CANADIAN FOOTBALL (French :
In Canada, the term "FOOTBALL" may refer to
The CFL is the most popular and only major professional Canadian
football league. Its championship game, the
Other organizations across Canada perform senior league Canadian football during the summer.
* 1 History * 2 League play * 3 The field
* 4 Play of the game
* 4.1 Start of play * 4.2 Stoppage of play * 4.3 Scrimmage * 4.4 Change in possession * 4.5 Rules of contact * 4.6 Infractions and penalties * 4.7 Kicking
* 4.8 Scoring
* 4.8.1 Resumption of play
* 4.9 Game timing * 4.10 Overtime
* 5 Players
* 5.1 Offence
* 5.2 Defence
* 6 See also * 7 Notes and references * 8 External links
The first documented football match was a practice game played on
November 9, 1861, at University College , University of Toronto
(approximately 400 yards or 370 metres west of Queen's Park). One of
the participants in the game involving
University of Toronto
The first written account of a game played was on October 15, 1862,
on the Montreal
This rugby-football soon became popular at Montreal's McGill
University . McGill challenged
The first attempt to establish a proper governing body and adopted
the current set of Rugby rules was the Foot Ball Association of
Canada, organized on March 24, 1873 followed by the Canadian Rugby
Burnside rules closely resembling
The CFL hosted the
Touchdown Atlantic regular season game at Nova
Scotia in 2005 and New Brunswick in 2010, 2011 and 2013. In 2013,
Newfoundland and Labrador became the last province to establish
football at the minor league level, with teams playing on the Avalon
Peninsula and in Labrador City. The province however has yet to host a
college or CFL game.
Prince Edward Island
A game between the Hamilton Tigers and the
Ottawa Rough Riders
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Amateur football is governed by
Semi-professional leagues have grown in popularity in recent years,
with the Alberta
Women's football is starting to gain attention in Canada. The first
Canadian women's league to begin operations was the Maritime Women\'s
Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium , in 2005, the largest venue in
Canadian Football League
PLAY OF THE GAME
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Teams advance across the field through the execution of quick, distinct plays, which involve the possession of a brown, prolate spheroid ball with ends tapered to a point. The ball has two one-inch-wide white stripes.
START OF PLAY
At the beginning of a match, an official tosses a coin and allows the captain of the visiting team call heads or tails. The captain of the team winning the coin toss is given the option of having first choice, or of deferring first choice to the other captain. The captain making first choice may either choose a) to kick off or receive the kick and the beginning of the half, or b) which direction of the field to play in. The remaining choice is given to the opposing captain. Before the resumption of play in the second half, the captain that did not have first choice in the first half is given first choice. Teams usually choose to defer, so it is typical for the team that wins the coin toss to kick to begin the first half and receive to begin the second.
Play begins at the start of each half with one team place-kicking the ball from its own 35-yard line. Both teams then attempt to catch the ball. The player who recovers the ball may run while holding the ball, or lateral throw the ball to a teammate.
STOPPAGE OF PLAY
Play stops when the ball carrier's knee, elbow, or any other body part aside from the feet and hands, is forced to the ground (a tackle); when a forward pass is not caught on the fly (during a scrimmage); when a touchdown (see below) or a field goal is scored; when the ball leaves the playing area by any means (being carried, thrown, or fumbled out of bounds); or when the ball carrier is in a standing position but can no longer move forwards (called forward progress). If no score has been made, the next play starts from scrimmage.
