As is the case regarding the study of nearly every subject when looking back at it using the gift of hindsight, in 25, 50, 100 or 200 years from now, many people that we will never meet will look back upon this period in football history and closely examine the Era of Spread Offensive systems from (2000 - 2020).
Over the next nine years (2011 - 2020), what types of changes are coming to the great game of Football?
- Will the game become more or less violent?
- Will the game become faster and more spread out, or slower & more condensed?
- Will the game's style revert back and become like the more compact run-oriented systems, such as the Wing-T or Double Wing?
- Or, will the game move forward and embrace more innovative strategies better suited to the amazing and incredible athletes emerging onto the scene?
As the tremendous athletes and wide-open Spread Concepts continually push the game into fresh realms and new dimensions, what will the Game of football actually "Look Like in the year 2020" or sooner?
a. The game's key rules will be seriously altered to maximize player safety during the practices and games. Just in the past few years alone, startling information has been revealed to the public about the bad effects of head trauma, concussions and brain injuries, and although the players compete at their own volition, it's critical that the rules change to help improve their overall safety as much as possible. These upcoming rule changes will drastically affect the types of athletes & players utilized on Rosters at all levels of play, youth football, high school, college and Pro. These impending and unavoidable rule changes will immediately emphasize the use of lighter, faster and more dynamic multi-skilled athletes that are able to play a variety of (or any) position on the field. Instead of developing a stable of "overly-specialized players" that are ill-suited or totally unable to contribute or compete at more than one position, most respectfully.
As in life things change, circumstances alter and sports adjust as well or they die. Certain positions on the football field will become extinct or their job description and duties required to play that position or new role will be radically altered, leading to a totally different type of athlete needed to play those new positions.
b. The game's tempo will become faster and utilize further spread-out strategies across the field of play. And, the actual dimensions of the field itself will become wider than it is now and able to support the faster athletes of the near future. The field will be expanded to at least 55-yards wide or 58-yards wide to accommodate the upcoming combination of super-spread offensive concepts married with faster players.
c. Officiating: as the game becomes further spread out across the field of play, and with the advent of a wider field being utilized, more Officials will be needed and employed on the gridiron for each game. Currently, there is One Referee and Six other Officials used during a Pro football game (for a total of 7).
However, as the number of potentially Eligible Offensive Players allowed within a formation increases from the current legal number of 6, to 7 (or into a true form of the A-11 game)...a greater number of Officials will be needed to oversee Eligibility issues, penalty enforcement and the like, of course all of this happening on a wider field. It's easy to forecast the use of 9 Officials on the field per game by the year 2020.
How will all of these changes take place and When will they happen?
Big changes in Football are coming SOON...stay tuned.
Futuristic Quote on the A-11...
“But I do think this (A-11) is about something bigger….this is about progress, and what it means for the future of football.”
ESPN.com Senior Columnist