For years now, 11 on 11 tackle football games have been on the rise, with players putting on shoulder pads and helmets. Its growth and popularity are due to its emphasis on football-specific skill positions and speed. However, if you have been following these sports closely, you will notice there is another fast-growing game in popularity — the 7 on 7 football.
Another reason for its popularity is the non-tackle factor of the 7 on 7 teams. Players have greater opportunities in this game when compared to the 11 on 11 football played with full pads. In this write-up, I will cover all the essential aspects of this high-speed game and explain why it has become increasingly popular over time.
What Is 7 on 7 Football League?
7 on 7 football, popularly known as 7v7 football, is a fast-paced variant with an emphasis on passing and route training. If you know how the traditional tackle football game is, then the 7 on 7 football is the non-contact version of it. In 7v7 football, players do not put on pads because there is no tackling. The game also takes place on a 40-yard field with only two first downs.
As mentioned earlier, a 7v7 football game involves specific skill positions. This includes linebackers, receivers, running backs, defensive backs, and quarterbacks. The player is downed if touched below the neck. This variant also differs from flag football because it doesn’t use a set of rules. It just maintains some necessary characteristics, which I will discuss further in the article.
Why Is 7 on 7 Football Popular?
The momentum with which 7 on 7 football has gained popularity in recent years is admirable. It has become a choice for high school and youth players. 7v7 football is an all-year-round game that needs less equipment than traditional tackle football. It is also an ideal option for athletes who wish to play during the offseason to hone their skills due to its non-contact nature.
Besides, non-tackles games are best for those who want to develop their route running, sharpen their defensive coverage, and prepare other technical aspects for the tackle season. Coaches also utilize this setup during the in-season practice for players to work on running through plays and passing the ball.
Many team coaches can also testify that most players who participate in the 7v7 football during the offseason come back more prepared and ready for the tackle season. In addition, coaches are also using these matches; they watch live non-tackle showcases to analyze a player’s skill and capabilities. The popularity of 7v7 football has attracted different leagues and regions to showcase and sharpen their talents during the offseason.
7 on 7 Football Rules
When it comes to the rules and gameplay of 7v7 football, every league and organization has its own rules. But, there are core rules that will always be consistent, no matter the league.
- Non-Contact Play: I have already mentioned several times that there is no physical contact in 7v7 football. This means 7 on 7 team players are safer and more injury-conscious in this environment. They can fully focus on working on their specific position skills.
- Downs and Scores: The teams have four downs to advance the ball and cross the opponent’s end zone. Also, the player is downed if touched on the neck.
- Passing Dominance: In this football game, there is no offensive line for protection. The quarterbacks in this game face quick decision-making scenarios. Receivers have to master route running for successful ball passes.
- Time: The 7v7 game consists of two halves. Each half has a specified duration. This characteristic explains why the match is fast-paced. To eliminate problems caused by hand-time referees, most 7v7 leagues use the QB-TEE. As soon as the ball is listed, the QB-TEE starts the timer and blows the whistle when the ball is dead. It is how the coaches, players, and fans know the game is over.
- Protection: Like any other game, 7v7 football leagues have adapted safety standards for soft shell headgear. The closest 7 on 7 football near me is the Pylon Football. For safety, they require either a 4 or 5-star headgear from the VA Tech Helmet Lab, no hard plastic or metal parts, a functional retention system, and more.
Benefits of 7 on 7 Football
As mentioned earlier, 7v7 football has no set of rules like flag football. However, there are some guidelines that guide the team. Besides those, some of the benefits that stem from this variant are:
- Assist in Skill Development: This game has gained popularity as players can focus more on their skill positions during their off-season sessions. Team players can sharpen their catching, passing, and defensive skills.
- Ease Decision Making: Since 7v7 football is fast-paced, players can focus more on passing the ball. This is a challenge to most players, but through this game, their football IQ increases. Players can also easily adapt to making quick decisions while playing.
- A Year-Round Game: 7v7 football is of a non-contact nature with smaller field requirements. And because of its nature, 7v7 teams can play all year round. So, athletes have more time and opportunities to practice and sharpen their skills in their specific positions.
- Offers Cross-Training Opportunities: As mentioned earlier, 7v7 is an all-year-round game. So, it gives chances to all athletes to sharpen their skills during the offseason. And because of this, the game has attracted athletes from various backgrounds. So they can cross-train and broaden their skills aside from their specific ball positions.
- Less Chances of Injury: Even if the game attracts players from different backgrounds, the chances of getting injured are minimal because of the no-contact rule of the game. Players only have to worry about playing and running the balls without worrying about defending.
- Great Exposure: The 7v7 football is so common in high school. This aspect means that skilled high school players can now showcase their skills. Though the coaches and recruiters are not allowed to attend the 7 on 7 football games, the coverage of these tournaments has increased, making it easy for coaches to identify a player’s strengths and capabilities.
As a football enthusiast, I believe 7 on 7 football offers more exciting growth opportunities for athletes. The 7 on 7 team blends the rules with strategies, skills, and speed, thus offering a captivating experience of the traditional game. Its influence on player recruitment and football development skills, including its non-contact nature, has increased its popularity. If you are a newcomer to this game, you can experience the thrill it has to offer from the closest league near you.