Before scrimmage, an official places the ball at the spot it was at
the stop of clock, but no nearer than 24 yards from the sideline or 1
yard from the goal line. The line parallel to the goal line passing
through the ball (line from sideline to sideline for the length of the
ball) is referred to as the line of scrimmage. This line is similar to
"no-man\'s land "; players must stay on their respective sides of this
line until the play has begun again. For a scrimmage to be valid the
team in possession of the football must have seven players, excluding
the quarterback, within one yard of the line of scrimmage. The
defending team must stay a yard or more back from the line of
Montreal Alouettes quarterback
Anthony Calvillo looks
down field with the ball during the 93rd
On the field at the beginning of a play are two teams of 12 (unlike 11 in American football). The team in possession of the ball is the offence and the team defending is referred to as the defence. Play begins with a backwards pass through the legs (the snap) by a member of the offensive team, to another member of the offensive team. This is usually the quarterback or punter, but a "direct snap" to a running back is also not uncommon. If the quarterback or punter receives the ball, he may then do any of the following:
* run with the ball, attempting to run farther down field (gaining yardage). The ball-carrier may run in any direction he sees fit (including backwards). * drop-kick the ball, dropping it onto the ground and kicking it on the bounce. (This play is exceedingly rare in both Canadian and American football.) * pass the ball laterally or backwards to a teammate. This play is known as a lateral, and may come at any time on the play. A pass which has any amount of forward momentum is a forward pass (see below); forward passes are subject to many restrictions which do not apply to laterals. * hand-off—hand the ball off to a teammate, typically a halfback or the fullback. * punt the ball; dropping it in the air and kicking it before it touches the ground. When the ball is punted, only opposing players (the receiving team), the kicker, and anyone behind the kicker when he punted the ball are able to touch the ball, or even go within five yards of the ball until it is touched by an eligible player (the no-yards rule, which is applied to all kicking plays). * place the ball on the ground for a place kick
* throw a forward pass , where the ball is thrown to a receiver located farther down field (closer to the opponent's goal) than the thrower is. Forward passes are subject to the following restrictions:
* They must be made from behind the line of scrimmage * Only one forward pass may be made on a play * The pass must be made in the direction of an eligible receiver or pass 10 yards after the line of scrimmage
Each play constitutes a down. The offence must advance the ball at least ten yards towards the opponents' goal line within three downs or forfeit the ball to their opponents. Once ten yards have been gained the offence gains a new set of three downs (rather than the four downs given in American football). Downs do not accumulate. If the offensive team completes 10 yards on their first play, they lose the other two downs and are granted another set of three. If a team fails to gain ten yards in two downs they usually punt the ball on third down or try to kick a field goal (see below), depending on their position on the field. The team may, however use its third down in an attempt to advance the ball and gain a cumulative 10 yards.
CHANGE IN POSSESSION
The ball changes possession in the following instances:
* If the offence scores a field goal, the scored-against team can either scrimmage from its 35-yard line or have the scoring team kickoff from its 35-yard line. * If a team scores a touchdown, the scoring team must kickoff from their own 35-yard line. * If the defence scores on a safety (bringing the ball down in the offence's own end zone), they have the right to claim possession. * If one team kicks the ball; the other team has the right to recover the ball and attempt a return. If a kicked ball goes out of bounds, or the kicking team scores a single or field goal as a result of the kick, the other team likewise gets possession. * If the offence fails to make ten yards in three plays, the defence takes over on downs. * If the offence attempts a forward pass and it is intercepted by the defence; the defence takes possession immediately (and may try to advance the ball on the play). Note that incomplete forward passes (those which go out of bounds, or which touch the ground without being first cleanly caught by a player) result in the end of the play, and are not returnable by either team. * If the offence fumbles (a ball carrier drops the football, or has it dislodged by an opponent, or if the intended player fails to catch a lateral pass or a snap from centre, or a kick attempt is blocked by an opponent), the ball may be recovered (and advanced) by either team. If a fumbled ball goes out of bounds, the team whose player last touched it is awarded possession at the spot where it went out of bounds. A fumble by the offence in their own end zone, which goes out of bounds, results in a safety. * When the first half ends, the team which kicked to start the first half will receive a kickoff to start the second half.
* After the three-minute warning near the end of each half, the offence can lose possession for a time count violation (failure to legally put the ball into play within the 20-second duration of the play clock). However, this can only occur in one very specific scenario:
* The offence committed a time count violation on its last attempted scrimmage play. * This prior violation took place on third down. * The referee deemed said violation to be deliberate, and warned the offence that it had to legally place the ball into play within the 20-second clock or lose possession. Such a loss of possession is statistically treated as the defence taking over on downs.
