Comparison of American and Canadian football

Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States and Canada. While these countries have a lot in common regarding football, there are also some differences between them. If you are interested in finding the most important distinctions, be sure to check this article.

Area of Playing

First and foremost, Canadian football matches are played on larger fields than American matches. The first country is popular for 110×65 yards fields while the Americans players play on the terrain of 100×53 yards. It means that Canada has both longer and wider terrains than the NFL league.

According to the exact information, players from CFL play on the 34% larger fields, which is a significant difference for local players who change the local team for an American one.

Size of the Team

The next difference has to do with the size of the team. Canadian squads have 12 members, while US teams have 11 players. It means that the position of players significantly differs, and the 12th player in CFL covers the offense.

Differences in Fair Catches

Speaking about the next distinction between CFL and NFL, we can also mention the fair catches. Here we refer to punt returners who can signalize that they are not able to catch the ball. Based on the rules, opponents would be obliged to allow the players to catch the ball in this situation.

The aforementioned rule is also known as the fair catch rule in American football. It makes the sport fairer in general, and some casinos with the highest payout slot machines are also following the same example by including fair play. However, Canadian football does not have such a rule, which is one difference more. Instead of that, players from the opposite team should remain five yards from the ball.

How Many Downs Are Allowed?

It is also important that CFL and NFL differ in the number of downs. While the Canadian football teams can count on three downs, the US teams are allowed four. It opens a lot of critics to the American League as it allows players to relax. At the same time, CFL players should work harder than the NFL, which is something that makes them more aggressive in the game.

What About Scrimmage?

Another difference in football rules is connected with the Scrimmage. Here we speak about how the game will start. While in the CFL, it should start with the snap, the American football matches do not need to start in the same way.

In addition to the previous rules, we can also mention the distance between the defensive squad and zone of scrimmage. In the CFL, this distance stands at one yard, while in the NFL, it amounts to eleven inches. This difference will influence the player’s reactions in both the offense and defense.

Movements During Each Snap

The next difference is related to the movements within the snap. Here we should mention the CFL rule, where backfield players can move in any direction if they stay behind the scrimmage. NFL league, on the other hand, allows only one player to move during the snap but not in the direction of the scrimmage zone.

What About Time Rules

If we consider time rules, we can also notice that Canadian players should start the match within 20 seconds from the referee sign. American football rules are slightly different for each division. While the junior divisions in the high schools have the same time limit, the players in the NFL league have 40 seconds to start the game. There is also a difference in the number of allowed time outs.

Points in Each Touchdown

Speaking about several points per touchdown, both leagues allow attacking teams to try additional points after the touchdown. It is possible from the scrimmage zone or through kicks. It means that two leagues differ in the rule of ball placement when targeting additional points in the match.


As you can see, both leagues have specific rules and differ in many ways.That’s why you should check out the rules before betting on each match and bring smart decisions. It will allow you to have the best winning chances and longer playing sessions.

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