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Piedmont files petition regarding A-11

I’ll have MUCH more posted on this later today, as I’ve been spending the past couple of days looking into all of this and talking to people at the state and national level. But today, Piedmont filed a dual petition seeking a) a three-year test period where the A-11 could be used and examined to determine if it should remain legal OR b) for the CIF to decide to not follow NFHS rules regarding the numbering exception, thus reverting back to the rules as they were before that kept the A-11 legal and giving up the state’s seat on football advisory committee. (Precedent for that comes in the form of Texas and Massachusetts not following NFHS football rules and California not following the national rule of not using a shot clock in basketball).

Again, I’ll post much more on this when I’ve completed my story for tomorrrow’s paper. But I know we’ve got a lot of folks who love to talk A-11 so have at it.

UPDATED: Here is my story for tomorrow’s paper.

By Jimmy Durkin

Staff writer

The saga of the A-11 Offense isn’t over. It may be just beginning.

A two-part petition from Piedmont High principal Randall Booker seeking to keep the A-11 legal was released Thursday to the California Interscholastic Federation and the National Federation of State High School Associations.

“In an effort to reach an honorable compromise between small to mid-size schools participating in 11-man tackle football in the (CIF) and the (NFHS), please review the following proposed ‘Experiment’,” the petition reads.

The A-11, created by Piedmont coaches Kurt Bryan and Steve Humphries in 2007, became illegal when the NFHS Football Rules Committee approved a clarification of the jersey numbering exception rule, requiring at least four players to wear a non-eligible number (50-79).

The A-11, in which all 11 players are potentially eligible receivers, is run from a scrimmage kick formation in which at least one potential receiver of the snap is positioned seven yards behind the line of scrimmage. In that formation, all players wear an eligible receiver’s number (1-49, 80-99), and formation shifts create seemingly endless combinations of eligible receivers.

Piedmont’s petition calls for a three-year experiment with the non-eligible number requirement being limited to three players and for the state and NFHS to review the effect the offense has on safety, fairness, enjoyment of the game and problems it poses for game officals.The petition’s secondary option asks the CIF not to recognize the NFHS rules, a move that would vacate the CIF’s seat on the NFHS rules committee — something the CIF has done in basketball with its use of a shot clock.

“We expect the CIF to pay attention to the fact on the ground as reported by the overwhelming majority of officials, coaches, players and fans to see the A-11 is good for the smaller schools that have an entirely different set of problems,” said Bryan, the head coach. “We expect an honorable compromise and to meet them in the middle.”

The general reason given for the NFHS rule change was to clarify why the numbering exception was added to the rule book in 1982.

“The reason for the exception being put in in the first place is most teams don’t have somebody who is capable of snapping the ball to a punter, except for a second-string quarterback or someone along those lines,” said Steve Stearns, the CIF’s football rule interpreter and the state’s NFHS voting representative.

“So they figured out a way that guy can get in the game with an eligible number and can be an interior lineman. Also, usually the guys that have eligible numbers are a little quicker and can get down the field faster to cover the punt. That was the reason the exception was put in. It wasn’t put there so someone could base an entire offensive scheme around it.”

CIF Executive Director Marie Ishida said she plans to meet with Booker, the Piedmont principal, on Monday and that Bryan will be invited to make a presentation at the next CIF football advisory committee meeting in the fall. Ishida said timing prevented earlier discussions between Piedmont and the advisory committee.

“When we have individuals send us different proposal, we do not as a state forward that proposal (to the NFHS),” Ishida said. “We forward that to our advisory committee for input. At the time we got the proposal from Coach Bryan (in 2007), the committee had already met. When it came up at our last meeting, because the NFHS committee had just met, our advisory committee did not take a position. We were waiting to see what the NFHS would do.”

Piedmont hopes the next step allows it a chance to prove the offense is fair and, more importantly, safe.

“In two years of using the A-11, Piedmont players have not suffered a catastrophic injury, and most of the other A-11 teams nationwide have reported similar results,” said Humphries, the offensive coordinator. “The state would be well-served to look at the reduced injury rate.”

Jimmy Durkin

I cover mostly San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, but also fill in from time to time with the 49ers, Warriors, A's and Giants.

