The A11 Football League, debuting with four exhibition games in 2014 and its first full-fledged season in 2015, perhaps is the most unique alternative professional outdoor football league in the history of the genre.
In the most basic sense, the A11FL, conceived by league co-founders Kurt Bryan and Steve Humphries, brings professional football back to its roots while bringing out the best in today’s physically-advanced athletes. The A11FL’s rule change of no jersey-numbering rule on offense, meaning all 11 players can wear eligible-receiver numbers if a coach so chooses, makes A11FL offenses complex in the number of offensive play possibilities.
While the A11FL promises to give offensive coordinators countless potential – and defensive coordinators nightmares – it also should be the safest professional football league around. The A-11 Offense, by design, reduces the chances of player injuries, while still maintaining the speed, athleticism and dynamics that avid football fans have come to expect from the game.
The A11FL will be impressive on the field, and it already is impressive off of it. The list of those in the A11FL leadership basically is a who’s-who of top-flight sports executives. A league with names like Chairman Fred Walke, CEO/Commissioner Scott McKibben and President/COO Michael F. Keller involved isn’t thinking small-time.
So what can fans expect to see out of the A11FL when the ball is kicked off, and the United States has its first professional spring outdoor alternative football league since 2001? This league promises to have many intriguing and exciting elements to it:
- On one play, an offense can come out and look like the 1925 Chicago Bears with legendary Red Grange in the backfield and run a play with more than six players with traditionally-eligible uniform numbers – creating multiple mismatches for a defense.
- On the next play, an offense might come out in a traditional I-formation and run the ball down a defense’s throat, ala Adrian Peterson of the modern-day Minnesota Vikings.
- Come play No. 3, the offense might come out in a four-wide receiver, Run “N” Shoot-type look, a la Jim Kelly and the United States Football League’s Houston Gamblers.
- Then, finally, the offense will go into the end zone for a touchdown after lining up in a shotgun run-option spread formation, just like the ones that have taken over college football, works well in the Canadian Football League and is starting to dominate the National Football League.
The A11FL will look to become the vanguard of alternative professional outdoor football leagues. Thanks to what already has been crafted and assembled, it is off to a very impressive start.