CFL-XFL Initial Framework Proposal

A proposal to serve as a conversation starter, would like to discuss practical ways the two leagues could work together till all sides are satisfied a full merger is going to work or even should happen.

Starting in 2022 have the CFL and XFL share a draft, the purpose of those recruited by the XFL will be to start community outreach development of their markets in preparation for starting play in 2023.

The CFL will run its season in 2022 more or less normally, though maybe with some minor rule changes and hopefully a game played by each team in most of the XFL US markets to build interest and exposure.

The XFL will expand to 9 teams, three divisions of 3 teams and a 12 game schedule. Two games against their own division and one against the remaining teams in the XFL for a total of 10 games, then one home and one away game with the CFL to round to 12.

XFL 9th team being either San Diego or San Antonio, SD will have its new stadium finished by then with 35k seating capacity and SA averaged over 27k fans a game in the AAF.

The CFL will switch to a 20 game season for 2023 dropping preseason games in exchange for just spring scrimmages and combined training camps.

2023 draft will be end of February or start of March. XFL season starting at end of March beginning of April and the CFL starting end of April beginning of May.

The CFL will play 10 games, 8 games within the CFL and one home and one away with the XFL.

The XFL season and the first half of the CFL season will end at the end of June early July, with July being combined playoffs for a new cup. Inter-league games will be host city rules.

For playoff formats there could be many options, from simple 4 teams from each league in simple elimination, though i think perhaps something different should be tried.
Say 3 teams automatically from each league, then the 4th and 5th place teams play each other for the 4th playoff spot. During that same week the top two XFL teams will play each other for the XFL cup.

Then 4th seed will play 1st seed, 3rd vs 2nd, winner advancing till its the XFL vs CFL. Now for regular season interleague play we will use the MLB system of host city rules. This way Americans and Canadians are exposed to variety of rules and both sides get some practice in anticipation of the cup match. Also to feel out which are truly better long-term for the game as a whole.

As for how home field advantage will be handled for the inter-league championship there are options. In MLB the leagues alternate home field every season, in many soccer leagues they play two games one at each other's stadium and combined total points of the two games determines the winner.

I think the soccer method would be the best solution as it wouldn't require either side to sacrifice rules or give one or the other advantage. Also it would allow for the selection of site in Canada and the US for each half of the combined Cup game.

Then in August the CFL resumes its season playing its remaining 10 games and playoffs as usual with the Grey Cup in November. Then this format could be used for several seasons till we are satisfied the XFL is actually here to stay and stable.

Once that happens the leagues could begin a process of full merger, at this point there would be trust and respect for the various rules and a general sense of which should be kept and those not. Or if the split rule format is popular and working well leave it, just then have each league start expanding, possibly even expanding into each other's countries with teams that play by that leagues rules.

This should be the case say for Mexico expansion, having a team or two in Mexico for each league, thus when expanding out of the US/CA no one set of rules dominates, but remains even, a 1 to 1 ratio.

If the XFL folds then the CFL never made any radical changes but gained audience and market share. We could build into the deal that we get right of first refusal to acquire any US based teams we want to incorporate into CFL proper if we feel it makes sense.

This strategy is a win win for all. XFL gets our support in standing up and our credibility to leverage ad dollars in media deals and exposure. We get access to their capital and marketing prowess, massive exposure to new markets both US and internationally, but also drive interest and excitement in Canada for our game hopefully revitalizing our struggling teams.


Good read zulu. Perhaps, perhaps.


The opposing quarterbacks will start off by having a steel cage match. Whoever the winner is will then choose to kick, recieve or defer


Why create another CFL-XFL thread? ??

Because I want to discuss this concept specifically and actual ideas for how we could make it work and allow both sides to keep their distinct aspects.

Other threads discuss other issues, this one presents a specific idea based on other ideas others have had. I would prefer to keep this thread positive about how CFL can keep its full rules and schedule while we feel out the relationship between the two.

Tired of negativity, let's discuss solutions.


Think Zulumoose is the definition of an XFL fan😁?

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I am a anything alternative to the NFL fan. I hope they all join up and grow and put the NFL in its place.


@atlanticflfan and @Palmer would like to get your thoughts on the proposal and how you could see the two leagues working together in a meaningful way?

