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The Forward Pass in Football   By:

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THE FORWARD PASS IN FOOTBALL.

BY ELMER BERRY, B.S., M.P.E.

Head Coach Football and Baseball, Associate Director Physical Department, Professor Physiology and Physiology of Exercise, International Young Men's Christian Association College, Springfield, Mass.

NEW YORK A. S. BARNES AND COMPANY 1921

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY A. S. BARNES AND COMPANY

THIS WORK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED TO Dr. J. H. McCurdy FORMER COACH SPRINGFIELD Y. M. C. A. COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAMS, THE MAN WHO EARLIEST DEVELOPED THE FORWARD PASS, FOR TWENTY FIVE YEARS A SUCCESSFUL COACH AND A STANDARD BEARER OF CLEAN SPORT

CONTENTS

PAGE

CHAPTER I THE COMING OF THE FORWARD PASS 1

CHAPTER II LEGAL RESTRICTIONS RELATIVE TO THE FORWARD PASS 4

CHAPTER III THE SPIRAL PASS FROM CENTER 6

CHAPTER IV THE TECHNIQUE OF FORWARD PASSING 8

CHAPTER V FUNDAMENTALS OF THE SUCCESSFUL FORWARD PASSING GAME 11

CHAPTER VI SUGGESTIVE FORWARD PASS FORMATIONS AND PLAYS 19

CHAPTER VII DEFENSE FOR THE FORWARD PASS 23

ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

FIG. 1. PUNT FORMATION PASS 19

FIG. 2. UNDESIRABLE PASS 20

FIG. 3. SPRINGFIELD CARLISLE INDIAN PASS 21

FIG. 4. SPREAD FORMATION PASS 21

FIG. 5. OPEN DEFENSE 24

THE FORWARD PASS IN FOOTBALL

CHAPTER I.

THE COMING OF THE FORWARD PASS.

INTRODUCTION.

The history of football has been a story of limiting the power of the offense. The defense has never been restricted, never curtailed, never hampered, always free to line up as it chose, to go when it pleased (barring offside), where it pleased and do practically as it pleased. Always the offense has been too strong, too powerful, and there has been the necessity of legal restrictions directed toward equalizing the attack and defense. This was true in general up to the "revolution" when ten yards and the forward pass came and the "new" game was created.

With the forward pass a great, new, unknown offensive weapon was provided. The history of the game since the granting of this new method of attack has again been chiefly a story of limiting the power and effectiveness of this new offense. To be sure minor changes in the rules have had other motives and objectives, but taking it by and large the statement is true to fact.

A brief review of the conditions of the "old" game will recall to players and spectators of that period the situation, and perhaps help all of us to better appreciate and understand the changes that brought the "new" game.

Mass plays predominated. Possession of the ball was vastly important. Five yards were to be made in three downs. If a man six feet tall could fall forward his full length three times he would make six yards and first down. Consequently "fall forward," "get your distance," were slogans of the old game. End runs, though they might occasionally succeed brilliantly, were apt to lose precious distance that could not be regained. If a team won the toss and took the ball there was practically nothing but a fumble between them and a touchdown, and games between evenly matched teams were often really decided by the luck of the toss at the beginning of the game. For with even weight and particularly with a slight advantage of weight in the line, a safe, conservative game, straight ahead, slow but sure, tackle to tackle, hammer the weak spot, was sure to bring the ultimate touchdown. All sorts of ingenious formations were devised for massing power on the weak spot. The famous "guards back" of Pennsylvania, the "flying wedge" of Deland of Harvard, the "turtle back" wedge of others, the rolling mass on tackle and others of this type will bring a smile of reminiscence to "old timers... Continue reading book >>




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