One of the great parts about football is that there are many different versions kids can play to learn the game.
If you don't want them to get directly involved in full-contact, 11-on-11 tackle football right away, you can have them try 6 on 6 flag football out first.
This involves having 6 players on each team, which opens up the field a lot.
It's a great way to have your kids work on their passing, route running and catching skills, as well as defending against the pass.
As explained in our flag football rules article, instead of wearing pads and tackling kids to end a play, each player will wear a belt that has two flags hanging down from it. A player is considered "tackled" when one of the flags gets ripped off by a defender -- or if the entire belt gets ripped off their waist.
There are no running plays in 6 on 6 Flag Football, so you'll just be working passing plays into your playbook.
Here are the top ten 6 on 6 flag football plays to use with your team:
6 on 6 Flag Football Plays:
Play #1: Trips Right Comeback
This play will have the Trips formation, with three receivers lined up in a bunch to the right side of the field. The running back will line up just to the left of the quarterback.
The idea of this play is to have two crossing routes on the right, with the outside receiver running a deep comeback.
At the snap, the X will run a Go route straight downfield.
The Y will run a Deep Slant route.
The Z will run a Deep Comeback route.
The snapper will run a quick Hitch route, while the running back will run a Swing route to the left that he can take upfield.
Play #2: Trips Motion Out & Up
This play uses the same formation as above, but uses a double move by the X receiver, as he tries to get deep.
He'll be the primary target of this play, which will also use pre-snap motion.
Before the snap, the Y will motion from the right side of the field to the left.
At the snap, he'll run a Go route down the left sideline.
The RB will run a Hitch route to the left, but he'll round off the top of the route.
The S will run a short Out route to the right, which he'll also round off.
The X will first run an Out route, but when he gets to the sideline, he'll turn it upfield and run a Go route down the sideline.
The Z, meanwhile, will run a Deep Slant, but he'll round off the top. His route should cross up the two defenders on the right.
Play #3: Trips Right RB Screen
Another trips right formation...
But this time, the pass is intended to be a screen to the RB to the left.
The routes for the right receivers will be intended to get to the left to serve as semi-lead blockers.
At the snap, the S will run horizontal to the left sideline, then go upfield to serve as the main lead blocker.
The X will run a quick Hitch to toward the middle of the field, keeping his defender away from the left.
The Y will run a Deep Slant-and-Go that he'll then Slant again at the top of the route.
The Z will run a Go route straight down the right sideline, so that his defender will stay away from the left side of the field altogether.
Play #4: Slot Right Crossing Post
This formation will see the Slot receiver (Y) lined up to the right side of the field.
The QB will be under the S.
This play is set up so that all of the routes cross each other.
The idea is to get the defenders moving across the field, and possibly even bumping into each other.
At the snap, the X will run a Deep Slant.
The S will run a Deep Post. The Y and Z will each run In routes that they'll angle slightly downfield.
These receivers will run their routes at different depths.
Their routes will also cross the routes from the other two players.
The RB will stick in and won't really run a route for this play.
Play #5: Slot Right Out & Up
This play will use the same formation as above, and will use an Out & Up route to try to get the Y deep.
There are some crossing routes as well to continue confusing defenders.
At the snap, the X will run a Deep Slant to the middle of the field.
The S will run a Slant to the left that he'll round off a bit.
The RB will run a swing route to the right and will serve as the safety valve for the QB if no other receiver is open.
The Z will run a Quick Slant to the left that he'll make deeper than a typical one of these routes.
The Y, meanwhile, will run an Out & Up to the right side of the field.
He'll also round off his double move rather than making it as squared off, unlike what we saw previously.
Play #6: V Corner Posts
Another cool formation you can use in 6 on 6 flag football plays is the V formation.
This will be a tight formation, where all players will align near the line of scrimmage, with the three inside receivers forming a "v."
This play is designed to cause tons of confusion, with all the receivers running routes crossing each other, which could cause the defenders to lose their man easily.
At the snap, the Z and the S will run Out routes to the left, at different depths.
The X will run a triple move -- first a Go, then a Slant, and then a Post. The Y will run a Deep Post to the right.
The RB will run a Comeback route, serving as the short option to the right of the field.
Play #7: V Snapper Comeback
This play out of the V formation will have the S run a Comeback to the right side of the field, after he runs across the paths of two other receivers.
He's the target for a shorter pass on this play, though if one of the deeper routes opens up, the QB can go there, too.
Before the snap, the X will motion out to his left a bit to create some separation from defenders.
At the snap, he'll then run a Quick Comeback route to the outside.
The Y will fake a Quick Slant to the left, then run a Hitch toward the middle of the field.
The Z will run a Deep Post to the right sideline.
The RB will cross his route by running a Deep Slant to the left.
The S will run a shallow Drag to the right at first, then get some more depth before running his Comeback toward the right sideline.
Play #8: Spread Combos
This play run out of the Spread formation will get a lot of space between defenders at first.
Then, there will be combo routes -- the two outside receivers will run the same routes, while the two inside receivers will run the same routes.
At the snap, the Z and the X will run Deep Comeback routes.
The Z will fake his as a Slant to begin with.
The Y and the RB will each run Deep Posts, with the Y rounding his off a bit.
The S, meanwhile, will run a Zag route that ends up shallow to the right side of the field.
Play #9: Quads Left Go
This formation will start with four receivers all bunched up to the left side of the field -- two on the line of scrimmage and two off.
The QB will line up under center.
At the snap, the RB will run a Deep Skinny Slant.
The Z will run an In route, with the Y running a shallow Out route.
Both of those routes will cross the Z, who will be running a Go route straight down the field.
The S will serve as the safety cushion for the QB, as he'll run a shallow Out route that he'll take a diagonal path on to begin with.
Play #10: Quads Left Flood Right
This Quads Left play will use pre-snap motion and will also have all routes except for one ending up to the right.
This will force all defenders to run the width of the field to cover their man.
Before the snap, the Y will go in motion to the right.
At the snap, he'll run a Quick Out route. The S will also run a Quick Out route, slightly deeper than the Y.
The X will run a Deep Post, and the RB will run a Drag route -- both to the right side of the field.
The Z is the only player not running to the right. He'll run a Go route straight downfield.
These are 10 of the top 6-on-6 flag football plays you can teach your kids.
These are great plays to start with to teach your kids the game and to hopefully have them scoring lots of points on the field.
Of course, once you have these plays down, you can get creative and create your own wrinkles to the game.