digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















A six-man team

Six-man football is a variant of American football that is played with six players per team, instead of 11.


Six-man football was developed in 1934 by Chester (Nebraska) High School Coach Stephen Epler as an alternative means for small high schools to field a football team during the Great Depression.

The first six-man game played Thursday, September 27, 1934 in the Hebron Athletic Gridiron (in Nebraska) under the lights with a crowd of almost 1000 watching. This game was played so that coaches all over Kansas and Nebraska could see if they wanted to try this new game of 6 man. The two teams playing in the game were the combined team from Hardy-Chester and a combined team from Belvalex-Alexandria. The two teams had 2 weeks to practice prior to this game. After that night rules for the game were distributed to approximately 60,000 coaches in the United States (Franklin M. Reck, "Play Six Man Football" The American Boy": September 1937 p30).

On October 5, 1940, Windham High School from Windham, Ohio defeated Stamford Collegiate of Niagara Falls, Ontario, 39-1 in the first international six-man football game.[1]

Jack Pardee, who played in the 1950s at Christoval High School in Texas, is a six-man player who played and coached in the NFL. Chicago Bear Ed Sprinkle, who played six-man football at Tuscola High School in 1939, is another former Texas high school six-man player who played in the NFL.

Game play[edit]

A six-man playing field.

Six-man is a fast-moving game played on an 80-yard (73-m) long by 40-yard wide (37-m) field (instead of the normal 100-yd (91-m) by 5313-yd (48.8-m) field used in 11-man football). Furthermore, the game specifies a 15-yard distance (14-m) from the line of scrimmage to gain a first down, instead of the normal 10 yards (9 m).

All six players are eligible to be receivers. On offense, three linemen are required on the line of scrimmage at the start of the play. The player to whom the ball is snapped cannot run the ball past the line of scrimmage; however, if the ball is tossed to another player, that player can run or throw the ball and the player to whom the ball was snapped is still an eligible receiver. All forward passes to the player who snapped the ball (center) must travel at least 1 yard (1 m) in flight.


Scoring is the same as in 11-man football, with the exceptions being on the point after touchdown attempt and the field goal. A point-after kick is worth two points, while a conversion made by running or passing the ball is worth one point; this is the opposite of 11-man football. In addition, a field goal is worth 4 points instead of 3. These rule changes were made because of the difficulty of successfully getting a kick off with so few blockers on the line compared to the number of defenders. In both University Interscholastic League and Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools competition, a 45-point "mercy rule" exists to prevent lopsided scoring deficits (no such rule exists in the 11-man game). The game is ended under this rule if a team is losing by 45 or more points at halftime or at any point after. The mercy rule is alluded to in the title of the David Morse film about six-man football, The Slaughter Rule.

Scoring tends to be much higher in the six-man game compared to its 11-man counterpart; games in which one team scores 100 points or more, now extremely rare in 11-man, regularly occur several times a year in six-man.[2]

Six-man football today[edit]

As of the 2012–2014 alignments from UIL, TAPPS, and T-CAL the state of Texas has 234 six-man football teams (71 in UIL Division I,[3] 67 in UIL Division II,[4] 57 in TAPPS[5] and 39 in T-CAL[6]); this does not count schools in other high school leagues, or schools playing "outlaw schedules" (schools whose enrollment is too large to play six-man football in a league-sanctioned district, but nevertheless continue to organize a six-man team as opposed to an 11-man team).

Texas Charter School Academic and Athletic League (TCSAAL) held its inaugural six-man football championship on November 20, 2015 in which Inspired Vision Academy defeated West Columbia Charter School.

The state of Florida has 32 teams playing six-man football in the Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools. FCAPPS comprises small Christian or private schools and at least one home school cooperative. Teams in the conference are as far south as the keys of Florida to as far north as Jacksonville.

The state of Alabama has eight teams playing as part of the Christian Football Association (www.cfafootball.org) which is a sister organization to the Alabama Christian Education Athletic Association (ACEAA). This will be the third year that the CFA has sanctioned six-man tackle football in the state of Alabama.

The state of Colorado has 23 teams currently playing six-man football with the majority of teams being from small towns located in Eastern Colorado.

As of 2013 Idaho has two teams that play 6 man football; they play against makeshift jv teams or teams in Montana. Idaho has not sanctioned 6 man football but approved it for a pilot program. It was made particularly for schools that were small and too far removed geographically to have a reasonable co op program with a neighboring school. Idaho did play 6 man football in the 1940s.

The sport is also played by high schools in Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Wyoming, and in parts of Canada.

As of 2013, there are no longer any leagues (professional, semi-pro or amateur) that play the game past the high school level. The last one, the San Antonio, Texas based Texas Sixman Football League (TSFL), converted to eight-man football after the 2012 season. The Central Florida-based Southeastern Christian Association of Sixman Football (SCASF) ceased operations in the late 2000s, and the Pennsylvania 6-Man Football League also converted to eight-man around the same time.

There is currently a women's league playing six-(wo)man football. It is the Independent Women's Football League http://www.iwflsports.com/.

The A-11 offense, the original version of which is now banned in almost all levels of football, could be seen as an adaptation of the six-man offense to 11-man rules, with its wide-open style and the appearance of every player being eligible.

Six-man football in books[edit]

In 2005, coach C.H. Underwood authored what is considered to be the definitive strategy and play book for the game, Six Man Football, published by Bright Sky Press. A player during the 1960s and coach of the first Texas State Six-Man Championship team in 1972, Underwood provides a thorough dissertation on the small-town sport from both analytical and historical perspectives.

