A-11 Offense & CIF Three-Year Study Summary for April 20
(By Kurt Bryan & Steve Humphries Co-Creators of the A-11 Offense)
Some of the Outstanding Supporters of the A-11 Offense for CIF Schools!
• Sam Moriana, Head of the California East Bay Football Officials Association
• Jeremy Wardrip at St. Bernard’s HS, Eureka
• Mike Flint at Trinity HS, Weaverville
• Aaron Gingery at Shasta HS, Redding
• Dave Contreras at Point Arena HS, Point Arena
• Trent Herzog at Casa Grande HS, Petaluma
• Matt Kiesle at Piedmont Hills HS, San Jose
• Jeff Tiner at Richmond HS, Richmond
• Kurt Bryan at Piedmont HS, Piedmont
• Ken Wright at Emery HS, Emeryville
• Matt Sweeney at Foothill HS, Pleasanton
• Lloyd Johnson at Castlemont HS, Oakland
• Kevin Bella at CA School of the Deaf HS, Fremont
• Steve Jacoby at De La Salle HS, Concord
• Kevin Hartwig at Freedom HS, Oakley
• Patrick Walsh at Serra HS, San Mateo
• Mark Gutierrez at Kerman HS, Kerman
• Tom Wallace at West Valley HS, Hemet
• Matt Kerstetter at Taft HS, Woodland Hills
• Gary Chambers at Saddleback Valley Christian HS, San Juan Capistrano
• Kerry Legarra at Imperial HS, Imperial
• Steve Perdue at Foothills Christian HS, El Cajon
• Ron Burner at El Capitan HS, Lakeside
• Alfredo Silva, Calexico HS, Calexico
• Jeff Kurtz, President, www.KBCSports.com (the CIF broadcast partner)
Table of Contents
Two-Year History of the A-11 Offense
Critical Items & Key Questions for the CIF
A-11 Offense & CIF – an Educated Decision
Sampling of CIF Coaches Supporting the A-11
National Sampling of People Supporting the A-11
California & National Polling Data on the A-11
A-11 Offense Presentation for the CIF
April 20, 2009
10:15AM – Noon
CIF Panel Q & A:
Noon – 12:30PM
CIF Panel Recommendation:
12:30PM – 2:00PM
CIF Headquarters (Please enter through the back of the building)
1320 Harbor Bay Parkway, Suite # 140
Alameda, CA 94502 (510) 521-4447
Arrival and Distribute A-11 Portfolio copies to the CIF Panel members
CIF Welcome and Purpose of the Meeting
Opening Remarks: Piedmont Principal, Randall Booker
Officiating the A-11: Sam Moriana, Head of East Bay Officials Association
Intro: The A-11. Review Support & Data: Piedmont Coach, Kurt Bryan
Comparison: Football offenses using numerical & formation deception (KB)
Innovation in Football & Sports info: John T. Reed, football historian Author
Benefits of A-11. Review Data: 3 Polls & Coaches & Media (Steve Humphries)
A-11 & Reducing Injuries: Stan Nakahara, Piedmont High Athletic Trainer
PHS players: Jeremy George, Devin Brown, Joey Andrada & Carl Hendrickson
Statement of Support by De La Salle Assistant Coach, Steve Jacoby
A-11 for little schools: Saddleback Valley Christian Coach, Gary Chambers
Quick Break & prepare DVD projector for the A-11 Offense video review
End Video review and Closing statement by Kurt Bryan
CIF Panel: Question & Answer
CIF Panel Discussion and Recommendation
* CIF Committee members can watch the bay area CBS Channel 5 story about the A-11 & CIF
on Sunday night April 19
, at 11:30PM on the CBS Channel 5 weekly Game Day Show.
Two-Year History of the A-11 Offense
After the Piedmont High School football team had concluded its 2006 season, Piedmont head coach,
Kurt Bryan and offensive coordinator, Steve Humphries met to brainstorm at Humprhies’ residence in
San Francisco, in hopes of developing an offensive system to help offset the superior size and strength
advantage most opponents had over their Piedmont team on the gridiron. On the white board,
Humphries drew up a 3 x 3 x 3 offensive formation that could feature two quarterbacks in the shotgun
formation. Bryan was intrigued by the super-spread out set, and reasoned it would be even more
dynamic if every single player could be a potential downfield receiving threat. Bryan researched the
NFHS rules book and eventually discovered the scrimmage kick formation (SKF) numbering
exception. Jointly, both men came to the conclusion - the concept of the A-11 Offense appeared to be
In January 2007, the coaches submitted a comprehensive package detailing the A-11 Offense and the
rule interpretations associated with it to Mr. Bob Colgate at the NFHS. The package contained specific
rule interpretations about the SKF, the application of the numbering exception, a host of possible
formations, various shifting ideas, and questions regarding was the new offense an unfair act, was it a
travesty of the game or deceptive, and was it within the spirit of the rules of the game…among other
items as well. Colgate reviewed the A-11 Offense package and let Coach Bryan know that rule
interpretation questions must go through the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Rules
Interpreter’s office, a position held by Mr. Steve Stearns of the CCS.
