Snap (american football)
In certain situations, the center must throw the ball backwards several meters with both hands. Since such a "long snap" requires special skill, specialized players ( long snapper ) are often used.
- In a field goal attempt , the ball is thrown 7–8 yards back to the kneeling “Holder”, who catches the ball and places it on the tip so that the kicker can take action.
- With a punt , the punter stands 12-15 yards further back, so the ball has to be thrown further and higher.
Before taking the snap, at least seven offense players must line up on the line of scrimmage ; the entire offense with the exception of a single player, the man in motion in the backfield, must stand still for at least one second, otherwise there is a penalty of 5 yards for a false start . The defense players are allowed to move at any time, but when they snap, they are not allowed to stay in the neutral zone, which is as wide as the ball on the line of scrimmage, or beyond the line of scrimmage. The penalties for the defense are called encroachment and offside . In general, with the exception of the center or long snappers, no player is allowed to be in the neutral zone.
Furthermore, the quarterback sets the snap count in the huddle , ie he determines after how many of his calls the play begins. Usually the announcement is 'Down' - 'Set' - 'Hut'. According to the NCAA rules, the snap can also take place after the 'down'. A tactical variant of this is to use a fairly short snap count throughout the game and to use a longer one towards the end or in critical situations to lure the defense into an encroachment (defensive offside).