Talk:Canadian football

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This is not an independent sport[edit]

I think this and the CFL article have a seriously misleading slant to it. They have an angle and present themselves as to validate that angle.
Everything seems to be geared towards cultivating the idea that this sport's development is not tied to American Football, in order to avoid having to present the CFL as a minor league, which it is, and instead to present it as the major league of Canadian football, a sport that is not recognized by international sports bodies.
While gridiron football in Canada is played by teams that have a long history, "Canadian football"'s evolution from rugby to its current incarnation (like the forward pass) is much more recent, and was influenced by rule changes devised in American football.
The country's governing body for the sport is simply called Football Canada and is a member of the International Federation of American Football. Its national teams play in competitions of American Football.
The rule book published by Football Canada and its affiliates does not concern "Canadian Football" and is instead entitled "Canadian Rule Book for Amateur Tackle Football". The Official CFL Rule Book is only known as such and does not purport to regulate the professional version of a sport called "Canadian football".
The majority of CFL players was trained in American football (all imports and a substantial minority of Canadians who have played college and/or high school in the US).
Even in Canada, in early age groups, plenty of leagues play US rules, 4-down football.
Contrary to what the Comparison paragraph says, there is a copious amount of overlap between player roles in the NFL and CFL, there are plenty of players in the CFL who are morphologically suited to playing in both the CFL and the NFL. And they chose the NFL. Traditionally, only a difference in venues or playing equipment, not select differences in field size and rules, is enough to differentiate sports: Volleyball/Beach volleyball; Soccer/Indoor soccer/Futsal.
Rugby league is vastly more different from rugby union than Canadian football is from American football. The overlap of players is nowhere near the same, there are no scrums, the flow of the game is entirely different, there are domestic and international competitions played concurrently in both sports. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E35:2E96:BA90:F126:58D9:2A9A:5C6A (talk) 05:45, 31 July 2014 (UTC)


An indoor version of Canadian football for the Canadian market has been proposed for 2005. It will be different than Arena football in that the rebound nets will be out of play and that there will be only three downs, as in outdoor Candian football.

Rlquall 18:38, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That league, the NAFL, is dead, as it was poorly mismanaged, but the rules should IMO be used by the AFL.

Time Count Variation[edit]

It is a little confusing to say that the time between plays is 45 seconds in U.S. football and 20 in Canadian. Firstly, the 45 second count is employed only in the NFL, not other versions. Secondly, this count is from the time at which the previous play actually ends, not when the ball is marked ready for another play. If the ball has been "dead" and the clock stopped (i.e., incomplete pass, out of bounds, etc.) the NFL play clock starts at 30 seconds, not 45. In other U.S. football (high school and collegiate), the clock is 25 seconds from the time the ball being marked ready for play, only five seconds longer. Perhaps this entire discussion is too long and too akward to be included in the CFL article, but as it stands now it is somewhat misleading.

Rlquall 14:59, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Inter-league play[edit]

Also, by the same agreement, both sides play under Canadian rules when the Canadian team has the ball and under American rules when the US team has the ball.

Is this correct? By my reading, this implies that the rules change an impressive number of times -during the game-. Perhaps the author means "when the Canadian/US team is at home?"

I was wondering the same thing. I would think that it would be unfair (although I'm not sure to what side) to have different rules for each team. - sik0fewl 08:58, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It is the home team--not the team controlling the ball. this is implied but is not very confusing. infact, the other way would be practially impossible, as the field dimensions would need to be changed in between plays. •USER•ADAM THE ATOM•TALK• 03:13, 15 June 2006 (UTC)


Does the writer have any evidence of negative scores in early Canadian football? I thought the word "rouge" comes from a red flag the refs used to have.