The Piedmont coaches then submitted their package to Steve Stearns for review. Stearns reviewed the
package in detail with Coach Bryan via the telephone and made some corrections. Stearns was kind
enough to take the package with him back to Indianapolis for his annual NFHS Executive Rules
Committee weekend meeting. Stearns was going to show the package to a few people on the NFHS
rules committee to gauge their feedback, thoughts and opinions about this new offense. Upon his
return home to California, Stearns would then inform the Piedmont coaches as to whether or not the
A-11 Offense was legal to use. In February 2007 via the telephone, Stearns informed Coach Bryan that
the A-11 Offense was indeed legal to use. Piedmont High then implemented the A-11 Offense for the
2007 football season.
One year later for the 2008 football season, other high school teams in various parts of the country
decided to use the A-11 Offense. However, a few states declared the offense illegal to use based on
their own interpretation of the NFHS rules.
Sam Moriana, Head of the California East Bay Football Officials Association, “We really couldn’t
figure out anything wrong with it. I just think it’s different and innovative, and was bound to come
along. Kurt showed everybody what he was going to do, he didn’t hide anything; it’s really no big
deal. We’ve had no complaints from any officials whatsoever that have refereed their games.” Sam’s
officiating crews have managed the most A-11 Offense games in the nation.
Brad Cashman of PA, and the 2008 Chairman of the NFHS Executive Rules Committee, “It's not
illegal. It's nothing more than a spread offense. It's not that difficult to defend, and it’s not difficult to
officiate.” Pennsylvania voted to not change the rules to ban the A-11.
Mark Dreibelbis, NC High School Athletic Assoc. Director of Officials, "It’s unfair to the defense
and cannot be officiated.” NC Referees have never officiated the A-11 Offense.
Critical Items and Key Questions for the CIF Sports Advisory Committee
During the past two seasons in California and nationwide, the student-athletes operating in the
A-11 Offense have demonstrated to many of their peers, coaches, officials, fans and the
media, that the game of football continues to evolve rapidly in unforeseen ways. Thanks to the
effort of the student-athletes, their coaches and officials working the games featuring the A-
11, one of the major elements and fact-based Data grouping the CIF Sports Advisory
Committee has in front of them – is the honest feedback from the people entrusted to develop
and/or manage the teams using the A-11 for two years.
Throughout the history of sports, many of the greatest “innovations” have emerged from new
strategies springing to life from within loopholes in the rules or unforeseen results, such as:
the Slam Dunk & Alley-Oop in basketball, the Curveball in baseball, the Forward Pass, and
the Veer Option in football, etc.
* The feelings on both sides of the issue being proposed in the A-11 & CIF three-year study;
is similar to items leading up to the solitary step taken by the CIF implementing the use of a
Shot Clock in boys & girls high school basketball. The CIF action triggered the CIF vacating
its seat on the NFHS basketball rules committee. There are several articles online detailing
both sides of the issue about the CIF Shot Clock, and many debates about the use of a Shot
Clock in basketball nationwide. It’s obvious some coaches really like it, while others do not.
Some coaches believe it “opens up the game” while other coaches believe it “ruins traditional
However, since the CIF moved to use a Shot Clock, other states have followed the lead of the
CIF in basketball, such as: New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, North Dakota, South
Dakota, Maryland and Washington. Some other states (VA & CT), even allow private school
leagues to use Shot Clocks in basketball.
In Football, like other CIF sports: Rule Modifications are based on three criteria:
1. Does it improve the safety of the student-athletes?
2. Does it maintain the competitive balance between the offense and defense?
Can the game be properly officiated?
In addition to the three primary questions listed above, the CIF Committee might have a keen interest
in answering the following questions about the A-11 Offense:
• Does it broaden the diversity of student-athletes who can participate?
• Does it generate excitement & energize the student-body & the community?
• Does it enable a larger variety of players to touch the football during a game?
• Can it help to increase attendance at football games & increase fundraising?
• Overall, is high school football becoming faster and more spread out?
• Very good coaches from many parts of CA support the proposed three-year study, why?
• If the CIF backs a three-year study, could it potentially help smaller schools?
• If the CIF backs a three-year study, what is the worst thing that can happen?
• If the CIF backs a three-year study, what is the best thing that can happen?
• How many CIF Committee members have seen the A-11 Offense in person?
