Lets play a New League Rules game

so, if it was decided and could not be prevented that there was gonna be a new combination CFL and ??? league with mixed rules, What 5 present CFL rules would you most want to keep.

for me

  1. Field size
  2. Modified Rouge
  3. 12 men
  4. No yards / possible punt recovery by kicking team
  5. Scrimmage lines 1 yard apart
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Great post FYB.

I go with all of yours except for #2, the rouge stays as it is now.

But as noted in the poll still open in the other thread, there are quite a few other rules to examine for change in either flavour of gridiron football.

  1. The waggle
  2. No yards (but allow punting team to down the ball inside the 10)

No downing the punt. It prevents an onside player from recovering the ball to regain possession for his team.

Downing the punt will effectively kill the kicking game completely.

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I agree and that will lead to a stupid fair catch rule too and they'll do it for "safety" like the NFL tried to claim with their stupid new kickoff rules.

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If it were to happen anyway, what is the ideal set of merged rules that could be played in American stadiums?

I'd prefer as much of the Canadian rules to be preserved.

Field Dimensions:

Most stadiums are built to accommodate soccer. A soccer pitch is roughly the same length as an American football field and more often than not with a width slightly wider than a Canadian football field.

So it would be American length (100 yard field of play, 10 yard end zone) but Canadian width at 65 yards. If the Canadian width can be salvaged, then I think that sets the stage for many other features.

With goal post placement, the limited endzone space might force it to the dead ball line to promote offense and make teams drive at least to the opponents' end of the field for a reasonable chance at a field goal.

Hashmarks I'd keep at 24 yards from the sideline on the wide field to maintain the boundary and field side strategies.

Players per side:

A wide field let's you have 12 players per side.


Spreading the formations out would in turn open up the offensive game which would lend itself to 3 downs instead of 4.

Neutral Zone:

I'm torn on this.. I like the Canadian dynamic of the linemen taking a stride before engaging but I also loathe getting to inches of the goal line only to have the ball backed up to the 1 yard line.

I loathe even more that an offense scrimmaging from their end of the field gets the 1 yard line as a minimum for no particular reason.

How about a hybrid where scrimmage can happen anywhere between the goal lines. The defense lines up a yard off the ball unless scrimmaging within the defensive 1 yard line where the defense would be entitled to defend the goal. The defense would scrimmage at the lesser of 1 yard to the ball or their own goal line.

Offensive motion rules:



60 minute game played in 4 x 15 minute quarters with the typical break at the half.

Simplified fast pace timing. Clock starts at the kickoff and stops for the things that typically stop the clock in football: scoring, dead ball out of bounds, incomplete pass etc.

Otherwise its 30 seconds from the previous play to put the ball back into play. No referee blowing the "20 second" play clock in after some arbitrary time (10 to 25 seconds) have been wasted setting sticks and allowing for substitutions.

No rule changes at a 2 or 3 minute warning to artificially jam in plays at the end of the game. If you need that to excite you, just get more excited at 3 minutes to go instead of a buck 30. We can play the same average plays per game by way of better pace during the 54 minutes of what is now non-3-minute-warning play.

I would adopt the Canadian convention of the clock having to expire on a live ball to end the quarter or half. No walking off the field with 25 seconds to go. 1 more play at least with 0:00 on the clock.


Canadian rules for the most part. Legal kicks from scrimmage, onside recoveries, no yards and the rest.

The only thing I'd change is to require all kicks to land in bounds or pass over the goal line or through the endzone to be legal. As it stands now, kickoffs cannot exit the sidelines through the air or bounce, punts cannot leave the field in flight outside the 20 yard line and place kicks from scrimmage I'm guessing can go out any which way..

Just simplify all that and require kicks to land in bounds or out through goal.


Typical gridiron scoring and keep the rouge. However, shorter end zones will finally require that the rouge count only if returnable.


I'd try and get the rosters back to 40 or less per team.

Perhaps the ratio could be replaced with some sort of regional requirement with consideration paid to for demographics and quality of football talent in a given region. If a given American team is too close to too many football factory schools, tighten the radius or something.

Obviously a game with that much Canadian content would be weird to the majority of potential paying US consumers and would never happen.

But the above I might, might be able to accept in the event of a merger.

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Given the pandemic which may spell the end of the CFL as we know it there are several changes we could implement to consolidate expected team & league losses. Once implemented, the federal govt. might be more amenable to providing salvation funding to league & teams.

  1. Shorten the game - 4 x 12 minute quarters. Same time stoppage rules as current.
  2. Replace 30 second clock with a faster 24 sec. situation. Get more plays in per game and force offenses to make faster decisions.
  3. Reduce rosters - first 3/4 of season by 4 to 6 players. Increase rosters last 4 games of season and playoffs as injuries & wear-downs accrue.
  4. Reduce field width 2 yds on both sides of field, 4 yds in total.

Even with all above changes its prolly a hill o beans in the end. But it shows govt. some good faith and willingness to get things done. Last year Randy was openly pan-handling for Trudeau cash. Bombers having 7+ million in administrative and staff expenses in a year they should have been semi-mothballed indicates the "Big Guys" were getting full coin while the small boys (ticket takers, cleaners, low to mid-level administration, etc.) were being looted.

Three downs.
No yards.
Field size...not a rule, but essential.
Keep the league name...again not a rule, but essential.

Add an optional slot for a specialty kicker, as in a guy who can execute short field goals, onside kicks, place drop kicks including on fake long field goals, directional punt, and possibly taunt the biggest guys on the other team.

Aka "The Paolo Rule" :grin:

Gotta train...

I think that there is interest from the American football fans for the Canadian game as is. It is not the NFL nor should it be. The XFL is looking to make their league different - so here it is! It is fast and exciting and I think it can grow down south.


That's would be cool.