I'm certain "rouge" term coming from a negative score is completely incorrect and I'm removing that from the article. I have heard that it comes from a red flag as well but I don't think that there is any proof that it comes from that either. As I recall, the derivation of the term is somewhat of a mystery. DoubleBlue (Talk) 03:42, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Also, I hear the term "rouge" almost as often as "single" so I don't think it's archaic at all. In fact, as pointed out, it is still the official term for the single point. DoubleBlue (Talk) 03:57, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

The term 'rouge' originates from England, where in the early 19th century it was used in several football codes, though not always to describe the same thing. In the Eton School field game (a sort of rugby/soccer mix) and in Rossall school's hockey game, a 'rouge' was, and still is as this games are still played today, a way of scoring if the ball deflected off a player into the end zone, and in Sheffield Rules football there were two outer posts (like in Aussie rules today) that you could also score into, which was used a tie break system. Nobody is sure where the term comes from, but it generally refers to an 'alternative' way of scoring. There is no doubt that the Canadian rouge was imported from English games, but it would be interesting if anybody knows more about how and when. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrobertsbcn (talkcontribs) 18:47, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

rouge again (please explain)[edit]

I don't really follow the thing about a single point when a missed field goal goes out of bounds. Is this saying that you're required to return a missed field goal or give up a point? Can the kicker score a point just by kicking the ball out the back of the end zone, even if it's not between the posts? I'm watching the Grey Cup now and don't really understand everything. --Trovatore 23:54, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

The idea behind the single point (rouge is an archaism in Canadian football nowadays - broadcasters generally use the single) is that someone (there is no requirement in either Canadian or American football that a kicker or punter has to kick the ball, after all) kicks the ball, and one of several things will happen:
  • a successful field goal attempt - that's three points
  • ball doesn't make it to the end zone - that's a really crappy football play
  • kick is blocked and all hell breaks loose
  • a kicking team member recovers the ball - unlikely
  • ball goes out of bounds at the end zone - a single
  • ball stays in end zone and someone has to return it - it's a single if the returner does not make it out of the end zone.
Hope that clears things up. kelvSYC 05:30, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
So on the last play of the game, at the opponents' 20, score tied, the kicker can win the game just by kicking the ball hard and not sweating accuracy at all? Actually from the way you phrase it, it sounds like he can win the game just by punting through the end zone. Is that really right? --Trovatore 18:51, 7 December 2005 (UTC)


Having said that, in such a situation a field goal is easier to make... kelvSYC 03:06, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

OK, I was thinking you could punt it in the air through the end zone—surely that's easier than a field goal. But by coincidence I was talking about this with someone today, and he said it had to touch the ground and then go out the back of the end zone. Is that so? If so, maybe something should be said about it in the article, because I didn't get that from what I read. --Trovatore 03:25, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
A kick that crosses the dead line or a side-line-in-goal without touching the ground or a player still scores one point (except kickoffs, where a player much touch the ball before a single can be scored). But in the situation you describe, a field goal is usually attempted. This may be because the field goal formation gives better protection to the kicker than the punt formation when all 12 defensive players are trying to block the kick. In a normal punt, only a handful of defenders seriously try to rush the punter, with the rest falling back to help with the return. But with no punt return possible, everybody would be rushing the punter. Indefatigable 15:21, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, that makes sense. --Trovatore 15:29, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd also like to add that punting it OB for the single from 20 or 30 yards isn't always a sure thing (in one game beteew BC and Saskatchewan, the game went into OT, the Riders failed on their attempt to score a TD, so all BC had to do was score 1 point to win the game, and instead of using two downs to get closer, HC Wally Bruno decided to punt the ball OB for the single, but the play failed as the returner was able to get the ball out of the end zone, Riders later won the game on a TD (2006 season)), and it's always better to go for 3 more points than 1, cuz you never know what will happen next in Canadian Football (like Miti Stegail's last second TD against Edmonton in 06)

Four downs in Quebec[edit]

The French version of this article says there are four downs in amateur Canadian football as played in Quebec. My translation:

In Quebec, high school and collegiate football is different from university and professional football. In effect, the rules are different. Teams have four downs instead of the three in Canadian football and there are 12 players on the field instead of the eleven of American football. The field is the same length as in Canadian football (i.e., 110 yards).