  • salty vet

    The debate about the old ways being what football is, total hogwash. Big Green says football is physical and not a trickery type of game? Are you crazy?

    Meanwhile, entire high school athletic programs are vanishing due to budget cuts, and along comes a new breed of football which puts butts in the seats, gets kids noticed by collegiate programs and gives the tiny schools something to latch onto or hope for?

    Pathetic Big Green, et al who want to ban a-11.

    How does it feel to be a mouthpiece for keeping the game frozen it time, instead of helping it to move ahead?

    Totally and completely pathetic!!!

  • Jet4Ever52

    So whats wrong with the A-11 offense? Someone info me on What so illegal about the formation… Please & Thank you!

  • ROEPER

    why not run the A-11 but with using lineman numbers. lineman can line up as WR’s.

    Jet4Ever52, They dont use lineman numbers. So if you aren’t familiar with the rules and regualations and that team then you wont know who is eligible to go out for a pass.

  • YV daddy

    the entire offense is a joke. it wont save the small schools or football. the guys at piedmont are absolutely full of it. they whine that they have no big guys, well i saw in the paper they have a big cream of the crop DLman. Have him play both ways and there you have it, a decent OL. They want to keep running their gimmic offense and are trying to drag down all of CIF with them. They are in it for the fame, they got their stories on ESPN and yahoo and feel like celebrities and instead of just going down with their ship, they are trying to drag everyone down with them. They make me sick

  • http://insidebayarea.com ROEPER

    I’m still waiting on anybody to tell me why this team is petitioning for the scrimmage kick exception rules for Punting on 1st, 2nd & 3rd down when you have no intention of Punting on those downs.

    Other then a quick kick on 3rd down that Pro football teams use (I could never imagine that in high school probably gety a high school coach fired)which sole intent is to disguise the Punt & line up in a normal set so they don’t use the number exception.

  • Jet4Ever52

    ROEPER
    Oh okay thanks.

    Ive seen Piedmont play and never knew what the offense they used was called but yea now I see no wonder some of the lineman had strange numbers on lol. I went to the Encinal and Piedmont game and George was running all over the backfield. Looks like the QB could get sacked easily cuz there are few linemen blocking right?. To me looks creative but whatever happens happens.

  • EBAL FAN

    YV DADDY — You serious? At least it’s way more exciting than that pathetic offense YV ran for years, the one which looked like 11 offensive players dry humping each other while they tried to pick up two yards.

  • WhatTF

    EBAL FAN are you serious? Pathetic offense, the one that has won two section championships, 4 league championships and put 9 of the last 10 years teams in the playoffs. That offense? All with three different head coaches. Think before you type.

  • CalliBearHug

    Unbelievable how some people get their panties in a bunch because peidmont thought outside the box and rolled the dice with something like this.

    Double Wing —————-booooooooorrrrriiinnggg!

    Show me air it out football like the spread or this new gig all night long.

  • http://insidebayarea.com PERKINS

    Alright now your talking. You want to outlaw an offense outlaw the DoubleWing. Its boring as hell QB blocking terrible. But…

    Its the highest scoring offense in high school history. It wins in the Play-offs and has won numerous championships & State rushing titles nation wide and throughout California. Talk about kick ass DoubleWing KICKS ASS! Get rid of it cuz I don’t want to go against it. A-11 no problem unless the QB is D-1 they’ll beat themselves.

    If there’s an offense you could put in, get immediate success & wins its the DoubleWing. Google: Tim Murphy, Don Markham, Hugh Wyatt. I hate it but numbers don’t lie.

  • DbcoachinBay

    Can somebody please explain to Roeper why in the world the FORWARD PASS was made Legal, even though it was Illegal for many years?

    Da Ansuh is dis: It made the game safer and more innovative and interesting.

    Case Closed!

    DBcoachinbay

  • nibble

    Not being a fan of this crazy offense, I couldn’t care to watch it or not, but to deliberately attack it with rule changes when it is for what sounds like small type kids and schools?

    Leave it be and see how it goes.

  • http://insidebayarea.com ROEPER

    DbcoachinBay (Piedmont Coach) were a bunch of coaches skimming through the rule book under SPECIAL TEAMS & trying to figure out a way to legalize a SCAM offense with SPECIAL TEAMS rules when the forward pass was legalized? No it happened during a game accidentally a couple of times then it was legalized.

