Evolution of Football or Bush League?

In trying to further my education today by listening to NPR, I heard an interesting story about a unique football offense called the A-11 Offense.  While you are probably familiar with West Coast, Single Wing, Wing-T, or Veer offenses, you’ve probably never seen anything like this before in your life. 

The A-11 offense thrives on completely spreading out the defense and making the offense completely unpredictable.  In its most basic form, its a two quarterback shotgun formation with 3 wide receivers on each side of the ball and a tight end on each side of the center.  To make the offense more unorthodox and unpredictable, each player wears an eligible number so that depending on the play, the formation can adapt to make any player eligible to catch a pass down field.  That’s where the name comes from (i.e. all eleven players potentially eligible).  You still with me? 

For those right-brain learners, here’s a video:

As you can see, it basically looks like a kickoff formation for every down.

Its biggest advantage is for schools that are a lot smaller in size, both in number and physically.  The creators of the offense are from Piedmont High in the San Francisco Bay area.  Given their small school size and their tough competition, the A-11 Offense allows them to compete with teams that should blow them out of the water.  Unfortunately, those who are thinking about using the A-11 to their advantage may not have the choice in another year.  The North Carolina High School Athletic Association along with a few other states have already banned the the offense and are moving that it be done so nationally. 

Like Congress didn’t have their hands full already.

While I tend to be a purist when it comes to my sports, I do have to say this is got to be the best thing I’ve seen on the football field since the “swinging gate.”  To take this away from a team just because it seems “tricky” is just a refusal to put in the extra hours in order to figure out how to defend it.  I say let the Piedmont’s of the world have their offense, and show them how stupid it is by demolishing them.

Probably easier said than done.


One thought on “Evolution of Football or Bush League?

  1. The A-11 offense is only able to function becasue of a loophole in the rules, allowing any number ot be eligible because they are in a “scrimmage kick” formation even though they have no intention of kicking. That loophole has been banned in a number of states making it illegal. Inthe games Ive sen the QB in these offenses was a great athlete and was running for his life the entire game. It takes a VERY special QB that most teams will never have.


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