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History relates that the origin of football dates back many centuries. The ancient Greeks played a type of football, which was referred to as harpaston. The early Romans are said to have adopted a similar game, which was called calcio. This game was brought to Britain by invading Romans.1

In North America, the term football refers to the game that we know as American football, whereas in the rest of the world the term football refers to soccer. It is certainly one of the most commonly played sports on the North American continent at all age levels and at both amateur and professional levels.1

Football has evolved from the brutal game of the 1800s that was almost outlawed to the million-dollar marketing marvel that it is today. Initially, American football was played without the use of any or very little protective equipment. Over the years, rules have been changed, and equipment has been introduced to the game. Even with the addition of equipment, the game is still brutal and can take its toll on the human body.

With the introduction of synthetic turf in North America, a large number of professional and university football games are being played on this artificial surface. This probably has resulted in an increased injury rate as a result of minor injuries due to abrasions and impact on this less resilient surface. The artificial surface has an added disadvantage that it becomes extremely warm on hot days, adding the risk of heat exhaustion. Opinions vary as to whether this artificial surface is responsible for more frequent and more serious injuries than those that result from playing on a natural surface. Most athletes certainly would prefer to play on natural turf.1 The newer turf has a rubber pellet fill which helps limit the cleats from catching. This chapter will deal with many of these injuries, their rehabilitation, and return to the game. Understanding the athletes who play football will help the clinicians treating them. Certainly the game is not for the physically meek, and athletes with a higher tolerance for pain seem to perform better.2

Biomechanics of the Football Field Goal Kick

The field goal or extra point kick in professional football is a complex event. A snapper snaps the football back to a holder who has to control the football and place it down on the ground so that the kicker is able to kick the football through the goalposts with an oncoming rush from the defense. All this must be accomplished in less than 11/2 s. The kick has evolved over the years from a straight-on kicking style to the soccer-style kick that professional kickers use today. The thought behind the soccer-style kick is that more strength is generated with adding rotation of the lower extremities and upper body. ...

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