Semi-Professional football is football where men play for less than livable wages. However, this is incorrect. It is against league rules in most semi-pro leagues like the New England Football League to reimburse players in any manner. Semi-pro football is not a lucrative sport.
The Vermont Ice Storm’s first-year team in the New England Football League is made of semi-pro football players. All players on the Vermont Ice Storm have to buy their own equipment and pay a player fee. This is to ensure that they don’t pay more for team uniforms. They also have to cover travel expenses to get to practices and away games. The financial burden can add up over the course of a season.
In Pennsylvania, professional football was created in the 1890s when there was intense competition between local athletic clubs. William “Pudge”, a former Yale football star, was hired by Allegheny Athletic Association in November 1892 to play against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The Allegheny Athletic Association consisted entirely of players who had been paid by 1896. As football became more popular, pro and semi-pro teams were formed across the country.
Semi-pro football was the precursor of pro football. What was the reason for semi-pro football’s name? If we examine the history of this level, it is clear that a name was necessary to distinguish this football type from college, high school, and professional football. Some traveling players were paid small amounts to help small towns win and make them look better while they were out searching for games.
With the formation of The Ohio League in 1910, professional football became a viable spectator sport. The first team to feature Jim Thorpe, the famous decathlete and football legend, was Canton. Thorpe was an international football star who elevated the game to a new level. In 1912, he won a medal in the Stockholm decathlon. Thorpe and his Canton team attracted large crowds and helped to create a market in Ohio for professional football.
The NFL’s Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio, refers to Watertown Red and Black as the “first professional football team in America”. Watertown was the first paid football team. Watertown Red and Black today is a strong semi-pro team that has a rich history. It is a member the Empire Football League, with the Vermont Ice Storm as one of its rivals.
“Semi-pro” means “amateur” in a true sense. It’s played by adults aged 18-to-whatever who are passionate about the game and still haven’t got football out of their system.