A football player is often called upon to fall on the ball as it lies on the ground or rolls along over the field. If the ball is in motion it may be coming toward the player, going away from him or traveling directly across his front.

If the ball is moving away from the player he should dive for it, lighting on the knees first and falling forward on and around the ball as in Figure 1. The hands and arms should draw the ball securely against the body to prevent any of the opponents obtaining even part possession •of it. This they will always try to do. If the ball is bounding so that it can easily be caught off the ground, then the player should catch it. Never pick the ball up if it is lying on the ground, however. Always fall on it or someone else will do so. If the ball is rolling along slowly on the ground, the player can still use his hands or arms to gather it in under the body.

Upper picture illustrates how to fall on ball that is coming toward you. The lower one, when it is going away.

Upper picture illustrates how to fall on ball that is coming toward you. The lower one, when it is going away.

When the ball is bounding it must be watched closely, as it will bound irregularly.

If an opponent is about to fall on the ball it is sometimes possible to push him so that he will miss it, and the oval can then be secured for your side. The ball may also at times be successfully kicked out from under an opponent just as he is about to fall on it. If two men are racing for the ball with one of the opponents it is often best for one man to block, off the opponent, allowing his own team mate to secure the ball.

In falling on the ball, do not fall with your weight directly on it, as this is likely to produce injury, but break the fall with the knees and elbows. The player must make sure of the ball first and foremost, and must not try to pick it up if there is any chance of losing it to the other side.

The above illustration shows the proper manner to fall on a ball that is fumbled at a player's feet or is rolling towards him. The player should throw his feet directly back and practically "curve up" in front of and around the ball. If the ball is moving, the legs and body together with the hands and arms can be used to pocket it up. The upper part of the body should come to the ground, the left side first if falling as above. If on the other side of the ball, the conditions would be reversed.

The player should practice falling on the ball while it is moving in every conceivable way. Practice should consist of diving and falling on the ball quickly. If the ball is to be secured in a game on a fumble before the opponents, no time can be spent in quietly lying down around it.