I will present an offense that I dreamed up for American Football that I think is nearly omnipotent as far as offenses go.
Before getting into diagrams that I hope I can pull off in a text format, I would like to state that I searched the NCAA and NFL rule books available online (2006 editions) to
verify that what I am proposing is actually legal.
There are two things that a football fan might object to and they are the two things I scanned the entire rule books for, reading and re-reading in detail the applicible sections to make sure.
The first thing is this: ANY player on the offense is allowed to receive a backwards pass or sideways lateral (just as long as it is not a forwards pass).
The second critical thing is this: There is no rule determining the eligibility of a player to throw a forward pass; therefore, All players must be eligible to throw a forward pass, provided they receive the ball legally.
Now, soon to the diagrams. (I will have players not eligible to catch forward passes handling the ball, which is very atypical in American Football).
This is my main offensive formation (It's a bit more difficult to accurately describe this with the text limitations than I thought it would be):
4 players.....|| 3 players ||......4 players
Left Sideline || Midfield ||...Right Sideline
[C] = Center, Q1 & Q2 (ineligible receivers) = Quarterbacks 1 & 2
G = Guard (offensive lineman size, kind of)
WR = Wide Receiver
WQ1&2 = Wide Receiver / Quarterbacks
(The Center is also my 3rd quarterback and this will give me 2 blockers, 6 ELIGIBLE receivers, and 3 quarterbacks).
The left and right wings of this offense are spread out as far as possible, meaning the formation stands right near the sidelines of the field. The 3 players in the middle are pretty much in the middle of the field.
At the Start of the Play, the Center snaps the ball diagonally to either WQ1 or WQ2 - usually it will be predetermined which one, but how the defense aligns can change this.
There are no set plays, for the most part. There are set tactics such as - if the defense aligns with 4 players on each sideline to match my players, I am going to take advantage of a 3 on 3 match up in the middle of the field.
(In this diagram I will ignore the 8 players on each sideline)
When the ball is snapped, say to WQ1, player WQ2 runs diagonally to the left (behind the center who is moving backwards). X1 is likely going to be running as quickly as possible towards WQ1, exposed with no blockers and holding the ball. X2 is likely going to be running towards him also, going past the center on his left. X3 determines what happens next. If X3 does not follow WQ2, but instead attacks WQ1, I have a touchdown by lofting the ball over the X1 & X2 to WQ2 who will have no players within 20-30 yards of him laterally and no one between him & the end zone. If X3 does follow WQ2 on his diagonally route, WQ2 will block the nearest player X1 or X2 while WQ1 runs to his right - probably not for a touchdown, but I think a 20-40 yard gain because one of X1 & X2 got blocked and the other is now forced to change direction almost 180 degrees - which can not be done before a good 5-10 yard gap is placed between him & WQ1. X3 must change direction, but can take a downfield angle (he's running to his right and can turn to his right about 135 degrees to take a pursuit angle if he noticed what happened quickly enough.)
OK. What if the defense puts 4 or more players up against my 3 in the middle of the field to stop this? (This is probably what will happen the first time the formation is seen). In my opinion, they are in deep trouble because that means I now have a 4 on 3 player advantage on one or both sidelines. Here is how I will take advantage of that:
(Say I have a 4 on 3 advantage on the left)
X1 is probably a Safety, X2 a corner, & X3 a linemen or linebacker - I'm not sure what he will do, but it will be "G"'s job to deal with him.
WR in this formation is going deep every play. WR2 is going to run an intermediate route, a 10-15 yard out, in, or curl - something like that. G will block X3 if X3 attacks.
Q1 is an ineligible receiver - for a forward pass. At the start of the play, Q1 will:
Run backwards (to position "q1") to receive a lateral from WQ1 who got the diagonal snap and immediately pitched the ball slightly backwards far across the field.
What happens next depends upon whether X1 & X2 decide to abandon coverage on WR1 & WR2 to attack Q1 or if they decide to maintain coverage. If they drop coverage, Q1 throws over top of them for a touchdown as the nearest defender will be X3 - probably 5-10 yards behind them & probably engaged with "G". The next nearest defender is 20-30 yards away at midfield and will have to be a track star to catch them.
If X1 & X2 maintain coverage, Q1 does not throw the ball, but runs upfield in the now vacant 10 yards of space with all 3 nearest defenders being blocked (WR1 & WR2 will know that if their defenders run backwards the set play will be for Q1 to run; therefore, they level the defenders when they turn to block). I think this one could go for a touchdown as well, but a 10-20 yard gain is also probable - It's still a very good result.
The last aspect to this system is the downfield lateral.
I have noticed that very few defenders maintain coverage on an area or player once the ball crosses the line of scrimmage. I will have players trailing the ball carrier in 3 lanes on the field. The center in the middle w/ WQ1 forming up as a blocker (or visa versa) and 4 players on the far right side of the field. Also WQ2 is deep down the middle of the field available to cut off defenders at his discrescion. If defenders swarm to the ball carrier, a lazily lobbed lateral back across the field scores a touchdown in most cases as I image them.
Lastly, If the defense does not much attack, but instead drops 7 or 8 people to defend my 6 receivers (I will have on the left side WR1 & WR2 running a short route & a long route on the left, WQ1 & WQ2 in the middle running a short & long route, & WR1 & WR2 on the right side running a short and long route), I think the 7 or 8 defenders are still at a disadvantage against the ball carrier just running downfield as there will only be 1 man for them to beat & they will be blocked (dropping 7 or 8 into coverage means that I will have one area on the field where I have: a defender, an offensive linemen, and the ball carrier.). This defense is actually, in my mind, one of the safer strategies against this offense, but I see it giving up 5-20 yards every play as well as there is the running threat as well as 3 simultaneous difficult to defend routes in 3 different areas of the field (the short routes) with only 2 extra defenders to help, so 1 person (at least) should come open pretty quickly.
With this offense, I had also planned to platoon the wide receivers and force either the platooning of their corresponding coverage players or said players exhaustion - and if not that, A deep pre-snap drop by defenders resulting in a quick 5 - 10 yard gain just by the WQ1 firing the ball out to them immediately (& they better not miss the tackle - or that's possibly another TD.)