New Ratio rules for 2023

Nobody is disputing the fact that there are not "top calibre" Canadian football players. Just one problem. THERE'S NOT ENOUGH OF THEM.

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I'm not so sure this is realistic. CFL fans have always accepted that the players they're watching are not necessarily the best that can be put on the field, but rather the best Canadians that can be put on the field, along with the best available Americans.

Of course, there are some fans on either side--some don't care about the ratio at all and just want the best available. Others want only the best available Canadians. And there are plenty along the spectrum between those two poles.

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I just want the best product available, however they come to that doesn't matter to me, just make it exciting (with much less flags).


It was actually the owners who wanted less restrictions on playing Americans. During the last CBA negotiations, there was a standoff between the 2 parties. The CFLPA wanted to keep the mandate requiring 7 non-imports on the field at all times. Owners would not agree to any deal that kept the old ratio intact which is why they eventually settled on the 51% minimum for 2 starting Canadians.

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That is true. Whether it was a ploy or not is up for debate. But the CFLPA did make a statement that they represented all the players, American and Canadian. The veteran American were often taken advantage of at contract time so I believe the new rules were as much a union proposal as an Owner one. Some good American Vets now have some value. Was signed off on by the CFLPA and voted on my the membership. I believe the Owners wanted 5 starting Nationals instead of 7. What the union got was 8 starting National instead. We can't just say oh the one is really an American because for years there have been Americans included in the ratio because they could obtain their Canadian papers. It was a compromise by both sides to make a deal.

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The second does not discount the first. Pre-existing flaws/quirks in the definition of who qualifies as a National don't mean that National participation in the CFL is not further eroded with new ratio rules.

I finally heard someone from the CFL speak somewhat on the new ratio rules. Coach Campbell of the BC Lions talked in his interview at the Combine about it. Mentioned one of the reasons they signed Shawn Lemon as he would be eligible to play up to 49% of the snaps under the new rules at DE where the Lions have a couple of Canadians penciled in as starters. He also mentioned that they have about three American DB's who qualify to be used with the new rules. I sure all the teams are skeeming how best to used these new rules and have players who qualify, but they're just being very quiet about it.


I would be all for that if each team could have Nationalized Americans after five years in the League, or maybe five years with their one team. Way to difficult to find true blue Canadians for 10 starters and also have some backups capable of starting as well. There's an average of about three Canadians per CFL team in the NFL which hurts if you're mandated to start a certain number of Canadians. Got to change our thinking with the times.

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I agree. They had to change the rules to have parents who were born in Canada count as Canadians. No way could they get 10 true blue Canadians now, especially if you outlaw guys who were born here but moved to America at a young age.

For me, changing with the times would mean increasing the number of Canadian starters. They've been decreasing the number for decades now. Time to change that trend. I'd also like to see the same number of starters on D as on O.


Never going to happen IMO. But if it did what do you think the attendance would do, increase or decrease? I believe I am one of the few CFL ST holders that do go to some U Sport games. The reason I know that is there are not many people there.

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I think it would lead to increased attendance. I share your skepticism about it ever happening, though. Over the years, USports athletes have become less and less a part of the CFL. At the same time, interest in USports football has dwindled. I think there is some causation there.

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I saw once that the percentage of U-Sports players getting into the CFL is higher than NCAA players getting into the NFL. Obviously it's an apples to oranges issue, however I don't remember U-Sports out here ever being something that was popular. I have to think more entertainment options are the main cause of any decline in interest. People aren't going to any games, events etc as much as they used to in big numbers. The NFL itself has gone from 80k stadiums to 60k stadiums in some cases.

I'm sure this is true, given the number of kids playing in the NCAA compared to USports. But I'm also pretty sure that the number of Americans playing the NFL is greater than the number of Canadians playing in the CFL. And the number of Americans playing in the CFL is greater than the number of Canadians playing in the CFL. And as the number of Canadians playing in the CFL has decreased, so too has Canadian interest in the CFL decreased.

That's not to say fewer Canadians playing is the only reason for the CFL's decline, but I think it contributes to how Canadians feel less connected to the league (and to its feeder leagues like USports) than they did in the past.


One of the contributing factors might be the CTE scare. Less parents letting their kids play football = less interest in the sport. Also there is the expense of the sport to go along with it.

I can't speak for the rest of Canada but out here in BC, Canadian football generally isn't as popular. Even in the 90's when Passaglia kicking Grey Cup winning field goals it wasn't ever going to compete with hockey etc.

Having said that I don't know if kids today follow Bo Lokombo or Claypool. With the resurgence of the Lions and Amar Doman's ownership it could very well lead to the Lions being part of the mainstream (especially given how badly the Canucks are playing right now).

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Yes - more Canadians in the CFL please - both players and decision makers.

The Americans running the CFL have had their way for too long - constantly lobbying for more of their guys and less Canadian players. Enough of this hor$e-$hite !

