a 11 offense, a11 offense, a 11 formation

Is the A-11 Really Football’s Offense of the Future?

July 28, 2008 10:13 AM
by Denis Cummings
A high school offense in which all 11 players are eligible receivers has been dubbed the “the future of football,” but it’s unlikely to be legal in the NCAA or NFL.

30-Second Summary

The A-11 offense, developed by Piedmont (Calif.) High School coach Kurt Bryan, allows all 11 players to be potentially eligible receivers. With two quarterbacks and no offensive linemen, the offense is confusing for defenders and helped Piedmont go 7-4 last year against larger schools.

The offense exploits a loophole in the rulebook regarding kicking formations. When the quarterback stands more than seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, the play is considered a scrimmage-kick formation and standard eligibility rules don’t apply.

Bryan believes the offense is the wave of the future: “If we were sitting down with football coaches and players in 50 years or 100 years, the A-11 would be no big deal because that's what the game will be.”

Mainstream media sources such as, American Football Monthly and the Oakland Tribune agree with Bryan and have published articles hyping the offense. They have not addressed the legality of the formation outside of California high school football, however.

The NCAA would not allow the formation because it does not consider a formation to be a scrimmage-kick formation unless it is “obvious that a kick may be attempted.” The NFL, meanwhile, has much more stringent eligibility rules that would render the formation useless.

The so-called offense of the future will likely never be used above high school play, and even its legality there has yet to be clarified. The officials in California deemed the A-11 legal, but the National Federation of State High School Associations has yet to rule on the issue.

Headline Links: Media coverage of the A-11

Background: The A-11 explained

Opinion & Analysis: Legality of the A-11

Reference: Rulebooks


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