OHSAA Removes 7-on-7 Restrictions for Ohio Athletes, Now Permits Competition Before and After High School Football Seasons

By Garrick Hodge on April 5, 2024 at 2:57 pm
Trey McNutt

Amid a debate that has gone on for years in Ohio high school football circles, the Ohio High School Athletic Association is lifting 7-on-7 restrictions for Ohio prep athletes.

On Friday, the OHSAA announced 7-on-7 competition is now permitted any time before or after a high school athlete's football season with the exception of a 28-day no-contact window after their prep season ends. 

Under previous guidelines, 7-on-7 competitions were not permitted until May 15. The OHSAA Board of Directors unanimously approved the change.

“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,” OHSAA executive director Doug Ute said in a statement. “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.”

The change goes into effect immediately and any player that participated in a 7-on-7 competition within the last few months will not be subject to any penalty by the OHSAA. That directly impacts Ohio State 2025 five-star safety target Trey McNutt, who was suspended one game by the OHSAA for competing in a national 7-on-7 competition in February in Miami.

McNutt was a strong advocate of changing the longstanding rule and was very outspoken about his opposition to the restrictions. In his senior season, McNutt and all other Ohio high school football players will now be allowed to play in any 7-on-7 tournaments they desire without being subject to suspensions.

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