new spread offense, copied from my blog

Submitted by gsimmons85 on July 24th, 2008 at 9:55 PM

The next generation spread...A-11

Apparently a local team is going to unveil its new spread offense this year in scrimmage It remains to be seen how NCHSAA is going to see this.

A team last year tried to run something similar, the problem is with the eligible number rule. On normal plays, you have to have at least 5 ineligible numbers on the field. Now you can line them up in different places, but there has to be five. Last year it was illegal, at least in our game (we shut that team out, so they were trying to catch us by suprise)

How this offense is claiming to be legal is because of the free kick rule. By putting one more than 7 yards back they say they are in a free kick formation. All can be eligible numbers in that formation.

this is the website for the new offense.
We shall see how it plays out.





July 24th, 2008 at 11:11 PM ^

I'm interested to hear your opinion. The A-11 offense website is selling how-to videos and manuals. Does anyone think its worth the investment for a High School program?


July 24th, 2008 at 11:19 PM ^

like air-force football if you ask me.... Thats what you play as kids throw it all over the place, everyone is legal, etc. I dont think its going to be legal at least for very long, if it does catch on. Its a loop-hole in the rules, and sorta goes against the letter of the law. But you never know, offense sells tickets, so maybe the powers that be will let it slide, and it will be the new triple option forward pass spread offense progression.


July 25th, 2008 at 12:02 AM ^

Thanks. I'm on it! We've got tons of athletic kids and a 17 game losing streak to conquer. Doesn't get much worse than that . . . BUT, we just landed a new AD, fresh perspective and a desire to shake things up a bit . . . a closer look at the A-11 surely couldn't hurt. BTW, thanks for Three and Out! Great reading!


July 25th, 2008 at 12:12 AM ^

As a once and future coach but more importantly an academician of the game, this A-11 offense and its smarmy coach really ticks me off. It takes advantage of a help-you-out rule in a way it was never designed for. The free-kick jersey rule was to allow kids to get a chance to play special teams on the line without having to wear pullover jerseys making them statutory linemen. (The way the A-11 works is that it shuffles these players before the ball is snapped, meaning that any player coming out of the huddle might end up on the end of the line and thus eligible.) 

I'm all for coaches thinking "outside the box," but football standardized receiver eligibility 80 years ago.

My guess is the abuse of said rule will lead to its repeal or control in the NFHS, which hurts young players and the occasional washed-up senior whose only contribution might be in the punt formation. That will be sad, but the price must be paid for playing outside the spirit of the rules.

I do wonder how effective the offense can be in the long term. Piedmont had a good year but who knows who they played, and talent if they have it (as Jill suggests they do) makes any  offense look like a genius scheme.

I also question how you can toughen up your team to play defense when your offense is playing flag football all practice (gsimmons, you might have more to say on that.) Recall that one of Bo's benefits to a strong running offense was nastifying his defense during the week.

I love that we're talking this sort of stuff on mgoblog! 


July 25th, 2008 at 12:33 AM ^

You are right, i dont like it.  There are many other drawbacks as well.  Like i said Reidsville is going to be running it here this year, ill let you know what the verdict is.  Eligiblity is very different from highschool to college to nfl, as far as forward pases.  As a defensive coach the more difficult the offense the better the challenge,  When Smith was trying to do it to us last year, i was yelling at the refs, to let em play, we'll stop em.  I called the kids over to tell them how they are so sure they cant move the ball on us that they are going to a gemic offense.  Play your responsiblity, make your formation adjustments and play the play.   We beat them 34-0.

ITs against the spirit of the rule, and states will probably deal with it on a state by state basis. 

Jill if there is anything i can help you guys with, let me know....   every coach is a theif, and id be happy to share...



July 25th, 2008 at 8:14 AM ^

I saw this offense posted on another board where some guy thought RichRod should try to implement it at Michigan.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong GSimms, but isn't the type of offense that might catch a team off guard once - but get shut down by any good defensive coach with no problem? This seems so one-dimensional it's ridiculous. And again, maybe I'm off base, but if you tried this crap against a D1 college team, would the QB even survive the first series? 

Basically, what I'm saying is I would have rather shoved a pencil up my dick than play this kind of offense. 


July 25th, 2008 at 12:47 PM ^

Thanks for the offer to share! I have linked this, and Three and Out to one of our innovative coaches! He said they are using the Delaware Winged T this year, and said it's described on the website.  He coaches the D, and a great guy!


July 25th, 2008 at 1:17 PM ^

We are runnign the wing-t this year as well.  We have a wing-t spread hybrid,  but with our senior qb gone, and a great backfield and oline returning,  we will be wing-t all the way.  But i try to stay out of that offensive whimpy stuff.


July 25th, 2008 at 10:07 AM ^

As I understand it, the controversy around this offense is that it uses a loophole in the rules to bypass requirements for 5 players to have non-eligible numbers (and to be non-eligible). I get the requirement to have 5 non-eligible receivers, but what is the spirit of the rule in making sure certain numbers are ineligible? Why the hell should coaches, players, fans, officials care if your jersey # is high/low/whatever? Don't we only care about making sure about the correct number of bodies on the line?

