Drop Goals in the CFL?

I read somewhere that rugby style drop goals (where a player drop kicks the ball through the goal field goal style, but on the run) are actually not technically illegal under Canadian rules, so do you think they should be counted as three points, like in rugby?

Drop kicks through the uprights do count for three points. They have for the last hundred or so years.


They are legal in both, but in the US you have to do it behind the line of scrimmage whereas in Canada you can do it from anywhere on the field. Doug Flutie did one in the NFL, iirc.

I believe Fluties drop kick in his final season in With the Patriots was the last that was attemped and was also made.
Could be intetesting to see some team(s) to put this into a trick play.
Especially in the CFL where if missed there still could be a single.
Or recovered by kicking team on miss in the endzone by the guy who kicks it or player(s) who are eligible being behind the person who kicks to recover for a TD.
Imagine how long the refs and command center would take to sort that out. Lol

Also it’s noteworthy that not until it was I believe 1998, though reportedly a drop kick had not been attempted since 1940, did the NFL outlaw drop kicks beyond the line of scrimmage.

The rules were changed also to deem any such attempt as the same as after a field goal attempt should the kick miss - the ball is spotted at the spot of the kick, not the line of scrimmage, just like after missed place kicks.

I cannot confirm, but previously drop kicks may have been treated the same as a punt and not as a field goal attempt if missed.

After my time in rugby, I can do them with an NFL ball too but I have zero idea why they would be used in American football.

They probably died out about 1940 because the football was reshaped in 1934 so as to accommodate more the forward pass even though most American football teams were rushing for yardage until well into the 1980s for many NFL clubs and all but a few college programs.

I’d like to see that!

There are often no yards calls on those back and forth plays where the ball is booted in and out of the end zone and then sometimes back in again. It’s either a no yards call or somebody muffs it and the other team falls on it for a TD. :smiley:

I can imagine something similar happening on a quick drop kick play that misses from the 35. I’d love to see that, but I have never seen a drop kick in Canadian football. Which is kind of odd given it’s more of a kicking league that the NFL where there has been 1 (Flutie’s) in my lifetime.

Lol. Exactly.

over the years, I have seen a few times where a player running with the ball will kick it. Usually on the last play. While this may not technically be a drop kick, pretty close.

The thing that I think that has made drop kicks almost obsolete is that there is greater potential for bad kicks.

Sticky Stalla was very good at kicking on the run .

There has been a pair of drop-kick attempts in the CFL in recent years. Each of those kicks arose from a bad snap/hold on a convert attempt - both missed.

2017 - Josh Bartel (Ssk)
2014 - Kyle Jones (Wpg)

The last successful drop-kick in Canadian football took place on September 3, 1948. Don Hiney made his drop-kick field goal after a bad snap.

Hey thanks. Who knew!?

Don Hiney you say? Well it sounds like he sure pulled that one out of his … :smiley:
/buh-dum-bum ching

I always wondered about such being used as a trick play especially by a receiver when the coverage has cheated up as if they read run.

It’s an up-and-under play or a grubber kick for easy field position straight out of rugby.

The big challenge of course is making sure one is recovered or by an onside teammate or that the ball bounces out of bounds before the ball is touched by a defensive player, which for me is the strangest rule in Canadian football.

Dave Stala may have been the last guy I remember trying such a kick on a trick play and with success.

Or was it another receiver who was also Canadian?

There have been a couple of attempts at the up-and-over across the line for a first down that I remember - Bartel with Hamilton, Sinopoli with Ottawa - but in both cases, the kicker got just a little too much on it and couldn’t recover it. There have been a number of punts from the field - Stala, or maybe Fantuz? - did it a few years back at the end of a game. And a few quick quicks by the QB, with one by Ottawa recovered by the kicker resulting in a touchdown (defence standing around not knowing what to do), and one by Hamilton recovered by Banks resulting in a huge gain. But I think they’ve all been on third down, son not quite the same as the old school quick kicks on second and long.

But I don’t remember seeing anyone attempting a dropkick for goal since maybe the '70s? And that one was so out-of-the-ordinary that no one on the field, including the officials, I think, knew what was happening. Part of the reason might be the specialization that’s happened over the years. There aren’t that many receivers who can kick the ball, let alone dropkick it. Add to that the fact that it’s a rare opportunity - last play of half or game with time run out and close to the goal line with little to no chance of making a touchdown, or third and long close to the goal line with little chance of making a first down, and enough room around the ball carrier to actually make the kick. Some of those things just never happen together.

Actually I can’t think of any situation where a drop kick really makes sense.

If the idea is to kick for three points, a standard FG set has a much greater chance of success.

If however the idea is to catch the opposition unawares with a quick kick that your own side has a chance of recovering, a punt works better. Why let the ball bounce before kicking it?


A great place for a drop kick would be in lieu of a hail Mary.

Down 2 at the 45 yard line. You send everyone deep for the hail Mary and leak out a Sinopoli/Stala type player for a 10 yard pass. If they’re open they could get to say the 30 and drop kick it for a FG.

I’ve seen it attempted a long time ago, when I was a kid.

Yes I agree thats wat wuld make it a Trick play. In the Right situation on a certain part of the field. If a Drop kick is good it will be worth 3 points like a FG if not it acts just like a missed FG or a punt for a team to avoid a single. Or eat it and gain field position.
The confusion it would cause tho.

That’s exactly the situation I was thinking of. But in that situation, the defenders would be closing fast on the receiver, so the opportunity for even getting the kick away is very short. And if they aren’t closing, would it make more sense to try to run the ball for a touchdown?

While a drop goal in the modern game remains highly improbable, if the coverage was deep and the kicker were incredibly confident and the distant defenders were predominantly between the kicker and end zone… then maybe the drop kick is most likely to score?