defensive halfback
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The halfback in
Canadian football Canadian football () is a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cas ...

Canadian football
, and most commonly the
Canadian Football League The Canadian Football League (CFL; french: Ligue canadienne de football, LCF, links=no) is a professional sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains ...
, currently refers to the
defensive back In gridiron football Gridiron football,"Gridiron football"
''Encyclopæd ...
rather than the
running back A running back (RB) is a member of the offensive backfield in gridiron football. The primary roles of a running back are to receive American football plays#Offensive terminology, handoffs from the quarterback to Rush (American football)#Offense, ...
, as in
American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football field, field with goalposts at each end. The offense ...

American football
. The defensive halfback lines up inside covering the
slotback Slotback, sometimes referred to as an A-back or "slot receiver", is a position in gridiron football Gridiron football,cornerback A cornerback (CB) is a members of the defensive backfield or secondary in gridiron football. Cornerbacks cover Wide receiver, receivers most of the time, but also blitz and defend against such Play from scrimmage, offensive running plays as sweep ...

cornerback
to assist the
linebacker A linebacker (LB or backer) is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards (4 m) behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. They rep ...

linebacker
s in stopping the run. They can also be seen backing off the line early, to counter the forward
motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its position (mathematics), position over time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of Displacem ...
of a slotback, which is allowed before the snap in the CFL. The cause of the difference in naming between the two positions between the American and Canadian game, which otherwise uses the same names for positions, stems from the early history of the game. In both games, the early formations featured identical offensive and defensive formations, with seven down linemen and four players (five in Canada) in the backfield. Thus, both the offense ''and'' defense had quarterbacks, halfbacks and fullbacks. Over the course of the 20th century, the American and Canadian games both placed an increased emphasis on
forward pass In several forms of football Football is a family of team sport A team is a formations._Furthermore,_the_abolition_of_the_one-platoon_system.html" ;"title="formation (American football)">formations. Furthermore, the abolition of the one-platoon system">formation (American football)">formations. Furthermore, the abolition of the one-platoon system in the 1940s led to a tendency for position names being used on only one side of the ball. The American game, which still held a significant running component (modern American football is more balanced between both running and passing), kept two running backs, which led to the retention of the "halfback" and "fullback" identifications on that side of the ball. In Canadian football, however, passing was (and still is) a greater portion of the game (due in part to the larger field and one less down (American football), down in that game) and only one running back was regularly used, leading to the offensive distinction between halfback and fullback eventually becoming obsolete. Historically, the offensive halfback was similar to a
slotback Slotback, sometimes referred to as an A-back or "slot receiver", is a position in gridiron football Gridiron football,

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