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  The situation came to a head

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cerberus
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Join date : 2011-08-06

PostSubject: The situation came to a head    Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:32 pm

From its earliest days as a mob game, football was a violent sport.[5] The 1894 Harvard-Yale game, known as the "Hampden Park Blood Bath", resulted in crippling injuries for four players; the contest was suspended until 1897. The annual Army-Navy game was suspended from 1894–1898 for similar reasons.[21] One of the major problems was the popularity of mass-formations like the flying wedge, in which a large number of offensive players charged as a unit against a similarly arranged defense. The resultant collisions often led to serious injuries and sometimes even death.[22]

The situation came to a head in 1905 when there were 19 fatalities nationwide. President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to shut down the game if drastic changes were not made.[23] John H. Outland held an experimental game in Wichita, Kansas that reduced the number of scrimmage plays to earn a first down from four to three in an attempt to reduce injuries.[24] The Los Angeles Times reported an increase in punts and considered the game much safer than regular play but that the new rule was not "conducive to the sport."[25]

On December 28, 1905, 62 schools met in New York City to discuss rule changes to make the game safer. As a result of this meeting, the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States, later named the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was formed.[26] One rule change introduced in 1906, devised to open up the game and reduce injury, was the introduction of the legal forward pass. Though it was underutilized for years, this proved to be the last—and one of the most important—rule changes in the establishment of the modern game.[27]



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