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Offense and Defense Benefit from Half Line Scrimmage Drill

Practice Alternative for Teams with Limited Number of Players


Half Line Diagram

Half Line Example

Sean McCormick

A team with a limited roster size can successfully prepare for a game by using the half line method of practice.


Line up the center, followed by the linemen, receivers, and backfield players to the play side. All plays run to the side of the half line can be practiced. Adjust the half line according to the plays run (a guard pulling to the play side, e.g.).


Line up defensive players according to the opposing half line offense. Adjust the defensive half line to simulate game play (a backside linebacker to defend the running back's cut back lane, e.g.).


  • Coaches can focus on a specific side of the ball.
  • Better competition between players - first team players normally on the opposite side of the line can now be placed on defense/offense to face other first team players.
  • No surprises. Players on both sides of the ball must execute perfectly, as everyone knows the direction of the play.


  • Offense could be limited in practicing certain plays (crossing/drag pass routes, reverse runs).
  • Defense cannot practice certain blitzes, secondary coverages.
  • Developing rhythm. Running a number of plays to one side, and then switching to the other does not allow for offense/defense to develop a "game-like" feel.

Coaching Points

  1. Include non-starters in the half line drills. They need practice repetitions, too.
  2. Take advantage of the video opportunity, as the tighter camera angle provides a closer look at player performance.
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