In the current issue of Harper's Weekly a Harvard graduate makes some suggestions for improving the game of foot ball which are worth more than passing attention. Some of these suggestions commend themselves at once to any lover of the game; others are radical, would necessarily greatly affect the character of the game, and can be discussed intelligently only by men who have had long experience as players and by careful students of the game. One of the latter class is the suggestion to separate the rush lines by a space of three or four feet at every scrimmage. As explained by Mr. Leeds this change promises much good, but its practicability is far from being demonstrated.
Whatever may be thought of this part of the article, however, we will all agree with the protest against the present method of putting the ball in play which allows the opposing centre rusher half the ball. It is this rule which is in a large measure responsible for the present senseless struggle which goes on in the rush line before the ball is put in play. Mr. Leeds is right in saying that interference should begin only after the ball has been put in play, but that it doesn't and won't so long as each side owns half the ball. The protest against the illegal interference which is so characteristic of the present style of play and of the blindness of umpires to the fouls and rough play which abound in every game is also timely. The rules on these points should be enforced. They are not enforced because "the spirit which governs the game is not a proper one, and infringements of rules have become almost traditional." The welfare of the sport demands a change. There has undoubtedly been great improvement in the game during the past half dozen years, but there is certainly room for just as great improvement in the future. The interscholastic game which was played on Norton Field yesterday afternoon gives weight to this statement, and emphasizes Mr. Leeds' assertion that the 'varsity elevens by their example are teaching the schools the same faults which characterize their own play. The game between the Hopkinson School and the Manual Training School teams was one of the roughest played in Cambridge this year. Nothing is more essential to the improvement of foot ball now than umpires who will enforce the rules strictly. The game has steadily become more interesting and more popular as it has become more civilized.