Why Not Dress All 46 Players?

Somebody asked Herb Zurkowsky this question and I think it`s an excellent one.

The 2 healthy scratches are being paid anyways, so why not dress them? It can only make for a better product.

Perhaps 1 additional National, 1 additional International as a DI.

As opposed to being in the buff?

Even if it is two nationals it adds bodies for special teams, giving starters a bit more rest which can only improve the overall play ... or facilitate teams keeping both the best possible kicker and the best possible punter if they so choose.

Just too many dresses. Within recent history teams were only allowed to dress seventeen good honest Canadians and fifteen nasty subversive foreigners (Americans mostly).

Does anyone remember what the rules were for allowing players in dresses prior to the 32 and in what year these dress rules were changed? I go back a ways, but not forever.


I think the players can dress themselves.

They might have to help each other into those tight pants they wear though.


46 isnt really the number. Its 44. You can apply the same logic once they dress 46.

The reason they go 46 is to offer some flexibility in case of game time decisions or injuries during warmup. I think we all would agree it's better that the teams are afforded this option than not. All pro sports teams have some healthy scratches to afford roster flexibility.

The real debate is whether to increase size of rosters. Not eliminate the 46 man portion.

^^ This. It's to offer flexibility for game-time decisions on who plays, plus one more reason outlined below.

The on-field roster is really 44 players. The NFL does the same thing; there is a 53 man Active Roster but only 46 can "dress" for the game. The major difference between a 46 and a 53 roster is not so much that you are paying more full contract salaries* but more that the NFL allows you to "hide" more players from being poached by another team, which is possible (in both leagues) if the player is on the Practice Squad.

  • Pretty much all NFL teams these days pay the contract salary to Practice Squad players anyway, a practice that has become standard over the last decade. It also happens in our league to a somewhat lesser extent; Practice Squad salaries in the CBA are not maximums, they are minimums. Yes, any extra player salaries count against the cap in both leagues.

My feeling is that the on field ratio needs to be eliminated. Keep the I/N ratio for the teams but let the situation determine who should be out there. The ratio rules are being stretched now so we should just do it.

yup...Not only does the NFL do the same thing....basically every sport does it

It makes sure that you can try to get a good player in the game who is a game time decision...and if he can't go then at least you are not playing short handed. The Cats were the perfect example this week. Tasker was a game time decision. He ended up being a ney, so they dressed someone else. If there is no flexibility the Ticats would have had a choice of hoping for the best and then being down a player in the game (or worse, playing him and putting his safety at risk when not ready) or putting him on the IRL and not even considered hoping a big impact player could play.

I am surprised so many people don't see the value in this.

I will add that there is an added layer to the NFL system...there is also the injury situation that plays into the 46/53. It seems really high to have a +7, but there are limits in injury transfers each week.

That would impede the development of young Canadian players as all but elite Canadian players would/could become backups and special teams players ... it changes the fundamental character of the league.

Teams would like it because starting Canadians generally get paid more than comparable imports.

yeah...The day that they make a move like that is a death sentence for the league IMO. May as well make it four downs and become an official farm league.

I somewhat see the point of game day injury insurance having the extra 2 players. But how often does a Tasker situation occur? And you`d still be dressing 45, 1 more than previous. Not exactly the same as a soccer team handicapped because a player was red carded.

And one CFL roster quirk is the 1 game, where a hangnail qualifies.

Lots. I would venture to say around 20% of games...probably a little over that. The league will still allow emergency changes if something weird happens...but that only really helps the home club generally.