It’s not what you would consider real football.
There is no blocking and there is no tackling. The field is 45 yards long broken up into 15-yard intervals with a 10-yard deep endzone. You tag to mark someone as down and there are no running plays, it’s all played through the air.
Finally, the biggest difference is there are only seven players on offense and on defense.
It is 7-on-7 and it is becoming a bigger deal, especially in Texas as every summer continues to roll through. More programs have adopted playing 7-on-7, making the field more and more competitive each year.
“Oh I think it’s always good for our kids to come out here and compete and play against some good guys from around the state,” Cypress Creek coach Greg McCaig said. “I think it’s good we’re able to work on football related things over the course of the summer. The kids seem to be enjoying themselves which has to be a positive.”
Following spring ball, if a team decides to participate in that, the 7-on-7 season begins.
Ultimately in Texas teams’ goals are to reach College Station for the State 7-on-7 tournament.
“I think it helps a lot. Number one they get to play and they get to hang out together,” Pearland coach Tony Heath said. “They get to learn each other and everyday get to bond together. I look at it more in that stand point of learning how to build chemistry among your teammates. Learning what your teammates are committed to do. Learn to compete.”
Throughout the process quarterbacks and receivers spend countless hours working on routes, timing and just getting to know each others tendencies, which will payoff when the Friday night lights are on.
“It helps tremendously,” Pearland quarterback and Texas A&M commit Connor Blumrick said of playing 7-on-7. “Timing, tempo, just rhythm with people. Me and a certain player might have different timing me and a different person and it just helps so much.”
The overall experience in the end is what is the key for coaches to see, Tomball Memorial coach Finis Vanover said which includes the athletic part on the field and team chemistry off of it as well.
The skill development and getting used to the Texas heat are some of the things they get out of it, Vanover said along with building team morale and playing top notch competition in the process.
For most of the coaches the statement could be put on repeat, Dickinson coach John Snelson, who’s team finished second in the Division I category this summer, said the chemistry part is what he wants his guys to get the most out of it.
“This is a great confidence builder and an excellent way for our kids to get some extra practice, build team chemistry and build trust,” he said. “Lots of talented teams out there but the teams with the best chemistry you see playing December football.
“That is the kind of program we want to be.”