Good catchers are scarce in the game of football. This is because they do not devote the time and attention neces-sary to become proficient. The oblong shape of the ball and the fact that it is inflated with air makes its flight uncertain to some extent, yet with practice a player can learn to judge just where the ball will fall and to be there in the proper place to receive it. Until the members of a team become reliable and steady in handling punts and passes the eleven will be uncertain in all its play. Football is a game that is full of passes and punts and each time the ball is passed or punted it must be handled accurately or the play will fail.
In catching punts or long passes the direction of the wind must be taken into consideration. If the ball is coming with the wind it is sure to go farther than it promised in the first of its flight. The height of the kick and the force of the wind will determine how much to allow for this additional distance. Then again, the kind of kick, spiral or floater, will have much to do with its distance and direction. When catching a spiral, if the front end of the ball is watched closely, its direction and distance can be easily judged. The player wishing to make the catch should be back of the place where the ball will alight on the ground. He should never be too far under the ball as it comes down, for if it gets over the head of the catcher it will probably roll a great distance. If the player is just back of where the ball will fall he can easily move forward at the last moment, make the catch on the run and be going toward the opponents' goal.
Position One. - Form for catching a punt. Hands should be in this position as ball approaches; right hand must be under ball.