When it canceled 11-on-11 football for 2020 on Friday morning, the CIAC said it will work with football coaches and state athletic directors to give football players “the best low and moderate risk experiences possible.”
One possibility, though not one that had been popular with coaches while full-contact football remained on the table, is 7-on-7.
The format is popular in the summer, a chance for teams to build camaraderie and chemistry and to work on their pass routes.
In their discussions, the state Department of Public Health offered the CIAC 7-on-7 as a lower-risk alternative to full-contact football.
“The NFHS does not write rules for 7 v 7 football, and there are no NFHS member state championships for 7 v 7 football,” Friday’s CIAC statement said. “No other state association is playing 7 v 7 football as a championship program.”
Vermont plans to play 7-on-7 in a modified form this season , one that looks a tiny bit more like a usual game, with no playoffs.
In its summertime form at least, what are we dealing with in 7-on-7?
TEAMS: Seven defenders facing a center, a quarterback and five eligible receivers.
PLAY: Teams start on the 40-yard line going in. After the snap, the quarterback has four seconds to get a pass off, working to score touchdowns. Turnovers, even on downs, give points to the defense.
EQUIPMENT: Since it’s one-hand touch football, players typically don’t wear pads but do wear helmets.
LENGTH: Teams often play several games in an afternoon in summertime, so games run about 20 minutes, running time until the final minute.