OHSAA expands 7-on-7 football opportunities

April 8, 2024 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingFootball
The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) has announced that football 7-on-7 competition is now permitted at any time before and after the season, other than the 28-day no-contact period immediately after the season.

Previously, 7-on-7 competition was not permitted until May 15. Full practice and hitting are still not permitted during 7-on-7 play, with helmets and cleats being the only equipment permitted.

ohsaaFootball 7-on-7 competition does not include the five interior linemen and uses either flags or touching the ball carrier to end a play, rather than tackling.

The OHSAA Board of Directors met earlier this week and unanimously approved changes to General Sports Regulation 7 that bring football under the same off-season regulations as other team sports. Football has always had separate and more restrictive off-season regulations.

The changes are effective immediately and student-athletes who competed in 7-on-7 competition this past winter will not be subject to a penalty.

“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,” said Doug Ute, OHSAA Executive Director. “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.”

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The changes mean that before May 15, a limit of seven football players from the same school team can now play together in a 7-on-7 competition, and 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.

In addition, there are 13 days of coaching permitted more than the seven-player limit from May 15 to July 31. Contact and equipment, other than helmets and cleats, remain prohibited during that time.

*This is an issued press release from the OHSAA. To learn more, visit its website.