“Fumble Returns”

This video discusses the symbols associated with players who actually recovered a fumble during the actual season. I also indicate how to determine at a quick glance if the player didn’t recover and return a fumble during the season. This feature mitigates a 300-pound lineman, who never recovered a fumble from rumbling for a long scoring return.

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!!



While playing APBA Football Face-to-Face, a lot of coaches like to spread the defense out (3WR set) and run the ball against that light box (Dime defense) because the offensive run index is raised by one (i.e., B to A, C to B, etc) and one-yard is added for all positive runs. One way to combat that is for the defensive coach to go Nickel instead of Dime. Remember while in either Nickel or Dime defense (5db or 6db), the defensive coach can only select “S” or “D” alignment.

I would like to illustrate this with a game between the 2011 New Orleans Saints vs 2011 Atlanta Falcons.

Pro Football Personnel: 11/APBA Football: 3WR Set

Pro Offensive Formation: Gun Doubles or Gun Pro Slot/APBA: 3WR

Pro Defensive Formation: 33 Nickel Over/APBA: Nickel Defense

3WR vs Nickel

The Offensive coach would have said “Removing Ingram and Collins, inserting Sproles and Meachem, Three Wide” and placed the play card and Sproles card face down on the tabletop. This would have changed their offensive points from 45/44 to 46/44.

Once the play card and player’s card is placed on the table, the defensive coach would have said “Removing d3 and inserting a defensive back (corner back or safety), Nickel defense, Standard alignment”. As a reminder, you can NOT key a runner from Nickel or Dime defenses. With the substitution, Atlanta’s defense went from a 37/37 to 36/35 resulting in the Saints being in “A” index for pass and run. Just remember by going to 3WR, the Saints coach was ensuring they would be running from “A” index because the index is raised by one.

3WR vs Nickel,1

So let’s snap the ball. The Offensive coach will roll the dice (45) and the defensive coach will go to the Outside Running Board – Between Defensive Team’s 31 yard line and Offensive Team’s 15 yard line table – A column – S alignment – 1, 4 column.

Sproles Outside

Dice roll 45 results in Play Result (PR) 17.

3WR vs Nickel,2

Outside Boards

Instead of reading PR 17 (9-yard gain) the defensive coach will drop two-lines to PR 19 (6-yard gain) and then add one-yard for a 7-yard gain.

Now, I can hear you saying, “Greg, this is not a very good example because Sproles just ran for 7-yards.” I would reply, “If you were in the Dime defense, this would have been a 10-yard gain and a first down.” Trust me, this will force the offensive coach to change his/her strategy. However, if this doesn’t, there is another way to completely shut this down but that is saved for another day.

APBA Football Translation, Part 1.

This morning I kicked off the Thanksgiving game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys in my 1998 NFL replay. Since it’s been a while since I made an “intro” video I wanted to see what YouTube had to offer. Instead I found myself watching clips of the sensational Randy Moss and without even thinking, my mind automatically translated what my eyes saw into APBA Football language. For those of you that share the same affliction as me, sit back and enjoy the video clip. To those folks new to APBA Football, let’s use this as a teaching point to better understand the intricacies of the Master game.

The Minnesota Vikings offense has a pass rating of 51 and run rating of 47. The Dallas Cowboys defense has a 37/38 (pass/run) resulting in Minnesota being in” A” index for both the run and pass. For the sake of this example, we will assume a “Short Pass” play was called in the huddle.

Pro Football Terminology                      APBA Football Terminology

Offensive Personnel: 21                          APBA Offensive Personnel: 21

Formation: Slot Queen or Slot Weak    APBA Formation: Pro Set

Defensive Personnel: Base                      APBA Defensive Personnel: Standard

Defensive Alignment: 4-3 (Over G)      APBA Defensive Personnel: 4-3 Standard

Pro-Set vs 4-3

If this was a Face to Face (F-T-F) game, the offensive coach would have said “Pro-Set” and placed his “Short Pass” card and Randy Moss’s card face-down on the tabletop. For Solo play, the coach would have either used the Locator table or manually selected the intended receiver (Randy Moss). No play card is required, just visualize “Short Pass – A index – Randy Moss”.

Pro-Set vs 4-3, #2

At the time of the snap, Dallas defenders are coming with an all-out blitz. In F-T-F play this is the same as once the offensive coach places the play card and player’s card face down, the defensive coach calls the personnel, alignment (D, S, or G), blitz or goal line, etc. The above scenario would be “Standard, D alignment, blitz or “Standard Blitz”. In APBA Football the defense is automatically in D alignment whenever there is a blitz. If this was solo play, the coach would visualize Short Pass – A index – Randy Moss – D alignment – Blitz.

Pro-Set vs 4-3, #3

The Offensive coach rolls the dice (equivalent of snapping the ball) and the defensive coach goes to the Short Pass boards, Offensive 15 yard line to defensive 31-yard line, A index, column associated with Quarters 2-3.

Pro-Set vs 4-3, #4

The dice roll was 33. The offensive coach looks at Dice Roll (DR) 3 on Randall Cunningham’s card and the Play Result (PR) is 3. Since it was a blitz, the defensive coach will “drop 2-lines” to determine if the pass was still complete. If it was still complete, the defensive coach will “raise 2-lines” above original PR (i.e., the 5 is now read as a 1) and read the result.

Pro-Set vs 4-3, #5

The PR is a TD resulting in a 56-yard catch and run touchdown.

I hope you enjoyed the video! Select watch this video on Youtube.