Another Bright Sky Press book, published in 2003, Grit and Glory: Six-Man Football is a collection of photographs that capture the spirit of the game and its players. Grit and Glory exclusively showcases the work of art photographer Laura Wilson, mother of actors Owen, Luke, and Andrew Wilson.

The newest release on the topic of six-man football is titled Six: A Football Coach's Journey to a National Record. The book was authored by Marc Rasmussen and published by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press. It includes a detailed history of Stephen Epler, the inventor of the sport and follows the life of Willis "Bill" Welsh who led a team from little Claremont, South Dakota to a national record for consecutive wins between 1947 and 1953. More information available on the South Dakota State Historical Society Press webpage www.sdshspress.com.

Six-man football in the movies[edit]

The Slaughter Rule, released in 2002, used six-man football as played in Montana as the backdrop for an examination of the relationship between a fatherless renegade football player and his loner coach. The film contains a brief but adequate explanation of how the game of six-man football is played as well as footage of actual game sequences. The title refers to a rule in which a game is called in the second half if one team gains a 45-point advantage over the other. In other states, it is referred to as the mercy rule. When invoked, one team is said to have "45ed" the other.

Six Man, Texas, released in 2008, is a documentary film that explores six-man football as identity in the public high schools of the 160 small towns in Texas that play it.

The Seventh Man, released in 2003, documents two years in the lives of the Panther Creek Panthers, one of the storied programs in Texas six-man football. It features the narration of Val Kilmer.

See also[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-man_football — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
485063 videos foundNext > 

Crowell (TX) - Six Man Football - 2014 Highlights

http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/crowell-wildcats-(crowell,tx)/football/home.htm Crowell (TX) is currently the #1 6-man team in the country. They have won ...

NFL Network - Six Man Football Trailer

Grandfalls-Royalty vs. Follett 6 Man State Semifinal Football December 6, 2013

See video highlights of the 2013 Texas State Semifinal Class A Six Man Division 2 football playoff game between the Follett Panthers and the Grandfalls-Royalty ...

Grandfalls-Royalty Six-Man Football Division II State Champions

Video from the Six-Man Division II State Championship game between Grandfalls-Royalty and Milford Saturday at the AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys beat the ...

2009 Garden City, Tx. Sixman Football Highlights

Just a few clips.

Six-Man Football Great Punt Return TD

Texas Six-Man Coaches Association All-Star game in Wichita Falls, TX on Friday, July 17: West Team's Logan Morris, from Ira, returns punt 63 yards for ...

2012-2013 Sioux County Nebraska Six Man Football Highlights

Sioux County Warriors highlight film. State Runner Ups.

Six-Man American Football on Trans World Sport

Discover Six-Man Football, a version of American Football hugely popular in smaller high schools in Texas. Trans World Sport visited Richland Springs, Texas.

Six-man Football is growing in popularity

Football Highlights for Recruiting purposes!!!

Crowell High School Football - 2014 State Champion

Crowell Texas HS six-man football State Championship 2014.

485063 videos foundNext > 

6985 news items

Your Houston News

Your Houston News
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 20:18:45 -0800

“I was doing laundry in the field house, and I started thinking about next season,” Allen said two days after the Cougars were eliminated from the TAPPS Class 2A six-man football playoffs by Summit Christian. “I thought to myself, 'This feels kind of ...

Texas Monthly (subscription)

Texas Monthly (subscription)
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 15:15:00 -0800

A Marfa Shorthorns six-man football game starts with hand over heart and the American flag undulating sedately above the scoreboard. The student band warbles the National Anthem. Our new band director plays a trumpet. His notes are sure and correct, ...

Your Houston News

Your Houston News
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 19:22:30 -0800

The Covenant Christian six-man football team needs three playoff victories to claim a TAPPS Class 2A state championship. Covenant, fielding a varsity squad for just the third season, travels to play Summit Christian on Friday night at Bryan Allen Academy.

Kearney Hub

Lincoln Journal Star
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 21:26:15 -0800

2015-11-13T22:45:00Z 2015-11-19T22:50:59Z Six-man football: Riverside dominates St. Edward to win state titleBy the Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com. November 13, 2015 10:45 pm • By the Lincoln Journal Star.

Cullman Times Online

Cullman Times Online
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 06:08:22 -0800

With increased coverage of Cullman Christian football this season has come an increased amount of unsolicited opinions about the six-man game. You know that's not real football, right? That's actually a thing? They must not be good enough to play 11-man.
The Missoulian
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 18:00:38 -0800

HOT SPRINGS -- Box Elder's Brandon The Boy threw for over 300 yards in leading his team over Hot Springs, 42-40, in a Class C 6-man playoff football semifinal on Saturday. The two teams scored three times in a frantic final 90 seconds, Hot Springs ...

Your Houston News

Your Houston News
Sat, 31 Oct 2015 09:52:30 -0700

Allen, a former Oak Ridge assistant coach, will lead his team into one last game in non-district play before the Cougars enjoy an open date in the first round of the TAPPS six-man football playoffs. The Cougars will play host to Lifestyle Christian on ...

Great Falls Tribune

Great Falls Tribune
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 19:11:15 -0800

DENTON — By the time the horn for halftime sounded, Denton-Geyser-Stanford quarterback Kendall Carpenter had 255 yards and six touchdowns passing, Connor Bokma had caught three scoring passes, and the Bearcats were well on their way to defeating ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight