After evolving in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football, American Football is now flourishing in Kenya.
The start has not been easy following years of lack of equipment but the sport can now run with already the first half the season coming to a halt.
Dubbed ‘Kenya 8-Men American Football League’, four teams have so far had players wipe sweat beads rolling down their faces in a bid to claim glory in the championship final for late August.
The University of Nairobi Mighty Nyati, JKUAT Sparrows, Umoja Chiefs and Juja Stars are the four sides.
The league will reach its mid season this weekend, on July 22 before taking a three week break. The sides will return for the final half in mid August.
Away from the league, the Kenyan Federation of American Football is reportedly planning a junior league for high school students aged 16 to 20.
Did you know? (via Wikipedia)
The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball.
A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the “Father of American Football”, established the snap, eleven-player teams, and the concept of downs; later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone, and specified the size and shape of the football.
American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States. Professional football and college football are the most popular forms of the game, with the other major levels being high school and youth football.
As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually, almost all of them men, with a few exceptions.