Is this verifiable? Indefatigable 18:41, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Some local amateur leagues choose to play 4 downs, the theory being that in developmental leagues, skills are more readily exercised using 4 downs because of the difficulties in sustaining a drive with three downs for less-than-skilled players. Otherwise, those leagues play Canadian rules. My recommendation is to insert a passage that in some parts of Canada, local organizers have chosen to play Canadian rules but with 4 downs in order to maximize the playing/development opportunities for young players.

I agree Canking 00:25, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I would agree that such a difference would warrant mention. The reason I say that is that most sports do vary rules by level, some of which affect play as much as, if not more so than the extra down. In any event, I believe the largest differentiation between the way football is played in Canada versus the states arises more from both the number of players and the size of the field than from the number of downs. I don't discount having three downs has an effect, but more that a larger field and more players is more conducive in general to passing than running67.142.178.21 (talk) 03:54, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

position descriptions[edit]

the description for "safety" doesn't really match current tactics. Safety has evolved into a DB/LB hybrid, particularly at the CFL level.

the "strong" and "weak side" linebacker nomenclature isn't close to universal - perhaps the simpler "outside linebacker" would suffice for purposes of this article.


Anyone got another picture of canadian football? Or is it just like American as far as uniform and ball and all... I actually did not read most of the article--not much time! :) --posted by cprussin when he was not logged in. :).

I just added a few pics. More would always be welcome. heqs 18:46, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Project[edit]

The American Football page has a box at the top stating "this project is part of the Wikipedia American Football" project. Should the same type of thing not be listed here for Wikipedia Canadian Football? Canking 11:08, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


Should this be merged with American Football since they are virtually the same thing? Armyrifle 23:16, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

There are significant differences between the two games even today, and they have very different histories. Also, the Canadian information would be swamped by the American information if the articles were merged. Also they are fairly large articles separately. --Rbraunwa 04:52, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
This sounds like a troll, Armyrifle9, so I'll just quietly agree with Rbraunwa. DoubleBlue (Talk) 13:33, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

it would be like merging the Rugby League and Rugby Union articles, American and Canadian GI are almost basically two different sports

The americanization of this page is ridiculous; to the vast majority of people in the world, football does not refer to American football. I was looking for info on the Canadian FA. "Soccer" is an anachronistic nickname and should not be used to refer to football. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I would hasten to point out that on the page for football, the article specifically mentions that the specific code of football that is being referred to is dependent entirely upon the region you're in, not the world at large. Furthermore, it is just as asinine to refer to association football as merely football as it is to refer to any other code. There is no clarity issue in that the pictures show immediately to which code is being referred.

I'd also like to point out that the term is not anachronistic in that it is in use by over 300 million English speakers, and the official title of that particular code of football from which the term "soccer" is derived is still "association football". To further drive home this point, there's around some additional 41 million English speakers for whom the term "football" does not necessarily automatically equate to association football, but one of the other codes of the sport.

I'm sorry, but this oft times arrogant supposition that two different and correct usages of a term are somehow not correct are beginning to annoy me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:12, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

CFD notice[edit]

See related discussion on categories here and here. heqs ·:. —Preceding comment was added at 22:12, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

NFL VS CFL[edit]

As NFL is internationaly more well known perhaps a section comparing CFL and NFL would help to explain the differences to ppl, myslef for example, who know NFL but not CFL. Just a suggestion brob (talk) 14:34, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

If you referring to the rules of the games, rules differences are covered at Comparison of Canadian and American football. Otherwise just read the Canadian Football League and National Football League articles. - BillCJ (talk) 15:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

CJFL is not a "Large" league[edit]

I removed the word large when referring to the CJFL because at 5 teams it is one of the smallest leagues in football. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 15 June 2009 (UTC)


Has there ever been a movement to "metricise" the Canadian football field? Since 110 yeards is roughly 100.5m, converting to a 100-meter-field would be do-able, as it would fit within the current dimensions. Just wondering if it's ever been brought up, and if it has, would it be worth mentioning in the article. - BilCat (talk) 06:01, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

The Football Canada rule book does include provisions for a metric field, but I don't know if those provisions have ever been used. Indefatigable (talk) 17:06, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Clarity issue[edit]

In the portion of the article where it talks about the dimensions of the field, it is written "1 yard (1m)" (or at least something to that effect). This is a little unclear as to meaning. It seems to draw an equivalency between a meter and a yard.

