A-11 Offense & CIF Three-Year Study Summary for April 20

th

, 2009 

 

(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) 
 

 

2

 

Table of Contents 

 
 

Subject 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page # 

 
 

April 20

th

2009 

Presentation 

Itinerary 

    3 

 
 
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   

 

10 

 
 
California & National Polling Data on the A-11 

 

 

13 

 
 
Media Links  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

3

A-11 Offense Presentation for the CIF 

 

Information 
Meeting Date:    

 

April 20, 2009 

Meeting 

Time: 

  10:00AM 

– 

2:00PM 

A-11 Presentation: 

 

10:15AM – Noon 

CIF Panel Q & A: 

 

Noon – 12:30PM 

CIF Panel Recommendation: 

12:30PM – 2:00PM 

Meeting Location:  
CIF Headquarters (Please enter through the back of the building) 
1320 Harbor Bay Parkway, Suite # 140 
Alameda, CA 94502 (510) 521-4447 

 

 

Itinerary 

 

9:30AM 

Arrival and Distribute A-11 Portfolio copies to the CIF Panel members 

 

10:00AM 

CIF Welcome and Purpose of the Meeting 

 
10:15AM 

Opening Remarks: Piedmont Principal, Randall Booker 

 
10:25AM 

Officiating the A-11: Sam Moriana, Head of East Bay Officials Association 

 
10:30AM 

Intro: The A-11. Review Support & Data: Piedmont Coach, Kurt Bryan 

 
10:40AM 

Comparison: Football offenses using numerical & formation deception (KB) 

 
10:42AM 

Innovation in Football & Sports info: John T. Reed, football historian Author 

 
10:45AM 

Benefits of A-11. Review Data: 3 Polls & Coaches & Media (Steve Humphries) 

 
10:55AM 

A-11 & Reducing Injuries: Stan Nakahara, Piedmont High Athletic Trainer 

 
11:00AM 

PHS players: Jeremy George, Devin Brown, Joey Andrada & Carl Hendrickson 

 
11:03AM 

Statement of Support by De La Salle Assistant Coach, Steve Jacoby 

 
11:05AM 

A-11 for little schools: Saddleback Valley Christian Coach, Gary Chambers 

 
11:15AM 

Quick Break & prepare DVD projector for the A-11 Offense video review 

 
11:58AM 

End Video review and Closing statement by Kurt Bryan 

 
Noon   

CIF Panel: Question & Answer 

 
12:30PM 

CIF Panel Discussion and Recommendation 

 
2:00PM  

Adjourn 

 

* CIF Committee members can watch the bay area CBS Channel 5 story about the A-11 & CIF 
on Sunday night April 19

th

, at 11:30PM on the CBS Channel 5 weekly Game Day Show. 

 
 
 

 

4

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 
legal.  
 
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. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

5

 

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 
basketball.”  
 
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? 

3. 

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? 

 

 

6

 

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 

 

7

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.

 

 
 
 
 

 

8

Sampling: A-11 & CIF Three-Year Study: Mostly CA Head Coaches & Some Assistants & AD’s 

 
Name
   

 

 

Title & School & City 

 
Sam Moriana   

 

Head of the East Bay Football Officials Association 

    (50-year 

veteran 

of 

officiating football games) CA 

 
Randall Booker 

 

Principal of Piedmont HS, Piedmont, CA 

 
Kurt Bryan 

 

 

FC at Piedmont HS, Piedmont, CA 

 
Mike Humphries 

 

AD & FC at Piedmont HS, Piedmont, CA 

 
Gary Chambers 

 

FC at Saddleback Valley Christian HS, CA 

 
Mike Flint 

 

 

FC at Trinity HS, Weaverville, CA 

 

 

 

 

(Respectfully, Piedmont’s first A-11 victory in 2007 at Trinity High) 

 
Matt Kiesle   

 

AD & FC at Piedmont Hills HS in San Jose, CA 

 

 

 

 

(Matt coached football with Steve Stearns - the CIF Rules Interpreter) 

 
Patrick Walsh  

 

FC at Serra HS, San Mateo, CA 

 
Kevin Bella   

 

FC at California School of the Deaf HS, Fremont, CA 

 
Ron Burner   

 

FC at El Capitan HS, Lakeside, CA 

 
Trent Herzog   

 

FC at Casa Grande HS, Petaluma, CA 

 
Kevin Hartwig  

 

FC at Freedom HS, Oakley, CA 

 
Mark Gutierrez 

 

FC at Kerman HS, Kerman CA 

 
Matt Sweeney  

 