I’m not a fan of the XFL merger nor of a spring schedule. I see the CFL as been a unique game in a unique market. I don’t see the 3 down game with its quirky (to the NFL accustomed fan) rules, field, and 12 men, being successful in the US, nor a spring, 4 down, NFL style game being successful in Canada.

I realize your thesis is that without the XFL money and markets, the CFL is doomed. I suppose my thought is that a merger, with the resulting rule changes, is really the same thing. The end of the game I know and enjoy. A different demise, but a demise just the same. Not saying your proposal is in and of itself a bad thing, just something not to my liking.

But then, I never liked Frank Sinatra either, and millions upon millions of people disagree with me there also! Just personal preference.


Politician gotta campaign

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The point of this concept is that there would be no rule changes. Nor are XFL fans demanding them and in fact tonthe contrary many have expressed a willingness to move to 3 downs if it means the league plays a full season.

Why is your assumption a relationship means we cave and roll over? The XFL currently needs us as badly if not more so, we have powerful leverage so why would we play it weak? Why do you assume the worse?

Why is letting the league die and not finding a way for history to continue in some form preferable? Sports leagues, even MLB adapt and evolve to changing tastes and societal pressures, why are we different? Clearly our stats show we aren't and yet we continue behave like we are more special than every other league and don't have to change a thing and if we do might as well take the ball and go home so no one gets to continue?

Did even read the proposal? Its far from a full out merger with single rules

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Did you even read it? Or you still waiting for fairies with the magic money tree?

I like the idea of part seasons for the CFL and have part 1 align with the XFL.

If the 'XFC' has 9 teams playing 12 games, they'll need 13 weeks to complete while the CFL will need 11 to play 10 since both will have to factor in bye weeks due to an odd number of teams.

With the CFL needing 2 extra weeks, I think the XFL can start their season 1 week prior and the CFL have one less round for the interleague playoffs. I think the CFL part of interleague playoffs will need to be limited to 2 teams. Having more will mean even more games to play which the PA may not be on board going from 18 to 20 games so soon. The CFL will still need to play the 2nd half plus playoffs as normal.

Plus selling another playoff game which existing fans won't take seriously at first will be a hard sell. Just have 1 as opposed to 3.

Overall it keeps them separate which existing fans should be able to adapt and any changes take take place over time..


Again, I don’t see a group of new franchise holders pouring millions of dollars into the merger, bailing out the current owners, without having a say in how the product will be presented and operated. No less a concern will be presenting a product acceptable to broadcast their partners, investing partners and sponsors, and spectators. Nor will they expect to modify their stadiums to accommodate a larger field. And let’s be honest, if they don’t feel they will get their way, they will not invest.

By your posts, it is obvious that this has become a crusade for you and something you are more than passionate about. But again, I have to say, I can only see the result being the end of the CFL as it now exists. Just a slower death.

You don't think the rule and field differences weren't painfully obvious to the XFL before they reached out to the CFL? They didn't get to be as wealthy as they are by being so stupid as to not those differences.

They obviously did and reached out anyway, this clealy means they are open to a lot of change.

Nor does my proposal have a full merger until after the XFL proves itself. Why they need us for credibility with the rest of the world.

Agree, it would put a lot on the CFL, the XFL should probably start 3 weeks before the CFL at least. This way they get in a full week of their playoffs before the top two CFL teams play to see who will take on the XFL championship.

This would give nearly all CFL teams several weeks off, could be very beneficial for those injured earlier to recover and play makers in the second half.

Part of me wonders when CFL teams are in the interleague playoffs, is it worth awarding bonus points for wins that can be applied to the standings. Say 2 points, so if a CFL team wins the interleague title, it adds 4 points.

It's out of the box but there are 2 benefits

  1. adding extra standing points increase division first place team's lead which increases the change of getting the bye to the division final. Many fans will only care for the Grey Cup but an extra division lead helps them be a step closer to winning it.

  2. If a 1st place team has a bigger lead in the division and especially down the stretch, it gives the choice to rest players offsetting injury risk with the interleague playoff game


That would be a nice offset for those CFL teams since they won't get the same level of rest and recovery time mid season as the rest of the league.

