Flag Football Blocking Plays: A Modern Day Unicorn?
From time to time here at FirstDown PlayBook we get asked about flag football blocking plays. We have them just like we have virtually every other type of football play known to humans. However we always warn the coach looking for these plays to be careful. You might just be looking for a unicorn unless you understand what the word “blocking” means in flag football.
The best you can hope for when you ask one of your offensive players to “block” or shield a defender is to make them alter their course to the football. You obviously do this with your feet in flag football. You are normally not allowed to put your hands on the defender. Even if you can use your hands in your league you hold if your feet are not active.
Having said that, the most popular way that a blocking is incorporated into flag football is with pass protection. Here’s why. Flag football is played fast. Every bit as fast as tackle football and maybe even faster. When the ball is snapped in a league that allows flag football blocking plays, the rusher to the quarterback can rush on the snap.
If a player or two can alter the defender’s rush to the quarterback this is helpful. It gives you a chance to take advantage of a one on one match up down the field. Even then, the blocking is limited though. This is why you see the better 7v7 adult flag football teams release that blocker as soon as they get beat. This way the QB has an outlet throw. It is a forgone conclusion that the blocker will get beat quickly.
More Flag Football “Blocking” Plays? Yes, But Be Careful.
There are schemes that try to take advantage of offensive players making defenders run the hump on perimeter run plays. (See below) Once again though, the secret sauce to most of these plays is the talent of the ball carrier and a little mis-direction created by the play caller.
In summary here, we will continue to draw some flag football blocking plays as we install throughout the year. In fact we will install five new ones in the next day or two. Just keep in mind that we study this just like we do all other types of football. If you are basing your flag football offense on the blocking instead of the speed, execution and misdirection, you may want to rethink that.