AD & FC at Foothill HS, Pleasanton, CA 

 
Ken Wright   

 

FC at Emery HS, Emeryville, CA 

 
Dave Contreras 

 

FC at Point Arena HS, Point Arena, CA 

 
Kerry Legarra  

 

FC at Imperial HS, Imperial, CA 

 
Tom Wallace   

 

AD & FC at West Valley HS, Hemet, CA 

 
Delton Edwards 

 

FC at Oakland Tech HS, Oakland, CA 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

9

 

Sampling: A-11 & CIF Three-Year Study: Mostly CA Head Coaches & Some Assistants & AD’s 

 
Name
   

 

 

Title & School & City 

 
 
Gary Farrall   

 

FC at San Marcos HS, San Marcos, CA 

 
Aaron Gingery 

 

FC at Shasta HS, Redding, CA 

 
Carl Sullivan   

 

FC at Mission HS, San Francisco, CA 

 
Jeff Tiner 

 

 

FC at Richmond HS, Richmond, CA 

 
Jason White   

 

AD & FC at St. Bernard’s HS, Eureka, CA 

 
Steve Jacoby   

 

FC at De La Salle HS, Concord, CA 

 
D. Vargas 

 

 

FC at Golden Sierra HS, Garden Valley, CA 

 
Lloyd Johnson  

 

FC at Castlemont HS, Oakland, CA 

 
Matt Kerstetter 

 

FC at Taft HS, Woodland Hills, CA 

 
James Petersdorf 

 

FC at Livermore HS, Livermore, CA 

 
Eric P.  

 

 

FC at Thousand Oaks, HS, Thousand Oaks, CA 

 
Karl Finley 

 

 

FC at George Washington HS, San Francisco, CA 

 
Sandy Melnik  

 

FC at Clayton Valley HS, Concord, CA 

 
Rick Fratus 

 

 

FC at Fort Bragg HS, Fort Bragg, CA 

 
Steve Perdue   

 

FC at Foothills Christian HS, El Cajon, CA 

 
Jeremy Wardrip 

 

FC at St. Bernard’s HS, Eureka, CA 

 
Paul Hewitt   

 

FC at Valley Christian HS, Dublin, CA 

 
Anthony Freeman 

 

FC at JFK – HS, Richmond, CA 

 
Vito Saracino   

 

FC at Nogales HS, La Puente, CA 

 
Alonzo Carter  

 

FC at Berkeley HS, Berkeley, CA 

 
Alfredo Silva   

 

FC at Calexico HS, Calexico, CA 

 
 
 

 

10

National Sampling - Supporting a CIF Three-Year Study of the A-11 Offense 

 
Name   

 

 

Title & School or Company 

 
Jeff Kurtz 

 

 

President of KBCSports.com (CIF broadcast partner) 

 
Dallas Jackson  

 

Managing Producer, Yahoo! & Rivals - High school sports, TN

   

 
John T. Reed   

 

Football Historian - Author of many football books, CA 

 
Mike Shumann 

 

SF 49er Super Bowl Champion for Coach Bill Walsh  

 

 

 

 

(Current ABC Channel 7 Bay Area Sports Anchor), CA 

 
Dave 

Fleming 

  Senior 

Journalist, ESPN Magazine, NC 

 
Joe Shaw 

 

 

Football Official, NJFOA, New Jersey 

 
Tim Landis 

 

 

FC at Bucknell University, PA 

 
Kim Coyle 

 

 

CBS Channel 5 Bay Area News, Sports Reporter/Anchor, CA 

 
Cherokee Scrivner 

 

Brand Athletics, Nike Distributor, OR 

 
Ken Margerum 

 

FC at San Jose State University, CA 

 

 

 

 

(NCAA Hall of Fame nominee and Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champion)

 

 
Michael Weinreb 

 

Senior Journalist & Author, ESPN.com & Page 2 

 
Fred Guidici   

 

FC at Menlo College, Atherton, CA 

 
Travis 

Davis 

  Publisher, 

American Football Monthly magazine, FL 

 
Mario Thornton 

 

Oakland Police Officer, Oakland, CA 

 
Mike Burt 

 

 

FC at Gar-Pal HS, Palouse, WA 

 
Jere Longman  

 

Sports Author & Columnist for the New York Times 

 
Joe Sisson 

 

 

FC at Morgan HS, Morgan, UT 

 
Michael Kim   

 

President of Yollege.com (helping students find the right college), CA 

 

Jonathon Jenkins 

 

FC at Sunshine HS, Newbern, AL 

 
David Lockhart 

 

Founder, Released Entertainment, Santa Monica, CA