Evolution isn't just for the birds.

By 303929
  • First person to pick up the ball.

    Ellis was the first person noted for picking up the ball during the soccer game and running with it, breaking and changing the rules.
  • Rules.

    At the Massosoit convention, the the first attempts at writing down the rules of American football were made.
  • APFA

    The American Professional Football Association becomes the country's first organized professional football league.
  • First NFL Helmet.

    Hardened leather helmets were used in the 1920s.
  • NFL

    The APFA becomes the National Football League.
  • The Hashmarks were added.

    Hashmarks are drawn ten yards from the sidelines.
  • Roughing the Passer Emphasized.

    The Roughing of a passer after the ball has left his hand is unnecessary roughness. Previously, the passer was protected after the pass had been made if he was "obviously out of the play."
  • Helments

    Helments become mandatory equipment.
  • Back Judge Added.

    A back judge to the offciating crew.
  • First Black Quater Back

    The Chicago Bears', Willie Thrower, becomes the first black player to throw a pass as quarterback in the modern NFL.
  • Grasping Facemask Banned.

    Grasping the facemask of any opponent except a runner is ilegal use of hands. Penalty: 5 yards.
  • Down By Contact.

    The ball is dead immediately if a runner touches the ground with any part of his body except his hands or feet after being contactede by a defensive player.
  • Plastic w/ Facemask

    Facemasks with plastic were worn.
  • Leveraging banned

    A defender cannot place a hold or hands on a teammate to gain additional height in an atempt to block a kick.
  • Quicker Whitsle Rule

    The use of a " quick whistle" by the referee whenever the quaterback is in the grasp and control of a tracker applies only behind the line.
  • Equipment Mandates

    All mandatory player equipment must be designed and made by a professional manufacturer and can't be altered, except by the direction of the team physician.
  • QB Kneel

    During the last two minutes of a half, the play ends when a quaterback kneels or simtulates kneeling on the ground.
  • Runner Down

    The ball is dead when any runner slides to the ground feet first, thereby declaring himself down.
  • QB Protection Expanded

    Adefender (approaching from any direction) who has unrestricted path to the quaterback is prohibited from flagrantly hitting him in the area of the knees.
  • Penetrated Neutral Zone

    Officals will whistle the play dead whenever a defensive lineman clearly penetrates beyond the neutral zone before the ball is snapped and continues unabated toward the quaterback.
  • Blocking a kick.

    When a defensive player runs foward and leaps in an attempt to block an extra point or a field goal, it is a foul only if the leaping player lands on other players.
  • Intentional Grounding

    It is not intentional grounding when a passer, while out of the pocket and facing an imminent loss of yardage, throws a pass that lands beyond the line of scrimmage, even if no offensive player has a realistic chance to catch the ball.
  • Rules

    It's ilegal to hit a quarterback helmet-to-helmet any time after a change of possesion.
  • Kicking Plays

    A kicker/punter must not be unncessarily contacted by the receving team through the end of position. An opponent may not unecessarily intiate helmet-to-helmet contact to the kicker/punter during the kick or during the return.
  • Kicking Plays.

    During a feild-goal attempt or a try, a defensive player who is within on yard of the line of scrimmage at the snap must have his helmet outside the snapper's shoulder pad.
  • Kicking Plays

    During a free kick, at least four kicking team players must be on each side of the kicker when the ball is kicked.
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct

    Personal or unsportsmanlike conduct fouls that occur during halftime or during intermission between fourth period and overtime period will be penalized on the ensuing kickoff.
  • Wedge Block

    Teams are not permittedd to intentionally form a wedge of more tahn two players on a kickoff return in an attempt to block for the runner. Penalty: 15 yards.
  • Rules.

    It's an ilegal hit on a defenseless reciever if the intial force of the contact by the defender's helmet, forearm, or shoulder is to the head or neck area of the receiver. Penailty: 15 yards.
  • Rules.

    (a) A defender can't intiate a roll or lunge and forcibly hit the passer in the knee area or below, even if he is being contacted bu another player.
    (b) It's not a foul if the defender swipes, wraps, or grabs a passer in the knee area or below in an attempt to tackle him.
  • Helmet-to-Helmet

    Helmet-to-Helmet contact (Personal Foul) becomes stirctly enforced and heavily fined.
  • Rules that protect defensive players expanded and clarified

    In 2010 a player who has just completed a catch is protected from blows to the head or neck by an opponent who launches.
    In 2011 the list of "defensive players" is expanded to include a kicker/ punter during the kick or during the return, a QB at any time after a change of possesion , and a player who recieves a "blindside" block when the blocker is moving toward his own endline and approaches the opponent from behind of from the side.
  • Runner's Helmet Off

    The ball is declared at the spot if a runner's helmet comes completely off.
  • Helmets Now.

    2013 Helmets.