Home News Ohio High School Athletic Association Expands Football 7-on-7 Competition Opportunities

Ohio High School Athletic Association Expands Football 7-on-7 Competition Opportunities


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) has announced significant changes to the regulations governing football 7-on-7 competition, providing student-athletes with expanded opportunities to participate in the sport outside of the regular season.

Effective immediately, football 7-on-7 competition is now permitted at any time before and after the season, excluding the 28-day no-contact period immediately following the season. This marks a departure from previous rules that restricted 7-on-7 play until May 15. However, it’s important to note that full practice and hitting are still prohibited during 7-on-7 events, with helmets and cleats being the only permissible equipment.

Football 7-on-7 competitions differ from traditional games by excluding the five interior linemen and utilizing flags or touching the ball carrier to end a play instead of tackling.

The decision to amend General Sports Regulation 7 to align football with other team sports’ off-season regulations was unanimously approved by the OHSAA Board of Directors earlier this week. OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute emphasized the importance of providing football athletes with similar opportunities as their peers in other team sports.

“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 Ute. “This change expands what football players can do outside the season.”

The new regulations allow a maximum of seven football players from the same school team to participate in 7-on-7 competitions before May 15, with no restrictions on the number of competitions in which a player or coach can partake. From May 15 to July 31, there are 13 days of coaching permitted beyond the seven-player limit, but contact and additional equipment remain prohibited during this period.

While the changes offer increased flexibility for football players, they underscore OHSAA’s ongoing commitment to maintaining safety protocols and ensuring a level playing field for all student-athletes across the state.