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In the FCFL, Fans Make the Rules

Hey there, FCFL Fans!  


Recently, we’ve started letting some people in on a little secret – that fans would get the chance to vote on some of the core rules that will define how we’ll be playing football in the FCFL.  We got a lot of excitement. We also got a few puzzled questions along the lines of:


Wait, there isn’t even a rule book for this thing?  And it’s supposed to be a real football league? What the what?


So, we figured that as we made this news public, we also needed to give everyone a little background.  


Shortly after the conclusion of the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles’ historic first season, FANchise’s founders and core team sat down with our “Coach of the Fans” and special football advisor Shawn Liotta to draw up a full rule book for the Fan Controlled Football League.  We wanted a core rule set that enabled a wide-open, fast-paced and exciting brand of indoor football that gave both the offense and defense the chance to make big plays while cutting down on the parade of penalties that all too often slows down the indoor game. After about a month’s worth of work we had a complete rule book – if players and coaches had reported to camp that day, we’d have been ready to start teaching them the FCFL game.   


But over the past couple of months, we did some more reflection on what “Power to the Fans” really means.  In the FCFL, fans will get to pick the names, logos and colors of their chosen franchises. They’ll get to shape their teams through history’s first fan-run professional draft.  They’ll get to call every single play their team runs, all season long. Given all that, we asked ourselves whether just pronouncing, “OK, folks, this is how football will be played in the FCFL!” was the right approach.


And we decided that it probably wasn’t.


That’s when we decided that our fans needed to make history in yet another way – by helping to shape their new league’s rules and style of play.


We’re launching the FCFL’s Building the League initiative, where we’ll present a series of questions, options and thought starters to get fans thinking about exactly what kind of football they’d like to see in the FCFL.  We’re going to listen to your thoughts, opinions and suggestions. And shortly after the token sale and issuance of FAN Token, the utility token that will give fans control throughout the FCFL Ecosystem, we’ll conduct a series of votes with the topics distilled down into distinct choices.  Every FCFL fan will get the chance to weigh in on each decision, and the more FAN Tokens you hold the more weight your vote will have!


We figured that we’d kick things off…well, maybe we need a new turn of phrase there since FCFL fans might decide to do away with the kicking game entirely!  We figured we’d START things off by asking a very fundamental question – how many players should be on the field at a time?


The original incarnation of indoor football, the Arena Football League, featured eight players on offense and eight players on defense on a field that measured 50 yards long by 28 yards wide.  Over the years, many indoor leagues have kept that 8 on 8 setup while others have played 7 on 7. Coach Liotta has engineered some ridiculously high-scoring offensive attacks in both 8 on 8 and 7 on 7 leagues, so there’s nobody better qualified to give you an overview of 8 on 8 and 7 on 7 football:



“Before we examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of playing with seven or eight players per side, it is important that we set up some initial parameters.  For this discussion let’s assume that we are going to be playing on a regulation size indoor football field that is 50 yards long and 28 1/3 yards wide. We are going to focus strictly on the number of players on the field for this discussion and not offensive or defensive alignments or formations in the FCFL.  We plan to get your input on this at a later date but we envision the FCFL rule set to allow for a variety of offensive strategies ranging from wide open no-back formations with three players in motion and full house backfields to pound the rock in short yardage situations. The FCFL will be fast paced and hard hitting football with the elimination of gimmicky and hard to understand rules of indoor/arena football that have slowed game play and frustrated fans for decades.”   

“Let’s begin by taking a look at the traditional eight on eight format of arena/indoor football.  In this format there are three offensive linemen (center and two guards), a quarterback, and four eligible receivers.  In most league rule sets these eligible receivers are deployed in such a manner as there is a running back in the backfield with three receivers deployed into the formation:”

“This has been the most common incarnation of arena/indoor football over the years, but has commonly been paired with a quirky and hard to understand rule set that often limits both defensive and offensive strategy and alignments.  This is why if you sit down and watch an Arena Football League game it appears that every team is running the exact same playbook. These are tried and true strategies that have been successful throughout the years and are employed by each team. Innovation and variety in offensive and defensive scheme design are virtually non-existent with this style of play.  The benefits to the eight on eight format are that it has been the standard for decades and the rules tweaked over that time to allow for competitive balance.”


“By removing one player on both sides of the ball we are presented with seven on seven action.  Now let’s be careful not confuse this format with the 7 on 7 “flag football” style of play. This is real football with three offensive linemen, a quarterback and up to three eligible receivers:”

“With the removal of a player on each side of the ball more “space” is opened up on the 28 1/3 yard wide field.  This creates opportunities for more scoring and getting the ball to your playmakers in space, but also a variety in offensive scheme design.  An offense looking for balance could line up with a running back in the backfield and two receivers split out, as shown above. Pass-happy teams could choose to stretch the defense with three receivers into the pattern and a no running back set:”

“While others might attack defenses with a traditional two back pro I formation or even a three back set:”

“By eliminating a player on each side of the ball there would be increased variety in style of play, and more importantly open space to attack on the compressed field.   The elimination of a player on both sides of the ball would allow for the development of an FCFL rule set that is less restricting to both the offense and defense, resulting in less penalties called and better pace of play.”


So that’s an overview of the basics of 8 on 8 and 7 on 7 – now, it’s time for YOU to join the conversation!


Sign up for our Fan Token Telegram chat where we’re talking all things FCFL- and FAN Token-related, here.


Jump into the “Building The League #1” thread on the FCFL subReddit, here.


Or tell us what you think on Twitter with the hashtag #FCFL7or8


We can’t wait to hear from you – Power to the Fans!

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