Eleven to Eight

Joshua Ketter, contributor

For several years the varsity football team at Newfield high school struggled to field enough players for traditional 11-man football.  While there were enough players to field a team those players often had to play on both sides of the ball.  This meant that they were unable to get a break when the offense or defense took the field.  As a result, the team had difficulty keeping pace in the second half of games.  We’d often come out and play well during the first half, but then we’d get tired and outworked in the second half as the other teams were able to keep players fresher by substituting them. 

When Newfield high school switched to 8-man football we also switched opponents.  As one of the first schools in our area to make the switch we had to travel a bit last season.  This year however, several local schools have also made the switch.  Therefore, we will be playing many of the local schools that we used to play in 11-man football such as Lansing and Trumansburg. 

8-man football looks and feels just like 11-man football only with three fewer players on the field.  The limitations restrict the line to only three players.  This makes the game a little more fast paced by creating more holes and opportunities to move the ball on offense.  In addition, with fewer lineman in the trenches injury rates associated with 8-man football are significantly lower than the injury rates associated with 11-man football.