The Differences between American Football and Canadian Football (NFL vs CFL) – EXPLAINED!


Ninh Explains the Difference between American
Football and Canadian Football. This is a game of American Football.
This is a game of Canadian Football. They both look the same, so they must be the
same sport, right? Well – no. Not quite. There’s several rule differences between
the two that makes them almost completely different sports.
Before I explain the differences, if you guys want a more detailed explanation of the rules
of these games, click here for American football and here for Canadian Football. Right, so … differences. Let’s start with
the field. The Canadian field is both longer and wider
than its southern counterpart. An American football field is 100 yards by
53 yards. The Canadian football field is 110 yards by
65 yards. The reason why it’s 110 yards is that Canada
(with its love for the metric system) originally specified that the field should be 100 metres
… and 100 metres is roughly 110 yards! American football endzones are 10 yards long
with the goalposts at the rear. Canadian football endzones are 20 yards long
with the goalposts at the front goal line. So how about the players?
There are 11 players on the field per side in American Football.
Canadian Football has 12 players per side. In American Football, only 1 man is allowed
move during the snap and can only move laterally or backward.
In Canadian Football, anyone who isn’t a quarterback or a lineman can move in any direction
before the snap. In American Football, defensive players are
allowed to line up at the line of scrimmage In Canada, defensive players have to line
up 1 yard away from the line of scrimmage. How about some rules differences? Well …
In American Football, you have four downs to make 10 yards.
In Canadian Football, you only have 3 downs to make those same 10 yards.
In American Football, you can signal for a fair catch, allowing the receiver to catch
the ball safely. The Canadians think that this is an abomination
and they don’t have a fair catch rule. In American Football, you have either 25 seconds
or 40 seconds to play the ball. In Canada, you only get 20 seconds.
And you get a two minute warning in American, and a 3 minute warning in Canadian. The scoring is exactly the same in both games,
except in Canada you get 1 point for missing a field goal. Wait what? Missing a field goal? Yep, if you
miss a field goal and it clears the endzone, the kicking team gets a point. This is known
as a ‘rouge’, but more commonly known as a ‘single’.
You can also score a single by tackling a ball carrier in their endzone after a field
goal attempt or punt attempt. To add further confusion, a kicker is allowed
to recover his own kick so long as it travels 10 yards in Canadian Football, whereas south
of the border it has to travel at least 10 yards AND be touched by an opposing player.
In American Football, a missed punt or missed field goal is ruled ‘dead’ and play stops.
In Canadian Football, a missed punt or missed field goal is ruled ‘live’ and the other
team may run with the ball to try and score a touchdown. There are other rule differences between the
two, but these are the main ones that you need to know about. So what does all this mean?
These rules generally mean that American Football is more defensively and tactically minded.
The extra down means that the American game is balanced between running the football,
passing the football and kicking the football. Canadian Football, they have one less down
to move the ball 10 yards, so emphasis is usually based on passing the football.
Kicking is more important in the Canadian game, as kicking the ball occurs more frequently.
The 1 yard gap rule and the fact that there’s only three downs is a severe disadvantage
to the defences of Canadian teams. This means that it’s pretty much an offensive
shootout every game, with high scores being the norm.
American football players tend to be bigger in size and strength, whilst in Canadian Football,
the players are slightly smaller as they need to be able to move more and be faster than
their American counterparts. There are various myths that people think
about these two types of football, and I’m here to hopefully dispel some of them. MYTH 1: Canada has bigger balls.
It’s a common misconception that the balls in Canadian football are bigger, but the actual
allowed dimensions fall into each other’s specifications meaning that they in theory
both sports can use the same ball. Given also that both balls are made by the same manufacturer
– it seems implausible that Wilson would have two different machines that make two
different balls that vary by only a couple of millimetres. (Hint – they don’t!) MYTH 2: The CFL is just a graveyard for has-been
NFL and College players. Actually, the CFL has actually produced many
top players that went on to have good NFL careers such as Joe Theismann, Warren Moon
and Doug Flutie. MYTH 3: Canadian Football has taken American
Football rules and blatantly changed them. Hate to burst your bubble there Yanks, but
the Canadians invented their game first. MYTH 4: Canadian Football is inferior to American
Football. I wouldn’t say that. I mean sure if you’re
talking about the amount of money it generates and the amount of money the players get paid,
American football wins hands down. But in terms of the actual sport itself, Canadian
Football is not inferior, it’s just different to the American game.
I watch both kinds of football regularly and I can honestly say that I prefer Canadian
Football, but that’s just me. You’re entitled to think differently. If you have found this video helpful, please
comment rate and subscribe. It takes ages to make these things and good karma is appreciated.
Likewise for further explanation of the rules for each game, see my other videos. Ninh Ly, www.ninh.co.uk, @NinhLyUK

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