Chalk Talk: To Clap or Not to Clap?

first_imgThere are many ways for the quarterback to communicate with the center in order to get the ball snapped. The standard type of communication is a verbal cadence. Some teams use a visual marker when in shotgun, such as an arm or leg motion.The craze that has been sweeping collegiate football, though, has been the clap cadence, where the quarterback’s clap replaces the traditional vocal snap count. Urban Meyer, head coach of Ohio State, was one of the first to use the clap cadence. Now just about every team in the Big 12, including Oklahoma State, uses it.Rudolph to Sheperd for the TD right at me! Watch my story on #okstate win on @FOX23 at 11:05. @Rudolph2Mason @bshep10 pic.twitter.com/BKVjq24nh9— Nathan Thompson (@NathanDThompson) October 4, 2015The clap cadence, just like any other snap call, has its advantages and disadvantages. Its biggest advantage is that it is audible in any situation. The clapping noise cuts through sound, allowing all eleven players to hear it at once. Additionally, because it is an aural cadence, all eleven players can keep their heads up and forward, including the center as opposed to everyone looking at the center to watch for the snap.There are ways to keep the defense from jumping the snap count, by either faking the clap motion or going on two. Many centers will snap the ball a couple of seconds after the clap, and use a “one” or “two” call to call for the snap that many seconds after they hear the clap (one is one second, two is two seconds, etc.) Aaron Rodgers talks about a variation of that at 1:40 here.Many people question the effectiveness of the clap count. Yes, the noise is louder and more audible than a standard vocal cadence, but it can get predictable unless teams truly utilize a variety of snap counts. Additionally, unless a quarterback is really good at selling it, faking the clapping motion really doesn’t do anything.Just like anything in football tactics, you have a trade-off; in this case, everyone can hear it, but the predictability is higher. Looking at the popularity of the clap cadence, it seems that the former is more important.Do you think this is an effective cadence? Or would you prefer a signal or vocal count? Leave your opinions below in the comments!If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img

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