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How to Hook and Ladder

The hook and ladder is a highly risk trick play, but when it works, it elevates misdirection to an art form.


  • Step 1: Line up and hike Line up your team and have the center hike the ball.
  • Step 2: Drop back to pass Drop back to pass the ball.
  • Step 3: Send one receiver mid-distance Have one receiver run down the sideline roughly 10 yards then turn toward the center of the field -- or 'hook.'
  • Step 4: Send another receiver behind the first Simultaneously, have another receiver run at full speed just behind and outside the first.
  • Step 5: Throw the ball Throw to the first receiver.
  • Step 6: Have the receiver lateral the ball Have the receiver immediately lateral the ball outside to the streaking second receiver.
  • TIP: Timing is everything on this play. If the second receiver is too early, it’ll be impossible to lateral. If he’s too late, the misdirection won’t work.
  • Step 7: Block as needed Have the first receiver block as needed.
  • FACT: The play was originally (and still is occasionally) called the 'hook and lateral.'

You Will Need

  • To be desperate enough to try a trick play
  • Offensive possession
  • Two receivers

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