Throw away the pen and paper to take your football playbook to the next level. With Playbook Hut's football play designer, you can create professional quality plays with ease.
The Play Designer section of the guide is the most extensive part of the guide because the Play Designer is an incredibly powerful core feature of Playbook Hut. The Play Designer provides users with the ability to utilize unlimited creativity and powerful features to create football plays to their exact specification.
The first step of successfully executing any play is ensuring that all players line up in the correct location. Clearly communicating where each player and position lines up is incredibly easy with the tools in the Play Designer.
Note: For information on how to quickly deploy players into your saved formations, see the Formation Selection section below.
Different teams and different coaches have a wide variety of preferences for how they prefer to diagram and draw football plays. Playbook Hut provides coaches with the flexibility and ability to present plays and players exactly how they prefer to present them.
One such example of flexible customizability is in terms of the variety of player types that coaches have at their disposal with Playbook Hut's player type options. The following list specifies the general, starting options for player types that can be further customized once placed on the field:
- Circle (with letter)
- Square (with letter)
- Triangle (with letter
After you place a player on the field you can still switch the player's type (and modify more options) by selecting the player and changing the player's type from the Player Menu.
You add players onto the field by clicking and dragging a player icon from the palette found below the field.
Simply identify which of the player types you want to add to the field from the palette and then click down and drag the player over the field. Place the player by releasing the player into the desired location on the field.
Once a player has been added to the field, there are two ways you can move a player:
- Click and Drag: You can simply click and drag again on the player to move the player's location on the field.
- Arrow Keys: For more fine-tuned adjustments you can select a player by clicking on the player and then use the arrow keys on the keyboard to make slight adjustments to the player's location. (If Route Mode is activated, the only way you can move a player is with the arrow keys, until you deactivate Route Mode.)
Tip: When you move a player that has a route attached to it, the route will automatically move with the player.
Selecting a player by clicking once on a player will open up the Player Menu. The Player Menu provides many options for further customizability of the player.
The top bar in the Player Menu allows you to specify the position of the player. If you select a position, then the color (and letter, if applicable) will automatically be updated to the Position's settings from the Positions menu. This allows you to easily maintain consistency across all plays and positions in your playbooks.
To change the color of a particular position, go to the Positions page to edit your position settings. Otherwise, set the position as custom or blank to be able to change the color (or letter) within the editor.
Opening the Player Menu will allow you to quickly change the type of a player that has already been placed on the field.
The Player Menu allows you to change the color of a player to better indicate certain players in certain positions.
The color selection part of the menu will be deactivated if a particular position is specified. If a position is selected, then the color will automatically default to the position's global color selection on the Positions page.
To change the color of a particular position, go to the Positions page to edit your position settings. Otherwise, set the position as custom or blank to be able to change the color within the editor.
There are many situations in which coaches will want to indicate a "shade" on a player to communicate certain play concepts. The Player Menu allows you to easily modify the type of shade that is placed on the player.
Drawing routes is the most critical aspect of drawing a football play. All routes in the Play Designer must be connected to a player in order to provide clarity and consistency to the play design.
The three main types of route drawing methods covered in this guide are drawing straight routes, drawing curved routes, and drawing optional routes.
Activating Route Mode
In order to draw a route, you must first activate Route Mode. To activate Route Mode, simply click on any one of the route type buttons in the Route Mode section. (The Route Mode section is located in the toolbar underneath the field in the Play Designer where the buttons for all the different types of routes are presented.)
The Route Mode section will always indicate whether Route Mode is turned on or off via four different indicators:
- The Route Mode section will display the status with either the words "ON" or "OFF."
- The Route Mode section will display a blue border and blue strip when Route Mode is activated.
- The activated route type button will be depressed to indicate your current route type selection.
- The Field in the Play Designer will feature a blue border when Route Mode is activated.
Tip: If you want to move players while in route mode, you may select the player and then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the player. Otherwise, you must first deactivate Route Mode before you can click and drag to move the player.
Deactivating Route Mode
To deactivate Route Mode simply click the selected route icon again to deselect the route and turn off Route Mode. The selected route icon is the icon that is depressed in the Route Mode section. Repeatedly clicking the same route icon will toggle Route Mode on and off.
Drawing Straight Routes
Also known as "Point and Click," drawing straight routes is very easy with Playbook Hut's Play Designer.
With Route Mode activated, click and release on a player to select the player, and then click again on another point on the field to make a straight line.
You can add on to the route by clicking again on another point on the field.
Tip: Point and Click is a good way to create crisp angles on routes with sharp turns.
Drawing Curved Routes
Also known as "Click and Drag," drawing curved routes gives users more granular control over their unique route design concepts.
With Route Mode activated, click and hold on a player and drag your cursor across the field to draw the route.
When you finally release the mouse to complete the drawing of the curved route, the Play Designer will implement a subtle auto-smoothing feature to help you automatically smooth out some of the curves of the route you just drew.
Tip: Click and Drag is a good way to draw custom routes with unique turns and curves.
Drawing Optional Routes
Some football situations require a player to have multiple route options to choose from based upon various field and strategic conditions.
