What Offenses Should You Run in Youth Football

If I couldn’t run the Single Wing offense for my youth football team, this is what I would run:

In order of my first to last choices

Dead T/Bay City T,

Markham Double Wing,

Wing T,

“I” Formation,





Series based football plays are what succeeds in youth football, not the 20 favorite football plays the coach has acquired from coaching or watching TV. If forced to coach something other than the Single Wing, I would use a series based offense that spawned from the Single Wing, which are the Dead T, Markham Double Wing and the Wing T. All are good series based offenses in their own right, but for youth football, the Single Wing has many advantages on each.

The base play series out of each of these offenses you can be run out of the Single Wing. With the Dead T it’s the trap, power and keep football plays. You can run each of these plays out of the Single Wing but they are much easier to run without all the difficult QB footwork and the worry of pulling guards running into your running backs and the QB.

In the Double Wing Offense, you have to stop the infamous toss power play off-tackle, FB trap and counter. We have all those football plays in the Single Wing, but again do not have to worry about complex QB footwork and pulling guards running into the QB. I also need 4 pulling linemen with the Double Wing, I only need 1 puller in the Single Wing. I rarely have 2 kids that can pull well, let alone 4.

The Wing T you have to stop the trap/buck sweep, off-tackle and waggle. We have all those plays in the Single Wing and run the waggle off our “T” series Tailback half spin series. Of course with the Wing T and its larger splits the pulling gets tougher and the wedge play is an impossibility to run. You still have all the QB footwork issues and pullers to get out of the way of as you do with the Dead T and Double Wing.

What these three offenses do not offer that the Single Wing has is the full spin series, the most deceptive and difficult to defend series in all of football. The pure deception of having the ability to snap to any of 3 players on every play is something none of the above offenses are capable of. Since we are already in a short shotgun, passing out of the Single Wing is easier as well. Less ball handling means fewer turnovers and the direct snap allows Single Wing teams the ability to get anyone the ball in blowouts that indirect snap teams can’t do.

The remaining offenses on the list either require tremendous talent or an inordinate amount of practice time. My favorite offense is the veer, but we don’t get to practice 20 hours a week in youth football or have many players to choose from so it’s not a viable choice.

It’s hard to beat the success the Single Wing has had at the youth football level.

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