An extract on #vibesofvisuals
Old "Football Fightum" had been resurrected at Harvard in 1872, when Harvard resumed playing football. Harvard, however, preferred to play a rougher version of football called "the Boston Game" in which the kicking of a round ball was the most prominent feature though a player could run with the ball, pass it, or dribble it (known as "babying"). The man with the ball could be tackled, although hitting, tripping, "hacking" (shin-kicking) and other unnecessary roughness was prohibited. There was no limit to the number of players, but there were typically ten to fifteen per side. A player could carry the ball only when being pursued.
As a result of this, Harvard refused to attend the rules conference organized by Rutgers, Princeton and Columbia at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City on October 20, 1873 to agree on a set of rules and regulations that would allow them to play a form of football that was essentially Association football; and continued to play under its own code. While Harvard's voluntary absence from the meeting made it hard for them to schedule games against other American universities, it agreed to a challenge to play the rugby team of McGill University, from Montreal, in a two-game series. It was agreed that two games would be played on Harvard's Jarvis baseball field in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 14 and 15, 1874: one to be played under Harvard rules, another under the stricter rugby regulations of McGill. Jarvis Field was at the time a patch of land at the northern point of the Harvard campus, bordered by Everett and Jarvis Streets to the north and south, and Oxford Street and Massachusetts Avenue to the east and west. Harvard beat McGill in the "Boston Game" on the Thursday and held McGill to a 0-0 tie on the Friday. The Harvard students took to the rugby rules and adopted them as their own, The games featured a round ball instead of a rugby-style oblong ball. This series of games represents an important milestone in the development of the modern game of American football. In October 1874, the Harvard team once again traveled to Montreal to play McGill in rugby, where they won by three tries.
Inasmuch as Rugby football had been transplanted to Canada from England, the McGill team played under a set of rules which allowed a player to pick up the ball and run with it whenever he wished. Another rule, unique to McGill, was to count tries (the act of grounding the football past the opposing team's goal line; it is important to note that there was no end zone during this time), as well as goals, in the scoring. In the Rugby rules of the time, a try only provided the attempt to kick a free goal from the field. If the kick was missed, the try did not score any points itself.