The great CFL days of the 70s thru 80s featured a majority of Canadian players/ talent on rosters, and 10 or more Canadian starters, and the football was outstanding and still left room for lots of star American talent.

The Canadian talent pool is IMO stronger and deeper than ever - more U Sports teams with better training, lots of Canadians still getting US college ball training, and Junior ball is still going strong in places and can produce some CFL talent - but the Americans first types making the decisions don't see this / don't care and have gotten away with b$ excuses to add more American players.

A majority of Canadians on CFL rosters (including the PRs which they CFL types now get away with loading up with imports) should be a must for the CANADIAN Football League ! And I wouldn't be saying this if I thought it would hurt the calibre or excitement of play one iota. Let more Canadian coaches who have deep respect for and knowledge of the Canadian talent pool be involved - and we would not see this rush to have 7 only starters or Canadians excluded from certain positions. The RedBlacks won their GC in 2016 with 11 or 12 Canadian starters, not 7 only, and the Argos had 9 or 10 combined Canadians playing on O & D for their GC win last year. All CFL teams could easily be starting 10 or more Canadian players now (and there are more now who qualify with the new ratio rules to allow Canadian connection players to qualify as Nationals - that doesn't bother me at all), and the talent could be spread across all positions, instead of some spots reserved for Americans only.

Time to re-patriate the CFL IMO - a commitment to more Canadian talent (not less as has been going on, and they'll likely try to get away with if a 10 team in Atlantic Canada is added) AND enshrinement of Canadian football rules (not changing rules to be more American like to suck-up to some Mickey Mouse new US league as was floated a couple of years back when Covid hit).

I hope new owners like Doman in BC (doing some sharp things already there) and the new guy in Montreal grasp the importance of Canadians in the CFL and the history of the game/rules here - respect, guts & leadership needed, not the opposite that has been going on for decades. I have a good feeling they do and they may be able to help stem the tide of Americans getting their way in the CFL.


Which Americans would those be?

Randy Ambrosie born in Winnipeg.

Pierre K. Peladeau born in Montreal (he's a newer owner but Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern were both Ontario businessmen),

Bell Canada not Bell America, Larry Tannenbaum born in Toronto.

Roger Greenberg (OSEG) born in Ottawa.

Bob Young born in Ancaster, Ontario.

Wade Miller born in Winnipeg.

Craig Reynolds is from Foam Lake Saskatchewan.

Victor Cui born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Norman Murray Edwards (CSEC) born in Regina Saskatchewan

Amar Doman born in Victoria BC.

Independent Chair - Scott Banda is from Saskatchewan.

Zero Americans running the league.

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As I mentioned, Doman & PKP are new owners and hopefully have respect for the Canadian aspect of the CFL.

But FYI, owners and or Presidents of these teams have often next to nothing to do with personnel/rosters of the football teams they own or run. That is controlled by the GM and coaching staffs of the team and reflects their football upbringings (including those brought along & taught in established CFL ways, attitudes and obvious biases). Now check all CFL coaching staffs in terms of backgrounds of those tasked with making CFL rosters and the rules that apply (ratio) there. Then please hurry back to tell me there are zero Americans running the league ??? What a joke. Bell & Tannenbaum, yeah those are shining examples of respect for Canadian football or sports in general - no American wannabes and hype suckers in the room at all. Ambrosie and his Global garbage and sucking up to XFL/ American rules (like hash marks moved in to be more American like - it's one small step and lots of others would follow) if need be but with less Canadian content in the CFL - yeah, another real classic example.

And if you are either unaware of or else disagreed with the CFL days of a majority of Canadian players on all teams' rosters, you either need to be educated or else you're entitled to your more American players and less Canadian ones opinion.

you just admitted that the owners/presidents run the teams. You said "The Americans running the CFL have had their way for too long."

There are no Americans running the league.

Rosters are set by GMs and Coaches, yes. The ratio was collectively bargained by higher ups. The board of governors does what the owners tell them to do or they don't have a job any more.

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Ok then, I knew it was mostly Canadians who "ran" (i.e. paid the bills) of most CFL teams. Bob Wetandall fairly recently owned the Als; Horn Chen and the genius Gliber-men owned the Ottawa CFL team; Americans have owned the Argos. I believe Mr. Doman in BC could be an outlier for the typical CFL ownership club; a man who would not accept or tolerate further dilution of Canadian content in the CANADIAN Football League, and who might vehemently reject or vote against further ratio/roster changes to add more American players and subtract Canadian ones. But even if he took this stance, he just gets the one vote.

Football rosters are determined by the GMs and coaches who make the actual on field football decisions; they will also have input on the roster/ratio content or possible game rule changes. There is / has been a huge clique of Americans first, Americans preferred types running the CFL for a long time. If you can't grasp this, then let's end this discussion. Why they are that way is another large and separate debate. We can stick with your conclusion that there are "zero" Americans running the CFL - never has been = LOL

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