Copyright 2014 by John T. Reed

Here is a You Tube announcing the new A11FL, a new professional football league.

As I said in an earlier post, I was tangentially involved in the A11 offense when it was invented at Piedmont High School from 2007 to 2009 and testified in its defense when it was being outlawed by the old guard high school rules makers and I wrote about it in my book The Contrarian Edge for Football Offense.

The new league does not require the A11 offense per se, but it is different from other football in that they play in the spring and although it does not increase the number of eligible receivers at the snap, it does make all 11—thus the name—offensive players potentially eligible. Which are eligible is determined by the formation at the moment of the snap. As now, the ends and backs are all eligible. But which of the 11 players will be ends and backs at the snap will not be known until the snap. Each shift between the ready-to-play whistle and the snap can change who’s eligible. The consequence is you have 11 athletes on the field, no fat guys, and the defense only get as little as one second to figure out which six are eligible (The QB is an eligible receiver if someone else throws the pass.)

Although there lately has been some welcome innovation in the NFL, there could be much more. See my contrarian book. And only a few years ago, the entire NFL was running the same offense and either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense depending on whether they had a good nose tackle.

The A11 concept is more wide open, encourages innovation, and essentially obsoletes the non-“skill” players. Initially, the teams are all owned 51% by the league, so they can order the coaches to be innovative and the coaches will damned well do so to avoid being fired. Compare that to the NFL and NCAA where winning is sort of the main criteria and innovating that results in losses or that takes time to jell can cost you your job.

That new source of job security can make the A11FL as different from the NFL as lightning is from a lightning bug.

John T. Reed