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.
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.
Antecedents of Rugby
|Australia||Marn Grook||This is the popular collective name for traditional Indigenous Australian football games played at gatherings and celebrations by sometimes more than 100 players. From the Woiwurung language of the Kulin people, it means "ball" and "game".|
|France||La soule||La soule, later choule (French: chôle), is a traditional team sport that originated in Normandy and Picardy. The ball, called a soule, could be solid or hollow and made of either wood or leather. Leather balls would be filled with hay, bran, horse hair or moss. Sometimes the balls had woolen pompons.|
|Georgia||Lelo burti||Lelo or lelo burti (Georgian: ლელო ბურთი), literally a "field ball [playing]", is a Georgian folk sport, which is a full contact ball game, and very similar to rugby.[|
|Ireland||Caid||Caid (Irish pronunciation: [kadʲ]) (meaning "stuffed ball") is a collective name used in reference to various ancient and traditional Irish mob football games. "Caid" is frequently used by people in Gaeltacht areas of Ireland to refer to modern Gaelic football.|
|Italy||Calcio Fiorentino||Calcio Fiorentino (also known as calcio storico "historic football") is an early form of football that originated during the Middle Ages in Italy. Once played, the sport is thought to have started in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence.|
|Japan||Kemari||Kemari (蹴鞠) is an athletic game that was popular in Japan during the Heian (794–1185) and Kamakura period (1185–1333). It resembles a game of keepie uppie or hacky sack.|
|New Zealand||Kī-o-rahi||Game with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball, tag rugby, and touch|
A man in England originally came up with the idea of rugby, which is also considered to be the precursor to American Football.