There are three styles of passing a ball used by quarterbacks. Two of these make use of only one arm in forwarding the ball - one by an overhand and straight-arm movement especially valuable for passing long distances, but too slow for ordinary use; the other by an underhand pitch with an easy, natural swing of the arm. This latter style is the quickest of the three, for no time is lost in raising the arm into a position for delivering the ball. This pass supplements the movement of the ball along the ground most quickly and naturally. In the third style of passing both hands and arms are used and it is closely allied to the one-arm underhand pass. This insures accuracy, but places limitations on the distance the ball can be thrown. It is commonly used in all short passing. It would be of great advantage if a quarter-back could pass accurately with either hand.

In receiving the ball from the center the quarter-back should stop it with the hand which corresponds to the leg already placed behind for a brace and immediately adjust the other hand to it for a pass. This is done by placing one end squarely in the hand from which the pass is to be made and spreading out the fingers. The hand should then be bent at the wrist until the ball rests against the forearm. The ball is now in a position for a pass. Care should be taken to have the hand squarely behind the ball, also to have the long axis of the ball parallel with the forearm. The easiest way to make a long pass is to swing the arm at full length just below the level of the shoulder.

The quarter-back must need give considerable time to practicing all parts of his work in receiving, handling, and passing the ball. It is no easy matter to receive the ball as it comes bounding back from the center-rusher and adapt it to the hands for accurate passing while quickly turning into position to deliver it to the runner; but it is necessary for the quarter-back to do this in order not to be interfered with by the rushers who break through the line, and also not to delay the runner. It requires long practice, also, to be able to handle the ball and be off the instant the ball is in the hands, but it is an achievement which enables the quarter-back to be of great service in end interference. Unless, however, there is the most skillful handling of the ball it is impossible for the quarterback to get ahead of the runner without delaying him. It requires much practice to be able to do quick and accurate passing - to be able to place the ball at just the right distance ahead of the runner and at just the right height and at just the right speed, so that he shall not be delayed an instant, and can give his whole thought to running and dodging.

Too great stress cannot be laid upon quick work by the quarter-back. It means success or defeat to some of the plays. At the same time the quarter-back must be exceedingly careful in handling and passing the ball. It is better to be a little slow than to be quick and unsteady. He must never become excited and lose his self-control, for that would be disastrous to all careful work and also would be likely to cause him to make mistakes in signals.

On all dashes through the center it is better for the quarter-back to make short passes of the ball at the runner's waist. The ball must not be passed fast and it must be most accurately placed, for the runner is bent over for a plunge and is not in a position to handle it, unless on a slow and accurate pass. These points are worthy of the most careful consideration, for much of the fumbling by the half-backs is due to poor passing. What would ordinarily be an excellent pass if the half-back were at some distance, would be a poor one when he is coming forward at full speed, with his body somewhat bent at the waist, and his attention partly on the ball and partly on the opening he is to take. In this case, also, a high pass is harder to catch than a low one, because the hands will have to be raised quickly from their position at the waist.

The quarter-back should also use the greatest care in his pass to the full-back for a kick, for a poor pass will most likely result in the opponents stopping the kick and securing the ball on four downs, if not on a fumble. The full-back can kick most quickly when the ball is passed at his waist.

Some quarter-backs prefer to hand the ball to the runner as he dashes by, whenever that is possible. This method, without doubt, is best when the guard or tackle runs around for a plunge through the line between center and guard, or guard and tackle, on the other side of the center. In this case the quarter-back will turn half around, with his back to the center-rusher, the ball being held by the ends between the extended hands. In most other cases an advantage is gained by passing the ball, because the quarter-back will not be in danger of being tackled by the opposing rushers or quarter-back, as they break through the line, and also because he will be free after his pass to give his whole attention to helping the runner. He may do this either by going through the opening and pulling the runner after him; by grasping him and going through with him; by shoving him hard when he strikes the line; or by jumping into an opponent who has broken through in the path of the runner. Occasionally it may be better to hand the ball to the runner when the quarter-back runs out to the side to interfere for him; but even in that case, a short pass usually facilitates the play because the quarter-back can run faster and do better interference when free from the ball. It is of great assistance in getting into the interference on end plays for the quarter-back to be able to pass the ball accurately on the run, for every fraction of a second counts in making a helpful connection.

On the defense the quarter-back usually hovers in the rear of the center and guards, watching his opportunity to go through and tackle the opposing quarter or halfbacks.

A powerful style of defensive play has now, however, been largely adopted, in which the quarter-back takes a position behind one of the tackles, while a half-back is brought up to a corresponding position behind the other tackle. They there await the play without attempting to go through on the instant the ball is snapped, and as the line of their opponents separates for the play, the one on whose side of the center the opening is made dives into it to meet the runner before he can strike the line.

He must know just when to go through the line and when to wait in order to see where to meet the play; also through which opening in the line to go in order to best check the play. Some shrewd guessing can be done, which will help determine this by noting all the signs of the direction of the play spoken of in the chapter on team play. The center and guards, and sometimes the tackles, should help the quarter-back find his opening and assist him in getting through. The quarter-back should always be helped through when the opposing team is going to kick, since it will be much easier for him to go through quickly on account of his size and quickness in starting. If the rushers and the quarter-back work together on the defense the latter can be a most valuable adjunct to their play, because he is free to move anywhere. When a runner is checked or tackled, the quarter-back, as indeed all the eleven, should endeavor to pull the ball out of his hands before he calls "down." The quarter-back often has a good chance to do this when the runner is entangled in a mass.