Walter Camp, father of modern american football rules

Early Football Leagues History

Walter Camp was on the various collegiate football rules committees that developed the American game from his time as a player at Yale until his death. English rugby football rules at the time required a tackled player, when the ball was "fairly held," to put the ball down immediately for (read more)

As early as 1890, many leagues held their own championship games, the most prominent being the Ohio Independent Championship from 1902-1919. For its first 12 seasons, the NFL determined its champion by regular season win–loss record. In 1932, to settle a tie, a single playoff game was played. From 1933-1966, the NFL split into two divisions, the winner of each playing in the NFL Championship Game. In 1967, the NFL and the rival AFL agreed to merge, the champion of each league meeting at the end of the year, in the Superbowl.
Logo for All-America Football Conference
AAFC: 1946-1949 (4 seasons)

Attracted many of the best players, introduced innovations to the game, and founded Browns/49ers franchises

William B. Cox, President of the 1940 American Football League III (AFL)
AFL3: 1940-1941 (2 seasons)

Created when three new franchises joined with three other teams that were lured away from the APFL

James C. Hogan, founder of the American Professional Football League (APFL)
APFL: 1938-1939 (2 seasons)

Began as minor-league Midwest Football League before changing aspirations to lure teams from the previously failed AFL.

Harry Addison March, founder of the 1936 American Football League II (AFL)
AFL2: 1936-1937 (2 seasons)

In its brief history, the league made history by being the first league to introduce "major league" football to the West Coast.

Charles C.C. Pyle, sports agent for Red Grange, founded the 1926 American Football League (AFLG)
AFLG: 1926-1926 (1 season)

Also known as the Grange League, founded by the sports agent who brought along his star player: future HOFer Red Grange.

Logo for National Football League
NFL: 1920- (100 seasons)

Founded in an auto showroom in Canton, Ohio, known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) its first 2 seasons.

Leo Lyons, founder of the New York Pro Football League (NYPFL)
NYPFL: 1908-1919 (12 seasons)

The league's best team, the Jeffersons, was instrumental in bringing the NYPFL and the Ohio League together to form the NFL.

Superstar Jim Thorpe and owner Ralph Hay, key figures in football's Ohio League
OL: 1902-1919 (18 seasons)

Informal and loose association of teams that competed for the Ohio Independent Championship (OIC).

Dave Berry, helped found the original 1902 National Football League (NFL1)
NFL1: 1902-1902 (1 season)

Founded by baseball owners in Philadelphia, the 3-team league was comprised of baseball and football stars of the day.

William Walter Pudge Heffelfinger was the first pro player in the Western Pennsylvania Professional Football Circuit (WPPFC)

A loose association of American football amateur and pro clubs that operated until the arrival of the Ohio League and NYPFL.