I am sure a good number of you reading this are die-hard fans of the National Football League. Yes, NFL is great! However, it is as they say, for the big guys! So what about kids or those who are not into all the pushing and aggression that is a part of this sport? Well, there is a version of this game which allows youngsters to display their skills in a less risky and non-aggressive environment as compared to proper American football. This version is known as flag football.
What is Flag Football?
Flag football is a non-contact sport which is similar to tackle football. In this sport, instead of tackling a player to the ground, the defensive team is required to remove a flag from the ball carrier, to end the down. A league featuring this sport has been conceived, primarily with the view to develop sportsman spirit and love for the game of football in youngsters. It is an ideal platform to catch them young and to groom them in a relatively safer environment, so that from their midst future quarterbacks, linebackers, and defensive ends can be identified.
Flag Football Plays for the Youth
Flag football plays are akin to the drills done by professional football players. They are less taxing on the body, tend to be fun, and give you a good workout. Basically, they are classified into two types - passing plays and running plays.
In a running play, the ball is advanced beyond the line of scrimmage by a player who receives it from behind the line of scrimmage. On the other hand, in a passing play, the ball is passed by a player to a teammate, without having a designated runner who runs from behind the line of scrimmage. Following are some of the common plays used in flag football.
The first play is called youth body right. In this running play, a tailback is asked to run in the direction of the right end of the offensive line and get hold of the quarterback's throw. This has to be done prior to the tailback reaching the line of scrimmage. At the same time, the fullback and offensive lineman will rush from left to right to be the lead blockers for those carrying the ball.
The next one is called the Passing Tree, and as the name suggests, is a passing play. It refers to a numbered system employed to denote the passing routes. The system goes like this - all even-numbered routes are run towards the middle of the field, and all odd-numbered routes are run towards the sidelines. These routes are used for every position on the field. Extra routes, which are a privilege of the running backs, are always referred to by name. The routes followed by the center have to be made depending upon the play design.
In this running play, the receiver is asked to run a streak towards the end zone and straight upfield. The objective is first, to catch an undefended pass when the player is running for a touchdown, and second, is to outrun the defensive backs. This way, the receiver can take the ball in case the defensive players reach you.
When it comes to popularity, apparently one of the most common plays is the bootleg. The aim of this running play is to confuse the opposing defense by stationing a quarterback to handle the ball. At the same time, the quarterback will move away from where the opponents anticipate him to be.
You can try out these different plays in 4 on 4 or 5 on 5 games. Blue sweep is another one, where the purpose is to get to the sideline as fast as the player can get, and then get behind the wall created by other offensive players.
The sport of flag football is also great for adults who are not into professional football, particularly if they want to get the feel of the sport, sans the roughing-up and jostling. All the action and running involved in it makes this type a good option for staying fit as well.