When learning and coaching youth football plays, one of the first things coaches and players must understand is football terminology. For many beginning players, youth football will be their first exposure to organized sports. By going over the important lingo, coaches can be sure that their offensive players fully understand the plays before going out on the field.
- Hole – in a youth football play, a hole refers to a point of attack on the field. Holes are usually numbered from the center/guard gap (“0”) to the outside, with odd numbers on the left and even numbers on the right. In the offensive backfield, the quarterback is always “1,” the tailback is “2,” the fullback is “3,” and so on.
- Blast – a blast is an offensive play that aims off tackle or for the guard/tackle gap.
- Dive – a dive is one of the most common youth football plays and features the fullback making a quick hitting play, usually in a short yardage situation.
- Wedge – in youth football, a wedge is a play in which the linemen use their bodies together to increase their strength. Instead of each individual blocking a defensive player, one lineman will push his shoulder into the side of the lineman on his inside, and then they use their combined weight to take down the defensive tackle.
- Power – in a power offensive play, all offensive backs attack the same hole.
- Waggle – a waggle commonly refers to a play in which the quarterback fakes a sweep hand off and then rolls to the opposite side.
- Sweep – a sweep is a youth football play in which the quarterback takes the snap and then either hands off or tosses the ball to the running back, who then takes it down the field.
- Pitch/toss – a pitch or toss is a play where the quarterback quickly gets the ball to the running back, much like in a sweep, but instead of handing the ball off in the offensive line, the running back stays outside the guard and receives the ball from a pitch or toss from the quarterback.