Trick Play – Bootleg

On offense, you may call a Trick Play once in each half. There are four different trick plays: Bootleg, End Around, Non-Quarterback Pass, and Quick Kick. No single trick play can be used more than once per game. If you lay your Trick Play card down and the defensive coach goes Dime your trick play is nullified (unless it’s a Quick kick) and you forfeit your Trick Play opportunity for the half. You must withdraw your Trick Play card and call another play, after which the defense may re-align but not substitute.

When a Trick Play is called, the defensive coach has two options, either call conventional defensive alignment or call Trick Play Defense. If the defensive coach calls Trick Play Defense and is correct, score it as a 7-yard rushing loss by the ball carrier, intended passer or punter.

Let me demonstrate a bootleg using a game between the 1974 New York Jets at the 1974 New York Giants.

Pro Football Personnel: 22/APBA Football: 2TE

Pro Offense Formation: Unit/APBA Football: 2TE

Pro Defense Formation: Goal Line/APBA Football: Goal Line

The Jets have the ball on the Giants one-yard line late in the fourth quarter. The actual play call was “20 Wham” which is an off tackle to Emerson Boozer (outside run) but Joe Namath fools everyone in the stadium and does a naked bootleg. Let’s see how it would play out on the table top.


If this was a Face-to Face game, the Offensive coach would have said “Removing Jerome Barkum (o1) and inserting Willie Brister, 2TE Set” and placed both the Trick Play and Joe Namath’s card face down on the tabletop. The Jets offense went from a 38 to 37 against the Giants 32 run defense resulting in “B” index. For Solo play, the coach would just visualize “Trick Play – Bootleg – B index – Joe Namath”.

Once the play card and player’s card is placed on the table, the defensive coach would have said “Standard defense, Goal Line, G alignment, key Boozer”. If playing solitaire, roll the dice and if it’s either an 11, 33, or 66 the defense called a Trick Play defense. As a reminder, by going to a Goal Line defense, the defensive coach neutralized the offense’s two-line raise in the rushing game. When in a Goal Line Defense, you can NOT double cover a receiver and can only be is “S” or “G” alignment.


So let’s snap the ball. The Offensive coach will roll the dice and the defensive coach will go to the Outside Running Board – Between Defensive Team’s Goal Line and 9 yard line – B column – G alignment – 1, 4 column.

Bootleg Outside Boards

Bootleg Namath

Dice roll 53 results in Play Result 11 which is a one-yard gain. TOUCHDOWN for Broadway Joe Namath!!


4 thoughts on “Trick Play – Bootleg

  1. D column even though they were in Goal Line? Do the “trick play rules” override the “normal” rules? Thanks.

  2. Hmmm. I think you use D on runs and G on passes only when it’s a fake kick, not when it’s a trick play. You should use the defensive alignment that was called on a trick play, I think.

    • In all of the years that we have known each other, I’ve never known you to be incorrect with anything APBA Football related and this is just another fine example. The APBA Football community is very fortunate to have your many contributions and positive inputs. Thank you Phil!

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