The Origin of Rugby
Rugby, it is considered by many to be the father of American football. Which also leads to another common question, which country invented rugby. The origins of rugby are as unexpected and as uncommon as the game was itself when it was founded.
The man who is typically accredited with beginning the sport, did so in a somewhat unorthodox fashion, but in the end, it was a much heralded decision. At some point, according to the records and reports, a young man named William Webb Ellis did the unthinkable. On a cold November day in 1823 he actually picked the ball up with his hands, and then he ran!
Yes, in a game where "no touch" was the rule, this upstart fellow decided to ignore the rules of engagement. In doing so, the young Englishman William Webb Ellis didn't only make a new play or game plan but an entirely new sport.
That also gives England the rights and claim to which country invented rugby. Today, near the field and establishment where these events took place, there is a plaque to commemorate the event and occasion. That plaque simply reads:
"This stone commemorates the exploit of William Webb Ellis who with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time first took the ball in his arms and ran with it thus originating the distingtive feature of the rugby game."
A great mountain climber was once asked why he climbed mountains, to which he replied, 'because it's there.' Perhaps if someone asked the young Mr. Ellis why he chose to do what he did, he might respond because he could.
The Father of Football
Ordinarily, breaking the rules doesn't result in good outcomes. Then, every once in a while, someone does something nobody has done before - and it changes everything. The repercussions and wave of events that followed and that have continued to follow could not have been seen by anyone.
Can anyone even imagine the US without professional football today? The National Football League is a billion-dollar industry, and the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events not only in America but in the world. All because one person decided to change the rules.
Which country invented rugby? England is the answer to the question, but there is much more to the story. From the most unlikely of beginnings and the most humble of starts, along with the disobedience of one man one of the most successful games in history was born.