Dummy Runner or Option Runner

Dummy Runner or Option Runner

When I started coaching I got into the habit of asking players to be a ‘Dummy Runner’ in certain situations and very quickly they became used to being that ‘Dummy Runner’ which created problems further down the line. As the team progressed we then started getting the half backs taking on the line and picking the correct option which then caused a problem with our Dummy Runners.

What had happened is that the players had got used to running the lines but didn’t expect the ball but the halves where giving them the ball because they where actually the correct option as they had a gap in front of them. Arguments ensued and the whole issue had to be addressed and thats when I realised a mistake had been made that slowed down our progress.

As an example take a look at the X Ball Video

[flashvideo filename=videos/xball_intro.flv /]

This video is a basic introduction to the X Ball which introduces the players to the lines of runnall ing but we dont talk about running the X at the line and picking the correct option.

The X ball simply sees the widest runner go straight and then run across the front of the inside man who runs a line behind him. When I first started teaching this move I taught it that the Front runner was a dummy runner who never got the ball when  in reality as you see by the second part of the video the front runner should be an option.

The reason is simply that you never know where the defenders are going to go and they could spot the man going behind and all slide towards him leaving the front man going through a hole, simply you then want your half back to hit that runner and put him through the hole.

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