The Dive Play is the most basic running play in football. The dive requires a running back to take the handoff and “dive” into the center of the line. A dive can take place between a center and guard or between a guard and a tackle.
A fullback dive requires the fullback to become a battering ram, taking the direct path and bulling through the line. A halfback dive has the fullback go into the “hole” as a lead blocker, clearing out the linebacker or double-teaming a particularly troublesome blocker.
The dive is used for short yardage plays and goal line plays. It can be used anywhere on the field, though, trying to hit the defense with a quick run inside while it’s defenders are concentrating on other threats. The dive is sometimes used as a set-up for a play action pass, which requires a fake handoff on a dive and a quick throw downfield once the linebackers and safeties are “froze” by the play action.