The snap is performed at the start of each American football play. An 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 proceedure. 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 just behind. The long snap is a variation on the normal snap in which the receiver of the snap is several yards behind the Center. The ball is usually snapped to the quarterback. If the ball is to be kicked, it is long snapped to a punter or Holder.