While 7-on-7 football is now an accepted part of the football calendar, a new event popping up in Southern California may prove to be the next wave toward year-round football.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer, and the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, SoCal programs Hart and Paraclete recently faced off in an 11-on-11 game. This wasn’t fall football, and there were no helmets or pads, just as in 7-on-7.
As Sondheimer makes clear, there are reasons why Hart and Paraclete are ideally suited to take part in such an experimental game:
Hart hosted Paraclete in an 11-on-11 game. Dean Herrington is head coach at Paraclete, and older brother Mike is head coach at Hart, with another brother, Rick, the defensive coordinator.
And that’s one of the keys to successful 11-on-11 games — the teams and coaches must trust each other. That way there’s no cheap shots, because there are no pads and players respect each other. Injuries are avoided. Blocking is allowed, along with rushing the quarterback, so it’s a much better game situation for passers.
This wasn’t the first 11-on-11 game that Hart has taken part in over the course of the summer, with other games against Crescenta Valley and St. Francis.
The early adopters of these 11-on-11 competitions aren’t shying away from 7-on-7 competition, but rather employing 11-on-11 as an additional, supplementary workout series. That doesn’t mean that 11-on-11 won’t eventually match or overtake 7-on-7, but for now, it’ll remain a one-off, at least until more teams see the benefits of more realistic scrimmaging.