I suspect the PA won't fight it too much as long as it means a significant pay bump. Plus a pre season game just as dangerous a regular season one. I have seen plenty an NFL cut short before it even got started. I actually remember watching a pre season game where I think was the Lions got to watch their entire season evaporate in under 10 minutes. 6 injuries most of which were season ending and one poor guy his first snap in the NFL only managed to snap his neck and end his career without getting to complete a down.

That and I think players would love to jump at the chance for more playoff bonus cash. But you're right the CFL will need to limit the number of teams for the inter-league cup.

That's fine, the XFL wants a early March start anyway, so while we're wrapping up our first 10 they can start their elimination playoff rounds. They get center stage in the beginning and then we have it the rest of the year post July. Or we keep the 18 game season and have the second half just consist of 8 games to keep it easier on players.

I think a lot of folks were shocked with the recent NFL cba. Though the owners wanted an 18 game season I think they were too scared, turns out for no reason. The new terms were so favorable to the average player the thing easily passed approval.

Given concessions made already by CFL players the added revenue from play two American teams could more than make up for that after a season or two and make the extra long season worth it. But let's remember that those CFL teams not playing in the interleague playoffs essentially have a month off. Then throw in a bye or two on top of that and it would seem plenty of recovery time?


This is an interesting option and in general terms more what i think the CFL / XFL discussions are about - at least from the CFL side of it. The CFL is looking for and needs a long term direction to try and save and grow this league. CFL 2.0 is all over these discussions.
Insert International Alliance of Gridiron Football Cup into your proposal and this could be where it is headed. Since there is not enough competition outside North America right now a CFL - XFL tournament as you have mentioned would make the most sense. If global leagues can be improved through sharing of resources/players they can be added to tournament in future.
With Braley gone, I can see Bob Young and MLSE having greater influence over the rest of the CFL governors. And since both have strong ties with soccer (CPL, TFC) it seems logical to me they see how soccer brings teams of leagues together for international championships as a way for the CFL to renew itself. Young is a forward thinker and talks about trying new things and global competition. MLSE (and obviously all teams) need a way to grow the value of their brands and this is a possible way to keep them engaged in the CFL.

As you say, XFL can keep their spring schedule and use whatever rules they want. CFL starts a few weeks earlier than now, but keeps their rules. Maybe top 2 teams in the CFL after 8 games play the top 2 XFL teams over a 2 week single game elimination tournament - with the two CFL teams playing each other first to create a CFL (early season) champion and likewise the XFL teams. This way you ensure an XFL vs CFL final game. The CFL semi-final game would count into the CFL regular season standings and the XFL only semi-final could be their league championship. The CFL vs XFL final game location would rotate between Canada / USA city on a yearly basis. Bonus money to all players involved in these games.
As an aside, this could create more incentive for the CFL teams to get off to a good start and deflect the criticisms of the integrity of the regular season since 6 of 9 teams get into the Grey Cup tournament.

Now for slight twist. For the mid season CFL - XFL tournament, instead of using home rules (assuming both leagues have retained their existing rules/field), modified or international gridiron rules are created. This has been the main debate over the last few weeks - 3 or 4 downs, field size, single points etc. With a stand alone tournament every year you get 4 games to experiment a bit, especially with the 3 or 4 downs, kicking game. Have to admit i'm a bit curious as to how our game might look with some tweaks. The one thing that would have to permanently adapt though would be a standard field length. A field size that aligns with a soccer size field would be best bet so games can go back and forth across the border and fit in all stadiums. Probably a 100 yd field and 15 yd endzones max. Everything else can be modified year to year until a consensus is built.
The additional reasoning for having each league play each other first in the tournament, besides providing the guaranteed CFL- XFL final matchup, is it gives each leagues teams one game against eachother to play/adapt to the international rules before the final game.
After several years maybe one or both parties come to agreement that international gridiron rules provide an exciting, fast game and adopt them permanently. Also some global partners may adopt them as a way to advance their games and gain a competitive advantage to one day compete in cup.

Anyways just some thoughts..

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If they have a playoff mid season that includes the CFL that is going to look like crap .

The rest of the CFL season win or lose is worthless .

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