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What is 7-on-7?


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.


Football players reaching for the ball in a 7-on-7 football game.


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.


Football players playing 7v7 football


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.


Football players running a route in a 7v7 non-tackle football game wearing the Xenith LOOP.


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.


Devin Gardner wearing Xenith LOOP on the football field.


Learn more about the Xenith Loop here.


Other popular gear used for 7v7: 






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