Uh oh. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee may have just put the kibosh on the A-11, our new favorite everyone-just-go-long offense.
Among changes in its January 24-25 board of directors meeting in Indianapolis:
Changes in Rules 7-2-5 and 2-14-2 clarify the numbering-exception rule from when it was originally approved in 1982.
"The definition of a scrimmage-kick formation was clarified to differentiate formations that have been used traditionally for attempting a field goal or kick try from those used for a punt," Colgate said. "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."
The A-11, invented and developed by Kurt Bryan and Stan Humphries at Piedmont (Calif.) High in 2007, used the loophole in the rules that all 11 players were eligible to catch a pass if a team lined up in the scrimmage kick formation for every play. The rules committee has seemed to have closed that loophole.
So, a victory for slow, dim-witted linemen everywhere. Hey, I was one of those!
Of course, it remains to be seen how each state will interpret the rule change; some may ignore it completely, just as some had chosen to outlaw the A-11 before the new ruling ever came down. So we'll see.