Eight-man football is a type of American football, generally played by small high schools. Rules and formations vary greatly among states and even among different organizations, but the one constant is eight players from each team on the field at one time, as opposed to eleven-man football, which is played at larger high schools, the college level and in the NFL. As of 2010 schools in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin have eight-man football.
The main difference between 11-man and 8-man football is most notably the elimination of three players. It depends greatly on the type of formation used, but the eliminated players are commonly two offensive tackles and a wide receiver on offense and two defensive backs and a defensive lineman on defense.
The size of the playing field is often smaller in eight-man football than in eleven-man. Some states opt for a smaller, 80-yards-long by 40-yards-wide field (which is also used in six-man); other states, such as Oklahoma, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina and Idaho, keep the field of play at 100 yards long while reducing the width to 40 yards. Finally, some schools, such as those in north Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, play on a full-sized playing field.
In terms of gameplay, eight-man football is quite different from its eleven-man counterpart. Due to a smaller field and fewer players, the tempo of the game is noticeably faster-paced. Scores tend to be higher, even in high school games where quarters are only 12 minutes long (rather than 15).
Especially in high school, a higher percentage of plays are trick plays; direct snaps, Wildcat formation plays, and fake punts and field goals are somewhat more common.