When it comes to the legalities of shifts or motion in youth football, there are many questions from coaches. Of course, shifts and motions are most common among children over the age of 10. If your team has at least a year of experience tackling, you can give them a big advantage using shifts and motions. Below are some things to remember with your team.
Each team must have at least seven players at the line of scrimmage, but you can use all 10 players. When your players shift, they must completely stop a minimum of one second before a motion from another player. The motioning player must run parallel or away from the scrimmage line for it to be legal.
The ball can be legally snap once your player starts their motion. Many coaches in youth football believe they must wait that one second before they can snap the football, but they can actually snap the ball at any time as long as the motion player is moving in the correct direction.
When used effectively, shifts and motions can be used as an important weapon for your offensive team. And sure your players are performing their base plays well before teaching them special moves, though.
If you plan to use shifts or motions that may be questionable, familiarize the game officials with them before the game begins. Some older teens will have the motioning players make deliberate, slow steps to make it obvious there is no intention of stimulating the snap.
If you decide to use shifts and motions with your team, ensure that your players can pull them off with fluid motions. The motioning player will need to have something they can look at in order to determine how far and deep he is motioning. Use your snap count to teach the player when to start their motion to make it easier to remember. Of course, it will take much practice and repetition to get the most out of shifts and motions, but the time spent will be well worth the effort.