date, how to sign up, location, and more

In some excellent news for football fans in Canada, the Canadian Football League (CFL) announced that it would be returning for the 2021 season. The CFL canceled the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFL plans to return with a 14-game schedule starting on August 5th.

Currently, the CFL consists of nine teams. There have been extensive talks between the CFL and XFL about a possible merger. The merger will most likely happen in 2022 if both sides can agree to terms.

With the announcement of the CFL’s return, let’s look at everything fans need to know about the league and how athletes can sign up and try out for the league.

When will the training camp for the CFL start?

Pro Football Network’s Mike Florio announced that the Canadian Football League would commence training camp on July 10th. Before players can report to training camp, they have to be in quarantine for eight days. The Canadian Football League training camps will end on July 31st, five days before the season starts.

How do players sign up for the CFL?

BC Lions
BC Lions

According to the Canadian Football League website, the league doesn’t hold general tryout camps, but the teams travel across North America on scouting trips. If an athlete is interested in trying out for a CFL team, they can contact them directly to set up a meeting. Due to the restrictions that the CFL has right now, it may be hard to schedule a scouting visit.

Teams and division in the Canadian Football League

Calgary Stampeders
Calgary Stampeders

The CFL has two divisions, East and West. The teams in the CFL battle for the Gray Cup. Here is a list of the nine teams in the CFL.

East Division

  • Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • Montreal Alouettes
  • Ottawa Redblacks
  • Toronto Argonauts

West Division

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

How is the CFL different from the NFL?

CFL and NFL logos
CFL and NFL logos

The CFL and NFL are different in many ways, but there are a few differences that stand out more than others. Let’s look at the main differences between the CFL and NFL.

Field Dimensions

The CFL field is 110 yards compared to 100 in the NFL. The CFL field is also 12 yards wider than an NFL field. Field goal posts in the CFL are placed at the goal line as opposed to behind the endzone.

The number of players allowed on the field

As the field is wider, the CFL allows 12 players on the field at a time. In the NFL, only 11 players are allowed on the field at a time. The 12th player on the field adds another eligible wide receiver for CFL offenses.

The number of downs

In the NFL, teams have four downs to move the chains, but in the CFL, teams have only three. The CFL limits teams to three downs to make teams pass the ball more.

Offensive players are allowed to motion at the time of the snap

In the NFL, one receiver may be in a lateral movement when the ball is snapped. The CFL allows many different kinds of motion pre-snap. Multiple offensive players can move in any direction, forward, backward, and laterally.

Punt returners cannot fair catch

In the CFL, punt returners must return the football. There’s no fair catch in the CFL and the returners get a five-yard halo to catch the ball. The NFL doesn’t have a halo rule unless the returner calls for a fair catch.


This may be the most interesting difference between the CFL and NFL. If a CFL team cannot return the football out of the end zone because of a touchback, the kicking team is awarded one point. If a CFL team misses a field goal, the defensive team is awarded a single point.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

I have 26 years of experience as a professional writer and editor and have been working as a full time freelancer since 2011. I am originally from Casablanca, Morocco, and I graduated from Qatar University with a degree in journalism. I have worked for newspapers, magazines, news agencies, websites. I speak fluent Arabic, French, English, Russian and Spanish.

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