youth football pistol formation

Youth Football Pistol Formation Offense Play Series Diagrams

Youth Football Pistol Formation Offense is one of the top youth football formations according to a youth offensive formation survey that I took several years ago over on my blog at This past 2022 Spring season in my DFW tackle league the Pistol was very popular in the 6th and 7th grade age divisions.

Quick History of the Pistol Formation

In 1999, the Pistol Offense was developed by Mill Valley’s Michael Taylor on a Denny’s napkin. He called the new formation the Shotgun I. He gave the Pistol Formation and plays to his softball buddy Tom Kaczkowski who coached at Division III Ohio Northern University. Tom had told Michael Taylor about his slow QB and fast RB and the Pistol Formation was born on a napkin brainstorming at Denny’s.

The Pistol Formation was popularized by Chris Ault at Nevada Reno with Colin Kaepernick in 2005. Kaepernick then went on with the San Francisco 49er’s using the Pistol to win many games in the NFL.

It is said that the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville used the Pistol formation in 1990 during a game against the 49er’s. That is 9 years before Taylor sketched it out on a napkin. Some sources credit Coach Glanville with the Pistol Formation invention.

Youth Football Pistol Formation

The Pistol Offense is a more sophisticated offense for youth football teams than the Single Wing, Wishbone, Wing-T and or the I Formation. The Shotgun alignment of the Quarterback adds a level of complexity along with the deeper TB and Spread alignments with passing concepts.

I like the Pistol formation for youth football teams if I am coaching a highly skilled older youth football team 10U plus that has above average mobile passing quarterback, tough hard nosed I formation type Tailback, great lead blocking Fullback and skilled receivers that can catch and block.
Too me, Pistol formation player requirements are the same skilled players that I need when I run my Speed Double Wing formation “Buks,” which is outlined in my Double Wing Formation Selected Youth Football Plays eBook.

As far as the Diamond T formation in shotgun alignment which just switches the TB for a FB is more a downhill running formation and can be used along with the T Formation as a good youth formation at most age levels, as long as, you have a good Center and QB exchange in the Shotgun. I like the Diamond T under Center and I use it and call it Trig in my Power Wing Beast Offense playbook. I have run the Diamond T formation is Shotgun when I did not want to motion my running backs in my Speed Double Wing.

What are the advantages of the Pistol Formation?

  • Balanced Formation R/ L
  • Advantages of Shotgun Formation
  • QB separated from O-Line
  • Better Vision of Defense for QB
  • RB can run either direction
  • Great for Dual threat QBs like Cam Newton types
  • Great Pass and Run Formation
  • Quick Hitting to hole
  • Puts Pressure on LBs to Fill Holes
  • Shifts & Motion allow Wide Sweeps and Pass Plays
  • Split Ends / Flankers / Wide Receivers make passing easier
  • TB Hidden behind QB
  • Defenses must play run and pass

What are the weaknesses of the Pistol Formation?

  • Must have skilled players all around
  • Need passing QB that is mobile
  • Need top tier Tailback that is tough
  • Need a top Fullback that can lead block in open field
  • Need above average receivers for passing game to work
  • Offensive Line must be above average to run Zone and Pull concepts to take full advantage of formation
  • Need above average Center that can consistently Shotgun snap with accuracy and speed
  • Not as good as the Spread Shotgun for passing

Below are some Pistol Formation diagrams I am working on for an upcoming book on the Pistol.

Youth Football Pistol Formation Diagrams

youth football pistol formations diagram
youth football pistol diagrams
Pistol Formation Youth Football

Stay tuned for more on the Youth Football Pistol Formation. I am currently writing another Selected Youth Football Plays eBook on the Pistol and Diamond T Formations to be out July 2022. You can hit image below for updates.

top formation plays parker
Need some new play ideas? Check out these top youth football plays.

What youth football formation and or offense do you coach? Or which is your favorite? Do you like the Youth Football Pistol Formation? Let me know I would love to hear from you.

If you have any questions on the Youth Football Pistol Formation or the Shotgun Diamond T Full House Offense , two top youth football formations and offenses, please contact me or leave a comment below.

Thank You,
Coach Parker

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