Remember that A-11 offense that was the talk of high school football last fall?
It’s the one we knew very little about and almost everyone in the East Region was expecting the Snowflake Lobos to run.
It seems the National Federation of State High School Associations could adopt 2009 rule changes that would dismantle the offense.
In some states, including North Carolina and Georgia, the offense has already been outlawed. But if the NFSHSA bans the A-11 it will be illegal in every public high school in America.
Those opposed to the A-11, an “O” that has its roots in Oregon and California, argue it is misleading, against the rules, unsportsmanlike and only a passing gimmick.
While Snowflake never did run the A-11 as expected, local high school officials and referees geared up for the offense mostly because it presented them some unique challenges. One of which was to figure out who the eligible receivers were.
An exception in prep football rules allow players with jersey numbers 1-49 and 80-99 to be down linemen and eligible pass receivers, in a scrimmage kick formation.
Because the A-11 is a spread offense similar to a kick formation, the exception allowed all players on teams using the A-11 to wear numbers 1-49 and 80-99, numbers usually reserved only for receivers. A-11 players did not wear numbers in the 50s, 60s or 70s, digits usually worn by down linemen.
Which meant, all 11 players on an A-11 offense, at certain times, could be eligible receivers.
It wasn’t only defenders who had a tough time figuring out which players were eligible, officials also struggled.
The rule in determining eligible receivers is that if a player sets himself on the line of scrimmage and a teammate lines up outside that player, the inside player is ineligible but the outside one is eligible.
To make matters more confusing, A-11 teams usually lined up late making it tough for defenders, and officials, to determine the eligible receivers until the final few seconds before the ball was snapped.
The focus of the offense is that it spread the defense out, creating one-on-one matchups and giving teams with smaller athletes a better chance to win.
The NFSHSA might ban the A-11 but it will go down in gridiron history books as one of the most creative and innovative offenses ever devised.
Parents and Little League baseball and softball players should have tomorrow, Feb. 14, highlighted on their calendars.
The day is important because a benefit bake sale and special registration will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at sign-up tables located in front of Safeway and Walmart.
Little League’s Felicia Moore is inviting all parents to turn out, “Come on by and get your kids signed up and buy a few treats for your Valentine sweeties.”
Also to raise funds, Little League is hosting a raffle, which has as a grand prize — a 42-inch plasma television — sponsored by Rim Sight and Sound.
Tickets, which may be purchased at National Bank of Arizona, are $10 each or three for $25.
Moore is anticipating even more raffle prizes will be announced soon. Winners will be drawn during Little League’s opening day ceremonies.
Ticket holders do not have to be present to win.
The registration fee for Little League play is $75 for the first child in a family and $70 for each additional child. The softball league is open to girls 6 to 16 years of age. Also, a birth certificate must be provided.
Parents should also remember that girls planning on playing softball now have only one option — fast pitch.
The slow pitch leagues sponsored in past years by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department will no longer be offered. Instead, Little League fast pitch — which debuted successfully last year — is now a fixture on the youth sports agenda.
Little League officials tout the organization as a great way for girls to get involved in fast pitch which is the same game played at both the middle and high school.
Those who wish to play may register from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National Bank of Arizona or on Saturdays in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium during youth basketball games.
Tryouts for boys and girls ages 9 to 12 years will begin at 10 a.m., Feb. 28 on the two Rumsey west fields, sometimes known as the Kiwanis fields.
Also, the league is in need of even more adult volunteers.
Volunteers who would like to pitch in and help Payson Little League should submit an application available at National Bank or online at www.eteamz.com/paysonlittleleague.
A copy of your driver’s license will be required to volunteer.
It’ll be a hoot
The Payson Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a Watchable Wildlife seminar from 6 to 7 p.m., Feb. 18 at P&R offices in Green Valley Park. The fee is $5.
Trails and Outdoor Coordinator Mary McMullen says the course is an opportunity to learn where and when to look for wildlife, as well as steps for successful wildlife viewing in the Rim Country.
Arizona Game and Fish Urban and Watchable Wildlife Program Manager Joe Yarchin will present the program. Topics to be covered include how to view wildlife responsibly to minimize impact on the animals and the habitat.
Call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7, for more information.