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Number of Formations??  

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rrsontag
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May 28, 2020 5:58 pm  

I am sure this has been covered already, but my lack of tech savvy hasn’t produced any recent search results...

What is the appropriate number of formations for a youth football team? And what is considered a formation? For example is I-Right/I-Left one formation or two? If you change personnel say 22 to 21, do you consider that a formation change?

I am starting to put together a playbook for a 6th grade team, and I am struggling on what is too much, not enough etc. Last season we ran an two tight I, and had an unbalanced adjustment what we called jumbo L removed link Talking with the other coaches there is some desire to expand the playbook, both with formations and plays. 

I know this isn’t an easy question, and input could be all over. Our team will have about 20 kids with 15/16 that have played for at least one season. 

Thanks for your input. 


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acsmith7062
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May 28, 2020 8:11 pm  

I guess it depends on what you are trying to achieve.  I coach a 5th grade team, and we run 6 different formations (I count left and right as one formation).  Our playbook is relatively small though.  I prefer to run the same plays out of multiple formations and use the formations to get our best advantage depending on how the defense aligns.  It requires less practice time to teach a formation than it does to teach and perfect a new play.  The multiple formations give the illusion that our playbook is much bigger than it really is.

-Chad 

"You fail all the time, but you aren't a failure until you start blaming someone else."   O.A. "Bum" Phillips


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Dusty Ol Fart
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May 28, 2020 8:32 pm  
Posted by: @acsmith7062

I guess it depends on what you are trying to achieve.  I coach a 5th grade team, and we run 6 different formations (I count left and right as one formation).  Our playbook is relatively small though.  I prefer to run the same plays out of multiple formations and use the formations to get our best advantage depending on how the defense aligns.  It requires less practice time to teach a formation than it does to teach and perfect a new play.  The multiple formations give the illusion that our playbook is much bigger than it really is.

-Chad 

This ^^^^ 🙂

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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Coyote
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May 29, 2020 10:28 am  
Posted by: @rrsontag

What is the appropriate number of formations for a youth football team

We pick our formations / motions based on our personnel, from the options we have, we generally pick 2 for that week's game / opponent, but have more in our toolbox.  

We're coaching 3rd - 4th gr ball, we're a "Buck & Belly" Offense.  In our toolbox we have 4 formations (left and right count as one formation), Our Y-end always aligns with the WB.   In Wing-T parlance, 100/900; 300/700; Red/Blue and Full House T

We move our X-end around:  "Tight" 'Split', 'Flex', & "Plus",   we consider these variations, not different formations. 
Plus = wide to the same side with the Y (creates an unbalanced set which often isn't noticed) and "Plus Nasty" which brings the Plus in tight, one yd outside the WB.  

In our toolbox we also have an Unbalanced set (used in the past, rarely the last 3 seasons), moving the both G's to the same side with the backside End tight like an OT.   We also have Jet, we just haven't used it yet (4 seasons in this offense).   [In our off-season discussions, our HC is considering using Jet this coming  season based on who our likely WB will be.]

So, most yrs, 4 formations with 5 variations each.  With the variations - the X is the only one who has to remember where to line up. But we have Unbalanced and Jet in the toolbox.  We can teach this to our age group w/ only two, 2 hour practice a week.  Altho we don't teach it all at once, we add formations and variation as we go.

If I moved up to the next level (5th - 6th grade - your age group) I'd Unbalance a lot more.  As well as add Twins & shotgun (which we'd consider variations) and motion more as well, adding both Jet & Rocket, to what we do with our 3rd- 4th graders.

But, for us, "form follows function", and function is based on what the kids can do. We choose our formations to compliment our kids' abilities; in other words for us, the 'X & O's' follow the 'Jimmy's and the Joe's'

Hope this helps, 

 

This post was modified 1 month ago 5 times by Coyote

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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chucknduck
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May 29, 2020 4:38 pm  

Nothing has slowed my teams down more than having a bunch of formations, motions, and shifts.  However, I wasn't very smart about it either.  To me, if I were to use a lot of formations/motions/shifts I would use less plays.  My best offensive teams were teams that used one or two formations (2x2 spread and Beast), they weren't my most talented teams, they just executed better and didn't shoot themselves in the foot.  

I have been contemplating using more personnel groupings this offseason, mostly to get more lineman involved.  I'd like to be able to use 5 wrs one play and then use 8 lineman on the next.   But keeping the reads for the qb the same and simply running zone and counter in the run game.  But the personnel on the roster will dictate that.


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rrsontag
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May 29, 2020 4:48 pm  

Thanks for the input. I know we need to keep it simple, but “simple” means something different to everyone and I tend to be too conservative... so i always feel like I’m doing too much.

After reading your thoughts, I feel like running our plays from 4-6 formations would probably be best. Just need to pin down what combinations of formations fit us the best. I also like the idea of using personnel groups to create variation. 

Thank you all again. 

This post was modified 1 month ago by rrsontag

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C-Rob
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May 30, 2020 11:55 am  

@rrsontag we have typically used 8 to 9 every year all the way down to the yougest guys (5-7 Years old).  I think a lot of it has to do with what your base is.  A couple of things that I have learned from this forum and personal experience are:

  • The purpose of a formation is to gain some type of advantage/leverage over the Defense. Before using a formation understand what advantages it is giving you.
  • Stay away from one trick ponies. The Defense will pick up on this.

 

On-line Youth Football Coaching Clinicshttp://www.coaches-clinic.com/


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ZACH
 ZACH
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May 30, 2020 2:21 pm  

The best advice I can give about formations is understanding the purpose of the offense.  That said if you read up on fitting a formation to the field of play from Clark's dcwt you may just uncover what you're looking for.

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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Bob Goodman
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May 30, 2020 5:35 pm  
Posted by: @tso1696

@rrsontag we have typically used 8 to 9 every year all the way down to the yougest guys (5-7 Years old).  I think a lot of it has to do with what your base is.  A couple of things that I have learned from this forum and personal experience are:

  • The purpose of a formation is to gain some type of advantage/leverage over the Defense. Before using a formation understand what advantages it is giving you.
  • Stay away from one trick ponies. The Defense will pick up on this.

So much this.

I've seen kiddie offenses try some subtle formation difference in the hope of gaining some cheap advantage, only to see the defense not adjust (and maybe not even notice) and to have no play that takes any advantage of their lack of adjustment.  Like for instance they go unbalanced in the line, but run the play the same way and have no better matchups (maybe worse ones) in the line.  So they've spent practice time, have an additional call they have to make in the huddle or sending the play in -- which means an additional chance to goof before the play even gets off -- and nothing to show for it tactically.

Whenever I see the idea expressed, "We'll run the same play but from a different look, it'll cost us very little in practice time but give the defense another chance to goof," I have to ask, "Is it really the same play?  If so, then it's to a place where the formation difference is inconsequential."


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