CFL Trying to do away with Non Import Rule

Sorry, but the days of players playing both ways, and some vet American players qualifying as non-imports were long gone by the day of CFL attendance records , popularity and great football. Argos top average was 47K plus in 76; Als averaged close to 60K in 77; the Esks averaged close to 58K in 82.

And those days featured plenty of top notch American talent for sure, but also 10 or more Canadian starters and a majority of Canadian players on rosters. The Ottawa Rough Riders great GC 68-69 teams were led by Russ Jackson at QB, Whit Tucker at receiver, Ronnie Stewart at RB, Mo Racine at OT - best in the league calibre players who were Canadians. Those are some facts.

The Canadian talent pool is IMO stronger & deeper than ever - top notch Canadian programs like Laval. Montreal Carabins and Regina Rams (have produced several NFLers) were not around before but are going strong now; lots of Canadians continue to get fine US college ball training and plenty of them will come home to play in the CFL; and Junior ball is still going strong (produced the best tailback in the CFL in Harris; Jevon Cottoy with BC). CEGEP football is huge in Quebec. The puny notion that Canada has little football participation nowdays is garbage.

The push to more American players in the CFL is coming from the American coaches who prefer their guys - easier for them to find and cheaper in some cases. And this trend has NOT led to increased CFL popularity or better football - that should be quite obvious. Just not to some who have been sold a Canadian inferiority complex bill of phony goods.


I do like the idea of Canadians on a roster but not having to start. It makes the roster and game management much easier.

It's hard enough to compile a championship roster without having to juggle the ratio.

The best Canadian players don't play anyways, just the ones that fit the roster composition the best.

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Just be the best Canadian Football League you can be and leave it at that. Don't play hardball with either the government (asking for $120 million in 2020 was ridiculous) or the union (the initial 10 year deal with no cap increase and getting rid of the ratio is equally ridiculous). As a league, you must be humble, because you have nowhere near the leverage or popular support that you think you do. Leave the Canadian ratio as is (maybe eliminate the need for Canadian starters, but leave the roster number in tact), develop the Global players in order to secure international TV contracts and increase revenue, and try to bring in exciting players from the US in the skilled positions that have been overlooked, as was done in the past. The league has suffered recently because generally the players and the quality of the game hasn't been as good, whether that is because of COVID and the lack of practice, or the lack of good quarterbacking. The rules don't need to change, the ratio doesn't need to change, the CBA should be a reasonable compromise, and hopefully the upcoming season can be an exciting one with a great Grey Cup in Regina. The above should be the focus, nothing else.


Well said. It is almost like they are trying to nip Canadian talent in the bud just as it is ready to blossom. Self interests by some no doubt.

Build a shrine to Charleston Hughes or whatever you like but rolling out 38 year old talent is lame especially with his import status. Playing for league minimum to extend his career hurts new player development.

Ban all Americans past 30 and the football would be just as good.

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The fact is, an American executive or a GM of a CFL squad – especially one who just joins the team – is going to do what all the previous ones used to do: try to get players and assistant coaches from the university or college team they used to coach or play for. Americans are sentimental people like that. This is why they often bring a relatively big name up here and the guy quite often – not always, but quite often – will be a bust.

It also explains why most American coaches will not even look at a Canadian player for certain positions (I know, QB is the obvious one). This is actually an anti-competitive bias in the context of potential Canadian players, many who have been shown to be stars in the CFL. And if you look at the number of Canadian players playing in the NFL now you see that trend is upward, not down. So this belies the argument that Canadian players are just not good enough.

But I can guarantee if you remove the quota you will see almost every team go down to maybe one or two Canadian players. Because American players are cheaper to pay and because there are so many more of them.

Well, this CFL fan WANTS to see Canadian players. They are part of the game. They do NOT handicap the Canadian teams. The game is the exciting game it is because of the rules, yes, but also because of the players – including the Canadians.

You can guarantee a good number of us CFL fans will stop watching if they drop the quota, change the number of downs or the field size. Those are all red lines for me.


Well said.

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It's funny, I agree with you and I have to wonder what is the motivation for some of these commenters here when they throw up their hands and say we have to go to American rules, we have to drop the quota, we have to merge with the XFL.

Come on, guys, why the inferiority complex? Why hate on all things Canadian? Are you embarrassed? Or are you just so fully immersed in US culture and NFL propaganda?

I watch both leagues. They are different, admit it. Not in a bad way. The Canadian game has for me, some distinct advantages. So why get rid of it?

It's like the one or two guys I see who come to our Redblacks games wearing a Patriots or Packers jersey. It's kinds sad, really.


I guess you don't go far enough back when we were talking about 12 imports per team. Clarke, Civic, Varsity etc.

Oh I do but I was discussing a bit later
I remember Clarke, Empire ( when it had the largest capacity) previous Molson where I used to attend McGill and Alouettes games before the Autostade. Lots of games at Varsity stadium 25,000 capacity
But we used to fill the Big O Commonwealth etc with 60,000 plus and the teams played more Canadians

Canadians love to be negative about themselves and envy all things American at the same time as they criticize Canadians for “failing” without supporting their efforts
It’s been an especially Toronto area thing


The CHEAPNESS of Americans as there are sooooo many basically the same level is what owners want
Imagine the revolving door if they get rid of Canadians

The all-American hero worshipper / wannabe thing is all over our country, though Toronna may lead the way.

Lots of CFL "fans" on various internet forums can be found bad-mouthing Canadian football talent and calling for more Americans (not that they can name any specific ones, they just assume they are automatically superior) - it's really sad / pathetic, but somehow telling and typically Canadian.

The Americans running the CFL invite way more American players to try-out in TCs and limit Canadian players' chances to certain pre-determined positions (can be 7 only) while they reserve other positions for their favored guys. This is very sad/ disgusting bias, IMO. Only in Canada would such a storied, historic league be allowed to evolve that way I believe. Pity ;o)


Bang on. Dizzy already

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The league would die if you banned American quarterbacks past 30. The talent level at QB in the CFL is lower than it's ever been. If you banned guys like Michael Reilly it would have deprived the fans of 6 seasons and Edmonton wouldn't have won the Cup in 2015.

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So what you're saying is basically let's just go full Logan's Run on all American players then ?


There might be three of us on here that got that reference without Google... Lol

I would say you, myself, and @Mark.

My Farrah Fawcett poster says you are wrong


I think a lot of people have seen Logan's Run. It's a sci-fi classic.



The rules make the CFL Canadian not the players.
If the CFL goes to 4 downs there would be no reason to watch the CFL.
People would just watch the NFL.
The roster rules are to complicated.
Just have 24 non Americans and 20 Americans.
If they want to start 20 Americans fine.
If they want 5 quarterbacks fine.