Is the Global Initiative a Flop?

Teams are now asked to carry a set number of global players for, I assume, an attempt to appeal to a broader market. There are a few issues:

  1. Time zones- even if someone from Japan is kicking in the CFL, how much of an impact will that have really when games are potentially in the middle of the night over there?
  2. Tradeoff- good Canadian talent are being forced to take a back seat. Is this really the Canadian Football League any longer?

With Yamasaki getting released and not one global player yet to really break out, is this initiative a flop?


Is it not that the Global players take one spot from USA players?

Either way, it is only one spot per team.

"For the moment, it isn’t obligatory for teams to start a Global player. If one chooses to do so, however, the Global player will replace an American as to protect the ratio of National players."


2020 CFL Ratio Rules Explained (or Sort of) - Montreal Alouettes

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It’s not a flop. BC has an Australian punter as well. Global initiative should be expanded but some Canadian growth should be done as well at the grassroots level.

  1. Develop interest at the high school level by playing a game of the week on the radio or stream all games on YouTube. The latter is probably less expensive.

  2. I would like to experiment with University Football teams playing exhibition tournaments in other continents. What would happen if we sent 9 teams to Europe, 9 to Brazil/Mexico and 9 to Asia and they played the local pro teams in a small tournament? Would the Canadian Universities develop a relationship with these different leagues? Could they convince the very best foreign teams to come to Canada and learn the Canadian game? Would our Canadian teams dominate or be crushed? Either way lets have these games on TSN or streamed if that’s not possible.

  3. While these games are going on could the CFL scouts figure out who is best suited for the Canadian game? Sometimes a player can do well in combines but not in a game situation and vice versa. What would happen if former players volunteered to be guest coaches for the foreign teams?

The global initiative isn’t a failure because every stone hasn’t been turned yet.


No. Globals are breaking more into CFL rosters than in 2019. With Thaidric Hansen being the lone exception in 2019


I only ask because Riders kicker Brett Lauther was asked about it. Most of the draft choices are impacting his position (kicker) as teams are using that as their designated space for global players. Kickers used to be a space for Canadian talent.


It's a long-term initiative, so it's difficult to evaluate as success or failure at this point.

The global players don't take roster spots from Nationals; they have their own designated spots. So good Canadian talent is not being forced to take a back seat.

Every global player who actually gets playing time is doing so because his coach feels he's better than the available Canadian or American talent. In the first year, only two globals made any measurable impact: Hansen and Gnahoua. In the second year, there are a few more. We'll have to wait to see how the talent is after five and ten years.

I think the goals of the global initiative are several:

  1. attract overseas interest
  2. attract interest within Canada (by making the brand more international in appeal, since too many folks in Canada view the league as parochial)
  3. attract and develop better talent (see Hansen from 2019)
  4. foster development of National talent in overseas leagues

We've seen some impact in respect to 3 and 4. Time will tell if the investment really pays off though.


In some respects yes the league quota of global players could be harming Canadian talent. If you must designate so many spaces to globals and most of those are now at kicker/punter (traditionally used as a ratio player for Canadians), it is impacting them.

Even if you use your quota on special teams, typically that's how guys break into the league.

Too early to tell, just thought it was an interesting discussion last night after the game.

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But if a team is not dressing a National kicker, then a National is getting a shot at some other position.

One could argue, though, that the league should just add another national spot instead of the global spot. That wouldn't bring with it any of the hoped for benefits of the global initiative though.

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No the Global initiative is not a flop as the ultimate goal is to help spread awareness of football outside North America, or at the very least spread awareness that there is another option for players outside of the NFL.

I can only speak for the UK, but the impact the likes of Christian Wade and Efe Obada have had in attempting to make (in Obada's case actually cracking) an NFL roster has been an increase in mainstream media interest from certain websites and newspapers who are now writing proper articles about football, whereas before their NFL "coverage" was simply listing the scores in the back pages.

In the case of the UK, time zone is not an overwhelming issue either as the vast majority of games are either 9-10 p.m. or 12-1 a.m. kick-offs so not a huge problem as many are played on Saturday anyway. Only issue is if you support the Lions as their timings mean the BC stands for "Brew Coffee" if you want to stay awake for them at 3 a.m.

The only issue right now is that the best developed Global position is kicking/punting so that's who you see, but if anything the CFL is taking the lead in drafting Globals at other positions but BE PATIENT - this is not going to be a 2-3 year miracle project.

There are some posters (you know who you are) who think this is all a farce and that the league should push Canadian talent at the expense of everything else. But be honest, how many Canadians are on CFL rosters purely for their passport instead of their genuine talent? Also, what does the CFL do when it comes to working with USports and amateur football, or is there some kind of hesitancy/resistance from both sides?

