The Future of Offensive Formation Includes Backfield and Strength

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

The Future of Offensive Formation Includes Backfield and Strength

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.