CFL announces rule changes for 2023 season


With the 2023 Canadian Football League (CFL) season set to begin this week with rookie camps, the league announced a few rules have received some modifications.

The Board of Governors unanimously approved the set of rule changes proposed by the league’s Rules Committee.

One rule that has been changed, is now a safety has been added to the options for holding in the team’s own goal area. If a team commits a holding penalty within their own endzone, the other team now has the option of receiving two points.

Defensive formations on field goals and point after converts have now been restricted, with the number of players within two yards of the line of scrimmage on either side of the long snapper has been restricted to a maximum of six players at the snap. This change has been made so defences can’t overload one side of their formation.

The requirement for the ball to be touched prior to ruling a rouge on a kickoff has been removed. This moves aligns the rules of the rouge on all kick plays.

Opening position for a team will now move up in the following five scenarios:

1. Section 5A – If a kicked ball strikes the goal post assembly in flight and when Team B intercepts a ball or recovers a fumble in their own goal area, the next point of scrimmage will be the 30-yard line.
2. Section 5B – Penalty applications with fouls in the goal area will be applied from the 30- or 15-yard line dependent upon the foul.
3. Section 6C – When a penalty or ruling awards possession of the ball to the opponent, the point of possession will move up 5 yards.
4. These changes align the drive start adjustment made in 2022 with other scenarios.

Teams can’t players wearing both 0 and 00. Teams are allowed to have player wear 0 or 00, but aren’t allowed to have both.

The league also announced a change to the rules when contact is made with an official. When an official is contacted by a player, or an authorized member of a team bench area, officials will be permitted to check with the command centre to assist with a judgment as to whether contact was “avoidable” and if so, a 10-yard objectionable conduct penalty will be applied.

With files from the Canadian Football League



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