8 Man Football Plays – 8 In-Depth Explainations

Eight-on-eight football leagues have sprung up all over the country in the past few years.

Eight-man football is a faster, more exciting version of the game we all know and love, especially in youth leagues.

When there are fewer players on the field, there is more space, which means you can come up with new plays.

8-man football can be one of the most exciting ways to play American football. You can throw the ball wide, hit deep fly runs, or crash the ball up the middle.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite offensive 8-man football plays that you can use as the basis for your football playbook.

8 Man Football Offensive Playbook

Teams usually line up with three, four, or even five offensive linemen in an 8-man offensive formation, depending on the play they’re running.

That leaves you with one quarterback (QB), three receivers, usually two wide receivers (WR), and one running back (RB).

You can have as many as four or five wide receivers in the backline, depending on how your opponent’s defence is set up and what kind of play you want to run.

But remember that even if you have Tom Brady on your team, you still need to protect your quarterback, so I’d suggest you line up with at least three offensive linemen, two defensive tackles, and one centre, like our first play.

Bombs Away!

Not enough downs? Do you have a scoreboard? You can only throw for the goal line.

On this play, you want to throw the ball long and high so it doesn’t hit any of your wide receivers who are close to the end zone.

8 Man Football Plays

It’s a risky play that doesn’t protect your quarterback very well, so you’ll need to make sure your centre throws a longer pass to your quarterback, who will have to stand further back.

But if it’s run right, it will lead to touchdowns every time.

Then, he’ll have to cover the middle channel, and your offensive tackles or guards (OT) will also have to protect your quarterback by securing the middle of the pitch.

That will leave the quarterback free to throw to several receivers who are moving toward the end zone.

From left to right, each wide receiver will offer a different way to run the ball. The first WR will have to time his run so he doesn’t hit the player on his right as he makes a fast fly run straight to the end zone. He will keep his run, go straight, and cut a steep post toward the right-hand corner flag.

The QB will have a player run an out route in front of him to gain 10 yards quickly. The WR on the far right will try to gain a few yards on the cornerback on the other team by cutting inside and then changing his run to run another post route to the corner.

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The Tank

Similar to a Wing-T offensive play, this 8-man version uses a tight end (TE) to push your defence infield to make room for a running back to sweep around the back of the quarterback and hit the line quickly.

A wide receiver (WR) and a fullback (FB) are also needed for the play to keep defenders from tackling your running back.

By having all of your blockers and offensive linemen move the play to the right side of the field, you’ll create a path on the left side for the running back to use to quickly gain ten yards.

This is a great play to use early in the game to see how well the defence of the other team can adapt to different plays.

8 Man Football Plays

Also, it’s a great play for youth teams that might not have a quarterback who is the strongest or most skilled and can throw big darts 80 yards downfield.

But this 8-man tackle football play does need a strong RB who can break through tackles and a WR who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work to block defenders.

Deceptive Wing-T

Want to get defenders away from the action? Why not send a wide receiver to the right side of the line of scrimmage on a fake route?

Your RB is going to get the ball and loop to the left, so the WR who passes the ball to the QB first should pull a few defenders away from the left side of the field to make space for your RB, who is going to get the ball.

8 Man Football Plays

As soon as he gets the pass from the quarterback, three blockers will push players back into the middle of the field. In this play, the FB is very important for blocking because he can push off defenders and give the RB enough room to make important yards to get to the next down.

In this play, it’s important that the offensive tackle create that blocking wing that pushes the defenders back and makes room for the ball carrier.

Counter Drag

Again, the goal of this play is to trick the defenders of the other team.

After you’ve thrown your offence with a Wing-T formation, run the counter drag.

The play was set up to make the other team think we were going to run the ball around the wing of the line of scrimmage. The RB looped behind the QB, and the TE and OT lined up to force the other team infield.

In reality, the QB will have two options: hit the WR on the left, who will run a drag route to the middle of the field, or throw a bomb to hit the WR on the right, who will run a fly route on the right side of the field.

