New Ratio rules for 2023

2023 is suppose to bring in new ratio rules that was signed on in the latest CFL/CFLPA agreement. I may need help in understanding how it's going to work. My understanding is this: the so called National starting number goes to eight but one of them will be a Nationalized Americans who has three years with that club or four years in the CFL. Not much change there IMO except makes teams keep a few older players around to fill that number eight position. But there is an added kicker rule that says (if I understand it correctly) that teams can have 2 or 3 American replace a National for part of a game as long as they don't play more than 49 snaps or plays from scrimmage. Who's going to keep track of that? One way it could work for the Argos is if Harris at RB is counted as one of the starting Nationals and alternates with Oullette, which is pretty well what they did this past year when Harris was playing. So to me 3 or 4 of the "designated Imports" would have to be players capable of playing a starting position instead of being a special teamer. Like an offensive lineman who could play up to 49 plays from scrimmage replacing a National. Or an extra DB who alternates with a starting National, say at the safety position. Does this make any sense? Or am I not understanding things correctly.

I think you got it, except it should read 49% of plays (which I think is what you meant anyways) rather than 49 plays. Oh, and I believe it's the Nationalized Americans that can replace a Canadian starter for 49% of the plays. I believe there will be 2 allowed in 2023 and 3 in 2024.

I'm not a fan of further eroding the Canadian content in the league. No STs for me till that ratio is bumped up again.




I read 50% but it doesn’t really matter lol.

Also, I understand the need to have a partial boycott, especially after your years of loyal fandom. Just be aware of unintended consequences. The CFL, much like every other entity in the world hesitates to accept responsibility and enjoys making knee-jerk reactions.

Just before the late depression, Canadians were low on cash and weren’t spending money on going to CFL games as much. The unintended consequence was the legalization of the forward pass.

During the 90’s fan attendance went down again. This lead to USA expansion.

TV ratings/attendance started to decline but the CFL did not blame themselves. They didn’t fix game flow/poor play etc. They tried to make a deal with the NFL network which involved changing the timing of the season. Ultimately those plans fell through obviously.

Everyone here knows what happened with the pandemic and XFL talks.

The conclusion that I have come to (and hopefully I’m wrong) is that if CFL fans decide not to support the league and they can’t get new fans to support it, the league will not blame itself or the decisions it has made. In my opinion, the more revenue erodes, the more the CFL will become Americanized. There is a possibility that one day, you will not enjoy the CFL at all.

I don’t always agree with what you say but I wouldn’t want to lose your input/insight either.


They already had someone keeping track of it as it relates to bonuses in contracts. For example Cody Fajardo could have a bonus in his contract that says he gets paid x amount of dollars if he plays x amount of snaps in a game. Some say that’s the reason Cody was benched the last couple of games

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I made it very clear to my Argos ticket rep as to why I'm not renewing for 2023. I'll still follow the team and league, of course, but a little less intensely than before. On the flip side, I've been getting more into USports and CJFL of late and will likely divert my Argos ST money into the grassroots levels in some way (haven't decided yet).


Yes I should have said 49%. I actually read somewhere it is 49.5%. How does .5% work. lol But I was wondering how the Argos might use this rule. They have re-signed two veteran American tackles which kind of surprised me at first. But both can and have played left tackle fairly well IMO. Blake has said he wants to continue playing next year and played quite well at left tackle once everything got settled. The starting group of Blake-Hunter-Nicastro-Bladek-Allen would look good for me. But good Left Tackles are hard to find and especially with the new Leagues starting and Blake is 36. So what better solution than to have a couple of veteran American around who could play 49% of the time at LT and still be grouped in the 8 starting Nationals. (Well kind of). The same senario could work with Harris and Ouellette. Or Metchie and Richardson. Would mean a couple of Nationals would have to step up on special teams to allow players like Cage to dress as backups. Just a thought how this thing is going to work. Starting calibre Canadians are hard to find and especially backups. This IMO addresses that problem some what. Especially with the NFL grabbing all the top Canadians now. We'll see how it goes.


Depends on your depth. 16 teams full of Americans going into spring leagues. Some teams won't have to use the new rules at all. If they do use the rules they could either do a Canadian on 1st down, American on 2nd or just play normally until the fourth quarter. Others will use it to cover for injuries.

The CFL has been very quiet about the new ratio rules as far as I can tell. Nobody seems to be talking about which veteran American players could be used as a National. Will teams have to name one player at the start of the season, or could different eligible players be used game to game depending on an injury etc. I was thinking there would be a lot of interest on this, but apparently not.

