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Everything You Need to Know About the CFL: Canada’s Premier Football League

American Football is an exciting sport that generates a lot of interest worldwide. In the US, the NFL is the league to follow if you’re into such a sport. With a storied past full of incredible teams and players, it’s not surprising that people, even those outside the US, are drawn into it. The whole NFL season culminates into one big event, the Super Bowl.

As mentioned above, American football is a sport that’s watched and loved by many people all over the world. It’s no surprise that the US’s closest neighbor is also interested in the sport. Canada’s answer to the US’s NFL is the CFL.

The CFL or the Canadian Football League is smaller than the NFL and has only nine teams divided into two divisions, the east, and the west. Although much smaller compared to the NFL, the CFL is in league with the NFL regarding thrilling action. With that said, let’s get to know more about the CFL:

Season Length

Each team in the CFL plays 18 games. June is when the regular season of the NFL starts. It ends at the start of November. After the end of regular-season games, the league enters into the playoffs. After two rounds, the league culminates into the Grey Cup Game or the championship game at the end of November.


The CFL also allows its fans and viewers to bet on its games. Prop bets can also be placed with CFL games. Since the CFL also relies on a coin toss, fans can also bet on it similar to how fans enjoy the Super Bowl Coin Toss Prop Bet. Prop bets are bets you can make that may or may not affect the game’s outcome.

Bets placed on game prop bets are based on the events that happen within the game, such as who will score the first touchdown, who will be the MVP, how many yards a team gets, etc. For those unrelated to the game, these prop bets are called exotic prop bets. Examples of exotic prop bets are: what player appears first on television during a telecast, the colour of the Gatorade or drink a winning coach gets doused with, or who will sing the national anthem.

Rule Differences

Although the CFL and NFL are both exciting in terms of play, there are lots of differences when it comes down to the specifics. Here are some significant differences between the CFL and the NFL.

  • Play Clock – The CFL uses a 20-second play clock compared to the NFL, which uses a 40-second play clock. Since teams have a limited time to set their plays, they’ll have a hard time running out the clock during the final two minutes of the game. This ruling makes it possible for some teams to make a comeback.
  • Bigger Playing Field – The CFL field is 12 yards wider than the NFL field.
  • 12 Players – With a larger field, teams in the CFL can put out 12 players to play. The NFL only fields 11 players.
  • The Rouge – The Rouge is a single point awarded to the team that kicks the ball out of the endzone by any legal means.
  • Three downs – CFL teams on the offence only have three downs instead of four.

The Teams

The NFL has 32 teams coming from both the AFC or the American Football Conference and NFC or the National Football Conference. Each conference is then split into four divisions. The CFL, on the other hand, is much simpler and smaller. The league has only 9 active teams. These teams are then divided into the Eastern and Western divisions. There are currently talks to add a 10th team in the CFL.

Eastern Division Teams

Western Division Teams

  • Saskatchewan Roughriders
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • BC Lions
  • Edmonton Elks
  • Calgary Stampeders

All nine teams in the CFL have gone on to the Grey Cup and won at least once. The winningest team in the CFL are the Edmonton Elks, with 11 championship wins over 19 total appearances in the Grey Cup.

The Ottawa Redblacks have won a single championship over three appearances. The team that has gone to the Grey Cup the most is the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. As of this writing, the most recent champion is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with their 9th title win.

Rumoured XFL Collaboration

At the height of the pandemic, the CFL cancelled its 2020 season. This cancellation marked the first time in league history where no Grey Cup Champion was decided. On March 10, 2021, the XFL announced that it had entered talks with the CFL for a collaboration. Although many were excited by this news, the talks ended without anything materialising.

In Conclusion

The CFL is Canada’s Premier Football League. Although the CFL is much smaller than its American counterpart (NFL), Canadians and people worldwide enjoy the CFL. With just nine teams, the CFL is a great sports league with a considerable following.

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Priyanka Chaudhary
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