Flag Football Plays
- Passing Tree
- Receiver Route Definitions
- How to Call a Play
- Plays Examples – 1
- Important Reminders
A formation is a name given to how the offensive players are lined up on the field pre-snap. There are many possible formations and each formation offers a different set of possible plays that can be run.
It is wise to have a few different formations in your offensive playbook in order to take advantage of their different strengths.
A few examples are:
1. Trips: When three wide receivers are lined up on the same side of the center.
2. Split Back: When the Quarterback (QB) is underneath the Center and has two runningbacks behind him, one on each side.
3. Twins: When there are two receivers on each side of the center.
There are several positions on a team's offense:
Quarterback (QB) - The player who receivers the snap.
Center (C) - The player who snaps the football between their legs at the start of the play.
Runningback (RB) - The player in the backfield who either takes the handoff from the QB or runs a passing route.
Wide Receiver (WR, X, Z, F) - The player who is on the line of scrimmage and runs routes downfield in order to get open and catch the pass.
The Passing Tree is a numbered system used for the passing routes.
The passing tree system is designed so that all even-numbered routes (2,4,6,8) are run towards the middle of the field and all odd-numbered routes (1,3,5,7,9) are be run towards the sideline.
These routes are used for all positions on the field.
The running back has extra routes that are always be referred to by name.
Since the ball is always placed in the middle of the field, the center's route is often based off of the play design.
Receiver Route Definitions (Yardage is subject to change based on the age group)
This is a 5-8 yard route forward then the receiver cuts out towards the sideline then looks for the ball.
This is a 3-5 yard route forward then the receiver breaks towards the middle of the filed on a 45 degree angle and looks for the ball.
This is a 10-15 yard route. It should be run exactly like the quick out only deeper.
This is a 5-8 yard route forward then the receiver breaks into the middle of the filed on a 90 degree angle and looks for the ball.
This is a 10-15 yard route forward then the receiver breaks at a 45 degree angle towards the sideline and looks for the ball.
This is a 5-8 yard route forward then the receiver stops and turns to the ball.
This is a 12-20 yard route forward then the receiver cuts on a 45 degree angle to the middle of the field for a few steps then the receiver cuts on a 45 degree angle towards the sideline and then looks for the ball.
This is a 12-20 yard route forward then the receiver breaks on a 45 degree angle towards the middle of the field and looks for the ball.
This route is run straight up the field with the receiver looking for the ball after he gets past about 15 yards.
How to Call a Play
Now that you’ve read your passing tree and understand the pass routes available, there are two options you have in play calling. The simple option is to use positions attached to route names. The more advanced option is to use the passing tree numeric system.
There will be a few constants when calling plays.
- You will always call the formation first, including the alignment (left or right, if necessary). You’ll call an alignment in an unbalanced formation (anything but a Split T. See examples below).
- You will always call your receiver pass routes from left to right (then your Halfback (H) route, followed by the Center route).
The key to using this numeric system is to ensure that each receiver knows their position within the formation.
• The first number is the left receiver
• The second number is the middle receiver
• The third number is the right receiver
You will continue to call the routes (without using numbers) for the running back (when necessary), and the center.
Reach out to Commissioner Michael Dober if you have any questions or want other play ideas.