NEW CANAAN — The annual Grip It and Rip It 7-on-7 football tournament in New Canaan began with just four teams back in 2007. The host Rams won that year against a field which included Greenwich, Trumbull and Masuk.

Now, the event is one of the highlights of Connecticut summer football, with the latest edition featuring a field of 32 teams, including representatives from five of the state’s conferences, and 10 out-of-state squads. There had been 34 teams in the field, but some changes have dropped that number by two.

Featuring only passing plays, the tournament is a chance for teams to work on routes, timing and chemistry for the upcoming fall season.

For the Darien Blue Wave, one of 11 FCIAC teams in the tournament, it will also be a chance to continue their summer success after winning the Shoreline Football Grip It and Rip It tournament two weeks ago.

“Everyone on our team loves the Grip It and Rip It tournament,” Darien rising senior and quarterback Peter Graham said after winning the Shoreline tournament. “It’s a great way to start preparing for next season. It’s a lot of fun and it’’s great for team building, bonding and uniting the team.

“It’s a great way to start working on your rhythm. You get your receivers out there and you build reps. They only allow safeties and linebackers on defense and it’s a great way for them to get reps too.”

The Grip It and Rip It tournament at New Canaan will begin with pool play on Friday, July 12. Games will start at 1:30 p.m., with Darien’s first game scheduled for 4:30 p.m. against Rye (N.Y.) at Dunning Field.

The Wave will be in a group with Greenwich, Rye and Suffield and will play four 20-minute pool play games, taking on each of the teams in their group along with Trumbull in a crossover game.

All of Darien’s games will be held between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. at Dunning Field.

Other games will be held at New Canaan’s Water Tower Turf field near the tennis courts at the high school.

“The event overall has been wonderful,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli said at a recent tournament. “When you come in here and see kids playing football all over the place, it’s impressive.”

david.stewart@hearstmediact.com

@dstewartsports