The A-11 Offense & The CIF - an Educated Decision
A-11 Offense and the Improved Safety Aspect for the Players
Have the CIF Committee members watched football games on television or in person, and ever
noticed that many or all of the Offensive Lineman (OL) in the game happen to be wearing knee
braces? A significant number of football coaches at all levels make it mandatory for the starting OL to
wear protective knee braces. Why?
Answer: In a traditional football offense, large groups of OL are usually bigger players aligned closely
together. At the snap of the football, those big OL personnel start running, pushing, blocking and
falling in every direction within close proximity of each other – that’s just the way it has been for
many years. However, when “Spread” type offensive systems came onto the scene in the mid-
1990’s…many coaches began utilizing spread systems to help reduce injuries. By alignment in spread
offensive football, more players are spread out across the field of play. And, the Quarterback is usually
set in the Shotgun formation 5 or more yards deep in the backfield – again further away from the mass
of people at the Line of Scrimmage.
The A-11 Offense simply takes the concepts of Spread offensive football to the extreme, by allowing
smaller teams to employ players all across the field of play, instead of having them get pounded by
physically superior opponents. In 2007 & 2008, in the 22 games Piedmont used the A-11: Piedmont
players did not suffer a major injury when using the A-11. However, in 2006, the year before
Piedmont began using the A-11, several Piedmont players suffered major injuries at Quarterback and
at OL, including Piedmont’s starting Left Tackle – who broke his femur in a game at Justin Siena - his
leg shattered after a some players fell upon it from behind.
Director of the Athletic Training Clinic in Orinda, California, and Piedmont Trainer, Stanley Nakahara
MS/ATC/PTA explains, “I have been in athletic training since 1982, and since we have been using
the A-11 the past two seasons, the injury rate has dropped tremendously because our student-athletes
are not getting pounded every play.”
Does the A-11 guarantee to keep the players injury free for an entire season? No, but based upon the
vital feedback from A-11 & CIF member schools like Piedmont, Saddleback Valley Christian and
Mission SF, and the other schools across the nation using the A-11, it definitely helps to reduce
major injuries because of the super-spread out design of the A-11 Offense.
Offensive Deception in Football is Exciting & Keeps the Game Fresh
Time permitting, it would be very beneficial for the CIF Committee members to please spend a few
minutes online to watch video clips of historic football offenses in action, such as: the Single Wing,
Split-Back Veer, Triple Option and the Shotgun Zone Fly, to name a few systems that are built
entirely on deceiving the defense.
The major complaint put forth over and over again by the faction of people against the A-11 Offense,
is that it’s unfair to the defense because the defense cannot tell which players might potentially go out
on a pass receiving route in hopes of catching a down field forward pass.
*But, ever since the Forward Pass was legalized in 1906 (to make the game safer & more fun),
traditional offensive teams have been deliberately “covering” and uncovering eligible-numbered
players to purposefully deceive the defense. In traditional football, the offense can “cover” eligible-
numbered players by placing End Men on the line of scrimmage outside of them, and then as often as
they wish, they can have the players shift to quickly “uncover” a player or group of players - which
then make those previously ineligible-players suddenly eligible to catch a forward pass down field. It’s
a huge advantage for a traditional football offense and legal.
However, in the A-11 Offense, that type of deliberate “covering” and “uncovering” of eligible-
numbered players to create new pass-catching eligibility down the field is not allowed, due to the fact
that the A-11 operates in scrimmage kick formation. And, in a scrimmage kick formation, once a
player gets set on the line of scrimmage and is “covered,” he remains ineligible to catch a forward pass
beyond the line of scrimmage on that particular play.
Piedmont Football: Won-Loss Record:
• (5 – 6) in 2006 without using the A-11
• (7 – 4) in 2007, the first year of using the A-11
• (8 – 3) in 2008, the second year of using the A-11
In California and nationwide, some A-11 teams did very well, while others did not, just like traditional
offensive football teams. However, it’s the responsibility of the coaching staff of each football
program to adjust his offensive system to best fit his personnel. And so, if the A-11 is the best system
for his kids, then for the betterment of the kids and the program it should be utilized.
*It’s been a nice surprise to get the support from larger type schools for the A-11, due to the fact many
coaches at big schools have previously worked at small programs, and they understand the very
serious challenges smaller schools face. And, a potentially beautiful scenario is taking shape; some of
the coaches at large schools now understand the A-11 can be an excellent way to get some of their
smaller type players into the game. Increased participation at the larger schools = everybody wins!
Officiating the A-11 Offense
Will the CIF Committee members believe the overwhelming solid feedback from the majority of
actual CIF football officials who have managed games featuring the A-11 Offense, and also the Head
of the California East Bay Football Officials Association?
