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2009-04-27 17:11:25
2009-04-27 17:11:25

== == The touchdown came from Rugby. In rugby, you score a try by advancing the ball into the opponent's end zone and then pressing the ball to the ground. The requirement that a player has to ground the ball is where the term "touchdown" comes from. Gridiron football eventually abandoned that requirement but retained the terminology. It became part of American football in 1876, when the U.S. colleges playing football agreed to a standard set of rules based loosely on the English rugby code. The touchdown initially awarded no points -- it merely gave the scoring team the opportunity to attempt a kick directly out on the field from where the ball was touched down. This is where the extra point came from. Rugby still uses the same system for scoring a conversion after a try. Incidentally, touchdowns in rugby also initially counted for no points, which is why the touchdown in rugby is called a try -- it initially meant that the scoring team was given a "try" for goal. When a numerical scoring system was put in place in 1883, touchdowns counted for 4 points. It increased to 5 points in 1897 (and remained that way in the Canadian game until 1956!) and finally to 6 in 1912. The requirement to physically touch the ball to the ground was removed in 1889.


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