One of our favorite pastimes is sifting through the archives looking at old publications and photos. Often, they reveal hidden gems that give you a sense of how certain sports have evolved through the years.

Earlier this week we were perusing the football game program from the Nov. 6, 1926 Homecoming game against Lehigh. Tucked just before a set of ads for Vogel & Farley tailor shop (“Suits made to measure, See our $25.00 and $29.50 line”), E.C. Cunnius Radio Store, and the College Smoke Shop, is this page summarizing the various college football penalties along with an explanation of new rules for the 1926 season. We passed around copies of the page at today’s football luncheon with Coach Susan and had some fun with it. 


Interestingly, many of the penalties you will still see in effect today. For example, 5-yard penalties for offside, delay of game, neutral zone encroachment, etc. Likewise, the 15-yard penalties for unnecessary roughness, roughing the kicker, etc.

But there are also some jaw-droppers on the list. Did you know that there was a 15-yard penalty for “coaching from the sidelines” and “substitute communicating before first play.” Wonder what they would think about all of today’s communication methods, like speakers inside the quarterback’s helmet in the NFL?

There was also a 5-yard penalty for “crawling.” What prompted that? Seems like “running” would be the preferred method of movement, but they felt the need to ban crawling.

The list of new rules is also enlightening. It appears that sideline boundaries were defined in 1926. New penalties for piling on and roughing/running into the kicker are still in use today, as is the free kick from the 20-yard line after a safety.

The interesting one there is No. II: a new 5-yard penalty for throwing more than one incomplete forward pass during the same set of four downs. The forward pass was still something of a novelty — it was only made legal 20 years earlier, in 1906 — and obviously the rules regulating passing have changed dramatically through the years.

We hope you enjoy perusing the page, and let us know which are your favorites.

(By the way, Bucknell defeated Lehigh 27-0 in the 1926 Homecoming game!)

And now for a few notes heading into the weekend:

  • The modern-day Bucknell football team won its Homecoming tilt 42-17 over Lafayette last week. The Bison dominated on the ground, rolling up 259 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Joey DeFloria had his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season, and he remains second in the Patriot League in rushing yards with 753, trailing only Fordham All-American Chase Edmonds. The Bison fly to South Carolina this week to take on ninth-ranked Charleston Southern.
  • Women’s soccer saw its dream of an undefeated season dashed on Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks were on fire early, taking a 3-0 lead with some perfectly placed shots. The Bison made it interesting, scoring twice in the second half before running out of time. After last night’s 1-1 away draw against a very good Princeton team, the Bison have a huge game at Army West Point in the regular-season finale on Saturday at 3 p.m. We are tied for first place with Boston University at 7-1-0 in the PL, and we hold the tiebreaker thanks to our head-to-head win over the Terriers. So a win at Army clinches the No. 1 seed, and the Bison would also host the Patriot League Tournament if both teams tie or both lose.
  • Field hockey came up huge in a must-win game against Lafayette on Saturday. A loss would have eliminated Bucknell from the playoffs, but instead the Bison won convincingly 3-0 with a 15-2 shot advantage. Now we need to win at last-place Colgate this Saturday to be well-positioned to secure one of the four postseason berths.
  • Men’s soccer is 2-3-1 in league play and tied with Lafayette for the 5/6 positions in the PL table (the top six teams make the tournament in men’s and women’s soccer). The Bison have a big one against second-place Loyola on the road tonight.
  • Men’s water polo slipped from 10th to 12th in the national rankings despite a 3-1 weekend in California. The Bison split a pair of games against ranked teams on Saturday, falling to No. 17 Cal Baptist before beating No. 20 Loyola Marymount in overtime. We then handily swept Fresno Pacific and Air Force on Sunday. Freshman Rade Joksimovic racked up 17 more goals in the four games, giving him 107 on the year. That is the ninth-highest total in program history and the most in nearly 30 years. The Bison are off this weekend, then will host Fordham, Wagner and Johns Hopkins Nov. 5-6 at Kinney Natatorium.
  • Big weekend coming up for men’s and women’s cross country. The Bison head to Easton, Pa., for the 2016 Patriot League Championship. Our women are the preseason favorite with three of the top runners in the league in Kate Scott, Christine Bendzinski and Sarah Chandler. Winning the Patriot League is always a priority, but this year the women are also very focused on the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals Nov. 11 at Penn State. That’s where NCAA team and individual berths are determined.
  • The Bison wrestling squad is a week-and-a-half away from its season-opening duel at Oklahoma State. If you want an early look, tomorrow night the team will hold its annual instrasquad scrimmage in Davis Gym at 7 p.m.


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