At some point growing up, every football fan runs out to the front yard during halftime of their team's big game to throw the pigskin around. Dreams of being the quarterback throwing a long bomb for a touchdown or being the wide receiver making an incredible diving catch to score the go-ahead touchdown.
Real football, however, requires expensive specialized equipment and two teams of at least eleven players. Teams starting with high school and college, and into the pros, have very athletic players both in terms of speed and power. Played at the highest level, football can be a dangerous sport with players regularly suffering injuries.
As parents become more informed of the long-term health issues related to playing football, there will be fewer kids playing football. While football will probably always exist and be popular to some degree, consider the creation of a hybrid form of football that addresses the concern parents have, while increasing access to playing football at the youth level.
The general idea is to combine the pitch and catch of football with a few ideas from the foosball table game.
Foosball Football Rules
1. The playing field can be any length, including the traditional football field, with lines marking equal units of five or ten yard segments.
2. Teams are assigned alternating segments. Teams can agree to any number of players.
3. To start the game, teams will place players in each segment assigned to the team. One or more players can be in each segment. A coin flip decides which team starts with the ball on offense.
4. To score points, a player in a segment attempts to pass the ball to a teammate in a segment toward the goal line. If a pass is completed to a player in the next segment, one point is earned. A completed pass two segments away is worth 1+2=3 points, three segments away is worth 1+2+3=6 points, etc. When a pass is completed to the player in the endzone, points for the last pass are doubled.
5. In order to avoid needing referees and video replay, a catch is defined as a player receiving and controlling the football while staying completely within the segment boundary, can not reach into a defensive segment for the football, the ball staying above the knees throughout the catch and the player staying upright on both feet.
6. Failure to make a proper catch results in the ball being handed to the opponent in an adjacent segment to the player failing to make the catch. This player can choose which segment to give the ball to as game strategy.
7. If a pass attempt is caught by a defender, the team receives one point and begins an offensive possession.
8. When a player gains possession of the football, he can run anywhere within his segment, but must pass the football within a three-count, otherwise the football is turned over to the opponent.
9. If a segment has more than one player, the ball can be passed within the segment once. The catch must be valid, or the ball is turned over. No points are awarded.
10. Players on defense must stay completely within their segment, but can run anywhere within the segment in an attempt to disrupt a pass attempt. At no point can a player engage in contact with an opponent.
11. Play continues for a pre-determined amout of time or the first team reaching a pre-determine point total.
This hybrid football game requires no equipment beyond the football, eliminates most football-related injuries, fast-paced game that can be played by athletes male/female of all sizes, ages and skill levels and every player gets to be both a quarterback and receiver.
Using a football field with ten yard segments and one player per segment, each team would use six players. Team A starts with the ball in their first segment. If they simply complete a pass, advancing one segment at a time, including the final pass into the endzone, they would score 1+1+1+1+(2*1)=6 points.
Team B then gets the ball. First pass goes for two segments, second pass goes one segment and the third pass goes two segments into the endzone. The score would be (1+2)+1+(2*(1+2))=10 points.
While the rules of the game appear simple, there is some strategy involved. Considering you get more points for longer completions, the coach would want to position the best throwers in certain segments and the best receivers in certain segments. The weakest thrower would be closest to the endzone, while a sure-handed receiver would be in the endzone.