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Hybrid 9

What is Hybrid9/Flex Football?

Hybrid 9/Flex Football bridges the gap between flag and tackle for the first time. Inspired by the NFL's high tempo, low impact, assignment and scheme-focused approach to practice, Hybrid 9/Flex is the ideal experience to develop true football fundamentals. The value lies in the development of advanced football skills while keeping the head out of the game.

Championships are won in the offseason.

Let's see who is willing to put in the work.

Hybrid 9/Flex Football is the ideal offseason training option for your tackle football program. Because Hybrid 9/Flex involves all positions - not just the skill positions - your players can work on schemes, technique, and timing, preparing them for the upcoming season in ways never available before.

The Basics
  • 9 v 9 play
  • Three (3) OL, five (5) WR/RB, one (1) QB
  • Traditional point values & 1st downs
  • Open-hand blocking and blitzing
  • SoftShell helmets & shoulder pads
  • Tackling via flag belts or two-hand touch
The Benefits
  • Scheme work for the entire team - not just skill positions
  • Gameplay mechanics with pads
  • Run and pass blocking techniques
  • Pass rush techniques
  • Defeating blocks
  • Bump & run / press coverage techniques
Play the Game
  • in gear worn by HS, College, & Pro teams
  • to develop football skills in all positions
  • because it is FUN & you love football
  • with added protection

Hybrid 9/Flex Football fills the gaps between Flag Football and traditional tackle football, and presents a safe, cutting-edge solution to the following dilemmas:

I'm a parent who isn't ready to let my son/daughter play tackle football. But, I'm looking for something a little beyond traditional flag football. I'm looking for a sport that will introduce limited contact in a controlled setting, while still giving my son/daughter an idea of what tackle football would be like.

I'm a flag football player. I'm not looking to make the jump to full tackle football yet. But, I am interested in trying a new flavor of football that brings in more advanced football skills like blocking, pass rushing, press coverage and more.

I'm a tackle football coach, and I need a way for my team to train together in the offseason in a realistic, game-like setting. The 7v7 options aren't a good fit because they do nothing for my offensive and defensive lineman, they aren't helpful to installing our full offense, and our defensive players don't get the realistic reps they need to prepare for the season.

The Pillars of Hybrid 9/Flex


Blocking is an essential skill required of multiple offensive players on every play. There's run or pass blocking at the line of scrimmage, lead blocking by backs or pulling lineman, stalk blocking by receivers and downfield blocking once the ball passes the line of scrimmage. Whatever the variety of blocking, the best in the game excel through the use of body positioning, leverage and controlling the defender with proper hand placement and use. The best blockers don't lunge recklessly and don't need to lead with their heads. Hybrid 9/Flex Football gives you the opportunity to teach the fundamentals and best practices for blocking - all while keeping players' heads out of harm's way.

Line Play

Tackle football games are won and lost in the trenches. Despite this reality, offseason training options have typically provided linemen with few opportunities to develop the higher-level skills involved in offensive or defensive line play. Hybrid 9/Flex Football turns that paradigm on its head. By incorporating offensive and defensive line play, Hybrid 9/Flex Football enables players to learn the critical skills of body positioning, leverage and proper hand placement and use. Offensive lineman will get repetitions run and pass blocking. Defensive linemen will have the opportunity to fine tune their run stopping and pass rushing skills. Hybrid 9/Flex Football rules allow offensive and defensive lineman to build their athleticism, while minimize concussive contact, by encouraging the use of skill and speed techniques over brute force (there will be plenty of time to work on those "pancake" blocks and bull rushes when you get to preseason camp).


The best defenders in the game make their tackles well before contact ever occurs. For them, the battle is won or lost in proper angles of pursuit, breaking down and remaining under control as they approach the ball carrier, and positioning themselves to "fit" in for the perfect form tackle (keeping the head clear of contact at all times). Gone are the days when players were taught to "put their head on the ball" and hope to walk away from the collision. Hybrid 9/Flex Football, with its emphasis on teaching the fundamentals of tackling and limiting contact, provides players with the optimal environment within which to learn the fundamentals of pursuit and preparing to tackle the opposing player. Whether your league goes with flag belts or two hand touch, your players will learn how to initiate the tackling process more safely - skills that are designed to carry over onto the tackle football field (if that's part of your Football Journey).


The art of tackling has evolved in recent years. With the emphasis on keeping head contact to a minimum in football (a concept we at New England Football embrace), the best coaches are teaching techniques like "HAWK," "rugby style" or "Heads Up" tackling. While each technique uses different nomenclature to describe the steps involved, the basics are very similar. Defensive players are taught to approach the ball carrier under control, with good balance and leverage, and with their heads safely out of contact with the ball carrier. Flex Football (with "tackling" via two hand touch or flags) requires defensive players to employ the same movements as they engage the ball carrier and helps build muscle memory intended to carry over to the tackle football field.

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