The Vikings will host the 16-team 7-on-7 High School Player Development National Tournament presented by the National Guard at Winter Park on July 10-11, an annual event that started in 2004 as an extension of the NFL’s High School Player Development Program.
The 16 teams participating represent 8 AFC and 8 NFC franchises with the team from Lakeville South High School playing under the Vikings banner. The 16 participating teams won regional tournaments in their markets to earn a spot in the national contest. To qualify to represent a market in the National Tournament, each player will have completed the NFL HSPD program that includes a character development program.
Each of the teams consists of 10-12 players with 7 players on the field at a time. The game is 20 minutes long with a 3-minute halftime. The playing field is 40 yards long with a 10-yard end zone. In the national tournament, teams will play in a round-robin format on Day 1 and be seeded to play in a single elimination playoff format on Day 2.
In 2008, there were approximately 10,000 high school football players nationwide enrolled in the HSPD program. The Vikings have been active in local youth football initiatives aimed at making young players their best on and off the field. Vikings Youth Football connects with the community through a local 7-on-7 tournament, youth camps, youth coaching clinics, equipment and field grants, the Vikings All-State Football Team, Minnesota Mr. Football program and the High School Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year.