The quarter is, under the captain, the director of the game. With the exception of one or two uncommon and rare plays, there is not one of any kind, his side having the ball, in which it does not pass through his hands. The importance of his work it is therefore impossible to overrate. He must be, above all the qualifications of brains and agility usually attributed to that position, of a hopeful or sanguine disposition. He must have confidence in his centre himself, and, most of all, in the man to whom he passes the ball. He should always believe that the play will be a success. The coach can choose no more helpful course during the first few days, 6 as far as the quarter is concerned, than that of persuading him to repose confidence in his men. Many promising halfbacks are ruined by the quarter. There is nothing that makes halves fumble so badly, get into such awkward positions, start so slowly, and withal play so halfheartedly, as the feeling that the quarter does not think much of them, does not trust them, or believe in their abilities. Every half-back can tell the same story - how he is nerved up by the confidence of the quarter, and what an inspiration it is to good work to see that confident look in the eye of the man who is about to pass to him.

But not alone in the work of the half does it make a great difference, but in that of the quarter himself. When he lacks confidence in his man, his passing is unsteady and erratic as well as slow. He allows the opponents a far better chance of reaching the man before he can get started, both by irregular and slow passing, and also by a nervous looking at him before the ball is played.

In practice, great stress should be laid on quick handling and sharp passing of the ball. A quarter can slow up in a game if advisable, but he can never do any faster work than that which he does in practice without throwing his men completely out. In order to make the play rapid, a quarter must be figuratively tied to the centre's coat, or rather jacket, tails. As soon as the centre reaches the ball after a down, he should know that the quarter is with him. Usually there is an understood signal between them, which not only shows the centre that the quarter is on hand, but also when he is ready to receive the ball. One of the most common of these signals has been placing the hand upon the centre's leg or back. A pinch would let him know when to snap the ball. In spite of this method's having been used by opponents to fool a centre, it has been, and still is, the most common. One of the best variations of it has been for the quarter to put his hand upon the centre and keep it there until he is ready for the ball, then take it off and let the centre snap the ball, not instantly, but at his convenience.

Should anything occur making it advisable, for some reason, to stop the play, the quarter puts his hand upon the centre again at once, and until it is once more removed the snap-back understands that the quarter is not ready to have the ball come. Almost any amount of variation can be made in the signal of the quarter to his centre; but in arranging this it should be constantly borne in mind that the signal should not be such as to give the opponents the exact instant of the play, because it gives them too close an idea of the moment when they may start.

Alexander Moppatt. Princeton.

Alexander Moppatt. Princeton.

The speed of a quarter's work depends upon his ability to take the ball close to the snap-back and in proper position for a pass. In merely handing the ball to a runner, one might suppose that there would be no particular position in which the ball should be held; but in that he would be in error, for a ball so handed to a passing runner as not to settle properly in his arms or hands means in many instances a disastrous fumble, or at best a slowing-up of the runner's speed. In giving the ball to a passing runner, it should be held free and clear of the quarter's body and slightly tilted, so that it can be taken against the body, and without the use of both hands for more than an instant, because the runner must almost immediately have use for his arm in going into the line. It is impossible to give in print the exact angle and method of holding the ball for this purpose, but practice and the wishes of the runners, if consulted, will soon show the quarter just what is meant. When the ball is to be passed any considerable distance, it should be taken so that the end is well placed against the hand of the quarter, while the ball itself lies against the forearm, the wrist being bent sharply.

This will enable the quarter to send the ball swiftly and accurately almost any distance that it may be necessary to cover. Of course, in many cases the ball does not actually rest against the forearm of the quarter; but this is the best way of conveying the idea of the proper position of the hand upon the point of the ball, and by practising in this way the correct motion for steady passing is speedily acquired. In receiving the ball, the right hand, or the hand with which the throw is made, should be placed upon the end of the ball, while the other hand stops its progress, and should be placed as nearly upon the opposite end of the ball as convenient. This is the theoretically proper way of receiving the ball; practically, the handling cannot be as accurately performed as this would indicate. If, however, the quarter will in practice be constantly aiming at receiving the ball so that his right hand grasps the end just as his left hand stops the ball, and settles it securely against his right, he will find that after a few weeks he can receive four out of five snap-backs in such a way as to make any great amount of arranging the ball for his pass, after it is in his hands, quite unnecessary.

After the preliminary weeks of practice, and when in a game, he must bear in mind the fact that, in order of importance, his duties are, first, to secure the ball, no matter how; second, to convey it to his own man, no matter whether in good form or not. He must never pass the ball if he has fumbled it, unless he has a perfectly clear field in which to do it. He must always have it down in preference to taking the slightest risk of losing it. Even though he receive it without a fumble, there may be a way through in that part of the line towards which his pass is to be delivered; and here, again, he should hold the ball for another down rather than take any chance of the opponent's intercepting the pass. After letting the ball go, the quarter should follow his pass; in fact, he should be almost on the run as the ball leaves his hand. No matter whether the ball be caught or fumbled, he is then ready to lend assistance; whereas if he stand still after his pass, he is of no use to the rest of the play. When the play is a run, he can do excellent work in interfering; and when the play is a kick, he can take any opponent who gets through, and thus aid the half in protecting the kicker.

In either case, if his own man muff or fumble he is close at hand to lend assistance in an emergency, which otherwise might prove most disastrous. When lining up the quarter should take a quick glance, not directly at the player he is to make the recipient of the ball, but covering the general position of all the men. In doing this he locates his individual without making it apparent to the opponents which man is to receive the ball. Any amount of disguise may be practised in the way of taking a last glance at the wrong man, or calling out to some one who does not enter into the play. The chief point, nevertheless, is to avoid that tell-tale glance at the right man which is so difficult to omit.

Ralph Warren. Princeton.

Ralph Warren. Princeton.

When the opponents have the ball, the quarter makes an extra man in or near the forward line, and, as a rule, he can by his shrewdness make it very uncomfortable for any point in the line which he chooses to assail. No law can govern his tactics in this respect, but he should be a law unto himself, and show by his cleverness that he is more valuable than any man in the line whose position is fixed. One caution only is worth giving to the quarter in this line of play, and that is, to be less free of going forward sharply when the play is evidently to be a run than when a kick is to be attempted. In the latter case, a quarter can always be sent for his best.