RULES OF CONTACT
There are many rules to contact in this type of football. First, the only player on the field who may be legally tackled is the player currently in possession of the football (the ball carrier). Second, a receiver, that is to say, an offensive player sent down the field to receive a pass, may not be interfered with (have his motion impeded, be blocked, etc.) unless he is within one yard of the line of scrimmage (instead of 5 yards (4.6 m) in American football). Any player may block another player's passage, so long as he does not hold or trip the player he intends to block. The kicker may not be contacted after the kick but before his kicking leg returns to the ground (this rule is not enforced upon a player who has blocked a kick), and the quarterback, having already thrown the ball, may not be hit or tackled.
INFRACTIONS AND PENALTIES
Infractions of the rules are punished with penalties, typically a loss of yardage of 5, 10 or 15 yards against the penalized team. Minor violations such as offside (a player from either side encroaching into scrimmage zone before the play starts) are penalized five yards, more serious penalties (such as holding) are penalized 10 yards, and severe violations of the rules (such as face-masking) are typically penalized 15 yards. Depending on the penalty, the penalty yardage may be assessed from the original line of scrimmage, from where the violation occurred (for example, for a pass interference infraction), or from where the ball ended after the play. Penalties on the offence may, or may not, result in a loss of down; penalties on the defence may result in a first down being automatically awarded to the offence. For particularly severe conduct, the game official(s) may eject players (ejected players may be substituted for), or in exceptional cases, declare the game over and award victory to one side or the other. Penalties do not affect the yard line which the offence must reach to gain a first down (unless the penalty results in a first down being awarded); if a penalty against the defence results in the first down yardage being attained, then the offence is awarded a first down.
If the defence is penalized on a two-point convert attempt and the offence chooses to attempt the play again, the offence must attempt another two-point convert; it cannot change to a one-point attempt. Conversely, the offence can attempt a two-point convert following a defensive penalty on a one-point attempt.
Penalties may occur before a play starts (such as offside), during the play (such as holding), or in a dead-ball situation (such as unsportsmanlike conduct ).
Penalties never result in a score for the offence. For example, a
point-of-foul infraction committed by the defence in their end zone is
not ruled a touchdown, but instead advances the ball to the one-yard
line with an automatic first down. For a distance penalty, if the
yardage is greater than half the distance to the goal line, then the
ball is advanced half the distance to the goal line, though only up to
the one-yard line (unlike American football, in
In most cases, the non-penalized team will have the option of declining the penalty; in which case the results of the previous play stand as if the penalty had not been called. One notable exception to this rule is if the kicking team on a 3rd down punt play is penalized before the kick occurs: the receiving team may not decline the penalty and take over on downs. After the kick is made, change of possession occurs and subsequent penalties are assessed against either the spot where the ball is caught, or the runback.
On any kicking play, all onside players (the kicker, and teammates behind the kicker at the time of the kick) may recover and advance the ball. Players on the kicking team who are not onside may not approach within five yards of the ball until it has been touched by the receiving team, or by an onside teammate.
The methods of scoring are:
Resumption Of Play
Resumption of play following a score is conducted under procedures which vary with the type of score.
* Following a touchdown and convert attempt (successful or not), play resumes with the scoring team kicking off from its own 35-yard line (45-yard line in amateur leagues). * Following a field goal, the non-scoring team may choose for play to resume either with a kickoff as above, or by scrimmaging the ball from its own 35-yard line. * Following a safety, the scoring team may choose for play to resume in either of the above ways, or it may choose to kick off from its own 35-yard line. * Following a single or rouge , play resumes with the non-scoring team scrimmaging from its own 35-yard line, unless the single is awarded on a missed field goal, in which case the non-scoring team scrimmages from either the 35-yard line or the yard line from which the field goal was attempted, whichever is greater.
The game consists of two 30-minute halves, each of which is divided into two 15-minute quarters. The clock counts down from 15:00 in each quarter. Timing rules change when there are three minutes remaining in a half. A short break interval of 2 minutes occurs after the end of each quarter (a longer break of 15 minutes at halftime), and the two teams then change goals.
