The snap or hike is performed at the start of each Canadian football and American football play. A Canadian and American football play starts with the ball on the ground at the line of scrimmage. The ball must then be touched by at least two offensive players or a penalty is assessed for illegal procedure. The ball is almost always snapped from the line of scrimmage by the Center back to a player behind the line of scrimmage to complete the requirement for a legal play.
The snap consists of the Center flipping the football backwards between his legs to a player behind the center. The ball is snapped on a particular count. In a typical play, where the quarterback is receiving the snap, the quarterback will shout a cadence such as, "Down, Set, Hut." The long snap is a variation on the normal snap in which the receiver of the snap is several yards behind the Center. If the ball is to be kicked, it is long snapped to a punter or holder.