Wednesday, June 23, 2010


From Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson on the meetings that decided the rules of football:
"... at the Freemason’s Tavern in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London, at 7pm on 8 December 1863, carrying the ball by hand was outlawed, and football and rugby went their separate ways. The dispute, strangely, was not over the use of the hand, but over hacking - that is, whether kicking opponents in the shins should be allowed. F.W. Campbell of Blackheath was very much in favour. ‘If you do away with [hacking],’ he said, ‘you will do away with all the courage and pluck of the game, and I will be bound to bring over a lot of Frenchmen who would beat you with a week’s practice.’ Sport he appears to have felt, was about pain, brutality and manliness; without that, if it actually came down to skill, any old foreigner might be able to win..."
Blackheath resigned from the association when hacking was eventually outlawed.