How to Hike a Football

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Football is unlike other games in that the game is broken down into individual sections of a contest known as downs. During each down, one team is trying to score points and move the ball forward while the opposing team is trying to defend against the same. Every play, whether a field goal or the second down of a possession, begins with a hike. The hike is underrated in importance because it is so routine, but many a bad hike has ruined an otherwise dominant team's game. Read on to learn how to hike a football.

Things You'll Need

  • Quarterback and Center
  • Football
  • Players
  • Football Field
  • Huddle with the team and decide on a play. Choose if the quarterback is going to be directly behind you or in the "shotgun," which is a few feet back from the line of scrimmage.

  • Place the ball on the ground on the line of scrimmage and kneel down so that you can reach it. You are not typically allowed to stand when you hike, unless you are playing with a limited number of players in a casual game. Sometimes you might even be the quarterback and hike the ball yourself in these situations.

  • Listen for the quarterback's signal. A basic opening call would be, "Hut! Hut! Hike!" This can change dramatically from play to play, so just be sure you know the command word for the hike.

  • Snap the ball into the quarterback's hands once the hike call is made. It is important that the ball be snapped accurately or else you or the quarterback may fumble. Fumbling could allow the opposing team to pick up the ball and gain possession of it.

  • Keep an eye on the kicker or place holder in situations where you need to hike the ball to the kicker, like in a punt or a field goal. The kicker or place holder will typically be 10 yards or more behind you, making an accurate hike even more important. A fumble or loose ball in this situation can mean an incredible loss of yards should the opposing team gain control of the ball.

Tips & Warnings

  • Come up with some trick calls for yourself and the quarterback. This way, only you and your team know the true moment when you are going to hike the ball.
  • Wear protective gear whenever you play full contact football. There are a lot of opportunities to get severely injured during game play, so be sure you are well protected. The alternative is to play two-hand touch or flag football, which are both less dangerous.

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