5v5 Flag Football Plays – Formations

The best 5v5 flag football formations are the ones that give your offense a chance to best use their talent. Common sense, right? Yes and no. The best 5v5 flag football formations for your team will also blend well with one another. Good flag football teams will often only run three or four different formations but they fit well together. Take our advice. Incorporate some very important drills and keep your offense simple.

Here are 11 powerful 5v5 flag football formations that will immediately make your team better. We are not suggesting that you use all of them, but instead find the right ones for your offense. Make sure the football formations you choose fit together and fit your players. You can also use the FirstDown PlayBook™ Flag Football Play Library & Play Drawing Tool to find more formations for your offense and edit them to your liking!

Regardless of if you coach in an NFL Flag Football league or other, these formations should be a part of your offense and on your wristband sheet. Let’s take a quick look at each one of them.

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5v5 Flag Football Plays - Deuce Formation

1. Deuce Formation

Deuce is a balanced 5 on 5 flag football formation with one back in the backfield that gives you flexibility. With the Deuce 5v5 flag football formation, you have a run game, pass game, and the popular Run Pass Option series. This balanced formation gives you the ability to attack both sides of the field equally.

When you balance up your 5v5 flag football formation, the defense will likely do the same. This allows a 5 on 5 flag football coach to find favorable matchups with the run and pass game. FirstDown PlayBook wants you to use this Deuce 5v5 flag football formation as your base to teach your other flag football formations.

As we travel through this short resource on these great flag football formations begin to think about people not just formations. Odds are you will not be substituting a lot with your flag football offense. Your offense will be looking at their wristbands and playing fast. When you start with Deuce formation it will help you identify who can play what position quickly.

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Twins Formation

2. Twins Formation

The next 5v5 flag football formation you want to install is Twins formation. This is a natural fit with the Deuce formation above. You can simply coach your back to now line up as a slot receiver to one side or the other. Twins formation gives you the ability to run combination routes on one side or the other.

You can now begin to create quick crossing routes that are hard for man coverage defense to cover. You will learn to adjust your receivers’ splits to the Twins side to give you an advantage for the route combination you have called. Also, don’t forget you still have that great one on one matchup to the single receiver side.

All is not lost with the run game when you line up in Twins as your 5 on 5 flag football formation. You still have a dangerous jet sweep, end around and reverse run game that will be hard for defenses to cover. Tip…there are some great trick plays when you do this as well!

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Wide Formation

3. Wide Formation

This 5v5 flag football formation is called “Wide” because you have only one receiver out wide. You could also call it “Split” because there are two backs in the backfield. You will see why we do not call it Split later. This formation is may be the best misdirection formation in the 5 on 5 flag football formation group.

If you coach a youth flag football team, you are going to hand the ball off as much as you are going to throw it. Why? Most younger players are not physically developed enough for an effective flag football passing game. Make sure your wristband sheet has enough runs on it. Your run game will likely be your bread and butter.

Your 5v5 flag football league will normally not allow blocking, so the best run plays are misdirection plays. You will be glad you have two backs in the backfield as you begin to fake one way and handoff to the other. You will still have a good short passing game to your backs. Don’t forget, you still have one wide receiver out there if you want to throw it down the field.

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Trips Formation

4. Trips Formation

When you line all of your 5 on 5 flag football players up on one side of the center with the Trips 5v5 flag football formation, you are making a commitment. That commitment to the strong side of the field is worth it when you begin executing your new three-man route combinations.

Trips formation not only gives you three-man route combinations. It also gives you a sprint-out pass game to the three receiver side. This will be helpful to the young quarterbacks that you will be coaching. Your quarterback will be able to handle a three-level passing game when they are moving into the throw.

Just because you line up with all of your 5v5 flag football players on one side of the center doesn’t mean they have to end up there. Once again, there is a dangerous jet sweep and end-around run game that can be unleashed to the weak side. Just be sure to include these skills in your flag football drills during practice.

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Bunch Formation

5. Bunch Formation

You are going to get a lot of man coverage when you coach 5 on 5 flag football. One of the best ways to beat man coverage is with crossing routes. The best way to run crossing routes is with the Bunch flag football formation. Bunch formation is similar to Trips formation but as the name implies, the players line up in a three-player bunch.

Bunch formation not only pops the routes open vs man coverage but also pops them open quickly. This allows your young quarterback to get the football out of their hand quickly before they get sacked.