    I have no problem with the idea of what these guys are trying to do. Just do it under regular football rules. 5 ineligibles (the new rule is 4 now but he can only be your Center) 6 eligibles. Since you got me heated I’ll just expose Piedmont’s plan B its called.

    Numerical Camouflage:

    Using regular numbered personnel (with the Anchors) wearing #50 – 79, it is possible to stress out the defense by having the Anchors jersey numbers “look similar” to those of the ELIGIBLE numbered players in the Red or Blue Pods.

    This enables your team to implement A-11 Concepts and Strategies (not full blown A-11) but it does provide a lot of challenges for the Defense – because the Defenders have to figure out which offensive players are wearing Eligible vs. Ineligible numbers in a matter of a few seconds.

    a. Since you do Not have to be in a SKF, then your QB can be under center – which enables your bubble screen and negative hitch plays behind the LOS to the Anchors to develop easier and quicker, or…….your QB can be staggered at 4 or 5 yards Depth too.

    Below are some examples of Numerical Camouflage:

    Base:

    88………………….68……………U…C…Y………….77……………………17
    ………..86…………………………..2……………………………….7………….
    ……………………………………………1…………………………………………

    Base Out:

    88…………68…………………….U…C…Y………………….77…………….17
    ………………………..86………………….2…………..7………………………..
    ……………………………………………1………………………………………….

    Base Wide:

    ……….88……….68…………….U…C…Y……………77…………17…………
    86………………………………….2………………………………………………7..
    …………………………………………..1…………………………………………….

    331:

    88…………..68…………86…..U…C…Y…………………………………….77
    …………………………………………….2…………..7…………..17………….
    ………………………………………….1…………………………………………..

  • The Wood

    Here we go again with this dumb A11 crap..This is just a BIG JOKE…Piedmont needs to quit with this tryna save the small schools crap…Piedmont is no small school…They bring GOOD size on both side of the ball and dont have to start anybody both ways…Just admit if. This offence is just to get these coaches FAMOUS and they are trying to milk whatever they can out of this… Its a publicity stunt to get famous!

  • BigGreen

    Salty Vet what are you talking about? You sound un intelligent, how is this offense getting kids noticed by colleges more thn any other. That type of offense does not even compare to the college game, and it does not matter what school you go to you can get noticed if you are good, and the A11 does that no better than any other offense, are you sure you watch football? This is not helping football. If you are going to keep the A11 then everyone should run it then, we should make exceptions to the rules that are in place for 1 team, just so they can run a specific offense, all other sets stay within the rules of the game, now we talking about chagin number rules and all that, man they are doing too much, and it don’t put anymore butts in the seats, who told you that? You sound PATHETIC!!!!!WITH ALL DO RESPECT IN THIS FRIENDLY DISAGREEMENT. And again this has nothing to do with small schools. Tomales High school only has 175 students and they have one of the better football programs in the Bay Area, and they simply run the Toss Offense. Very simple, and they are good at what they do, and they didn’t need to file a petition and try to create a new offense, they took a simple part of the running game and pefected it. Thats what good football coaches do!make the game simple but effective.All the other stuff is insecurity.

  • nibble

    More I see of how creative these coaches are, the more I like what they are doing for the game.

    Cool Camofloge ideas.

    Nibbs

  • BigGreen

    And for the record, I have nmo problem with the offense as long as they are not trying to changethe rules for their team, that is selfish in my opinion. Like I have said before I have coached against piedmont and have stopped the A11, so with that said, there is no reason to change the rules just for this offense, which is not that great inthe first place. They have not been puutting up super number with it so for all i care they can run it if it doesn’t call for rules to change.

  • nibble

    It is odd to read a few people telling peidmont to stop whining, but they are not complaining at all, they are standing up for a system that works for them, and since other coaches also adopted it, it must be ok.

    Like I said earlier, not a fan of this offense, but trying to ban it after it was ruled legal, smacks of loser tactics by the opposition.

    It would be best to let thing thing ride for a while.

