How to Create Wristband Plays for Flag Football
Flag football can be played as a recreational game on high school and college campuses for fun and bragging rights. It can also be a highly competitive game played by skilled football players in communities that lack the size and facilities to support a full 11-man football team. In order to develop a cohesive and versatile offense, players come up with effective plays that the quarterback can refer to on his wristband and call in the huddle.
Give your plays very short names. A team does not have much time in the huddle, so the quarterback must use just a few words when calling out the play to his teammates. He will have several plays listed on his wristband and he will call the name of the play that he thinks will help his team the most. A play might be labeled "X wide square 4." That would mean the outside receiver on the left side (X) is the primary receiver, he runs a square out, and the ball is snapped on the fourth sound out of the quarterback's mouth.
Place a card with several plays drawn on it in a plastic sleeve on the quarterback's wrist band. These wristbands can be purchased in most sporting goods stores. Football-specific wristbands are made for all-weather conditions. A play card slides smoothly into the plastic sleeve. Not only can the quarterback look at the plays, but so can the other players on the team, including the wide receivers and blockers.
Go over all plays you will put on the wristband in practice prior to the game. These will be the main plays you use. The reason you are putting them on your wristband is because you have players with the speed and ability to carry them out. It is important for players to be familiar with these plays ahead of time.
Prepare a second card of wristband plays that can slide in if you want to change your game plan later in the game. The defense may be stopping your original plays or they may have made an adjustment after your original surge at the beginning of the game. You may need to change the focus of your offense, and that means you will need additional plays to choose from. Have these plays named and drawn out so the quarterback and the receiver know what to do in order to execute correctly.
Work a hook-and-trailer play when you need big yards at the end of the half or game. If you have a right-handed quarterback, have the Z receiver (lined up on the right) run 20-to-25 yards downfield and turnaround. The quarterback needs to deliver the ball as he starts his break so the ball is waiting for him. As he catches the ball, he must see the trailing running back streaking right behind him. Just before the defender pulls the receiver's flag, he pitches it back to the streaking running back who runs down the sideline for a big play, possibly a touchdown. Call this play "Z-streak toss back," and call it when a big play is needed to turn around the game. Make sure it is on your wristband
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.