Jump Shift
Diagram of the Heisman shift.

The jump shift or Heisman shift, was an American football shift maneuver in the backfield utilized by John Heisman.[1][2] In this system, the quarterback, both halfbacks, and fullback would be in a line, as one would in an I-formation with an extra halfback at the hind end. Then the three players which were not to receive the ball from center would shift all to one side. A split second elapsed, then the ball was snapped and the wall of three blockers charged on.[3] If needed, the center could also snap it to one of the other backs.[4] The phalanx of blockers resembled the yet-to-be developed single wing.[4] The Heisman shift was considered more complicated than its predecessors (say the Minnesota shift).[5]


  1. ^ Magee, Mary (2012). Red, Third Edition. Beyond Football: The Legacy of Coach Jimmy 'Red' Parker. Tate Publishing & Enterprises. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-62024-962-8. 
  2. ^ John Heisman. Principles of Football. p. 267. 
  3. ^ John Heisman. "Jump Shift Is A Legal Play". The Washington Herald. Retrieved 2015 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ Neil R. Kohn (1964). "heisman+shift" The Evolution of Offensive Football, 1913-1963. p. 46. 

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