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How do you read a football playbook?

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Answered 2015-07-15 19:10:41

A football playbook is, in essence, a collection of plays that may be executed by a team during the course of a game. There is no true standard for how plays are diagrammed, although some general guidelines are normally followed.

The offensive players (those who control the ball) are normally represented by hollow circles, and the defensive players are represented by X's. The offensive center (the player who begins each play by snapping the ball to the quarterback) is ordinarily a hollow square.

As far as all those confusing lines and marks, these are individual player assignments. Lines indicate the direction a player will be headed; a hooked line at the end of a line indicates a block to be carried out (the hooked lines look like the parentheses around this statement). Arrows indicate either a pass route (for receivers) or directional flow (for defensive players). Dashed lines indicate movement of the ball from the quarterback to another player.

Each team has their own unique playbook quirks, and some don't even keep a written playbook at all. But now you know how to read and visualize what goes on 100 times on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays!

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