition, they formed the Intercollegiate Football Association. Up until that time, the game had been played using many of the same rules as soccer. With this milestone meeting, the four teams set the number of players on a team as fifteen. Winning football coaches are well known for their ability to inspire and motivate a team to victory. Go to the outside of King Arthur's castle and say a quote by another famous football coach, Don Shula. Say: "I don't know any other way to lead but by example."

5. Walter C. Camp, the coach at Yale disagreed with the IFA in the number of players which should be on each team. He was a proponent of an eleven member team rather than fifteen. The IFA's rules committee headed by Camp implemented the change to an eleven member team. They also helped designate the size of the playing field which they defined as one hundred ten yards. The game play also changed considerably from a rugby style of game to the more modern format seen today. What is Walter C. Camp also known as?

  • The Referee
  • Father of American Football
  • The Gipper
  • Rule Keeper

6. Camp achieved the title of "Father of American Football" due in part to his influence on the Football Rules Committee. However, while head of the Yale Athletic Association, at Yale, Camp was instrumental in getting the 70,896 seat Yale Bowl stadium open. The first game played was the Harvard-Yale game on November 21, 1914 and was the first stadium of its kind on college campuses. The huge stadium was a testament to football's popularity and to Yale's powerful football program. Go outside of Mister Ned's livery stable and say a quote by another football great, Knute Rockne, say: "Win or lose, do it fairly."

7. One of the major changes to the game made in 1877 was when Camp suggested eliminating the "scrummage" of rugby and using the "scrimmage" in football, making a standardized rule. This eliminated the chaos which followed a down in rugby. It also differentiated between the offense and defense and created the positions of center and quarterback. In 1882, Camp introduced what system?

  • The Bench
  • Huddles
  • Penalties
  • Downs

8. The purpose of downs, is to set the parameters for how long a team can maintain possession of the ball. With these new rules, a team had "three downs" to gain five yards. To assist in determining how many yards were gained, they drew lines on the field. This action created the "gridiron game." This gridiron game introduced the concept of strategy and tactics on the football field. It also encouraged the use of formal plays which were developed by coaches. With the addition of the gridiron game and the new game strategies, the game of football changed to become far rougher. Go to the Victorian park and say the words of Vince Lombardi, say, "Winning isn't everything, but the will to win is everything."

9. In 1888, Tackling below the waist was legalized. Within ten years, there was considerable concern about the increased roughness of the game. Mass plays had become common practice which had a high injury rate and over 18 fatalities had been associated with the rough game play. As a result, some colleges banned football as a sport. What President asked Yale, Princeton and Harvard to assist in saving football from extinction?

  • Pres. Woodrow Wilson
  • Pres. William Howard Taft
  • Pres. William McKinley
  • Pres. Theodore Roosevelt

10. At a meeting of the schools, the colleges agreed that a reform was needed. Over sixty schools attended the meeting. They appointed a Rules Committee consisting of seven members. This Rules committee later was to be known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The committee prohibited the rough mass plays, and shortened the length of the game to 60 minutes. In addition, they legalized the forward pass which fostered a more open style of play on the field. Go to the Medieval blacksmith's room in Medieval Age and say another famous quote by Lou Holtz, say "Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated."


1. Ballown

2. Go to the U.S. Marshalls Office and say, "Don't be a spectator, don't let life pass you by."

3. 1867

4. Go to the Castle Entrance and say, "I don't know any other way to lead but by example."

5. Father of American Football

6. Go to Livery Stable and say, "Win or lose, do it fairly."

7. Downs

8. Go to the Summer Park and say, "Winning isn't everything, but the will to win is everything."

9. Pres. Theodore Roosevelt

10. Go to the Medieval Blacksmith and say, "Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated."