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Football Gridiron

What is football gridiron? Get ready to learn about gridiron in football.

What Does Gridiron Mean in Football?

The term gridiron or gridiron football is synonymous with North American football which is primarily played in the United States and Canada. The word gridiron is used to describe the type of field that football is played on. The name is derived from the original football fields that were broken down into 5 yard sections within a rectangle, which resembled the look of a gridiron used for cooking.


The usage of the term gridiron to describe the sport of football can be first dated back to the 1896 Oxford dictionary and was originally used to discuss college football. Gridiron football was created from parts of rugby and soccer to eventually become the extremely popular sport it is today. The sport was developed in the 19th century to be played with two 11 man teams competing for the most points, using yardage to count their gains. Since then, it has evolved into a billion dollar industry and with new additions to the field, new rules, and new aspects being added yearly. Other variations of football have also been created with gridiron football in their roots. Canadian football which uses 12 man teams, and indoor football which usually uses 8 man teams, can also be traced back to the original gridiron shape that made the football field what it is today.

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