Get the full story behind this season’s updates to offensive formation from Assist.

It all began in the spring of 2017. We decided to tackle a new challenge and add offensive formations to our Assist breakdowns. It was our first attempt at tracking subjective data—giving our coaches data in their terminology.

After the first season of highs and lows, we dedicated several months to interviewing coaches and getting feedback. We wanted to make sure you had the right data for your analysis. And just like your team, we’re constantly analyzing our weak spots and pressing on to the big win—in this case, for you to love Assist.

Here’s a preview of next season's updates to offensive formation:

  • You’ll be able to define the strength of each formation.
  • Backfield is joining the team. You’ll see separate diagrams to name your backfield, with its own column in your breakdown data.
  • Three steps is all you need. Our analysts draw the formations, we match them to diagrams in our system, you name them. Simple as that.

Want more than just the highlights? Keep reading.


Last season, there wasn’t an option to name your formations based on strength. Pro was just Pro, regardless of the strength. This meant no distinction between Pro Right and Left when you went to analyze your opponent. So if they ran different plays or had other tendencies based on strength, you might have been at a loss—literally.

To help with your analysis and boost your winning record, this season you’ll be able to name and track strength for each formation. We’ll track it from the video, and you’ll have the option to update it when you name each formation. It’ll be a separate column in your library (OFF STR), but you can run reports based on both formation and strength to analyze your opponent’s strategy or find holes in your offense.

We know how powerful this data can be for your team. And it makes all your reports, especially the formation report, powerful weapons against your opponent’s game plan.

Name your formation and backfield diagrams


The other piece of the puzzle is backfield. Adding this component helps you see the full picture of a formation as you look to attack specific opponent tendencies. Last season, our diagram simply gave you a count of the players in the backfield. This meant you could only see some of their personnel, which limited your ability to analyze their strategy.

It’s time to take it to the next level. Now analysts will draw each player in the backfield to create backfield diagrams for you to name throughout the season. Our diagrams will be based on a grid at each level—whether the QB is under center, in pistol or gun. We’ll tag each back based on this grid, too.

Plus, you’ll be able to give a single backfield up to three names based on strength (balanced, right and left). It’s everything you need to determine all their moves. And, same as strength, backfield will populate as a separate column in your breakdown data.

Bonus: Tracking backfield separately gives you super detailed tendency reports. You’ll be able to analyze your opponent’s favorite plays, zones and gaps for each backfield in that formation.

Backfield in the formation report

How It All Works

The biggest question from coaches last season was, “How does this actually work?” So we’re here to lay it out for you.

  1. You submit your video to Assist.
  2. Our analysts watch the game and complete your breakdown, drawing the formation and backfield for each clip.
  3. We match that drawing to a diagram in our system.
  4. Your breakdown is sent to you, giving you the chance to name the diagrams with your terminology.
  5. When those diagrams pop up in the future, they’ll be auto-filled with your language.
How we break down offensive formation

Recap: Our analysts draw the cards—they don’t choose your terms. They draw, Hudl matches, you name. This saves you more time every week you submit.

Now What?

Continue to give us feedback. We wouldn’t be where we are this season without the input from hundreds of coaches who helped us improve. Tell us your thoughts, what you like, don’t like and what works. We promise to listen. Reach out @HudlSupport or send us an email.

*The backfield and strength columns will only be returned for games played in 2018-2019.