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
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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100 thoughts on “The Differences between American Football and Canadian Football (NFL vs CFL) – EXPLAINED!”

1. Ninh Ly says:

Yes, I'm fully aware that there were a few errors in this video. (Metric system, 10 yards for a kick, missed field goal is live, Alaska is not part of Canada etc.) I corrected these with annotations, which you should be seeing in the video as the errors come up. Can people please stop pointing these things out, as they appear on screen and it's visible enough to read?
This was one of my first attempts at video production and have improved massively since 3 years ago.

2. Zachary Mccoy says:

Does the UK use metric?

my naighbors nephew plays Canadian football as a qb

4. Caleb Wayland says:

took me 10 seconds on google that cfl was started in 1958 but the nfl was started in 1920.

5. I like The chiefs says:

COPYCAT!!!

6. Redneckgaming42 says:

4:35 i found my poutine

7. Sam Carter says:

Great work on this

8. joshuabelmonte12 says:

Both versions are great IMO, although the NFL cant beat the CFL Thursday Night Football theme song

9. slapchop14 says:

You can return missed field goals in the NFL. They call it a kick six (instead of pick 6 where an interception is returned for a touchdown). Also, blocked field goals behind the line of scrimmage can be recovered by the defense and scored.

10. Jason Williams says:

CFL is the better sport – there's a reason it's called the "No Fun League". NFL could easily add a few things to improve their sport – such as multiple players in motion… But the biggest difference of 3 and 4 downs makes the CFL so much more entertaining. Let's admit it, there are only so many times we can wait a minute just to see a running back smash into a wall of humanity for no gain before it starts to get tedious.

11. Buddy Mode says:

One difference, we're not as polite when running you over

12. Jay-Rock says:

The Canadian football 🏈 needs to change all their rules except for 1 just like the NFL & I guarantee more NFL players will come to CFL & have a beautiful career. It will bring more teams & great business to the CFL if they decide to follow the path of the NFL.

13. Chris says:

I find the ftoni field goal post stupid in Canadian football. It interferes with the play and players but I guess you can call it a twist

14. Benjamin Avery says:

Can u do a video on how baseball is played differently in Canada and America?

15. NOVYA says:

The ball is bigger in cfl

16. Zeppelin Live says:

Thank you. That was very informative.

17. Phil Email says:

Should have mentioned the no-yards penalty as well

18. esils says:

Inferiority is inherent if NFL generates billions more than CFL😒

19. Coordinator says:

You can say that our northern neighbor is more scientific.

20. Barkletons McBark says:

Canadian fan here. I've watched both through the years and prefer the pace of the CFL way more. More explosive plays and a shorter time to get it together on the field.

21. Bill Lee says:

Uhhh…no. Canada didn't "adopt" a 110 yard field because it was 100m (metric). Canada didn't adopt the metric system until 1970, and had been playing football since 1896. Not only that but between 1906 – 1911 American teams played on 110 yard fields and with 3 downs not 4.

22. Joe DiMaggio says:

In American football the opposing team does not have to touch the ball after 10 yards for u to recover the ball on a kick off, just needs to travel 10 yards. If the opposing team touches the ball before 10 yards the kicking team can recover it.

23. X ACE X says:

Does anyone actually think of the CFL as a competitor to the NFL? Like it might be the closest thing to its level but come on. Everybody thinks of it as a development league for players trying to make the NFL

24. paul kim says:

Don’t get the Goal post at the front.

25. paul kim says:

I’ve seen QB hitting the goalpost when WR was clearly open. Also most likely to get injured from front post compared to back post.

26. Gary Gagnon says:

The real difference is CFL sticks closer to rugby rules, that`s why the field is bigger and the point system too.

27. Mr. Money says:

Imagine being tied at the championship game and with no time left, have a bad kick and still win the match

28. daniel zamir says:

i think we should invade canada and make them play american football … but that's just me.

29. Dean K says:

I prefer the NFL's fair catch compared to the CFL's "No Yards" Penalty". Makes me mad when I watch a CFL game and a team is penalized for not giving the kickoff receiver 10 yards

30. Joseph Fisher says:

The CFL is a much faster game and the teams are evenly matched that makes for close games. They are usually high scoring games and the CFL game a lead is never truly safe because of the comebacks CFL teams can make in just a couple of minutes. The CFL quarterbacks need to run just as pass and speed is prefered in their players. There is great special teams because of the wide field where you see incredible runs from punts and kickoffs. The NFL looks slow motion compared to the CFL game and you see much more passing than runs. But defense wins championships in the CFL like the NFL.

