Rule changes affecting A-11

By popular request, let’s get the talk going about the rule change enacted last week by the NFHS that makes the A-11 Offense that was created at Piedmont High illegal. Essentially, the exception (some have called in a loophole) that Piedmont had been using by having all of its lineman wear eligible numbers in a scrimmage kick formation, was closed. The coaching staff at Piedmont is feverishly working to try to set something up to allow the offense to still be used, and I’ll update more as I get information on that. For now, here’s the excerpt from the View from the Tower column that I wrote on the subject that appeared in Tuesday’s paper. Sorry for not getting this on the blog earlier.

By Jimmy Durkin
Staff writer

IN TWO SEASONS OF USE, the A-11 Offense created at Piedmont High never has faced a defense like the one it’s up against now.

Among the rule changes for next season announced Friday by the National Federation of State High School Associations is one that puts a major crimp in the future of the A-11, a football offense initiated by Piedmont coaches Kurt Bryan and Steve Humphries in which all 11 players on the field are potentially eligible to catch a pass.

“The definition of a scrimmage-kick formation was clarified to differentiate formations that have been used traditionally for attempting a field goal or kick … from those used for a punt,” Bob Colgate, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Football Rules Committee, said in a release. “In addition, the circumstances under which the numbering exception can be utilized have been changed to clarify what can be done on first, second, third and fourth downs.”

What the change means is that on first, second and third down, at least four players must wear Nos. 50-79, making them ineligible to catch a pass. The center may wear an eligible number, but he is also ineligible.

One of the bases for the A-11 — an offense that has spread throughout the country — was the idea that all players, including lineman, wore eligible numbers (1-49, 80-99) in a scrimmage kick formation that allowed the team to shift just before the snap to create a countless combination of eligible receivers. Depending on the formation shift and the play call, a pass could be thrown to one of the six receivers spread wide or even one of the down lineman — of which the base formation had only three.

But the rule change, which Bryan said was voted on by people who have never seen a game utilizing the A-11, makes the offense illegal except on fourth down.

The fact that the rule change was made should come as little surprise, given the amount of chatter the offense has received since its inception in the 2007 season. While there’s been plenty of support, it’s typically been bad-mouthed by football traditionalists.

Despite this latest setback, Bryan said the A-11 will not go down without a fight. Piedmont plans to fight to allow programs to continue using the A-11. Those that have benefitted typically are smaller schools that lack the big offensive lineman needed for a more traditional offense.

“It is our first hope that the NFHS is able to change with the times and will be most willing to help create an A-11 football sub-federation within the framework of their existing organization,” Bryan said in a statement. “If yes, then everybody wins, especially the schools like ours nationwide.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • BigGreen

    I’ve alrady coached against it and stoped it so it really doesn’t matter to me. if it was suppose to be here then it would be here that’s really how I look at it. Biut if that is the future of football then I really don’t thnk football is going to be very fun anymore!

  • DBcoachinbay

    Since when did football have to be your idea BigGreen?

    You mean to tell me if football changes to a way you don’t think it should be, then you won’t like it anymore? That is what you just wrote??????

    How about football is great because of the wild and wonderful variations and this new offense is just another one?


  • DBcoachinbay you’re obviously a Piedmont Coach. Who have you beaten in the last 2 years thats any good? How bout Drake this year? Laid an egg to Fortuna at home in the Play-offs. Terrible. Only beat St.Pats this year cuz Blanton out thought himself. Up 21-0 all he had to do was run the ball cuz SCAM-11 will get a lot of plays.

    Your the only school in the state that ran that offense. I haven’t heard of it popping up any where even as a package. But I’m sure Bonaguard & XTower will “Stump the Schaub” again. So I guess we’ll see. Don’t not act like its a part of every teams base offense.

  • DBcoachinbay

    Ain’t no piedmont coach but we’ve learned a bunch from them and watching them. And we will be playing them this summer in passing league.

    Roeper, you have your facts wrong, check the logs for other teams using A11, Mission in San Francisco, Saddleback down southern cali, and a team up north played against Ferndale.

  • The Wood

    The A11 is obiously a BIG JOKE because piedmont hasnt won any more games in the past 2 years or has won any BIG games besides the one Roeper mentioned…St.Pats and they Barley pulled that one out…Its A Joke and DBcoach u are a piedmont coach…Hope A11 stays gone…

  • The Wood

    These Coaches from piedmont seem like all they want to do is get famous off of a scam of an offence… Like Big Green said doin to much!

  • BigGreen

    It does not have to be my idea DBCOACHinbay, I just feel it is no better for the game than what we already have. Just like The Wood just said, they have not won any big games with it so what is the use for it, but i have coached against it and have stopped it, but again the fact that they took it out shows that it doesn’t need to be here. And how has it helped high school football, how, somebody tell me what good it has done. And they did not invent anything, the formation has been around for a while, they just made it a set offense, but it is not that good, the could not even win there league with it. Football is suppose to be Fhysical with an F, not this trickery type of game. If that is the case we should just play Freeball, or catch!So again the problem is that this coach went around trying to get recognition for thos offense, and it backfired on him. Shame on him. Some one said that if the A11 is not real football then the same should be for the spread. Now this is a bogus comment because the spread is simple you still are able to do things that are simple but effective and still can run the ball effectively,and someone said we should then throw out the forward pass,and again that was a not so intelligent comment because we are not aguing about the forward pass, we argue that this does nothing for the future of football period.