CFL vs NFL - should the CFL adopt a change or two?

I have finally started watching the NFL and I have noticed a few things that I wonder would they make the CFL better or worse.

First is the 1 yard rule. What exactly does this serve besides making a 3rd and 1 an almost automatic unless you hand it off 5 yards deep? Should the CFL go to lining up on the ball? Of course that could kill the run too; perhaps those more in the know can explain what exactly this rule does.

Goal posts: Ours are at the front of the end zone which puts them into play. Many times they have blocked a route or created a dead ball pass. Should they be moved to the back of the end zone so they are not potential play makers/killers? If they are the end zone would probably have to be shortened I would think, or you kick FG from the 20.

I have also noticed that the NFL teams almost always use 6 OL while the CFL uses 5, and we have an extra man. I guess the 4th down allows for that with more of a running game. Tried watching Greenbay/Falcons game and GB ran about 70% of the time, very boring; meanwhile ATL passed about 70% of the time and it was more exciting.

The NFL uses 5OL and a TE. Not 6 OL.

The CFL needs the goal posts at the front because the end zone is deeper, and because of the rouge and no Touchbacks rules.

I don't know what the one yard rule does, but I like it. Whenever a fellow citizen of the States thinks that they have these Canadian rules all figured out, I can always spring that one on them because it's the last one that anyone ever notices.

The 1 yard rule probably is in because of 3 downs, that would be my guess .

I'd go with that answer too. However, what does and has some kind annoyance is this - Offense has second and goal from the 1 yard line and the Defense gets called for offside and the ball stays at the 1 yard. Seems to me the D gets rewarded as the ball can not go any further to the goal line. I'd like to see the ball go to the 18 inch (half yard line) and no further, but this penalty is only applied half the distance from the one yard line. The annoying part is the defense can pull off this off-side tactic more than once, get away with it as the football still stays at the one. That's my two cents anyway.

How about 4 downs on a Canadian sized field with the 11 men per side?
Can you imagine the wide open offense generated?

If I recall correctly, when they switched to a down system from the rugby-style scrimmage, the CFL just kept the 1-yard separation but the NFL did away with it.

American football actually used to use 3 downs as well, but when they switched from needing 5 yards for a first down to 10 yards, they added the extra down.

I would like to see an NFL game on a CFL field and a CFL game on an NFL field.

With both leagues working closertogether, I would think they could learn something from the experiment. If it was doneduring preseason I bet the TV ratings would be high and create quite a buzz.

Studythe 1 yard off the ball, which ever is better for the players I would be in favor of. Someone mentioned that the CFL leads with the hands not the head. might be true

While true you are forgetting the down is replayed. And as difficult as it is to stop a team from the 1 when you have to give a yard at the LoS, to deliberately go offside backfires hard when you stop the offense especially for a loss.

Don't forget....3rd and goal from the one and the D goes offside....Its an automatic first down

My NFL adoption rule from the half yard line; instead of automatic first down from the 1 - second down over, half the distance to the goal and 4th down applied. Just an idea for thought.

Actually, CFL teams are using a sixth o-lineman on more than half the snaps this year, I believe. DTonTSN has tracked such usage. So it amounts to a non-catching tight end.

  1. No. The 1 yard makes the D work and encourages the run in a league that is pass heavy.

  2. No. Makes sense in the NFL where the end zone is only 10 yards but not in the larger CFL end zone and I would be against any move to shorten the end zone. The larger end zones open up opportunities to the offense especially inside the 10 and make that part of the game more exciting.

  3. M'eh. Coaches will do whatever works best and is most successful.

Agree moses. With just 3 downs, it makes sense to have the one yard to make running a bit easier, no question. And yes, again with 3 downs, the larger endzone opens up more opportunities as you say.

I would be in favor of the ball being moved closer to the goal line during penalty situations.
Forget about penalties; if the offensive team starts with the ball on the one yard line and advances the ball to within an inch of the goal line but doesn't break the plain, they get moved back to the one yard line for the next down. I think the team should be allowed to keep what they have gained for the next down.
Conversely, the defensive team should be allowed to line up head up on the ball ONLY in those goal line situations. Might make for some interesting substitutions and roster decisions for coaches.

Interesting EVM but I'm wondering if the defense is allowed to be right at the ball like American football, inside the one yard line as you say, would that discourage coaches from going for it? I think they should still have to be a yard off the ball inside the one, I mean even now with giving a yard it's no gimme when it's just one yard to go for a first down. They have to put some hashlines in the endzone though.

But no question, it does add some extra intrigue and decision making as you say if they were nose to nose in that situation.

American football is the only code of football where the goal posts are not coincident with the goal line. End zones in gridiron football were contrived as an appendage to the field to accommodate the forward pass when the forward pass was introduced.

By the time the forward pass made it to American football, games were being played in enclosed stadiums, often baseball stadiums. So American end zones we created by taking 5 yards of each end of the then 110 yard field of play and extending each end a further 5 yards for the 10 yard end zones you see today coupled with a 100 yard field.

Canadian football with the later introduction of the forward pass and being played in open parks never needed to truncate the field or particularly limit the length of the end zone save for the occasional running track hence the original 25 yard length later shortened to 20 yards due to the confines of BC Place in 1984.

All that to say.. goal posts are fine where they are and have always been.

Good read Joey. I just find the goalposts look more "correct" in Canadian football. I've never been able to adjust to the look of the goalposts at the end of of the endzone when they changed it in the American game. Just looks a bit odd to me.

I think the better question is, what rules can the NFL adopt from the CFL?


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We are okay with both the one yard off the line of scrimmage.

Leave the goalposts where they are. No way on the world I want less scoring and I still don't like how the end zones went from 25 yards to 20. To make them even smaller is a non starter for me....