As a veteran of peeing football for over 25 years, I’ve seen it all and for the past six years the latest craze has been the single-wing offense.
The original single wing concept was used by Glen Pop Warner in the 1950s and was known to use a direct snap without a quarterback. A straight shot is more like a mini-gun snap.
The center takes the ball and snaps it directly onto one of the backs, depending on which single wing formation you use there may be two or three backs available to catch the snap. This direct snap avoids or eliminates the need for the traditional quarterback-center rally.
The direct snap also eliminates transfer delay as the back catches the ball directly and just starts running. This allows a very quick start from the start of a part.
The direct snap appeals to a lot of new coaches, especially if you are teaching very young players as it is much safer than the traditional snap between QB and center. What makes it safer is the concept that if the ball is badly broken, the full backs are right in front of the ball to pick it up or drop it.
When instructing younger children, the snap is a crucial part of the sport that is overlooked by most teams. Forget about the usual issues which include rain, poor hand placement by QB, QB snatching too early and the cross slamming him badly which ruins the snap, but newer, younger kids struggle with timing and it takes to perform a piece.
There are minimal plays for yardage loss when setting up the direct snap, in fact for a whole season a few years ago my team didn’t have any plays that lost even a single yard.
Disappointment is another perk of using the single wing direct hook, especially if you are using three backs behind the center. I use simple logic to decide how far my back is from the center, which is the younger the kids, the closer I get to the center. If I teach first year tackle players, then I will be within 1 meter of the center! This makes it almost impossible for the opponent to see who has the football.
In conclusion, the direct snap is a very effective and efficient way to start offensive game planning if you are coaching a youth football team.