  • BigGreen

    It is because they are trying to change the rules for their team, and for me I don’t think that helps football. If that is the case the rules need to change for everybody.

  • nibble

    I finished reading the petition on the web site, and they are asking cif to study the offense for any team wanting to use it, not only their team.

    Seems like a fair submission to all involved.

    I am a bit surprised by the variance of rules amongst the states and in Cali too.

    Nibbs

  • http://ibabuzz.com/prepcorner Jimmy Durkin

    One point that I’ll make and then let you guys continue with the discussion.

    Remember that the rules allowed this offense until the NFHS changed a rule to make this illegal. It not so much them trying to change a rule for their team as it is them trying to get the rule changed back to how it was.

  • http://insidebayarea.com ROEPER

    This guy Steve Stearns here says it all. I have nothing else to say on the matter. Dispute this A-11 supporters DbcoachinBay whoever. Guess we’ll look forward to camoulflage next year. I’m out!

    “The reason for the exception being put in in the first place is most teams don’t have somebody who is capable of snapping the ball to a punter, except for a second-string quarterback or someone along those lines,” said Steve Stearns, the CIF’s football rule interpreter and the state’s NFHS voting representative.

    “So they figured out a way that guy can get in the game with an eligible number and can be an interior lineman. Also, usually the guys that have eligible numbers are a little quicker and can get down the field faster to cover the punt. That was the reason the exception was put in. It wasn’t put there so someone could base an entire offensive scheme around it.”

  • DBcoachinbay

    It’s lame how too few people dont even understand that those coaches had the cif declare that offense legal before they ever hit the field wiht it.

    Peidmont has a strong case for the criteria in their petition and for what Durkin said in his post.

    Good for Piedmont for standing tall on behalf of the kids. This is a good item, and behind close doors I would sell all of my motorcycles to be a fly on the wall in that meeting with Cif and the piedmont principal.

    Who else will be at the meeting Durkin?

  • mortimer

    Interesting drama, does anybody know if the CIF did start using a shot clock in basketball and circumvent the federation rules? Is that true?

    Morty

  • http://ibabuzz.com/prepcorner Jimmy Durkin

    Yes Mortimer, the CIF does use a shot clock (30 seconds for boys, 35 for girls).

    And DBcoach, one point I should put out there that Marie Ishida wanted made clear that I couldn’t fit in the article, when the CIF declared the offense legal, what it did was simply review the rules as they were at the time and say that the A-11 wasn’t breaking any of them. It didn’t approve the offense, as the implication has sometimes been. But still, the offense was legal under the prior rules and Piedmont’s trying to get it back to that for its use and for others.

    As for the meeting, Ishida mentioned it as a meeting between her and the principal, but my guess is that Bryan and Humphries might be there as well.

  • 4-4 Def Alumni

    If Piedmont had 1 John Brown, 2 Xavier Milton, 3 Dominque Sashington, 4 Aaron Horne, 5 Diante Jackson, 6 Joey Andrada, and 7 Jeremey George, 8 Ricky Galvin, 9 Patrone Woods, 10 Zach Ertz, and 11 Delton Edwards Jr., they wood go undefeated. This offense could be unstoppable. Nobody from st. pats though.

  • http://ibabuzz.com/prepcorner Jimmy Durkin

    That’d be a scary offense. Ertz and Edwards would probably be your tackles, maybe Patrone is the center. Brown would be the QB rolling to the left (since he’s left-handed), George could roll to the right. That would be fun to watch. If there was only a Bay Area All-Star game and we could actually get a roster like that together.

  • mortimer

    If anybody had enough brains that A-11 all-star game is a sick — idea! People would pay to see it. Somebody better call those piedmont coaches and set it up. Awesome idea, imagine that talent in this offense, Wow!

    Mort

  • BigGreen

    yeah that all sounds good, when you put it on paper but in reality it is not a dominating offense,otherwise they would be killin people, and that haven’t even come close to that.They have barely been winning games with it.

  • Nibble

    How does this petition stack up?

    Do the small schools have a chance to win if this thing does not get settled beforehand?

    On what items could they win?

    Nibbs

  • Jet4Ever52

    Y isnt there a East Bay All Star team or whatever? I mean theres so much talent and would be great to see it all together.

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