Long Snapping 101: Fundamentals of the Skill

Step 2: Hand Placement- The snapper should extend both arms directly in front of his shoulders and place them on the football. The bottom tip of the ball should be aligned directly under his chin. The snapper should place his dominant hand (power hand) on the laces of the ball, similar to how a QB grips the football.

The off hand is the "guide hand" and is placed on the middle of the ball opposite the power hand. The middle finger should be aligned parallel to the seam of the ball, pressing the palm into the ball and forcing it into the power hand. The snapper rolls and cocks the power hand, forming a slight bend in the wrist, turning the laces of the ball toward the ground.

Power Hand Placement

  • Place the first knuckle of the index finger across the seam of the ball
  • Place the middle finger and ring knuckles between the 2nd and 3rd laces of the ball, keeping them close together
  • Place the little finger across the bottom seam of the ball
  • Place the thumb around the ball, forming a natural "V" with the index finger and thumb.

Guide Hand Placement

  • Place the middle finger down the seam of the ball. The height of the middle finger on the seam helps determine elevation of the flight of the ball.
  • Place the index and ring finger on the ball, keeping them close to the middle finger.
  • Line up thumb and little finger straight across from each other for balance and straight release.
  • At the start of the snapping action, press the palm of the hand into the ball. This does three things:
    1. Forces the ball into the power hand
    2. Assists in the cocking action of the power hand
    3. Puts pressure on the ball for a tight spiral

Step 3: Arm Position- As the snapper grips the ball, he should favor the right leg with the ball if he's right handed and the left if he's left handed. He rolls and cocks the ball a half turn pointing the knuckles and laces of the power hand and ball into the ground while keeping the ball flat on the ground, with the nose slightly tilted up.

The guide-hand arm must be straight (elbow not bent). The arm of the power hand will be extended out in front of the body as far as possible with a slight bend in the elbow. It's important not to put a lot of weight on the football.

When ready to deliver the snap, the snapper pushes the palm of the guide hand into the ball, forcing the ball into the power hand. Now's he ready to fire a snap!

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