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1888-1910 Large WaterMelon Football

Click here for the History of
Old Football Passing & Scoring

1880-1910 Melon FootballThis is the latest tanning color for 2009
Your order will look like this.

Here is the Rarest and most extinct of the antique footballs. This 1880-1910 style
W aterMelon Football is much larger than any football in the modern era.
It was used exclusively for the earliest games of football, where there was no
passing. Where there was only laterals and dropkicking. It was the large
ball used in the famous flying wedge days. Much larger than any other football - with a bending length of over
15 inches and with a large circumference of 25 inches around.
These type balls were used in the 1880s even before the leather football helmet. This rare ball was eliminated around 1913 with the first NCAA passing football changes . . . that madethe ball smaller for pasing.
(see our first passing ball which we also sell) But , the above pictured large, beautiful, antique style football is of fine leather and hand stitched and hand sewn . Use it to dropkick and latteral but remember No Passing !!
Regular Retail $99 - Now $ 89 good inventory available

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Evolution of Scoring in Football History

football history scoring

Around 1882 and before point scoring in football was non existant...There basically was no scoring or point keeping. The winner won by goals or achievments of goals.Goals were kicks made from the field thru the wooden uprights. Also Four touchdowns equaled one goal, and a goal kicked after a touchdown took precedence over even the four touchdowns. They added up the number of kicking goals and touchdowns to decide the winner. Points were not given for these at first. So, if you scored touchdowns and missed the kicks you did not get any kind of goal. Four touch downs were equivalent to one field type goal. Confusing isn't it? But those were the earliest rules. It even gets more confusing when understanding the use of a safety in the old rule days.. Teams often used the safety to their benefit; since at first, a safety did not count against the team making it nor for a team creating one. In the earliest days a safety had no points associated with it. Teams used it extensively to get a free kick from their own 25 yard line to get the ball away from their goal. Often teams who were pinned near their goal line would run behind the goal line and touch the ball to the ground -thus , giving them the opportunity to have a free kick from their own 25 yard line to send the ball far down the field ; away from the danger of not being able to move it or maybe fumbling it near their own end of the field.. So often...very often, teams used this safety rule to get the ball far away from their goal. And , because there were no points given to the other team when this occured it was overused and made for very close and many tied games. This overuse of the safety soon lead to great controvery and the start of some early scoring decisions to break the many ties.
Here is how it began to work against those over using the safety rule..... - if a team had no kicking goal or touchdown by the end of the game -the team that had 4 less uses of the safety would be declared the winner.
There were still no points for the safety and it only counted when the game was tied.
1883-1884 the start of Scoring at last....
So, in 1883-4 Walter Camp (considered the father of football) introduced a scoring point system which was adopted. In 1883 a goal kicked from the field was given a value of 5 points. (the best you could achieve). Legend and fact tell of many men who kicked 60 plus yard field goals both being held on the ground and also by being drop kicked.
A goal kicked after a touchdown was given a value of 4 points. And a touchdown only brought 2 points.
And finally a safety was worth 1 point -a negative forced against the team that had to make it.
As the game continued to evolve around 1885 it became clear to everyone that a touchdown was the hardest thing to achieve...even harder then a goal kicked from the field...which up to then was worth 5 points.
So in late 1884-1885 a touchdown was given a new value of 4 points! The field goal still stayed at 5 points and the goal after the touchdown was reduced to only 2 points. And the safety was raised to 2 points as well.
Then again, in 1897 the touchdown was raised to 5 points and the kick after a touchdown was dropped to 1 point. (our modern day extra point) The field goal fell to 4 points in 1904 and to 3 points in 1909.
In 1912 the touch down finally achieved its value of 6 points that has remained the same till modern times.

This 1912 change -touchdown -6 points , kick after touchdown 1 point , field goal 3 points , and safety 2 points remained unchanged for some 46 years . Where in 1958 the rules allowed a team to go for two points after touchdown with a running or passing play. This was done to help reduce the number of ties and it worked and was considered a success.
The ealiest scoring shows why the larger ball stayed in favor as most big scoring was done with kicking goals which could be dropped kicked or held to be kicked from any part of the field. The huge watermelon ball only became more steamlined, or less wide and fat when the forward pass was allowed in 1906. The huge old ball gave way to a slighly smaller ball but it was still big and hard to hold by todays standards. At first, very few used the pass as the ball was still wider and difficult to grasp and odd pass rules about having to drop back staigfht and for at least five yards and the rule that if a pass was touched by opposing defense in flight , and not caught by anyone it was thought of as an interception. These rules limited the pass for a while until players learned to throw a spiral and how to grasp the ball just right to make this work. There were some early teams right at 1906 who used passes greatly to their
effectiveness in particular was St Louis University winning many mnay games with it.
Still the pass was scorned by the big East Coast teams ..especially Army and the Ivy leagers. But out in the Mid West teams began to see its advantages and that's how Notre Dame used it to become a national Power under Knute Rockne . That;s another story for later.
As in 1913 Notre Dame used the Pass to beat the super Power of Army by a score of 35 to 13!

Past Time Sports offers you secure online ordering or you can call us toll-free at 1-888-296-5159
Our antique style 1900-1940 leather football helmets , 1910-1930 antique style baseball gloves, 1890-1920 vintage laced leather basketballs, 1910-1930 old time soccer balls and 1890-1930 Water Melon footballs are all hand crafted , hand sewn and aged and tanned to have the look and feel of the original museum quality equipment of the early golden years of vintage sports. We pride ourselves in giving you leather products that are true in size , shape and style to their valuable museum counterparts.
We can always be reached if you have questions about leather football helmets , antique baseball gloves, antique laced leather basketballs, old style antique watermelon footballs and vintage soccer balls for collecting awards , trophies or special commemorative gifts. We are located in Texas and are the originators of the replica
vintage leather sports equipment concept since 1996

Past Time Sports offers you secure online ordering or you can call us toll-free at 1-888-296-5159

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