Not all Bunch flag football formations are born equally. If you have an older quarterback with a stonger arm, you can line your bunch out wide. If you have a young quarterback you will want to pull your bunch in closer to the ball.

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Crunch Formation

6. Crunch (Center Bunch)

Everything we just told you about your Bunch formation still holds true for Crunch 5v5 flag football formation. However, now the bunch includes your center or your snapper. The Crunch formation is also right square in front of your quarterback. A lot of flag football offenses ignore the center, and that is a big mistake.

Your center is talented enough to snap the ball every play, so our guess is that including them in your pass game is not a bad idea. Those picks and rubs that Bunch formation gave you now make the defense guess which side you will be targeting with your Crunch flag football formation passing game.

When you formed your Bunch formation you needed all three receivers to do it. Now with the Crunch formation, you can form your bunch and still have a wide receiver to stretch the field with the passing game. If you play in a league that allows your players to shield block, then your Crunch players are in the perfect position to provide it!

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Stack Formation

7. Stack Formation

We absolutely love the Stack 5v5 flag football formation. There are so many ways to get creative with this formation even if you are coaching very young players. Stack formation is a close cousin to Twins formation. The difference is that your two receivers now line up one directly behind the other.

Stack formation gives you an immediate screen-type passing game. Your quarterback could just raise up and throw the ball to the deeper receiver. This is a great way to get the ball in space to one of your talented players. The Stack flag football formation also prevents a good defense from disrupting the release of your deeper receiver.

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Split Formation

8. Split Formation

NFL Flag and USA Football have rules that prohibit the quarterback from running the ball if it is directly snapped to them. This is a good rule that prevents one talented player from taking over the game without using the other players. Your Split Backs 5 on 5 flag football formation has two quarterbacks.

Two players align in the backfield equally offset from the center. They are both close enough that the center could snap the ball to either one of them. This formation has a lot in common with the Single Wing formation from tackle football.

As soon as the ball is snapped, the quarterback will be declared but there is an advantage to hiding this until that point. Your player who receives the snap will still not be allowed to advance the ball on a run. However, the defense will not be able to cheat knowing who that player is until the ball is snapped.

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Bunch Stack Formation

9. Bunch Stack

A good receiver understands that one of the best tools they have in their bag is the ability to release off the line of scrimmage. Think Cooper Cupp and the other great slot receivers over the years. When you get three receivers in close proximity who can release, it is even more powerful. This is exactly what our new 5v5 NFL Flag Bunch Stack install gives you.

The Bunch Stack Wide Receiver releases must be executed well to get into their routes in a hurry. If this happens, trust us when we say that the defense has their hands full with this formation. It’s hard to even get lined up against it if you are playing man coverage.

Another great thing about this formation is that you can adjust the split to your level of flag football. If you are coaching a young NFL Flag 5v5 offense, then your wristband sheet might have the three receivers in closer to the center on this Bunch Stack install. This way, it’s all happening where a young quarterback can see it and make the throws. This close split will allow you to run jet sweeps too.

5v5 Flag Football Plays - I Bone Formation

10. I Bone

FirstDown PlayBook thinks this is the perfect 5v5 formation to run flag football RPO’s. Flag football RPO’s are different than tackle football. You are just giving your quarterback the liberty to execute a running play or a passing play.

This often comes in the form of a boot action, but almost always involves misdirection with your flag football players. Flag football RPO’s create confusion with a defense as they question where the ball is and where it is going.

When the ball is snapped, the flag football I Bone formation gives you a chance to create misdirection just by the nature of the offensive alignment. Once the players all break out from the I Bone, the defense has to find their responsibility quickly.  If they don’t, you will have someone running uncovered!

5v5 Flag Football Plays - Empty Crunch Formation

11. Empty Crunch

The FirstDown PlayBook Empty Crunch formation is a bunch formation on steroids. What we mean is that you now have four of your players in a bunch right in front of your quarterback. As with your other bunch formations, you have a great opportunity to confuse the defense as your players scatter to their routes.

When you line up in an NFL Flag league, you can almost bet that you are going to get man coverage. There is a great chance that one of your receivers will get lost in the shuffle as they release into their routes. Where better for this to happen than right in front of your young quarterback?

Don’t rule out your run game with this formation either. No backs? No problem. You will always have an opportunity for a jet sweep to one of several of your receivers. You also have the chance to run an end around. Finally, as you can see here, you can even run both on the same play.

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