Ratio Question

If the ratio is as follows:

Starters must be:

1 QB
16 imports
7 non imports

If these numbers must start does it then mean that there must always be that number on the field the whole game?
That is, must there always be a minimum combined total of 7 Canadians on the field per team combined offense and defense?

If so, how is that monitored? i’ve never seen a penalty called if the ratio is off.

Actually, it's the number of imports that is managed, and it's managed on offence and on defence. Once the starting lineup is set, teams cannot exceed that number of imports on either side of the ball.

It is the scorekeeper's job to keep track of this. I'm assuming he does this by first looking to see if any of the three designated imports on the field - should be relatively easy to do, given that it's his only job at that point of play. If he sees one, he would then check to see which import starter came off, or he just counts the imports for that team. most of us know who the imports are, and knowing this is his job, so he probably has them memorized.

And I don't think I have seen it called either. Probably because teams don't often break that rule.

But I have seen a related rule enforced, the one that states that the third QB cannot perform kicking or punting duties. (The rule is there to prevent teams from abusing the system by designating their import kicker or punter as their third QB, thus "hiding" one of their imports.) It was last year when a team's punter - don't remember which team - was injured, and they sent their third QB in to punt. The team got away with once but was told about it afterwards, and someone else took over from that point on.

There are not always 7 non-import starters on the field; for instance, if Team A has 6 offensive players identified as starters and 1 on defense, when Team A defends against the other Team,there could be only 1 non-import on defence/field.

Teams have to identified their non-import starters and replacements in case of injuries. Team A knows what other Teams have identified as starters and replacements. Definitely monitered by umpires and other Teams.


Thanks catsfan…that’s the only time hey?
and before Richard take this off track my question stated 7 combined offense and defense. so yes it can be any combination thereof.

I’m surprised that teams always get this right. Especially considering how often they are penalized fo too many men.

Special teams plays don't count either, just to be clear.

There is also the issue of the DIs. The DIs can sub for anyone at any time but you only get 3 of them.

This is why coaches like to backup NIs with NIs and imports with imports. If an NI goes down, he has to be replaced with an NI or a DI. If the Riders let's say don't have an NI backup for Rob Bagg, then they would have to do a shuffle. Replace WR Bagg with import, then take another import out (say RB West) and replace HIM with NI or DI. It's not ideal. With only 42 dudes dressed, the dominos can fall very quickly.

Likewise, even though there is no rule preventing an NI from replacing an import, if you do so, it means one less NI starter at another position NOT backed up by NI, unless you want to carry less than 19 imports on the roster which is also not ideal.

Designated imports can only substitute for imports, not for non-imports. If a DI comes in on either offence or defence, then an import starter must come out. They can come in without restriction on special team plays, although the rulebook doesn't actually define what constitutes a special team play. For example, are all third down plays considered ST plays? Or does it depend on how the offence lines up?

And non-imports can replace any other player, import or not, without restriction.

Thank you for clearing that up. GOD it's so confusing. I love the ratio, but the implementation totally needs streamlining. If it's this confusing that even I can't keep it straight, it's too damn confusing.

If they want x number of Canadians on the field then then just do the following:

24 - x = max imports.

That's how you would set the ratio. EASY. None of this 7 starters and DIs. Who's convoluted brain child was this anyways?

I still don't even get the point of the DI. Can't any import replace any other import anyways?

But it's not a max number of imports on the field at all times. Each team defines before each game how many imports they will use on offence, and how many they will use on defence. Once set, those numbers cannot be exceeded on any play, except on special team plays.

I don't like the term designated import. I would prefer the term replacement import, as that's what they are, replacements. They can only come on if one of the starter imports come off. It doesn't have to be at the same position, though, just as long as one of the starters comes out.

But it effectively it IS the max number of imports on the field at a time. Of course it's further confused because the "7 Canadians" are split between 2 squads of 12, but the average number of Canadians per play is no less than 7.

If Team A has 5 NIs on offense and 2 on defense,
and Team B has 4 NIs on offense and 3 on defense then

When Team A has the ball there will be 8 NIs on the field (A 5 off + B 3 def = 8)
and when Team B has the ball there will be 6 (A 2 def + B 4 off = 6)

Assuming an equal amount of snaps for both teams, you effectively get an average minimum number of NIs on the field at any time of 7, and conversely and average max number of imports effectively at 17.

If this is the spirit of the rule, then just go

24 (positions or starters if you will) - 7 (Canadians on the field) = 17 (max imports on the roster).

So set the ratio at 22 to 17 (+ 3 QBs) and scrap all these silly crazy substitution rules and DIs that almost no one understands or wants to care about.

Now if we find cutting 2 imports is too drastic, then stick with 19 imports and have 5 Canadians on the field (but still 20 on the roster).

If losing that many NI starters bothers some, then meet halfway. 18 imports and 6 Canadian starters.

Infinitely simpler rule that gets the exact same effect.

The important point is the people who actually need to understand the rule, the officials and the coaches, do understand it and follow it fairly easily. And we fans, who don't really need to understand the intricacies of the rule, still get to see Canadians play the game, including at least a few in the skills positions.

The number of Non import starters should be raised IMO, But the pro ncaa GM,s and Coaches say their are not enouph to replace them if they get injured. I would prefer to see an equal number of starters and SOME Imports get a Designated Nonimport status to replace injured nonimport starters! IE To qualify an import would have to have three or more years in the CFL .