Landro Play Analyzer
What It Does: Allows coaches and players to access video of entire games or individual plays from many games. After a coach or player transfers game tape from a camera onto the unit's hard drive and "logs" the plays, he can sort plays based on criteria such as formation, down, distance and ball carrier and create highlight tapes by pushing a few keys. More than 400 units have been sold nationwide the past two years.
What It Replaces: Rewinding and fast-forwarding through VHS tapes for specific plays, tape-to-tape dubbing for highlight tapes.
What It Costs: $5,000.
Digital Scout Software
What It Does: Produces detailed scouting reports, charts and graphs after a coach inputs plays from a game he is scouting (live or on video) into a PDA. The coach notes how the opposing team lined up, the jersey number of the key players, how many yards were gained and to which direction the ball was carried or thrown. The program sorts it out and can produce several different reports.
What It Replaces: Taking notes and crunching numbers with pens, paper and calculators.
What It Costs: $599.95 for software; $824.95 for software and PDA.
Video Game Console
What It Does: On certain football video games, coaches and players can use "practice mode" to input plays and formations their teams -- and opponents -- use. Playing out the game can help players remember their own plays while showing what to expect from the upcoming opponent.
What It Replaces: Studying photocopied playbooks, diagramming plays on a chalkboard.
What It Costs: $150 for game system and $50 for most games.
What It Does: The software, available from many companies, allows coaches to design plays on their PC or laptop by pointing and clicking, set up defenses and then allow the computer to use animation to play out the result. It not only helps coaches determine which plays might work, but many programs allow coaches to print out an easy-to-read playbook for players.
What It Replaces: Handwritten playbooks, chalkboard.
What It Costs: Prices vary, but some software starts under $50.
-- Tarik El-Bashir