Dead Ball Snap or West Virginia Snap

I read a few weeks ago on the Spin Channel about an end over end shotgun snap.  Brad Scott from the Spin Channel calls it the West Virginia snapping technique.  And, in Jan 2009 AFM issue Schutt Football is running an advertisement editorial called, The Little Things, and Bill Powers, Head Coach, Jupiter High School in Florida calls it a Dead Ball Snap.  Since we run the Spin and shotgun, I decided to find out more about this new snapping technique.  Well, its new to me. 🙂

Powers says from the article that the Dead Ball Snap is much easier for kids to learn than the traditional shotgun snap, more consistent snaps, laces line up better for QB and if there is a bad snap it does not travel as far.  

Here’s the Brad Scott post from the Spin Channel; “Basically, the center puts his middle finger down the seam of the ball and palms the nose. This will raise the ball up onto the opposite point. Then, while keeping his wrist in a fixed, locked position, he just snaps his hand right up to his crotch. The ball comes out in tumbling manner as opposed to a spiral. Softer snaps for dive and our Qb has an easier time catching it. Our snaps have been much more consistent since adopting this technique. Hope that helps.”

Here’s a video of the Dead Ball Snapping technique. 

Let me know what you think.  Is your team using the Dead Ball Snap?  What do you call it?   Post a reply and let us know if the snap is working for your team or any issues you are having with the snap. 

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

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  1. We just practiced the dead ball snap today. Roughly 100 snaps and only 3 were bad. Two of those were because of a wet ball, and the other one was because we asked the center to try snapping without looking at QB. No snaps were high. This is an amazing turnaround and should help a bunch because those moonshot snaps were killing the timing of our spin offense.

    Finally, I expected the snap to be slower than our spiral snap. It’s actually much faster. Our Qb is only 4-5 yards behind center.

  2. Started using this last year for 3rd grader…son was center. Once he learned it, it was a snap. Didn’t have one bad snap exchange all season in shotgun. Easy to teach, easy to catch. Older son is learning how to use it for 7 on 7. His tackle team used spiral snap with different kid as center and he snapped a bunch over QBs head and 10 to 15 yd loss every time.

    If done right, then gets to QB just as quick and with much less chance of long, over the head, loss of yardage, spiral snap.

  3. My son who is an 11 year old QB practiced this technique for about 30 seconds. He then rattled off 62 consecutive snaps yards between my knees and shoulders. Amazing stuff.

  4. I’m center for my football team and we have switched to shotgun this year and are using this type of snap but we just call it a dead snap.

  5. Our kids seemed fairly consistent with snap until huge nose guard and DTs shot the 0,1,2 gaps in our first scrimmage on Saturday…they seem to fall apart as snaps were high and some even rolled…It appears they are placing ball too far in front of them due to fatigue or to give them more leverage…I love the concept and want to use this method…Any suggestions as to how we can be consistent in games against good competition…I am not ready to give up on this as i love the concept and it gives us the ability to get plays off much faster out of wing t…

    1. Shotgun snapping is tough. When your Centers practice snaps at practice make sure you have someone hitting them with a blocking pad and make then move two or three steps after each snap. It is very easy to just pop snaps back. Also in practice make sure they get live reps against good players. Make sure your O-Guards are protecting the Center. Many times the Guards are not getting over there quick enough to block and just watching your Center get crushed. They are called Guards for a reason. Quick inside steps and knee to Defenders crotch or face.

      Reps, Reps, Reps. Your shotgun snapper should be getting reps almost all practice. He needs at least 50 snaps each practice if not more. And they need to be snapping at home. If you have player that is not interested in being a Center and they really do not care about snapping then sometimes this is not a good situation.

      Ive had seasons that we could not shotgun snap because our Centers just could not do it. It is not worth the risk in games if you are not 14/15 consistent. Sometimes, you must move on.

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