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Six-man football was invented in 1934, by a high school coach from Chester, Nebraska named Stephen Epler, who wanted to find a way for his players to have the opportunity to play the game of football. Four years later, the game made it's way to the Lone Star state.

Six-Man is a fast-moving game played on an 80-yard-long by 40-yard-wide field (instead of the normal 100-yd by 53​1⁄3-yd field used in 11-man football). Furthermore, the game specifies a 15-yard distance from the line of scrimmage to gain a first down, instead of the normal 10 yards.

All six players are eligible to be receivers in the American game. On offense, three linemen are required on the line of scrimmage at the start of the play. The player to whom the ball is snapped cannot run the ball past the line of scrimmage; however, if the ball is tossed to another player, that player can run or throw the ball and the player to whom the ball was snapped is still an eligible receiver. All forward passes to the player who snapped the ball (center) must travel at least 1 yard in flight.

Scoring is the same as in 11-man football, with the exceptions being on the point after touchdown attempt and the field goal. A point-after kick is worth two points, while a conversion made by running or passing the ball is worth one point; this is the opposite of standard 11-man football. In addition, a field goal is worth four points instead of three. These rule changes were made because of the difficulty of successfully getting a kick off with so few blockers on the line compared to the number of defenders. In both University Interscholastic League and Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools competition, a 45-point "mercy rule" exists to prevent lopsided scoring deficits (no such rule exists in the 11-man game). The game is ended under this rule if a team is losing by 45 or more points at halftime or at any point after. 

Scoring tends to be much higher in the six-man game compared to its 11-man counterpart; games in which one team scores 100 points or more, now extremely rare in 11-man, regularly occur several times a year in six-man.