As a veteran pee wee football for over 25 years I have seen it all and in the last six years the latest craze has been the single wing offense.
The original single wing concept was used by Glen Pop Warner in the 1950’s and was known for using a direct snap without a quarterback. A direct snap is most like a mini shot gun snap.
The center takes the ball and snaps it direct to either of the backs, depending on the single wing formation you are using there can be two or three backs available to catch the snap. This direct snap by passes or eliminates the need for the traditional quarterback-center exchange.
The direct snap also eliminates the handoff delay since the back catches the ball direct and just starts running. This makes for a very quick start to the beginning of a play.
The direct snap appeals to many new coaches, especially if you are teaching very young players since it is far safer than the traditional snap between QB and center. What makes it safer is the concept that if the ball is snapped bad, the backs are right in front of the ball to either pick it up or fall on it.
When instructing the younger kids, the snap is a crucial part of the sport which is overlooked by most teams. Forget the usual problems which include rain, wrong hand placement by QB, QB yanking out too soon and the center snapping it wrong which screw up the snap, but younger new kids struggle with the timing and it takes to execute a play.
There are minimal plays for a loss of yards when installing the direct snap, in fact, during a whole season a couple of years ago my team did not have a any plays which lost even a single yard.
Deception is another benefit of using the single wing direct snap, especially if you use three backs behind the center. I use simple logic when deciding o the distance to place my backs from the center which is the younger the kids are, the closer I move them to the center. If I am teaching first year tackle players, I will have then within 1 yard of the center! This makes it nearly impossible for the opponent to see who has the football.
In conclusion, the direct snap is a very effective and efficient way to start your offensive game planning of you are coaching a youth football team.
by Jim Oddo