31. Jack Daniels says:

Go Riders! Gainer is the greatest mascot in sports!

32. Riley Hammermeister says:

CFL is more exciting cause there are less downs to make 10 yards which makes it difficult but i results in literally twice as many punts as an NFL game, NFL is a slower game having 40 seconds on the play clock gives lots of time to set up each play and more downs to make 10 yards can be kind of boring but there are more offensive plays so its based on perception but i enjoy both games

33. TK Billington says:

I'd like to know more about how all codes of football are related. Very good video!

34. Julius Mendoza says:

Interesting that the CFL doesn’t have larger footballs because in the 90s they used that as a marketing line. Something like “We have bigger balls”, to try and promote CFL.

35. LowqualityTop10s says:

The athletes are just far and away superior

I’n America, do you guys say “hike” like “down set hike”?

It just seems weird to me because we say “down set HUT!” Hut or hike, interesting.

37. X7 clammy1111 says:

NFL is better

38. Collin Bismark says:

murica

39. Tom Black says:

They should unify the rules, it would make football more fun to watch internationally.

40. kirkn burgerz says:

Im Australian and follow AFL I wanted to see what the difference was with American and Canadian and I must say Canadian sounds more of a game to me then the Americans version

41. Eccentric Gamer says:

3:51 – "Canada has bigger balls"
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

42. Snow Dude says:

Thanks dude

43. John McCawson says:

CFL is the winner for me!

44. Heath Settle says:

What would you guys say is more different? Canadian football vs American football…or Rugby Union vs Rugby League?

45. R ,T says:

CFL > NFL

46. jjprulz says:

The differences between Yank and Canuck football is kinda sorta like the differences between Rugby League and Rugby Union.
(edited to mention that I saw another comment below saying the same thing)

47. Crazy Lovatic says:

Yeah, I could tell you were biased. I prefer NFL, although Arland Bruce is my relative. I remember they had one of his games on TV and I was excited about it lol

48. Claude Moreau says:

Great video, thank you

49. Teegan Hanas says:

Well CFL goalposts are in the upper end zone but whatever

50. Mar Blox says:

Why is the US called "America" when Canada and every other country in the western hemisphere is also in America.???

51. Total War Destroyer says:

52. Bruce Kerr says:

The 110 yard length of the Canadian field has nothing to do with the metric system. It was in place decades before the country went metric.

53. NEW ERA MGTOW MONK says:

Yes, it is a different game, and quite entertaining with two decent teams. One rule that you did not mention is that to keep the sport Canadian, 7 or 8 of the on field players at any time must be Canadian!

54. daer devvyl says:

4:37 Holy crap, Celine looks good here.

55. Sneak says:

Yeah it's true, Canadian have bigger balls ^^

56. Golden Retriever says:

Not sure about the 100m field. The CFL has been around a lot longer than the medic system has been in Canada. I think the field in the CFL was adopted from rugby….but I don't know how big a rugby field is.

57. Jay Mac says:

Canadian football players are smaller because they couldn’t make the nfl😳

58. Isaac Stop says:

As an nfl and cfl fan, I can honestly say that Canadian football is more exciting throughout the game due to it being faster, more throws and less downs, but the nfl is great too

59. The Greasy Potato says:

You were right about the American football field but you have to count the endzones to and same for Canada
America would be 120 yards

60. EREX98 says:

I would love to see some rules from the CFL come over to the NFL mainly the players can move and no false start and you can return punts and field goals

61. Garry Robertson says:

Canadian Football – If a player on the punting team lines up behind the punter, he can recover the ball as he is 'on side'. It makes for some really interesting plays. Also, to avoid the Rouge, the receiving team can kick the ball out of the end zone as long as it remains in bounds.

62. King Hip-O says:

2:41 A missed field goal is also live in American Football and scoring a touchdown from a missed field goal is called a Kick Six. The 2013 Iron Bowl (Auburn v. Alabama) is one of the best example of a Kick Six.

63. infiniTV says:

So wait the score can be 2-1????

64. Benjamin Zev says:

NFL players go to jail during off season.
CFL players work as substitute teachers during the off season (all 10 months of it).