To draw an optional route off of a primary route, you must first select the route type in the Route Mode palette. (Often times optional routes are represented by a dashed line.)
Once you have selected the desired route type, hover over the primary route and then click down and drag off of the primary route to begin drawing your optional route.
Continue this pattern for as many optional routes as you desire. You can even add optional routes off of other optional routes if needed.
You can always draw a blocking route in the same manner that you draw an arrow route type, however, Playbook Hut makes it incredibly easy to automatically create quick blocks.
To have one of your offensive players automatically block a defensive player simply select your offensive player (with Route Mode activated) and then double click on the player you want him to block.
A blocking route will automatically be drawn between the two players, in order to make it incredibly quick and easy for users to diagram blocking schemes.
There are two types of Zone types that can be added to a play diagram in the Play Designer:
- Circle / Oval
To add a zone to the field simply locate the desired zone type in the palette below the Play Designer and proceed to click and drag it onto the field.
Once you have placed the zone on the field, you can resize it by hovering over the zone and locating the resize handle in the bottom right corner of the zone. Click and drag the resize handle in order to resize the zone.
Clicking and dragging on the zone allows you to quickly move it around the field.
To delete the zone, simply hover over the zone and locate the trash can button in the top right corner of the zone.
Sometimes it is necessary to add additional information to the play in the form of text.
Playbook Hut allows you to add textboxes to the play by clicking and dragging the textbox icon from the Play Designer's palette onto the field.
Once you have added the textbox to the field, simply click inside the textbox to begin typing your desired text instructions and descriptions for the play.
The textbox will automatically resize to fit the size of your text, so you do not need to worry about resizing your text box. (Simply hit enter if you want to break the text into a new line.)
To move a textbox, hover over the textbox to reveal the border/outline. You can grab onto the border/outline by clicking down and then dragging the textbox to the desired location.
To delete a textbox, simply hover over the textbox and click on the trash can icon that appears in the top right corner of the textbox.
Loading your custom formations into a play is easy with Playbook Hut's Play Designer.
Your play's formation(s) will always be listed at the top of the play's page underneath the play's name. You can have both an offensive formation and a defensive formation for each play. If you have not selected a formation, then there will be a "Select Formation" button at the top of the page, in the header below the play's name, where you can open the formation selection dropdown menu.
Tip: Upon creating a new play, the Play Designer will have a button on each side of the field for quick access that says "Select Offensive (or Defensive) Formation." Clicking one of these buttons will upon up your list of formations at the top of the page.
The list of formations in the formation selection dropdown menu will be populated with the custom formations that you have created in the Formations tab. The first item on the list will always be the "Linemen Base" formation which allows you to quickly load in your front five default offensive linemen on the line of scrimmage.
When the field is empty and you select a formation in the formation selection dropdown menu, the players in the formation will automatically be placed on the field. This saves coaches countless hours where they don't have to tediously place players one by one into a formation every time they create a new play.
If the field is already occupied when you select a formation, then you will be prompted with a "Players on Field" warning menu that gives you three options to chose from:
- Keep Players: Keeps the players that are already on the field and adds the players from the selected formation on top of the field in addition to the current players.
- Clear Players: Removes all current players on the specified side of the field before adding the players from the selected formation. (Note: This will only clear players on the offensive side of the ball if it is an offensive formation, and only clear players on the defensive side of the ball if it is a defensive formation.)
- Change Formation Name Only: Does not change anything on the field or add/remove any players. Instead, it only changes the name of the formation attached to the play for playbook categorization purposes.
Note: For more information on managing your custom formations, view the guide's Formations section.
The Play Designer allows you to easily flip the play in multiple directions in order to quickly adjust the direction or perspective of the play. The flip buttons in the flip button toolbar, located below the play diagram, allow you to flip the play in the following directions:
- Vertical Flip: Flipping the play vertically allows you to adjust the perspective of the play. If you flip the play when the offense is on the bottom of the play looking out towards the defense, then the defense will be flipped to the bottom of the play diagram in order to allow you to look at the play from the defensive perspective. (Note: When flipping vertically, the players and assignments are not only flipped vertically, but they are also mirrored so that the same players and routes perform identical functions in the same position of the field, with the only modification being the play diagram's perspective.)
- Horizontal Flip: Flipping the play horizontally flips all player on the right side of the field to the left side of the field and vice-versus. This allows users to quickly flip the play in order to demonstrate what the play looks like if called to the other side. A horizontal flip will include "smart flip" technology in order to ensure that players retain their logical position assignments.
The flip buttons in the Play Designer utilize Playbook Hut's "smart flip" technology to ensure that players retain consistent and logical position assignments before and after a flip.
For example, when the play is flipped horizontally, the assignment and location of the Right Tackle is swapped out to be the new assignment and location for the Left Tackle, but the player labeled with the Right Tackle position will remain on the right side of the field while the player labeled with the Left Tackle position will remain on the left side of the field. (In short, this allows you to automatically keep your linemen on the correct side of the field, even when you flip the direction of the play.)
Smart flip technology is attached to the linemen positions that indicate particular sides of the field, such as offensive tackles, offensive guards, and defensive linemen.