In the first 27 minutes of a half, the clock stops when:
* points are scored, * the ball goes out of bounds, * a forward pass is incomplete, * the ball is dead and a penalty flag has been thrown, * the ball is dead and teams are making substitutions (e.g., possession has changed, punting situation, short yardage situation), * the ball is dead and a player is injured, or * the ball is dead and a captain or a coach calls a time-out .
The clock starts again when the referee determines the ball is ready for scrimmage, except for team time-outs (where the clock starts at the snap), after a time count foul (at the snap) and kickoffs (where the clock starts not at the kick but when the ball is first touched after the kick).
In the last three minutes of a half, the clock stops whenever the ball becomes dead. On kickoffs, the clock starts when the ball is first touched after the kick. On scrimmages, when it starts depends on what ended the previous play. The clock starts when the ball is ready for scrimmage except that it starts on the snap when on the previous play
* the ball was kicked off, * the ball was punted, * the ball changed possession, * the ball went out of bounds, * there were points scored, * there was an incomplete forward pass, * there was a penalty applied (not declined), or * there was a team time-out.
During the last three minutes of a half, the penalty for failure to place the ball in play within the 20-second play clock, known as "time count" (this foul is known as "delay of game" in American football), is dramatically different from during the first 27 minutes. Instead of the penalty being 5 yards with the down repeated, the base penalty (except during convert attempts) becomes loss of down on first or second down, and 10 yards on third down with the down repeated. In addition, as noted previously, the referee can give possession to the defence for repeated deliberate time count violations on third down.
The clock does not run during convert attempts in the last three minutes of a half. If the 15 minutes of a quarter expire while the ball is live, the quarter is extended until the ball becomes dead. If a quarter's time expires while the ball is dead, the quarter is extended for one more scrimmage. A quarter cannot end while a penalty is pending: after the penalty yardage is applied, the quarter is extended one scrimmage. Note that the non-penalized team has the option to decline any penalty it considers disadvantageous, so a losing team cannot indefinitely prolong a game by repeatedly committing infractions.
In the CFL, if the game is tied at the end of regulation play, then each team is given an equal number of offensive possessions to break the tie. A coin toss is held to determine which team will take possession first; the first team scrimmages the ball at the opponent's 35-yard line and conducts a series of downs until it scores or loses possession. If the team scores a touchdown, starting with the 2010 season, it is required to attempt a two-point conversion. The other team then scrimmages the ball at the opponent's 35-yard line and has the same opportunity to score. After the teams have completed their possessions, if one team is ahead, then it is declared the winner; otherwise, the two teams each get another chance to score, scrimmaging from the other 35-yard line. After this second round, if there is still no winner, during the regular season the game ends as a tie. In a playoff game, the teams continue to attempt to score from alternating 35-yard lines, until one team is leading after both have had an equal number of possessions.
running back quarter- back slot- back slot- backs offensive line wide receiver wide receiver defensive line line- backers umpire cornerback defensive backs defensive backs corner- back
University of Alberta Golden Bears (yellow and white, offence)
are first-and-ten at their 54-yard line against the
The offensive positions found in
Specific offensive positions include: Backs/Receivers Quarterback
Generally the leader of the offence. Calls all plays to teammates,
receives the ball off of snap, and initiates the action usually by
running the ball himself, passing the ball to a receiver, or handing
the ball off to another back. Fullback Multiple roles including pass
protection, receiving, and blocking for the running back. On short
yardage situations may also carry the ball. Running back/Tailback As
the name implies, the main runner on the team. Also an eligible
receiver and blocker on pass plays.
Wide receiver Lines up on the line
of scrimmage, usually at a distance from the centre. Runs a given
route to make a successful play catch ball and gain yardage, not that
a tight end can count as an eligible receiver so if one is on the wide
outs field that the wideout cannot be on the line of scrimmage and may
adopt a slotback start.
The rules do not constrain how the defence may arrange itself (other
than the requirement that they must remain one yard behind the line of
scrimmage until the play starts).
Comparison of American and Canadian football
Glossary of Canadian football
* List of
Gridiron football teams in Canada
Comparison of Canadian football and rugby league
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ A B C "Timeline 1860s". Official Site of the Canadian Football