Drop kickIn American football, one method of scoring a field goal was by drop-kicking the football through the goal. The kicker would drop the ball onto the ground, nose first, and then kick the ball when it bounced off the ground.
The drop kick was often used as a surprise tactic. The ball would be snapped or lateraled to a back, who would perhaps fake a run or pass, but then would kick the field goal instead.
In the 1930s, the ball was made pointier at the ends. This made passing the ball easier, but made the drop-kick obsolete, as the pointier ball did not bounce up from the ground reliably.
In Australian Rules football, a similarly named and executed kick was used in general play, particularly after a free kick was awarded. It was popular as players could kick the ball long distances, and the ball's backwards rotation was reasonably easy for teammates to catch (a major feature of the game).
A variation known as the "stab pass" or more poetically, the "daisy cutter" involved an abbreviated follow-through and travelled on a notably low trajectory, which made it very useful for short-range passing.
The drop kick and stab pass gradually disappeared from the game by the 1980s, as it was unreliable, particularly on wet grounds, and players were coached to always use the drop punt kicking style to avoid having to make a decision on what kind of kick to perform.