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Hybrid 9 FAQ

What is Hybrid 9/Flex Football?

Hybrid 9/Flex Football (Flex) is an innovative new game to introduce football at the youth level, add a dynamic and realistic off-season program for youth and HS-level tackle players, and provide adults a limited contact game. Hybrid 9/Flex offers a realistic football experience at all levels. Strategically designed to fit right in the middle of flag and tackle, and to provide current tackle players with a safer and more realistic offseason alternative, Hybrid 9/Flex football is a year-round, 9 on 9, limited-impact style of football created by former NFL players.

How is it played?

Hybrid 9/Flex is played with 9 players on half of a full sized field with the following positions:


  • 3 down linemen
  • 5 eligible receivers
  • QB on offense


  • 2 Defensive Ends
  • 7 Defensive Backs/LBs

Other Rules:

  • Traditional point values and first downs
  • Blocking and blitzing are limited per rules focusing on safety and development of the athlete.

Why are former NFL Players promoting Hybrid 9/Flex Football?

Hybrid 9/Flex Football, powered by Rocksolid, is authentic to football. Rocksolid's team is made of up ex-NFL athletes and those who want to see the sport thrive at a time when the future of football seems uncertain. Our nationwide growth and expansion in the flag and tackle markets soon made it apparent that there was a void between the two that needed to be addressed on multiple fronts. Hybrid 9/Flex bridges the gap between flag and tackle for the first time there is a development path from flag to tackle. Hybrid 9/Flex is inspired by the NFL's approach to practice, where for years, pro teams have utilized our soft-shell pads - allowing for high-tempo, low-impact, assignment and scheme focused practices. Based on these principles, Hybrid 9/Flex is the ideal experience to develop true football fundamentals. The value likes in the development of advanced football skills while keeping the head out of the game.

How will Hybrid 9/Flex Football provide a "player progression" through the sport?

Flag players are lacking the fundamental skills needed to safely and comfortably transition to tackle football and tackle players are unnecessarily exposed to unfamiliar situations by starting tackle at an early age. Hybrid 9/Flex adds to the overall experience of the youth athlete by offering another fun way to be introduced to the sport or to continue developing skills year-round.

Why is there padding involved if there is no tackling?

NFL teams regularly wear our soft-shell protection system year-round to eliminate repetitive sub-concussive blows, while continuing to get better at their craft. Using that concept, we are creating an opportunity for young athletes to work on the fundamental football skills, including blocking at the line of scrimmage, down field blocking and even bump and run coverage on the outside.

Won't kids want to tackle since they have pads?

Our rules and your coaches will not allow that to happen. Furthermore, introducing soft-shell shoulder pads and soft-shell helmets at a young age helps establish and promote that padding, whether hard-shell of soft-shell is not made to be used as a "weapon". Having athletes reinforce the fundamental breaking down and pulling a flag or two hand touch with gear on,Hybrid 9/Flex will be instilling a natural path to proper tackling technique when the athlete returns to tackle football or is ready to start tackle football for the 1st time.

How was the rule book designed?

The rule book was designed by former NFL players, specifically with our youth's development in mind. We incorporated rules that promote the development of crucial skills. For example, we allow, but limit, the amount of blitzing, so that multiple positions can develop skills needed in all forms of football. Blockers need to block and a young developing QB needs to feel a safe amount of pressure to step up and make a throw successfully. Various point-of-emphases were incorporated into our rule book to help the young athlete build a football foundation.

What football foundation does Hybrid 9/Flex build?

The value lies in the development of advanced football skills, while keeping the head out of the game. It develops skills like run and pass blocking, pass rush, defeating blocks, bump and run / press coverage, wide receiver releases, QB passing mechanics with gear on, running and catching with gear on, breaking down while approaching the ball carrier.

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