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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Youth Football Offensive Line Blocking Rules

Offensive line blocking rules vary from coach to coach. Blocking rules that are implemented are basically the personal philosophy of the coach on how he wants fronts to be blocked on a given play. Choosing blocking rules is like choosing any football system, it all depends on what you like and what you think will work for you.

You may like one coaches blocking rules over an other coach. That doesn't mean that the other coaches blocking rules are wrong, it just mean you like one philosophy as opposed to another. Either or, in youth football, its important that your offensive linemen know their blocking rules and that they are simple enough that when the defensive front changes its alignment just before the snap that your offensive linemen are able to quickly make their blocking adjustment as well.

If you find yourself telling your offensive linemen to basically just go down and hit somebody then you are effectively setting your offensive line up for failure. It's important that they have structure on that line of scrimmage. Having coached youth football for many seasons I have adopted two sets of rules for blocking. Again, the rules are geared towards youth football players. The first set of rules I have used in the past would be Gap-On-Over or to simplify it more, refer to it as" Goo" blocking. Now in the "Goo" blocking scheme the offensive linemen on their pre-snap read would refer to their rules on a each play and determine who they would block. First they would check their inside "gap", if there's a defensive player occupying that gap then that's their man, if not then go to the second blocking rule which would be the man "on", again no defender lining on. At this point the third rule would come in effect and that would be the man" over" such as a linebacker. There he is, go get him and make sure your heads on the play side! Against gap attacking defences I have modified the " Goo" blocking scheme to become the "Go-go" scheme or to simplify it more the " Go" scheme. In the " Go" scheme the rules would now reflect Gap-On-Gap-Over . The offensive linemen would now check inside gap, on, outside gap, over, on his pre-snap read and this would determine who he blocks on the line of scrimmage.

Whatever rules you like is entirely up to you as the youth football coach. It's possible that you could start with one set of rules at the beginning of the football game and your halftime adjustment would be to switch to the second set of rules in order to adjust to the defence.