7v7 or 7-a-side is a common outdoor half-field format for athletes under the age of 14, or when facilities or number of players call for a smaller game. Like GAME ON, USA Field Hockey offers half-field 7v7competitions in several national tournaments including the Disney Field Hockey Showcase, Summer Bash Series and National Hockey Festival.

Half-field 7v7 competitions provide players with more touches and is a good transitional game from GAME ON to the full-field 11v11 game. Although the rules provided here state 7v7, program leaders can be flexible and change when there are fewer or more players per side to provide the best most inclusive experience for the age, size and experience of players. In all formats, the goal is a fun and positive playing experience that keeps all players engaged, learning and developing.

If goalkeepers are unavailable, games can be played without goalkeepers. Consider adding cones or a blocker to the middle of the goal to encourage players to shoot toward the corners. Another modification could be to put two goals on each end line in the corners. This encourages players to use spread out and “stretch” the field, using the entire playing area.