Football has been played at Yale since 1876, when mutual relations were established with Harvard and Princeton which have continued practically without interruption ever since. Yale also played a game with the University of Pennsylvania team in each season from 1879 to 1894 inclusive.
Prominent places in Yale football history are held by such men as Heffelfinger, McClung, Hinkey, Butterworth, Thorn, Chamberlain, Brown, McBride and Glass.
Yale has long relied on the tackle-back play to gain the ground for the team on offense. The tackle is called back and his place is taken by one of the half backs, as a rule. Straight football of the regular character has always formed the basic principle of the Yale attack.
On defense, Yale preserves strictly regular formation. The ends play out wide, the tackles are also at considerable distance out and the three backs are used to support the line.
Yale teams have always maintained positions of prominence in the football world, and Yale graduates have inculcated the football principles in vogue at New Haven in other colleges all over the country.