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5-5 Flag Defense For 3Rd And 4Th Grade Team

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I am coaching my sons' flag football team. I was head coach for their tackle team last fall. I see a lot of coaches advocating for a 3-2 zone defense. It makes me nervous. We have 8 athletes on our team with a wide variety of skill levels. This is the first year of our youth conference's flag program. We are a solid team with a well rounded group of players. They're in elementery school. I want them to have some success so they like the game and keep playing.

What is the best defensive formation and philosophy for a young group like this who will be playing against teams where the are over matched and under matched at times?

Thank you,

Mike S.

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I think the reason most coaches go with a zone defense is to cover the potential weaknesses of individual players. I'm more in the camp of a 2-3 zone, using one of the 3 as a rusher. It gives you some flexibility as you can keep a stronger player in the middle to rush or roam. If you run into weaker teams, you could switch to a M2M. I recommend M2M when the opposing team is in the red zone.

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