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6-19-17 – This past weekend the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association held it’s
2017 OHSFCA State 7 on 7 Championships. Two schools out of 32 who competed qualified to move on to the Powerade 7on7 Invitational in Weddington, NC, Dublin Coffman and WBL member Kenton.

MAC member Minster also was a part of the tournament, that included a wide variety of schools from different classes around Ohio.

A program like Kenton over the years has done well,  since the 7-on-7 game is a passing game to improve both sides of the football, offense and defense.

2017 OHSFCA State 7 on 7 Championships

7-on-7 has gained in popularity as it has developed over the years, not bad for a sport that started as an off-season activity to sharpen skills.  Today 7-on-7 has a national presence with teams traveling all over the country to compete in area, regional and national tournaments sponsored by large athletic related corporate sponsors.

Media presence has grown and includes coverage, by national media, including websites dedicated to the game, local tv and newspaper media and even national tv coverage like ESPN.

The one item missing from 7-on-7 tournaments is any involvement from State athletic associations or a national governing body (including AAU) to oversee what takes place during the summer. For several years now Dick’s and ESPN have worked to create national high school championships during the school year in football and basketball.  The problem has been the roadblocks put-up by the state associations that does not allow their schools to compete. No roadblocks for 7-on-7 events.

7on7rules

A recent concern for high school football coaches has been the new interest in all-star  7-on-7 events that are taking place and are becoming very popular. High school coaches are concerned their sport might take a turn towards ‘AAU’ team set-ups, they prefer the focus to be on their fall team.

Nike 7-on7 All Star event

Yes, the atmosphere can be very intense as shown by the tweet below. 7-on-7 is consuming some high valued high school football players.  Social media, as shown below, has also upped the ‘superstar’ value for these players.

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How do some state athletic associations view the 7-on-7 phenomenon.

Jerry Snodgrass
Jerry Snodgrass

Jerry Snodgrass, Assistant Commissioner, Ohio High School Athletic Association

 

The “explosion” of 7 on 7 has almost mirrored the same offerings in basketball’s “team camp” concept.

It’s interesting that so much of this (at least in Ohio) was born out of a regulation change in the early to mid-90’s that permitted school coaches the opportunity to coach players from their schools in “team play” for 10 days during June and July – often referred to as the “10 Day Rule”. The basketball world developed “team camps” to maximize those 10 days while football has developed the concept of 7 vs 7.

It’s also ironic how the sport has evolved to the passing game – making one wonder if the 7 v 7 has been the major reason for that. If you are a running team, you simply don’t have the same opportunities as a passing team to maximize those 10 days.

And, there is a significant amount of money involved in conducting and participating in these.

How do college coaches see the 7-on7 game when recruiting an athlete.

Mike Bath - Wyoming
Mike Bath

Celina grad and current Wyoming Running Back Coach Mike Bath:

We do not talk recruiting with 7 on 7 coaches, and never watch any film of kids doing 7 on 7… we value the high school film and the high school coach… any 7 on 7 coach that claims he can ‘get a kid recruited,’ isn’t telling the truth… good stuff to work on your ‘craft,’ but far from the only or best thing!

Kids have lost track of this today unfortunately… go lift weights and run with your high school teammates!

Dan Pifer
Dan Pifer

Another Celina grad and current Head Coach at DII Walsh University Dan Pifer:

We don’t evaluate kids from 7 on 7 tourneys.  Most colleges have prospect camps, that is where we go to find players.  The 7on7 has really become like AAU basketball, there are a bunch of guys that go recruit the best local players for their team, try to win every tourney, hoping that a kid gets signed by a D1 school, makes it to the NFL, he can somehow get money or at least promotion from his likeness, turn it into a profit.  Not a big fan of 7on7.  Very corrupt system.

 

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