Chris♂ asked in SportsFootball (American) · 1 decade ago

Americans, Why is American Football called football?

I'm from the UK. Everytime I talk about our football (the sport which players use their feet to control the ball) I feel the need to add (soccer) to avoid confusion with you guys.

But I was thinking, your football is only kicked to start each quarter, to punt or for a field goal. The rest of the time the ball is in play, it's held in the players hands.

I know you guys can call our "soccer" association football, I generally refer to NFL when I'm talking about your professional game, but what's the real deal?

It's a serious question, how did your football become known as football?

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a pretty good question. One thing that has to be thought of is that many people don't actually think the word football comes from the action of kicking a ball with feet. Rather, it was used to distinguish certain games from games played on horseback, like polo. That's where "foot ball" possibly came from. Therefore, any game that descended from these early games generally kept the name football, despite the fact that many of them are vastly different (American football, soccer/association football, Australian football, Canadian football, rugby, etc.) There isn't any conclusive evidence to support either theory though. The popular games in an area apparently were called football by the locals.

    Believe it or not, soccer was actually coined by a British man.

    Well, after thinking maybe I shouldn't trust an article on Wikipedia that doesn't have sources quite so fast, I looked up some more stuff. Apparently there are a LOT of theories on why some people call the same sport football and soccer.

    I suppose the best explanation is that football comes from soccer and rugby, and it was more popular than either of them in the US, so Americans just substituted the word. But why we call association football soccer is harder to explain.

    Source(s): I knew a couple of facts here, but most of it, especially the origins of soccer, I got here.
  • 4 years ago

    Why Is Football Called Football

  • 7 years ago


    1. NFL uses body and arms not FOOT.

    2. Brit sports is more appropriate to use FOOTball.

    3. An early reference to a ball game that was probably

    football comes from 1280 at Ulgham, Northumberland,



    4. APFL (now NFL) was only in 1920.


    Football was first used. Football is more well known. It's easier to sell because you don't have to explain what "gridiron" is and modified at that.

    Again, ticket sales, investment, and sponsorship was the deciding factor convince somebody to invest on something they have trouble understanding what.

  • 6 years ago

    the ball of American Football just 11 inch. not 12 inch (1 foot)

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  • 1 decade ago

    That is a good question. I think it has a lot to do with the original rules of the game when it was invented in the late 1800's. Since the game derived from elements of Soccer and Rugby, there was a lot of kicking going on. Thus, it being named football. I know a lot of people outside of the US call football either American Football or Gridiron.

    The term soccer derived from association football. Those of us who travel outside of the US have to remember that you guys call soccer football and when you speak of a football match, then you are referring to soccer.

  • 6 years ago

    American football-uses hand to play the game

  • 6 years ago

    'Merican football should be called Bashball or Collisionball or Helmetball, or Pizzaball. The latter is because I like pizza as do most Bashballers.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    It should be possible definitely

  • 7 years ago

    Because the ball's length is exactly one foot.

    Source(s): Football Coach
  • 7 years ago

    because we have power, we can change rules and names of everything in the world, no matter who discovered it or named it. sucks right?

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