Is this supposed to mean that there are provisions in the rules for marking of the field in either yards or meters? (talk) 00:46, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Claim that first "gridiron" game was played in Toronto[edit]

The reference given doesn't state that the first "gridiron" or modern football game was played in Toronto. It doesn't even define what it's referring to: the first kick-ball game ever? The first Canadian football game? The first "gridiron" game? Furthermore, it goes on to claim that "One of the participants in the game involving University of Toronto students was (Sir) William Mulock, later Chancellor of the school. A football club was formed at the university soon afterward, although its rules of play at this stage are unclear" which is clearly not in the citation.

Mid 19th Century football with unknown rules is called rugby. See the intro to this article for a more nuanced approach to understanding the divergence of this game from rugby. --AntigrandiosËTalk 03:39, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Canadian football#Players picture and labels[edit]

I've added background colours to labels and made most of them 75% opaque (that is, 25% level of transparency, as I understand it). The 'defensive line' label was left without any background colour so that it would not block the players.

I took good care when positioning and colouring most of the labels to allow visibility of faces/helmets. The labels could be further repositioned to also show the players' hands.

There is some confusion over whether the defensive line consists of five players and whether the linebackers are just the two players between the defensive line (assuming it does consist of five players) and cornerback and defensive back.

If you've replied here, then it would be great if you notified me at my Talk, too. -Mardus (talk) 00:48, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Kicking Plays[edit]

The article states that: "Canadian football distinguishes three ways of kicking the ball." However, there are 4 ways (or even five) to kick outlined in the rulebook. The dribbled ball (kicked when the ball is loose) is permitted by any player and happens occasionally. See section 17 of the CFL rulebook. You could also include a fifth kicking play which would be an "open field kick" where the ball is punted during play (but not by the punter behind the line of scrimmage). For example, punting it out of the endzone to avoid the single or a forward pass to receiver who then punts it to try to score a desperation rouge or even to advance the ball to an onside player. It is worth mentioning these as they are unique features of Canadian Football. I would change it myself, but I don't want any grief. CaperBill (talk) 14:00, 18 July 2013 (UTC)


Good idea to add a section on CTE ? Ref 1 : Ref 2 : — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Field description[edit]

The Field description claims the goal line is drawn in white, but the included picture of commonwealth stadium shows a yellow goal line. Obviously not a huge point, but why describe the colour of lines as white if that is not always the case. Looking at some google images, it appears taylor field also has yellow goal line. I'm not sure what other stadiums use or if there is a specific rule on the colour of that line? I've found a picture of Ivor Wynne that appears to show white goal lines, but yellow centre line. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

The 2011 rule book: does not specify any specific colour for the field lines, I would think the wikipedia article should also not specify colour? Or maybe say something like "these lines are often white or yellow". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Prolate spheroid[edit]

I expect this has come up before, but what is the justfication for using an obscure geometrical term in the description of the ball?

Using 'prolate spheroid' might be justified by someone wishing to be exactly right, but looking at the page for that shape shows that it's wrong anyway, a canadian football is a vesica piscis in three dimensions.

Anyone object to me changing 'prolate spheroid ball' to 'pointed ball'. This is a good description of the ball which can be understood without clicking on the link. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:15, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

I think just "pointed ball" is a little too vague (sounds like it has one point). Perhaps a description following prolate spheroid: "...pointed prolate spheroid ball (elongated along one axis, with pointed ends)". isaacl (talk) 18:57, 26 November 2013 (UTC)