Canadian Football in High School

Why is it that Football Canada and the CFL do not mandate a consistent form of football across high school and varsity programs nation wide?

I know in the Hamilton Catholic league, it is Canadian rules + 4 downs. Correct me if I'm wrong but I beleive in BC they play American football in high school? Some regions play 3 down ball.

Wouldn't it be beneficial to the future of Canadian talent to be playing 3 down ball earlier? Wouldn't this bode well for the development of Canadian talent especially in the passing game?

only in the Weird Provinces do they play Canadian Rules and 4 downs... :roll:

Alberta and Saskatchewan are CFL Rules.. and Manitoba I believe as well.

I can't imagine why there's so much hostility among the provinces...

using 4 downs to play CFL style football is an insult to our tradition of Canadian rules… how stupid!

If that’s the case in those provinces, good on them. I think it would be a good initiative for the CFL, CIS and Football Canada to get all the high school programs across the country on the same page. I understand development football will have minor rule differences for the safety of the inexperienced player (i.e. no down by contact, high punts blown dead etc.) but 3 down football is pretty integral to the Canadian game.

My high school football experience was Canadian rules & 4 downs. Having a 65 yard wide field and 4 downs to play with effectively killed the passing game. We threw maybe 10 times a game if that. I’m not expecting 14 to 17 year olds to be throwing 30 yards down field every other play but I would like to see high school programs spread it out a little. We played all I-formation with a lot of 3 back power sets too. I was a receiver and crackback blocked LBs and DEs more than I ran passing routes. Not that I didn’t enjoy trying to surprise the odd defensive lineman whilst having been 135 lbs dripping wet myself.

When I was in high school way back, we played 3 downs and rarely passed, we practiced running the ball a lot and had good runners. I remember my first year grade 9 junior, we used a 3 back I formation set for the most part. The first game we had 6 plays, 1 was passing. We won the game 3-0. Just because you have 3 downs doesn't mean necessarily you have to pass often if you have an excellent running game.

I think it’s common everywhere, even here… that a lot of High School coaches don’t think their players know a whole lot or are capable on handling complex forms of offense.

they also don’t have a QB that has a good arm and good footwork. So they don’t throw a lot… they’ll go with what is easiest to teach, RUNNING THE BALL!!! :cry: zzzzz

now where I am, Spruce Grove, Alberta. the High School team was called Parkland Predators, now Spruce Grove Panthers (why they changed??)


they pass quite often! matter of fact I watched a game LAST season, and they threw like 65% of the time… and it wasn’t simple like 5 and outs and flare patterns,

they were complex, like rolling out, fancy patterns crossing routes. etc.

stuff that a lot of college teams and even Pro teams use here! and I love it!

They did manage to win the City Championship in 08… so go figure :smiley:

the team I played for, Jasper Place Rebels in Edmonton… my oh my… :frowning:

run run run… and when they passed, it was crap… boring patterns, very predictable.

the coached focused heavily on the run game… pulling guards, the QB was basically so basic,… a circus monkey could have handed the ball off!

Now I don’t know exactly why one team uses the pass so effectively, and another team does not throw very much ever… but I do know one thing …

the players on the Spruce Grove team are averaging 6-7 years of playing experience before they even get to the High School team…

and the Edmonton Jasper Place team, are averaging 1-2 years of experience.

so no wonder the SG team beats the crap out of JP game after game… because they’ve got players with 4-5 more years experience than most of them…

They should try and make a universal game across Canada call it Canadian highshool football. Go with 4 downs and the rest CFL rules. I can see with 3 downs there would be too much punting, I wouldnt want that if I was playing.Maybe a little smaller width of the field as well.

Canadian field with Canadian rules but with 4 downs is a developmental variant of our game.

It allows for more passing attempts for kids.


True story behind American football rules in B.C high schools.

Years ago, in the 1940's and early 50's there was only 1 then a couple of high schools in Vancouver that played football. Because of the no competition they played american football rules to play games south of the border against Washington state teams. Vancouver College high school was the first to play football and played against the only competition which was american schools. Because of the close proximity of small town washington state high schools ( Richmond and Fraser Valley schools are actually closer to some Washington state small town schools than they are to Canadian high school teams in their leagues), and as explained above , B.C. high schools have just stuck with American rules for all these years and good B.C. high school teams continue to play exhibition games south of the border I am told. For awhile, Simon Fraser University played in the NAIA Div. 2 American league and it was easier for B.C. high school kids to make the jump to universtiy ball because they were familiar with the rules. In fact, UBC and SFU continue once in awhile to play exhibition games against american univerisities. Certainly inn the Frank Smith era at UBC they always had american exhibition games to get ready for the annual Shrum Bowl which pitted SFU (american rules ) vs. UBC. For awhile, until SFU joined the CIS, the Shrum Bowl alternated rules between Canadian one year and American the next. Strange but true. Also of interest is that Canadian Junior club football played in B.C. plays Canadian rules consistent with the rest of the country because their playoffs lead to Western Canadian and Canadian championships playing of course Canadian rules. :cowboy:

Only one correction on your post Turkeybend, SFU played NAIA Division 1 Football…the rest of it sounds about right to me. I know a few B.C. teams came down to the Bellingham area this fall and won the three or four games they played against the local high schools.

Manitoba is Canadian rules or was back in 1981-82 when I played.

what the hell is wrong with you?

you gotta learn 3 down football.. what does does that do when you go to College?

that's gotta be the absolutely most stupidest Idea ever!

you do NOT change rules for the sake of making it "easier" BS! total BS!

those kids have to learn how to play 3 down football from the beginning! you do NOT mess around with the rules.

i think that it wouldn't hurt playing 4 down football for Junior programs, but once you hit the senior program, it should be same as CIS as that is the only legit way to get scouted.

ever played football? do you have any idea how different it would be for a young kid to go from 4 downs to three?

forget it.. that's dumb.

Actually I have played football for about the last five years, i had to quit this year do to injuries, I have a fairly good resume for High School. So nice try on questioning that, but how would that be very hard at all? All they would have to do is change the offensive strategy, thats all, the quarter back might need to change his way of playing a bit but not drastically.

ya try telling that to the American players that come here and try to change their game to play CFL...

notice how many of them fail?

you can't have a 16 year old play 4 down football for 1 maybe 2 years and then suddenly play 3 down for 1 year 2 at the most?

it's hard enough for them to learn the game for 3 down..

The league is filled with American talent?? And most of the kids from there have played AMERICAN rules for min 10 years! These kids would be playing it for what, 5 max? and they would still be using CANADIAN rules, just one more down for a couple years!


maybe 15 years ago

now a days there are kids who play 3 down football for 10 years before they even get to College!

minor football allows a kid to play 6-7 years Max before they hit High School. in Canada..

by the time they're in College they have 10 years under their belt.

Well I'm sorry my town had that growing up, I started in grade 8. So maybe if they had those younger kids playing 4 downs, SAME RULES one more down, less punting, more fun for THEM. then once they hit grade 8-9 start making the transition into playing 3 downs. It would help them learn the game a bit better, have a bit more fun, and then once High School hits and the serious football starts, when their body can handle the throws, that will make it even more fun.
I doubt that kids who start really young throw the ball once, so you make one kid run the whole game? maybe with 4 downs the younger kids could maybe get into a lot more passing, which would then help them once they start playing 3 down football