In California alone, hundreds of CIF football officials have properly officiated games involving the A-
11 Offense in locations such as: Trinity, Marin County, Contra Costa County, the East Bay, San
Francisco, Humboldt County, Laguna Beach and Southern California.
Gary Chambers, Head Football Coach, Saddleback Valley Christian High, CA, “Every officiating crew
came in opposed to the offense, five refs per game. Out of the 55 officials we had, we did not have any
of them twice. Two of them left the games still unhappy about the offense. At least 30 came up to me
after the game and said it was not as tough to officiate as they thought it would be and said they
thought it would be fun to watch as a fan.”
CIF football officials and many officials nationwide have consistently demonstrated the proven ability
to properly manage and officiate games featuring the A-11 Offense.
Or, will the CIF Committee members choose to believe the faction of people against the A-11 Offense
– most of whom have never seen nor officiated a game involving the A-11?
It is our hope, that CIF Committee members will rely on the feedback of the seasoned football officials
in California who have actually worked games involving the A-11 Offense.
Sampling: A-11 & CIF Three-Year Study: Mostly CA Head Coaches & Some Assistants & AD’s
Title & School & City
Head of the East Bay Football Officials Association
officiating football games) CA
Principal of Piedmont HS, Piedmont, CA
FC at Piedmont HS, Piedmont, CA
AD & FC at Piedmont HS, Piedmont, CA
FC at Saddleback Valley Christian HS, CA
FC at Trinity HS, Weaverville, CA
(Respectfully, Piedmont’s first A-11 victory in 2007 at Trinity High)
AD & FC at Piedmont Hills HS in San Jose, CA
(Matt coached football with Steve Stearns - the CIF Rules Interpreter)
FC at Serra HS, San Mateo, CA
FC at California School of the Deaf HS, Fremont, CA
FC at El Capitan HS, Lakeside, CA
FC at Casa Grande HS, Petaluma, CA
FC at Freedom HS, Oakley, CA
FC at Kerman HS, Kerman CA
AD & FC at Foothill HS, Pleasanton, CA
FC at Emery HS, Emeryville, CA
FC at Point Arena HS, Point Arena, CA
FC at Imperial HS, Imperial, CA
AD & FC at West Valley HS, Hemet, CA
FC at Oakland Tech HS, Oakland, CA
Sampling: A-11 & CIF Three-Year Study: Mostly CA Head Coaches & Some Assistants & AD’s
Title & School & City
FC at San Marcos HS, San Marcos, CA
FC at Shasta HS, Redding, CA
FC at Mission HS, San Francisco, CA
FC at Richmond HS, Richmond, CA
AD & FC at St. Bernard’s HS, Eureka, CA
FC at De La Salle HS, Concord, CA
FC at Golden Sierra HS, Garden Valley, CA
FC at Castlemont HS, Oakland, CA
FC at Taft HS, Woodland Hills, CA
FC at Livermore HS, Livermore, CA
FC at Thousand Oaks, HS, Thousand Oaks, CA
FC at George Washington HS, San Francisco, CA
FC at Clayton Valley HS, Concord, CA
FC at Fort Bragg HS, Fort Bragg, CA
FC at Foothills Christian HS, El Cajon, CA
FC at St. Bernard’s HS, Eureka, CA
FC at Valley Christian HS, Dublin, CA
FC at JFK – HS, Richmond, CA
FC at Nogales HS, La Puente, CA
FC at Berkeley HS, Berkeley, CA
FC at Calexico HS, Calexico, CA
National Sampling - Supporting a CIF Three-Year Study of the A-11 Offense
Title & School or Company
President of KBCSports.com (CIF broadcast partner)
Managing Producer, Yahoo! & Rivals - High school sports, TN
John T. Reed
Football Historian - Author of many football books, CA
SF 49er Super Bowl Champion for Coach Bill Walsh
(Current ABC Channel 7 Bay Area Sports Anchor), CA
Journalist, ESPN Magazine, NC
Football Official, NJFOA, New Jersey
FC at Bucknell University, PA
CBS Channel 5 Bay Area News, Sports Reporter/Anchor, CA
Brand Athletics, Nike Distributor, OR
FC at San Jose State University, CA
(NCAA Hall of Fame nominee and Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champion)
Senior Journalist & Author, ESPN.com & Page 2
FC at Menlo College, Atherton, CA
American Football Monthly magazine, FL
Oakland Police Officer, Oakland, CA
FC at Gar-Pal HS, Palouse, WA
Sports Author & Columnist for the New York Times
FC at Morgan HS, Morgan, UT
President of Yollege.com (helping students find the right college), CA
FC at Sunshine HS, Newbern, AL
Founder, Released Entertainment, Santa Monica, CA