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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Massad

The CFL: A Dummies Guide to the CanadianFootball League

The CFL is a fast-paced and vigorous sport with unique regulations. This sets it apart from its American equivalent (NFL). The game features ultra-fast footballing action and high-scoring opportunities due to its unique structure and greater field size.

CFL: The Rules

Canadian football is a sport played by two teams, as both aim to earn points by moving the ball into the other team's end zone. Whichever side accumulates the most number of points after the game emerges as the winner.

There are twelve players fielded for each team simultaneously. Positions involve offensive players like running backs, quarterbacks, and receivers, as well as defensive players like linebackers, defensive backs and linemen. Additionally, a specialized staff is responsible for field goals, kickoffs, and punts.

Scoring in the CFL

  • Touchdown - If a player runs the ball into the opponent's end zone or receives a pass in the end zone, they get six points.

  • Field Goal - If a team cannot score a touchdown, they can try a field goal. This involves kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts and is worth three points. 

  • Rogue - If a kicked ball enters the end zone and is not returned during a kickoff, the kicking team earns one point. 

The NFL vs. The CFL 

The primary distinction between the Canadian Football League and the National Football League (NFL) is in the field measurements. The CFL's field dimensions exceed the NFL's in the USA, and the end zones are extended farther.

CFL teams have three downs to move the ball 10 yards and get a first down, unlike the usual four downs in conventional football. The CFL is often known as a "quarterback's league" because of its focus on passing plays. The expanded playing area and the regulation of three downs have resulted in a distinctive style of football that prioritizes innovative passing tactics.

The CFL features a crucial roster format that guarantees a substantial presence of Canadian players, emphasizing the league's dedication to supporting domestic talent.

However, one variable of professional football that doesn’t change is the sports wagering aspect. CFL and NFL are renowned for their love of sports wagering, and whether they’re fading their rival team or rooting for their local team on the point spread, each and every game day is filled with supporters and their bet types at betting sites in Canada and the USA. 


The CFL Grey Cup: Canadian Football’s Prized Possession 

The Grey Cup, which serves as the league's championship game each season, transcends mere athletics. It’s one Canadian tradition where a gathering of supporters and a weeklong festivity precede the Grey Cup championship contest. 

Each and every year, this event exemplifies the league's dedication to fostering community involvement and facilitating supporter interaction.

The Most-Known CFL Teams 

BC Lions 

Based in Vancouver, this team embodies the ethos of the West Coast via its strong resolve and unwavering commitment to greatness. Since their inception in 1954, the Lions have always impressed viewers with their dynamic plays and relentless determination. 

The BC Lions, with a tradition built on passion and determination, maintain their dominance on the field, enthralling fans with each score, interception, and thrilling moment. 

The Argonauts 

The Argos' heritage is deeply intertwined with Toronto's sports history, reflecting the city's legendary status. Established in 1873, they have the title of being the oldest professional football franchise in North America. 

The Argonauts wow viewers with their charm, drive, and pride as they showcase daring moves on the field, representing Toronto.

The CFL 2024 Regular Season 

The CFL will start its 2024 season with a Grey Cup rematch.

The CFL confirmed that the Montreal Alouettes, the Grey Cup champions, would begin the season by playing against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on June 6. The Als emerged victorious against the Bombers with a score of 28-24 in this year's final held at Tim Hortons Field.

Scott Milanovich will have his first game as head coach of the Tiger-Cats the next night when Hamilton plays against the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium. The game could include the return of experienced quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell to the city of Alberta.

Saskatchewan will play against the Edmonton Elks at Commonwealth Stadium on June 8 in the first game of the '24 season, which will also mark Corey Mace's debut as the Roughriders head coach. The Toronto Argonauts will host the B.C. Lions at BMO Field on June 9.

Ottawa Redblacks will play against Winnipeg on June 13 after having a bye in the first week, while Montreal will unveil their championship banner on June 20 before its home game versus Ottawa.



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