Deceptive "trick plays" in football

This is a stupid melon-headed play, not a trick play.

This deceptive trick play in football is called “wrong ball.”



The quarterback pretends that something is wrong with the football, so he walks towards the coach on the sidelines holding up the ball. He hopes to deceive the defense into not tackling him by stopping the game for some sort of "problem" with the game. When the quarterback has gotten far enough away from the defensive players on the opposing team, he runs towards the goal.

Some think the “wrong ball” trick play is fair game and within the rules, and others think it’s an illegal play or, at the very least, unsportsmanlike, especially when the players are young kids. Others say that those youngsters will never forget the fundamental rule that when the ball is picked up, it’s time to tackle.

This kind of deception could be called "pretending to step outside the game." The football players are deceived because they think the rules of the game don't apply because the game isn't still happening, and that the quarterback was able to stop the game. But unless the quarterback calls a time out, he can't stop the game. He merely pretends to stop the game.

On a professional and college level, they run a different type of trick play, where players are deceived into thinking one type of play is going to happen, but another happens instead.



This was a college football game, with Notre Dame playing at Michigan State. The game was in overtime. The Michigan State Spartans seemed to be setting up to kick a field goal, which would have forced the game to go into a second overtime. Instead, they pulled off a fake play, called “Little Giants,” and won the game.

But even the “wrong ball” trick play isn’t always successful. Sometimes an individual doesn’t follow the crowd and isn’t fooled by the ruse. That player's head is still in the game, and doesn't get conned into thinking the game has somehow been put on hold. (Warning - loud music track. You might want to mute the sound on this video.)

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