Finally, I have to ask, if a Canadian kicker had missed those chip shot FGs he'd have been laughed at, yet because Yamasaki misses them it seemed to provoke a reaction that the whole Global project is a waste???

Claiming that positions like punter are "spots for Canadians" is very telling. Surely the question to ask is, what's going wrong between the amateur and pro levels that Canadian players in other roles don't seem to move up to the CFL unless ratio demands it?

American coaches who don't scout them?

Bias that the NCAA is simply better?

USports/CJFL football being much lower quality than Canadian fans want to admit?

1 and 2 are unfortunate, 3 can be fixed but has it or will it?


Wtf . Why Bother watching Our league .

I found the description " The Japanese kicker" as very telling.

They'll be better off having an extra Canadian as then at least you would get family and friends coming to the games.

I like your ideas for promotion. It would not be that expensive to stream. I used to watch my nephew play at elite levels of tournaments with Football Canada. They streamed games regularly and I expect, they will continue to do so. Football Canada is not flush with money.

The idea of sending University Football teams to other countries is intriguing but very difficult. We must remember that these players are still students and would have to miss classes to do something like that. It is hard to keep your average sufficiently high to maintain eligibility if you are not in classes. Perhaps this could be done in the summer break but it would require someone with deep pockets willing to foot the bill. Most Universitys could not afford it.

I believe there is some government funding available for amateur events like these.

In 2019, for example, UBC traveled to Mexico to play a Mexican university team. I think the plan was for the Mexican team to come to Canada and play another match here, but the Covid hit.

It'd be great to seen more exchanges like this with other countries too.


We had an Aussie punter in the CFL well before the Global Initiative.
It is largely a flop, BC may have signed this Aussie punter without the Global Initiative.
Requiring a global player to be on a starting roster is a waste of money. They require one global but dropped the requirement for starting 3 QBs?

It ain't costing the CFL a mint to sign the Globals. They are making the bare minimum 0f $54,000


But most of these global players will never get into a game.
What is the upside of paying these guys $54k to stand around?

The NFL has International Players Pathway Program too. None of those guys ever see the field. Heck, some of the Globals that were drafted came from the NFL's PPP like Taku Lee of the Montreal Alouettes.

The Globals won't standing around if they play on special teams to prove that they can get playing time. See Thiadric Hansen


A few things:

  1. An 8pm CST start is 3:00am.
  2. A 2pm Eastern time start is 3am in Japan.
  3. Ratios for CANADIAN players make sense as we are the CANADIAN Football League after all. Not sure why we'd be developing mandatory quotas for players who are non-Canadian.

As for attracting the new segment of Canadians, it starts with the game day experience. Just look at the food choices in most stadiums as an example. Burgers, hot dogs and beer. At least this year Mosaic put in India House (which is delicious by the way. Had it last night).

Toronto could run promos with MLSE.

And no, I have no issue with any nationality making a CFL team. We had Josh Bartel punt here for a long time. The issue is quotas for non-Canadians in the CANADIAN Football League. Non-Canadians can crack the roster at the dozens of other positions on the game day roster if they are good enough to play here (like Josh Bartel)

Had Takeru Yamasaki had stuck around at BC for the whole season, here would have been the watch times in Japan. Mostly very watchable live.

Game01 10:30am sat
Game02 11:00am fri
Game03 8:00am fri
Game04 8:00am sun
Game05 11:00am sun
Game06 8:00am sun
Game07 11:30am sat
Game08 11:00am sat
Game09 8:00am sun
Game10 8:00am sun
Game11 5:00am sun
Game12 8:00am sat
Game13 11:30am sat
Game14 11:30am sat

League is realistic in their expectations about getting overseas tv deals. Right now, they are just hoping to get a few more to subscribers cfl.yaretv. Yare is both live & on-demand, so it does not matter what time the actual game is played.

If a global plays on offense or defense, it has to be as a replacement for an American as there still has to be a minimum of 7 Canadians. Edmonton did start OL Steven Nielsen in game 2 due to injury.

The impact of the Global Initiative this year has been Australians as punters. Aussies in general do not handle kickoffs or are placekickers. I would not be surprised if a Canadian punter in the CFL eventually becomes a rare species.

BC first dressed 2 globals when Yamasaki was on the roster. Winnipeg has 2 globals as well. Strategy here is to save cap space because the Global salary is less than the American or Canadian minimum.

Globals who have Dressed

BC - P Jake Ford, DL Niklas Gustav
EDM - OL Steven Nielsen
CGY - P Cody Grace
SSK - K Henry Nell
WPG - DE Thiadric Hansen 1 defensive, 5 special teams tackles, LB Les Maruo
HAM - P Joel Whitford, DE Valentin Gnahoua
TOR - FB Asnnel Robo
OTT - LB Tyron Vrede, 2 special teams tackles
MTL - P Joseph Zema