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OUR late successes on the foot-ball field, together with the near prospect of a game with Yale, has awakened a lively interest in foot-ball throughout the College. It is well known that Harvard declined to join the Association of Colleges, owing to the radical difference of our rules from those of the various other colleges. Though in so doing we laid ourselves open to criticism, yet an impartial observer must assent on consideration to the expediency of our decision. We did not in the least assert that our rules were the best; nor, as a Yale paper unjustly remarked at the time, did we think them so strictly scientific as to prevent us from contending with other colleges. The adoption of the Rugby game is a sufficient proof that we gladly recognize the superiority of other rules, even at the cost of giving up our own. We have played under these rules with good success, and we do not hesitate to recommend their adoption to the Foot-Ball Association.
After many useless attempts to arrange games with several of the colleges of the Association, we have at last succeeded in arranging a game with Yale by means of a compromise between the two sets of rules. It is clear to every one that rules resulting from such concessions as have to be made cannot be entirely satisfactory. Though much ingenuity was shown by the delegates at Springfield, yet there remain many points, trivial as they may seem at first, which need explanation and remedying. We lose one of our best rules; for though touch-downs count something, we have not the right to try for a goal after the ball has been brought in. We are allowed, as before, to run with the ball after having caught it on the bounce or fly; but with this exception we seem to have gained nothing of importance. The fault does not rest with our delegates. As before remarked, it is utterly impossible to make up rules by compromise that will suit all. Some one particular game, and that the best game that can be found, should be adopted, and every college should conform strictly to its rules. In giving up our so-called "Harvard Game," we worked a complete revolution in our system, and allowed the ball to be carried whenever caught. The suggestion that the game is for the feet alone, and not for the hands, is a mere quibble; for all sensible observers will agree that the use of the hands makes the game much more exciting and interesting. Again, we do not hesitate to claim the superiority of the leather ball over the rubber one. The former, besides retaining the air better, can be kicked both farther and straighter, and will last a much longer time. In setting forth the advantages of the Rugby rules and ball, we only ask a fair, impartial hearing from the Association. The fact that Harvard has played the game for the last year or so should be no obstacle to its adoption. The rules themselves, not the College, should be criticised. If the other colleges could witness a good game played according to the Rugby rules, such as the late match between Harvard and Tufts, we are sure that they would be favorably impressed with the merits of the game.
As regards the coming match with Yale, it is much to be hoped that our team will meet with the success due to their late meritorious efforts; and it is quite probable that, notwithstanding a few peculiarities in the new rules, an exciting and interesting game will be seen on Saturday.
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