Journal or Book Title
The Early Development of Football: Contemporary Debates
One of the pillars of the so-called revisionist position in the football origins debate is that the presence of ‘small-sided mainly kicking games’ supports the thesis that organised football had been played outside of the public schools, and that these contests showed signs of advanced structure, including set rules and teams, along with a degree of commercialisation. The purpose of this essay is not to debate the significance of the matches played in England, but rather to show that while there are references to football clubs, there is virtually no evidence that formal small-sided kicking games were widely played outside the schools in the United States (US) before 1863. Nevertheless, there is some evidence to suggest that the incidents of both informal and formal matches increased or at the very least such matches received more attention from newspapers during the 1850s, though small-sided mainly kicking games between formal football clubs were not widely played in the US before 1863.
UMass Amherst Open Access Policy
Bunk, Brian D., "Football Outside the Schools in the United States before Codification" (2019). The Early Development of Football: Contemporary Debates. 217.