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OHSAA Expands Football 7-on-7 Opportunities

Football off-season regulations are now consistent with other team sports


The Ohio High School Athletic Association recently announced that football 7-on-7 competition is now allowed at any time before and after the football season, except for the 28-day no-contact period immediately after the season. Previously, 7-on-7 competition was only permitted starting May 15. However, full practice and hitting are still not allowed during 7-on-7 play, and the only equipment permitted is helmets and cleats.

Football 7-on-7 competition excludes the five interior linemen and does not involve tackling.

The play is ended through the use of either flags or touching the ball carrier.

The OHSAA Board of Directors unanimously approved changes to General Sports Regulation 7, bringing football under the same off-season regulations as other team sports. Previously, football had separate and more restrictive off-season regulations. These changes are effective immediately, and student-athletes who participated in 7-on-7 competition this past winter will not be penalized.

According to Doug Ute, the OHSAA Executive Director, "We have been talking about the football 7-on-7 regulation for some time, and we believe that football should be treated the same as our other team sports, essentially allowing football athletes the same opportunities as their peers in other team sports. Most other states already allow it, so there have been a growing number of situations when Ohio student-athletes have had to pass up opportunities in the winter and spring due to our regulations. We want to stress that hitting is still not permitted in the off-season, but this change expands what football players can do outside the season."

The changes now permit a maximum of seven football players from the same school team to play together in a 7-on-7 competition, prior to May 15. There is no limit on the number of 7-on-7 competitions in which a player or coach can participate. After May 15, there is no change to the current regulation, meaning there is no limit on the number of players from the same school team who can compete together in 7-on-7 competition.

Additionally, coaches are now allowed 13 days of coaching beyond the seven-player limit from May 15 to July 31. However, contact and equipment, other than helmets and cleats, remain prohibited during that time.

Do you agree with the 7-on-7 regulation change?

  • YES

  • NO

  • Let's see how this season goes

  • Not Sure

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