SECTION 23. Snapping the Ball


  1. Legally snapping the ball (a snap) is handing or passing it backward from its position on the ground with a quick and continuous motion of the hand or hands, the ball actually leaving the hand or hands in this motion (Rule 4-1-4).

  2. The snap starts when the ball is moved legally and ends when the ball leaves the snapper’s hands (A.R. 7-1-5-I-II).

  3. If, during any backward motion of a legal snap, the ball slips from the snapper’s hand, it becomes a backward pass and is in play (Rule 4-1-1).

  4. While resting on the ground and before the snap, the long axis of the ball must be at right angles to the scrimmage line (Rule 7-1-3).

  5. Unless moved in a backward direction, the movement of the ball does not start a legal snap. It is not a legal snap if the ball is first moved forward or lifted.

  6. If the ball is touched by Team B during a legal snap, the ball remains dead and Team B is penalized. If the ball is touched by Team B during an illegal snap, the ball remains dead and Team A is penalized (A.R. 7-1-5-I-II).

  7. The snap need not be between the snapper’s legs; but to be legal, it must be a quick and continuous backward motion.

  8. The ball must be snapped on or between the hash marks.

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