This reminds me of lacrosse, in that the #s don't matter, only the number of the players behind/in front of the midfield line. Often in a game a defensive player would go on a breakaway, and it was the responsibility of one of us middies to stay behind the line, raise our stick (so the official could see no one was offsides), and wait for the D guy to come back.  No one cared or might consider it "illegal" if a longstick defenseman was running around on the offense, as long as the cost of that was a shortstick being held back on defense.  The kind of player didn't matter in lacrosse.

I've got no problem with this offense. As long as the quantity of players on the line are right, then I don't think we should care if it's the right kind of players on the line. But maybe I'm missing something.

Tim Waymen

July 25th, 2008 at 10:24 AM ^

Now I am no expert on the game, but I guess I don't see how it's not illegal. Still, I agree that it takes away from the spirit of the game. It essentially turns the game into backyard tackle football where everyone is eligible. I doubt it would work past the HS level. I think that one way of remedying it is to make a rule where you can only designate a maximum number of eligible receivers in each set of downs i.e. only these players can receive the ball within each set of downs. It sounds like a stupid idea by me. It doesn't affect the formation because how do you know which guys are chosen as eligible? Does it have to announced? For one thing, it takes away the possibility of some trick plays. Or maybe designate ineligible receivers. Make a rule that only one lineman can be eligible should the coach so choose. I'm just throwing ideas out there, but they would take away from the basic rules of football. Re: innovative offenses, I read something somewhere about a "spin offense." Have you heard of such a thing, gsims? Also, the worst, sneakiest trick play out there that I've seen has to be the "wrong ball" trick. It's a cheap, cheap way of playing. I don't get how a coach gets any satisfaction out of winning that way.


July 25th, 2008 at 10:37 AM ^

I'd want to defer towards keeping things simple, and I'd be worried about putting in extra complicated subrules just to ban a quirky formation/offense.  Safety and Equity should be the priorities when it comes to creating and changing rules- rules should be put into effect to ensure safety and fairness, and little else.  As long as the offense isn't endangering players (which I haven't heard detractors claim), and as long as it's not making the game unfair (which is at most debatable), then I don't see the problem here.

According to gsimmons, the offense is not necessarily effective, and I agree.  It doesn't look unstoppable to me, because there does seem to be a "cost" to this offense (e.g. 1 QB 7 yards behind LOS, are you kidding me?).  So I question how "unfair" A-11 supposedly is.  And I have yet to hear anyone say that this endangers players (because if that's so, then pretty much ALL free kick formations are dangerous).  Soooo...what's the problem again, in terms of the rules?


July 25th, 2008 at 10:39 AM ^

I appear to be alone here, but I like the idea. For all of those saying it goes against the spirit of the rules/game, isn't that what was once said of the forward pass? It's innovative. Originally the coach implemented it because most of the schools in their league were twice their size and he wanted to try to even the playing field. Apparently he's had some success, we'll see if that continues or if opposing coaches have figured it out. But it's a great way to utilize the talent that he has. I personally like the idea of Rich Rod running it, given our issues on the offensive line.


Edit: I just read that it's illegal in NCAA football.  There is wording in the rule regarding the special kick formation that this formation employes stating that "It must be obvious that a kick has at least been attempted."  If high school sports bodies wish to make this formation illegal, adding this phrase would be the simplest method.


July 25th, 2008 at 1:34 PM ^

Offensive football rules have swung too far towards passing, and this is one of the final overreaches that will swing things back to a more manageable equilibrium in High School football. The NCAA, to its credit, dealt with this in its rules a long time ago. The "Scrimmage Kick" rule that allows for substitution of ineligible numbered (read: big, slow) players off for a punt formation was edited when college coaches started exploiting the rule as well. The edit: eligible jersey numbered players (1-49, 80-99) were only allowed in the interior five of a scrimmage kick formation (direct snap deeper than 7 yards) in "a kicking situation clearly exists (i.e. 4th down, punter substitution)." Expect the NFHS and other governing bodies to adjust. The Notre Dame Box offense utilized a similar exploit: shifting just before the snap to change the side of the strength in the single wing offense (read: having 7 players on one side, suddenly changing to the other, and snapping the ball near simultaneously). This offense does a similar trick only with who is going to be an eligible receiver at the start of the play. I would not stake the future of a program or season on this offense.


July 25th, 2008 at 1:47 PM ^

You might be referring to the variant of the Single-Wing called the "Single-Wing with the Spinning Fullback" which is much more akin to Wing-T blocking concepts and the idea of "hiding" the ball from the defense by the player taking the snap turning around and shielding view of the ball from the defense. Single-wing concepts are incorporated into most spread offenses especially ones with bigger QBs like Tim Tebow. See the article I wrote for SMQ: Check this video of some old-school Michigan single-winging (from Coach Hugh Wyatt of Camas, WA):


July 25th, 2008 at 4:06 PM ^

with their orbit motion, is the same concept of using your body to shield the fake.  There are versions of the single wing still in excistence in highschool football.   And the power I football game, is really the step-child of the single wing.

 It is becoming easier to programs to draft athletes and turn them into running qb's that they can teach to throw a little,  as opposed to trying to create, and mold a real drop back  QB.  I see the college game changing to the point where NFL qb's become harder and harder to find...