Written by: Yuan Jeems
7on7 football is a variant of football played in schools in U.S. It is
regularly played by students under 19 years old. The game is played on the pitch 40 yards by 80 yards with
10-yard end zones. Each player is obliged to wear shoes made of soft, pliable
upper material which covers the foot. Screw-in cleats could be used if
the screw is part of the cleat. Cleats can’t be made of metal. The game is
played with the same type of ball like in a professional football games. In a
contrast to professional football, 7on7 is played without pads and helmets.
The main thing that put 7on7 in difference to traditional professional
football is a lower vulnerability level and a higher versatility of players. Specific
is also that receivers are downed by one-hand touch. In this game players can
only pass the ball. The contact is limited. Player can only use one-handed
touch tackle on any part of the another’s player body. In 7on7 players can’t
use blocks, run the football. Also rushing the quarterback is not allowed.
In offensive line in this kind of game is 1 center to snap the ball, 1
quarterback and other 5 player who are wide receivers, tight ends and running
backs. All offensive players except the center are eligible to catch or
intercept a pass. If quarterback doesn’t throw the ball in four seconds, the
play is deemed completed.
For players who are trying to play more professional football during
stay in colleague it is good opportunity to play 7on7 midseason games to
improve their skills. Of course there is no doubt that 7on7 isn’t the same like
professional football. But it is a great opportunity to show who has great
talents. Many colleges have started to use 7on7 games in students recruitment
process. It is easier for couch to look for abilities of players when they are
exposed in this game. 7on7 is the best way to improve running, football
catching and timing. Improving this skills during 7on7 game is possible in a
low pressure and in safe non-contact environment.
Way of playing 7on7 in offensive is not used in a match in professional
football but abilities are useful. Players in school or college level because
playing 7on7 have skill sets which allow to be more universal than in the past.
These athletic prepared players are hard to place in one fixed category. This
situation has got colossal impact on professional football games. For example
we can see not typical behavior of running backs when they are playing as
receivers. 7on7 gives running back a chance to work on his hands and show if he
catch out of the backfield. Also other roles are mixed. Receivers can run the
rock and quarterback race for yardage.
Most teams don’t put undersized athletes up front because this is not a
regular behavior in real football strategy. In 7on7 the way of strategic
thinking is a completely different. In many situations quickness is necessary
to get around blockers not to fight them, and player with a low center of gravity
can easier change direction of run. That will allow him to control the
offensive blocking scheme, and bring points for his team.
In practice the effectiveness of game strategies played this way is
various. Sometimes results are great and bring touchdowns, but sometimes not
and only bring chaos on the pitch. The biggest advantage of develop this game
strategy is that opponents need to be well prepared in defense and it is much
harder that in traditional game with fixed players positions. Currently in NFL
these practice learned in schools is severely limited so we don’t have
possibility to watch this creative’ game so often. But is a battle against the
time and exists a big possibility to see changes in offensive line in the
future. The teams where players could play in various positions will earn a
competitive advantage in the future.
So coaches to improve a level of whole team are trying to utilize the most of unique talents of their
players which they developed in school during playing 7on7. In common coaches
want three-down running backs who can catch out of the backfield and they can
better achieve it because of skills gained in 7on7 plays.
As we can see it is only the beginning. In schools are many talented
young players who could play in the future in various positions in offensive
line. It is normal thing that this occurrence will be utilized to increase team
ability to win more games.