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Wide Receiver (WR) WRs can line up anywhere on the LOS. The WR's primary responsibility is to catch the ball for positive yardage. Ideally, the WR should catch the ball in stride, but should also be able to catch a large array of imperfect passes including high passes, low passes, and passes behind the WR. The WR should also be quick enough to beat coverage and get open. If your WR's aren't particularly fast, you can work around this with “crisp” route running techniques that will allow them to elude the DBs and get open.

Offense Basic Skills and Fundamentals Before you teach your players anything else, start with the basic fundamentals. Work on snapping the ball, performing clean handoffs, fake handoffs, play action, pitches, short passes and basic route running. Give at least 40% of your practice and pregame warm ups to “fundamental” routines. Otherwise, you will be haunted with mishandoffs, bad snaps, and RBs crashing into each other in the back field. Here are a few flag football fundamentals:

“Blocking” Blocking (or “screening”) rules vary from league to league. In most youth flag football leagues, the rules for blocking are pretty sensitive. To keep it clean, have your players run up to the defender, STOP, then place his hands behind his back. You shouldn’t actually “block” or touch the defender (unless your league allows it), but creating a little separation for one or two seconds is usually ok with the referee. Be careful not to shadow block. Shadow blocking is when a teammate/blocker runs down the field parallel with the runner, preventing the defense access to the runner’s flags. This is a penalty in some leagues.

Running the Ball There are three simple steps to running the ball:

  • 1.

    The ball carrier should keep their body low to the ground. Flags low to the ground are harder to pull.

  • 2.

    The ball carrier should keep their arms up. They should never swing or slap away defender's hands. This

will result in a “flag guarding”, a universal penalty in flag football.

3. The ball carrier should run fast and be elusive. Encourage your plays to juke, cut, spin, back step, and duck past defenders. Remind them to never go backwards or make contact with defenders.

Catching the Ball There are just a few steps in becoming a great receiver.

1. The player should always keep their “eye on the ball” and watch it into their hands. Concentration is key. Do NOT be scared of the ball. A receiver who is nervous or flinches is more likely to get hurt than a player who keeps his eye on the ball. Don’t run until you catch the ball!

2. The receiver should always catch with their hands away from their body. Teach your players to not "TRex" and avoid keeping their arms tucked in too tight. Extend the arms towards the ball and catch it with your hands, not your body.

3. Hand placement when the ball is thrown at the chest or higher, the player should spread their fingers outwards with their palms facing the ball and the two thumbs touching one another. When the ball is thrown low, the receiver should place their hands with their palms facing the sky and their pinkies touching.

4. The receiver should never attack the ball but absorb it. Catching should look natural and smooth. 29

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