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It's Fourth and Goal - The History of Football



It's Fourth and Goal - The History of Football
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.49

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    purely, commonly, military, substance, rugby, description, version, presented, quarterback, running, public, roots, separate, equipment, matches, proclamation
     content words:    Ancient Greeks, Middle Ages, William FitzStephen, King Henry IV, William Webb Ellis, Walter Camp, National Football League, South American


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It's Fourth and Goal - The History of Football
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Football is just one of many games where players use their feet to move a ball around a field. Soccer, rugby, and field hockey are some of the others. Each of these games has become very popular with different groups of people all over the world. American football can trace its roots back to kicking games developed before the birth of Christ. The modern American form began its own life in 1879.
 
2     A military training manual was written by the Chinese about 200 B.C. In this manual a game was described. A piece of cloth was tied between two thirty foot poles. Players would kick a ball made of leather through a hole that was cut in the silk. This game was called cuju. Several hundred years later, the Japanese developed a kicking game also. In this game called kemari, players stood in a circle and tried to keep a ball in the air by kicking it.
 
3     Kicking games were created in pre-Columbian America using a ball formed from a hard substance from a tree. Today we call that substance rubber. Ancient Greeks and Romans developed their own kicking games. A common thread in all of these games is that they were played by the lower class citizens of each area. The sport didn't take a lot of equipment. It allowed players to burn off some of the aggressive tendencies that boiled up in their own lives.

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