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8 Man Football Plays

This play requires your QB to be able to quickly assess how your defence is lining up to offload the ball to the right player on the field.

With defenders being sucked into the chaos on the left side of the field, the QB should be looking to hit the WR on the right, making a charge for the end zone.

Squeeze And Out

On this play, you want to force your defence into the middle of the field so you can throw a long pass to one of your WRs, who is heading for the corner flag.

Your offensive linemen start the play by pushing the defenders toward the middle of the field. This makes the field narrower and gives your receivers more space on the outside of the line of scrimmage.

They will also try to trick the other team by running toward the middle of the field, making it look like the quarterback will throw the ball down the middle of the field.

In reality, these inside routes are all for show, and your WRs will quickly change direction at the end of their routes to attack the opposing corner flags.

For this play, a third wide receiver will run a fake route through the middle of the field to bring more defenders onto the field.

8 Man Football Plays

To pull this off, you’ll need fast running backs who can change directions on a dime to get past their defenders and get to the end zone.

Short Comeback

This might be one of the most useful offensive plays in 8-man football.

This play gives you a safe way to throw the ball to one of your two wide receivers when you need to make the next down but are too far away to run the ball through the middle of the field.

Each WR will move far enough up the field to be able to catch the ball and make the next down.

8 Man Football Plays

One wide receiver will run a drag route infield, which will open up space in the middle of the field. The other WR will turn and hit a sharp cutback, which will allow him to lose his defender and catch the ball from the QB.

Meanwhile, the QB also has the option of using his RB to run the ball up through the centre of the scrimmage, but this is a dummy run used to hold defenders in the centre of the pitch and stop them from tracking back to defend against your wide receivers.

The key to this play is telling your wide receivers (WRs) to get away from their defenders and get those extra few yards so they can catch the ball without any problems.

Crash Ball

The crash ball does what it says on the tin. It’s a charging play for your fastest and most powerful runners, who can break tackles with their speed and strength.

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The quarterback is the key to this play, and he has three choices.

The first is to use the running back, who can move straight up through the middle of the line of scrimmage through a hole made by your offensive line.

Most of the time, he’ll only gain a few yards here because good defences can stop central charges. However, if you’re trying to score, this might be one of the best routes to take.

8 Man Football Plays

The QB can also shovel the ball to the FB, who will take a less direct route to the right side of the line of scrimmage and have a little more blocking coverage from the right tackle and the TE, who are lined up at the end of the line of scrimmage.

Lastly, the QB can run the ball himself. The best way for him to attack is to loop around the left side of the line of scrimmage.

Again, this play is best for getting the ball over the goal line, but it can also be used to slow down the play clock and make the game less intense.

The Block-Off

By using two blockers, this play can be a powerful way to make holes in the defence of your opponent and gain key yards higher up the pitch.

With a fullback and a halfback pushing forward to block defenders, your running back should have a clear path to gain some valuable yards when he gets the ball from the quarterback and loops around the side of the line of scrimmage.

Your fullback and halfback are two of the most important players in this formation, and they will need to be ready to take out at least two and maybe even three defenders between them.

8 Man Football Plays

During the scrimmage, your offensive linemen will push their opponents to the right side of the field, where your attackers will not be running.

Again, like in a Wing-T offence, offensive coaches should put a tight end (TE) on the left side of the line of scrimmage to help block for runners who are coming around the corner.

The Final Down

But don’t forget how good a simple game of crash ball can be.

If you want to gain yards quickly and move the ball up the field quickly, the Wing-T plays described above are great options for your 8-man football playbook.

My best tip is to not make things too hard. Especially on young teams, players can get confused if you ask them to run unfamiliar routes or do more than one thing at the same time. Keep each play as simple as the last, and make sure each player knows his role before each scrimmage.

If you combine that with a well-thought-out playbook for 8-man tackle football, you’re sure to score some great touchdowns.

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