Updated: Jun 19
The return of sports is upon us as leagues and organizations across the country scramble to figure out what their season might look like. The anticipation has been building and organizers are doing everything possible to provide a safe environment that will allow their league to proceed. But some leagues have already been cancelled, leaving players disappointed on the sideline as they're forced to wait for the next season to arrive.
For fall sports like football, the unknown future has league directors considering various options, optimistically preparing to bring players back to the field for preseason activities. The uncertainty of how many participants they may have is creating a treasurer's nightmare, so they're getting creative.
But what will they do if we CAN'T get back on the field?
As coaches, we share these concerns so have created a new alternative to keep players working on their game in a fun and competitive virtual league environment. In these difficult times, our FREE league options give organizations a simple offering to their players while they work out their own league logistics.
The Smash Routes virtual leagues provide players and coaches the opportunity to keep working on their playbook knowledge from anywhere. And it doesn't matter if you don't play 11v11 as we have options for 9, 7 and 5-player leagues as well!
So how does the league work? Over a 6-week season, players will compete against each other in defined game Challenges that focus on the learning progression of a football playbook. By playing all the trials within our mobile game, they learn the playbook content they'll be tested on in the weekly challenges.
On both offense and defense, players will get mental reps on their alignment, assignments and play execution. They'll learn various formations as well as standard terminology that will acclimate them better on the field. The'll also learn player assignments from all positions in both run and pass schemes - everything from blocking assignments, route trees and QB progressions on offense, to gap assignments and coverages on defense.
In week 4, they'll execute assignments as they "chalk" their plays by drawing them out from various positions. Then, in the final 2 weeks they'll put everything together with a comprehensive assessment of their playbook knowledge.
Players work to climb the leaderboards with no limit to the number of times they can play, inherently giving them more reps in the playbook. And with league prizes awarded, including weekly rewards, they'll stay motivated while they expand their football I.Q.!
Sounds like a great idea, right? But what if coaches want to track how their players are doing in these challenges? Or, what if they want to put their OWN playbook in? We've got you covered.
For these teams/organizations, we offer two low-cost options that provide coaches access to their players' gameplay stats, as well as additional tools:
PRIVATE LEAGUE - For just $5/player, a private league will connect an organization's players and coaches in a private environment. Players will play through the same playbook content as the public league. In the Coach interface, they will have access to player performance and progress data, as well as a Whiteboard tool.
CUSTOM LEAGUE - For just $20/player*, a private league can be created with a CUSTOM PLAYBOOK installed**. Players and coaches will be connected as in the private league, but in this case players will play through THEIR OWN PLAYBOOK. The Coach interface will provide player performance and progress data, and the Whiteboard tool will allow coaches to quickly load their plays against various opposing formations/plays, and draw over them on a virtual whiteboard.
* Organizations/Leagues with 150+ licensed players pay only $10/player
** The Smash Routes Team installs the playbook for you! So no need to create your playbook twice if you've already built it out.
HOW TO JOIN
How do I join or get my players to join? It's easy. After you download the Smash Routes app on any mobile device (available on AppleStore, GooglePlay, and AmazonStore), and create your account:
For 11v11 PUBLIC League - This playbook is our default so you'll get it automatically. In the "League Challenges" button, you'll find the weekly challenges that will unlock throughout the season. Get in the game and play!
For all other PUBLIC Leagues - Once logged into your Teams screen, click the "Enter Promo Code" button in the top right. Enter the following Promo Code to join the respective leagues:
9v9 League - SMASH9v9
7v7 League - SMASH7v7
5v5 League - SMASH5v5
In the "League Challenges" button, you'll find the weekly challenges that will unlock throughout the season. Get in the game and play!
For PRIVATE Leagues - Learn more and purchase licenses here
For PRIVATE or CUSTOM Leagues - Learn more and purchase licenses here
Can I join after the league has started?
YES! You can start mid-season and compete in any remaining weeks. AND, you can always go back and play previous weekly challenges as the final results of these challenges will determine the end-of-season winners!
What can I win?
Awards will be given in the form of Amazon gift cards at varied amounts.
How do I know when to play each Challenge?
Look in the League Challenges button. Each week has a date range listed in it. The challenge will unlock at the start of that week and you can play as many times as you'd like.
Can I go back and play old Challenges after that week ends?
YES! And if you work your way up further on the leaderboard by the end of the season, it will help your standings for the League Winner!
Coaches have been using Smash Routes to keep their players smart in their playbook before, during, and after their normal seasons. And now that we're faced with the possibility of missing these normal seasons, they're relying on Smash Routes to keep their players engaged and ready for when 'return to play' finally arrives.
Athletes are naturally resilient - and we will not let anything stop us from developing to the next level.