I'm thinking that they are keeping it quiet because touching the ratio is a touchy subject. I have to think it'll be different eligible players to keep people guessing. I also wouldn't be surprised if we get more details closer to June.

That would make more sense, to early to designate someone before free agency is over at least.

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Argos appear (by my adding) to have only 5 American players who qualify for National status if required. Not counting Boris Bede as special teams play doesn't count for the ratio. OT Isaiah Cage, WR Davaris Daniels, DB Shaq Richardson, QB McCleod Bethel-Thompson and RB A. J. Ouellette. To me the most logical every down player to be named as the eighth National counting for the ratio would be Davaris Daniels. Shaq Richardson maybe next in line if Daniels couldn't go some time. But Shaq would also be a good one to use splitting time with Metchie beside rotating with the four other DB's on defense. Cage or Ouellette could do the same on the offense side. I do believe these players may have to be named before the start of the game. So it would be one player named as the 8th National for that game plus the two possible 49ers. Not complicated at all. Lol. We'll get use to it. Some teams will really have to use these rules to get the maximum out of it. Argos, not so much with their Canadian depth.

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We need to go back to the days of 10 Canadian starters.


The eighth nationalized spot doesn't mean you have to play an American who meets the criteria, it just gives you that option. You can still start an eighth true Canuck.

The problem is most of these guys would be starting anyway.

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I'm assuming it's on a game by game basis, like the DI rule.

The league was much more part of the national consciousness back then, wasn't it?

I'd like to go further and have at least half of the players on the field at any given time be Canadian--maybe not do it in one fell swoop but gradually increase the numbers over 5-10 years.


That would be great, I just wish some fans and non fans would get rid of that inferiority complex, about Canadian players.

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Been a long time since I have been on the forums. I have to admit, last year I found I could care less whether I watched the CFL or not, this after 40 years of watching each and every game (as long as they were broadcast...hmm). I did watch about 60% of the games, but I found the play rather boring; the QBs were below par IMO (except for Rourke and I knew that with the arm of his he would not be staying in the CFL), no outstanding OMG receivers, no smash you in the mouth RBs etc. Once again, let me state, this is just my view, yours may/will differ. With all this said all I can say is if the next season is as boring I could see myself dropping even more games. Perhaps the lid on the CFL is finally being closed?

Now what does this have to do with the ratio thing? Well, will the balance of Cdn/INT really make a difference to viewers/audience? Ratings will still be low I think.

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I think what we are missing about the the "8th" National being added and being allowed a Nationalized American was to address a concern the American players in the League have had for years. IMO it was aimed at teams playing an American at the minimum salary for several years and instead of giving them a raise would cut them in favour of another rookie American at the minimum salary. For years it has been no secret that the CFLPA was run by Canadian offensive linemen making sure they were at the top of the pay scale after QBs. So the new exec has tried to address that situation with this new "ratio rule". Teams have to hold unto to more veteran American players now if they want to take advantage of this rule.
As far as going back to 10 starting Canadians its never going to happen. There may be quanity available but not quality of the calibre for this to happen. We have every back door rule now allowing more "Nationals" just to try and find enough players good enough to start 7 or 8 Nationals plus that many backups, who need to be close to starting calibre. Don't hear many complaints about that because most of them aren't that good I guess. There are about an average of 3 per team Canadians in the NFL who used to be available to the CFL teams back in the "glory days" of ten starters. I'm not one who wants to see the elimination of the ratio rule but I am also a realist. People aren't stupid, if they're asked to pay top dollar for season tickets they want to see teams have the best players they can put on the field. With the ratio rules that doesn't happen but I still believe there are enough Canadian players available to have 5 Nationals starting, which means you need almost 10 starting calibre Canadians as part of your 20 Nationals. With the new rules we're closer to that in a round about way. This is my opinion as a long time CFL fan and ST holder. I saw Tobin Rote, Dick Shatto, Jackie Parker etc. etc. play live and everybody from those days on. So I'm going to keep watching and maybe be like a guy I used to sit beside in the SkyDome. Still bought his STs but only attended a few games a year for various reasons.
Maybe I didn't say all this very well but as I say it is my opinion.

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The quality has actually only gotten better from the Canadian standpoint. We had three Canadian QBs throw touchdowns last year. If American players are so superior than they shouldn't be letting them do it. Andrew Harris literally played junior football and have made American players look like they were back in Pop Warner.

The 8th Canadian, who could also be a natural Canadian rule is usless. Most of these guys who qualify as a naturalized Canadian would already be starting, even without the rule.