The hottest numbers in Michigan high school football are 7 and 8.

After a long and mostly healthy tradition, 7-on-7 football is morphing into something new – something being unflatteringly compared to AAU basketball.

For years, high school players worked on passing and receiving skills with their teammates in local “passing leagues.”  More recently, the leagues have changed in style – from school teams to “all-star” teams.  They’ve changed in scope – from local to statewide or grander.  They’ve changed in spirit – from skills development for aspiring high school teammates to ascending stars’ self-promotion to college scouting services and agents of commercial interests.

Some colleges have gone so far as to prohibit the new brand of 7-on-7 from their campuses, and some college administrators and coaches are asking the NCAA to ban these “all-star” 7-on-7 events from Division I facilities and to bar Division I football coaches from attending these events at any location. They see the unsavory side of AAU basketball taking residence in so-called “elite” 7-on-7 football.

As for the number 8 – that will be the number of players on each side of the ball when the MHSAA begins its first ever 8-Player Football playoff division this fall.  The championship game of the four-week playoffs will be at 7 p.m. EST Friday, Nov. 18, televised live by FOX Sports Detroit.  Northern Michigan University's Superior Dome will host the 2011 Finals.

Posted in: Football


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From the Director

From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.