Camp, Walter

Camp, Walter (Chauncey)

(1859–1925) football pioneer and coach; born in New Britain, Conn. He was called "The Father of American Football" because, more than any other person, he was responsible for transforming the U.S. game into a unique contest, different from its soccer and rugby roots. He starred as a rugby runner and kicker at Yale (1876–81) and represented Yale at the intercollegiate football conventions (1877–1925). The following are among the rule changes he championed: reduction of players per side from 15 to 11 (1879); creation of the scrimmage in which one team holds undisputed possession of the ball (1880); the system in which a team must gain a specified number of yards within a specified number of downs to retain possession (1882); and the point system of scoring (1883). Through his writings, his position as Yale's advisory coach, and his annual All-America selections, he remained American football's premier authority until his death.
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