So what is the A11FL, you probably have not been asking yourself.
Well, it’s a new spring football league scheduled to begin in March 2015 and run through the Fourth of July weekend, ending a few weeks before the NFL pre-season begins. And the genesis of the league hails back to an innovative offensive scheme invented by two Piedmont High School coaches.
That was the announcement in San Francisco today. The San Francisco Bay Area Sea Lions will be one of eight teams making up the initial A11FL competition. The other teams announced are the New Jersey Generals (that was also the name of the old USFL team), Dallas Wranglers, Chicago Staggs, Tampa Bay Bandits and LA Express. Two other franchises have not yet been named.
The league did not announce where the Bay Area team will play. A11FL Commissioner Scott McKibben mentioned Stanford Stadium, California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the future home of the 49ers, now under construction.
So, OK, don’t laugh. The A11FL said ESPN will broadcast two “showcase games” this spring, and the entire season in its inaugural 2015 season.
A11FL Commissioner Scott McKibben said the two nationally broadcast games this year will be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on May 17 and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on June 5.
Aside from not being a multibillion-dollar sports juggernaut, another key difference with the NFL — that other football league with a Bay Area presence — is this, explained by the league:
Each offensive player is eligible to receive the ball, depending on how they line up on the line of scrimmage. Thus, a team’s best lineman could be its best receiver in A11FL. Inspired by an offense developed at Piedmont High School, the A11FL seeks to return football to the way it was originally played, offering a safer and more athletic game for fans to enjoy.
That’s illegal in the NFL. And there’s this distinction from the NFL as well: You can apply to be a coach or player on the Internet. That’s right, if you’re a “pro-level” athlete interested in playing, they want to hear from you.
The A11FL is offering pro-level athletes a dual track to professional football and is looking for top tier talent for our A11FL Player Pool. If you are a superstar athlete who believes you have what it takes to play in some of America’s largest stadiums during the Spring, please register below.
I’m waiting to hear back now.
League co-founders Steve Humphries and Kurt Bryan invented the A-11 offense when they coached at Piedmont High School in 2011. You can read more about the A-11 offense at Wikipedia. From the site:
The A-11 offense is an offensive scheme that has been used in some levels of amateur American football. In this offense, a loophole in the rules governing kicking formations is used to disguise which offensive players would be eligible to receive a pass for any given play ….
The scheme was used at the high school level for two seasons before the national governing body of high school football, the National Federation of State High School Associations, closed the scrimmage kick loophole in February 2009, effectively banning important facets of the offense.
And here’s the A11FL fan guide, which explains more about the rule change