65. YourIGNORANCEMyENTERTAIMMENT says:

Who’s paying this guy?? NFL would destroy cfl no question

66. Christian Bates says:

3:51 “Canada has bigger balls” best line ever

67. Arpandeep Singh says:

Didn't even heard of Canadian football before this.

68. Hello says:

In American football, it is extreeeemmlyyy hard to get 1 point. In Canadian Football, there’s Rouges. (American football, if a team scores a td and goes for a 2pt conversion, and gets tackled in their own end zone ((98 yards behind the line of scrimmage)) it results in a ‘1 point safety’.)

69. A1zWestcoast says:

Correction: kickers can recover there own kicks without the oppopnenet touching the ball on Kickoffs in the nfl… Only punts have to be touch by an opponent…

70. David Alder says:

Also the NFL is way more popular than the CFL. Even in Canada.

71. Mike says:

72. Kashi राजपूत says:

Game of football, which is played with HANDS… 😂

73. Connor Minchin says:

In the cfl you have to give the kick return a certain amount of yards and after he catches the ball they can rush him

74. ian Chapman says:

Actually in American football you ARE allowed to return a kick (FG attempt) if it falls into the field of play. Doing this negates the automatic spot the opposing team would normally get from a failed kick. it's pretty rare in American football, but it does happen (and sometimes is returned for TDs).

75. Joanne Ward says:

Knew about the downs and field size difference but not all the other stuff, great video👍🏻

76. Uroš Raca says:

Hey I love the background music. Its Nina Williams theme from Tekken 3. Excellent choice!

77. steve Pepke says:

Lmao, yeah you goofy Canadian's made Football rules before the land of the free alright, but, we don't call Soccer, Football. I honestly like the Queen worshipers version ok, but, the NFL is where the Elites go for a reason.

78. Charles Brooks says:

2:40 the ball only has to travel 10 yards in American football for it to be a live ball on a kickoff. It does not have to be touched by the opposing team before the kicking team can recover it.

79. tchevrier says:

canadian football doesn't have a fair catch because it has a 5 yard keep out zone that defenders must give the guy catching the punt.

80. Andrew Thomas says:

You got the FG and punt rule wrong for American, blocked punts are live and is common, also the defense can return missed field goals as long as the ball stays in bounds

81. VGTPortfolioReviewer says:

I used to think the opposition automatically scored 1 point if a field goal was missed; however, this shows the same team could actually score the point if they meet the criteria for it.

What are you talking about?? Our balls are huge

83. Varun Chaturvedi says:

In Canadian football they say sorry

84. Neutralis says:

Have they ever thought about CFL vs the NFL?

85. frosty pablo says:

Hahahaha.
Biggest AFL hits parts 1-2
AFL big hits.
AFL the worlds oldest football code. 1858.
Older than soccer. 1877.
We play AFL. Only some rugby.

86. Peter Strianus says:

I enjoy both in different ways. I just think the CFL could shorten the season and change the playoffs system, basically almost everybody is going to the post season, just the winner of division could work with a straight "Superbowl".

87. Metal Marty says:

As a Canadian, I've always like the nfl better. The single point rule in the CFL is so stupid. Imagine being in the Grey cup on the 30 yard line with 3 seconds left in the game and it's tied 28-28. The kick is up, up, up, and wide left right through the end zone and the teams wins with a missed field goal. So stupid.

88. Jacob Curtis says:

You can return a missed fg or punt in NFL

89. Paul Connolly says:

Why in God's name are either of these games called Football when they are all about running and throwing.
Paul Connolly

90. Asher Dossetter says:

The sport is called gridiron football and it’s 2 separate sports for both of its versions of American and Canadian. Just like Pokémon like red and blue or gold and silver.

91. Elvis ! says:

NFL 🇺🇸🇺🇸🏈🏈

92. joseph lepage says:

I watch cfl for nap time. Go lions

93. Wiremue says:

And here I was thinking Australian football was the only code that gave you an "at least you tried" point for missing the goal.

94. Roch Fortune says:

I think cfl has better rules in theory especially in the overtime

95. Graeson K says:

I’m so mad that they show the Riders losing.

96. SandboxArrow says:

At least we can all agree Football is better than Soccer

97. Mac Burch says:

How is cfl better than American fball

98. Herms Fresh says:

There another football, is called the real football. The one they use legs to play with.

99. George Baxter says:

The nfl is better change my mind

100. Maria Johnson says:

I like it👍😁