Written by Shawn Smith with Texas Elite 7on7
As the Owner and Founder of Texas Elite 7on7 we are always striving to produce a great product for our Teams, Coaches and Parents. One of the biggest discrepancies we used to have was the 4 sec- count or clock for the QB to release the ball. Our Officials used to always keep the 4 sec on the hand held stop watch. If you play 7on7 for any amount of time after a while every one seems to know what 4 seconds is? 4 seconds for the Coach on Defense or their parents was always around 3.4 seconds regardless! The Defensive team always thought the Official wasn’t watching the clock. I can’t tell you how many times a Coach would ask a Official “how long was that” or “what was the time”? This went on in 4th grade games as well as High School games. I’m sure every Official is somewhat different as well. Could he possibly forget to clock on at the snap? Could he accidentally stop the clock on a QB pump fake? Sure, seen it done many times. It was just always very subjective and just felt we could take that responsibility off our Officials and actually have them watch whats going on at the LOS instead of “eyeballing” the stop watch.
That is the reason that we chose to go with the QB Tee back in the Fall of 2015 with our Youth League Play. The QB Tee came in a box with the table and 3 legs and 3 straps. It literally took 2 min to assemble each Tee. The concept is fairly simple you have a small digital clock on the table part of the Tee. You can set the clock to your desired time. We incorporate two times only in our Leagues and Tournaments. 4.5 seconds for grades 4th and below and 4.0 for grades 5th through high School. Once the Qb say “go” or “hit” and picks the ball off the table the clock starts automatically. At the end of desired time (4.0) you will hear the buzzer. It’s pretty easy to determine if its 4 seconds or not as if the buzzer is heard while the ball is in QB hand then its considered a sack and we move to the next down. If the ball is out of the hand and then we hear buzzer play is good. We have now played several hundred 7on7 games since the Fall with each of the 8 QB Tee’s we put into action. They are lightweight, durable and easy to maintain. The Table can be disassembled from the legs very quickly for the 7on7 teams that carry a “actual” Center. The center can place the table on the LOS and just snap like normal between his legs. We use the QB Tee during our Season for Tournaments, League Play and QB & WR Camps and clinics.
You will get the Coach that comes to you and tries to explain that they can’t use this because they incorporate the Center and their QB is used to being 4 and 1/2 yards depth and this will effect his timing, steps, etc etc. The answer is it won’t, want to go “shotgun”? Great, set you cone or beanbag at the LOS for your receivers to line up on and set the Tee back 4 yards. Take the snap and take your 3 or 5 step drop or your rollout to one side!
In a few short months we have pretty much eliminated the 4 second discrepancy and the potential back and forth arguing or the “overly passionate” parent who will try to stand on the sideline and pull out their smart phone and time the snap & release? The subject of 4 seconds never even comes up any longer in our League Play games or Tournaments. I am certain that other League Directors of 7on7 would also see the same benefit.
Here’s a quick video to show off it’s use and effectiveness!