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In 2007, Piedmont High School introduced the A-11 offense to the world. A-11 stands for the fact that all 11 players were wearing eligible jersey numbers and therefore eligible to receive a forward pass if they aligned on the end of the line or other than on the line. Scrimmage-kick-formation rules allowed the offense to have 11 eligible numbers on the field. It was created by Piedmont High School coaches Kurt Bryan and Steve Humphries.

A-11 outlawed

But in 2009, a number of coaches around the country, coaches who had never seen the A-11 in person, decided it was the crime of the century. Apparently, they were aroused by reading about it in American Football Monthly. They persuaded the National Federation of State High School Associations (www.nfhs.org) to outlaw the A-11 at their 2009 rules meeting. Now it is illegal to have 11 players with eligible jersey numbers.

According to a11offense.com, the updated A-11 still allows for "all-eleven players to have an impact on any given play,” explains Co-Creator Steve Humphries. "The concepts and designs of the A-11 are sound but the A-11 no longer operates out of the scrimmage kick formation, therefore the 2009 NFHS rules change does not apply to the A-11.

According to Co-Creator Kurt Bryan, "The A-11 will spread teams out with receivers, tight ends and running backs, and sometimes use two quarterbacks in the shotgun.

Base (A) Zoom All Go, Delay Option Right

Above right is one of the plays from the A-11 that will give you an idea of the unique nature of this offense. As you can see in this diagram, there are only 3 "interior" linemen, and everyone else is spread out. The "E" and the "R" are both inelligible despite being spread out wide.

The "1" receives the snap, and then runs option to the right toward the Sam backer. The triangle around the "S" indicates that will be the player the quartback options. If the Sam goes after the "1" he will pitch to the "2." If the Sam goes after the "2" then the "1" will keep the ball.

Not a spread offense

I initially regarded the A-11 as a form of spread option. It’s not a spread. It’s an accordion.

Sometimes it’s spread. Sometimes it’s collapsed into a tight, inside power-running formation. Sometimes it’s both: one side is collapsed tight and the other is spread.

Other A-11 information