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What is 7v7?
7 on 7 is a sport that exists under the all-encompassing umbrella of American football. It’s generally known as non-tackle football, but is called many different names, including 7-v-7, 7-on-7, non-tackle, and touch-football. Although the two sports segments have many similarities, 7-on-7 football is not to be confused with flag-football in which players pull a flag from the belt of another player to end a play. With a 43% increase in participation between 2014 and 2018, non-tackle football is growing quicker than any sport or sport segment.
How does 7v7 differ from tackle football?
7-on-7 has most of the structure of a traditional game of football, but it’s played with a reduced level of contact, and slightly different rules. There are 7 players at a time on the field for each team in 7-v-7, while in regular football, there are 11. Positions and rules differ based on geographic location, but the most widely accepted setup for a 7-on-7 offense is composed of a snapper, a quarterback, and a mixture of 5 receivers and running backs.
As the name may suggest, there are no linemen or tackling allowed in non-tackle football. Playing free of pads, 7-v-7 employs the two-hand touch method. Players can get another player “down” by touching them anywhere below the neck with both hands.
An average 7-on-7 game has two 20-minute halves. Typically, the game is played on one half of a traditional football field, starting at the 40-yard line. This leaves room for two 7-on-7 games to be played on one field at the same time, as is the case in many 7on7 tournaments or showcases.
Where did non-tackle football come from?
7v7 football stems from the popular game of flag-football which was created on US military bases during World War II. During downtime, football was a popular way for troops to release pent-up energy while also having a good time. It wasn’t long before flag-football was born. From there, the game evolved and branched off to include a type of football game that omitted the use of flags. Thus came non-tackle football.
How is non-tackle football used and when is it played?
7-on-7 is a game that can be played year-round, unlike traditional tackle football. There’s a lot less equipment required, and coaches are using it more and more to develop transferable skills for tackle football but without the need for contact on every play. Non-tackle games are great for developing route running, defensive coverage, and more technical aspects of football.
Many players participate in 7-on-7 in the off season to be better prepared for the tackle season, but coaches also utilize 7-v-7 setups during in-season practices to work on passing and run through plays. Some coaches notice that the players who do participate in 7-on-7 leagues in the off season tend to be more prepared than those who do not when tackle season comes around.
7-on-7 is also being used to showcase players’ skills for recruitment purposes. Instead of only watching game film, some college coaches are watching film from high school practices and non-tackle showcases in order to further analyze a player’s skill. Watching 7-on-7 film or live non-tackle showcases provides coaches with yet another way to get a better idea of the athlete’s capabilities.
What do you wear for a 7-on-7 football game?
Headgear: Xenith Loop
Headgear is becoming more and more popular in the world of non-tackle football. While the object of the game is to eliminate impacts, football is a competitive game and impacts can happen. The Xenith Loop, backed by extensive research, is built to protect the areas most susceptible to injury in non-tackle football. Designed to accommodate all head shapes and hairstyles, the Xenith LOOP is the most comfortable and best performing non-tackle headgear on the market based on 2019 Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings.
Learn more about the Xenith Loop here.
Other popular gear used for 7v7: