Holder (American football)

Holder (American football)

In American football the holder is the player who receives the snap during field goal and extra point attempts. The holder is usually positioned between seven and eight yards behind the line of scrimmage. The holder kneels down and places the hand furthest from the line of scrimmage on the ground with the other hand held out waiting for the ball to be snapped to him. After receiving the ball, the holder places it on the ground as quickly as possible, so that one end is touching the ground and the other end is supported by one finger. The holder also rotates the ball so that the laces are facing towards the goal posts. On particularly windy days, a holder is used to help steady the ball on kick-offs though that player is usually a special team specialist rather than a punter or quarterback.

The holder is usually a player who plays another position, but doubles as a holder. Often, the holder will be a punter, wide receiver or a quarterback (often a backup), as the position calls for good hands and concentration, the quarterback may naturally be the best holder on the team.

During a "fake field goal" attempt the holder may pick the ball up and either throw a forward pass or run with the ball.

There can also be a holder during kickoffs and free kicks, but this is reserved for when the ball tee cannot keep the ball up by itself, usually due to wind.

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