Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Formationing and No-Huddle to Score Big Points in Youth Football

14_trap_buck_Formationing and Running No-Huddle

Yes, you can run no-huddle in youth football, my teams haven’t huddled in the last 17 seasons, it’s not up for debate. But what about formationing? What about formationing and running no-huddle?

Formationing is the theory that you don’t have to have a lot of plays to score a lot of points. These guys run a lot of the same plays but formation themselves into advantages to give their players more numbers or better angles at the point of attack. Formationing advocates may have more formations than plays, believing that it is easier to execute effectively by adding formations, not plays. Formationing enthusiasts also try to gain a leg up by giving defenses different looks in the hope of getting misalignments and missed assignments. These guys also like to use formationing to get favorable matchups.

When you combine formationing advantages with no-huddle, the defense is faced with a double whammy. Not only does the defense have to align quickly, they have to align properly on a myriad of different formations. This is especially difficult with teams that run man coverage schemes.

The beauty of the no-huddle is, if the defense DOESN’T align in a situation that gives your offense a decided advantage, you can “audible” into another play or formation. Remember, in my version of the no-huddle, the offense aligns in the base formation on the line of scrimmage and listens to the numbering code from the Offensive Coordinator then looks at their wrist coach for the play. That usually happens before the 25 second clock is even started. One realigned into the new formation, if the Offensive Coordinator sees he doesn’t have the advantage in numbers, angles, matchups or coverage that he wanted, he simply calls in another code for a different play or formation.

This is easier to do than it sounds in youth football, as the no-huddle team never huddles. Moving from one formation or play to another at the line of scrimmage before a play was run is something we would do 30-40 times in a typical offensive practice day.

Never underestimate your opponents. But at the same time MANY youth coaches overestimate their opponents coaching ability or more so the ability of the opponent players to execute what their coach wants them to execute. There are huge advantages to formationing yourself into an advantageous position before the ball is even snapped. It’s something a big fan of. Note, you CAN’T fall into the trap of only running 1 play out of 1 formation, that is going to get you taken to the cleaners by well coached teams.

How much is too much? Only you can be the judge of that. For example last year my age 7-9 team with 18 rookie players out of 26- averaged 41 points per game in an 11 game season. We had 3 formations in for game 1, 4 for game 2, 5 for game 3. By the end of the season we had about 7 different formations, of which we could run all of our base plays out of. Some were slight variations of the base formation, some were quite different. The net is, it can be done even with the youngest kids if you do it right.

Knowledge isn’t power. The right type of knowledge, effectively and efficiently applied is power.

Copyright 2013 Cisar Management, all rights reserved. This article may be republished but only if this paragraph and link are included. //winningyouthfootball.com

About The Author

Related posts


  1. Bill

    In a game, when your team lines up in base then shifts to Jet for example when the play is called, if you want to “audible”, how do you notify your team? Do you just yell out a new play? How do you prevent them from starting the initially called play before you can “audible”?

    Thanks as always.

  2. Chris

    Coach, I’m a follower of your method. Last year with a 5/6 year old team and this year with a 7/8 year old team. We had success last year, went 10-2 and lost in semi-final of playoffs by 6 points. My question is this: Any suggestions for how to run a no huddle with such a young age group 7/8 in a way easy for them to understand? I’ve got your manual and dvds and see the system you use with the wristbands and color coded play number, do you think this can translate to a young group of 7/8 year olds (50/50 returners and new kids). Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    1. davecisar


      We have used it for a team that age, in fact this year I have a team of 7-9s with 18 rookie players, 7 returners. We went no-huddle from game 1 on and are averaging about 41 points per game. We use the wrist bands and method used in my book. Best of luck.

  3. Alan Miller


    I understand how you no-huddle I have your book! How do you change formations? Are they sideline calls, are they on the wrist coaches?

    Thank you!

    1. davecisar

      For some of the formation calls- like Nasty- Tunnel that we use a lot, those plays are on the wristband. For those we don’t use as often- we just add them as a tag. For instance if we wanted to run Double- we just call in the play like normal, say Red 148, it would be Red 148 Double, Red 148 Double.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *