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Football Canada – Football Canada would like to provide clarification on one key strategy of the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Competition Review leading up to 2022.


Through various outlets, there has been some misinformation circulating around the gradual progression to 12-a-side tackle football.


In 2018, Football Canada’s Board of Directors and the Provincial Sport Organizations approved a motion to move up the date for the under-8 level to become non-contact mandatory in 2019. The under-8 category is for all participants under the age of 8.
Football Canada is not eliminating tackle football for under-12.   Rather, the 12-a-side tackle version is being phased into 6-a-side and 9-a-side tackle football for under-12 athletes (8,9,10 and 11 years of age) starting in 2022.


Football Canada and its Board of Directors and Provincial Sport Organizations are focused on the safety of its participants. This document provides the guidelines to ensuring players are developing at the proper rates and in the safest of manners. The document is continuously being reviewed as new information and research is brought forward.  


The U8 change was great example on how the leaders from across the country are working together to review and implement the safety standards into our game. President, Football Canada – Kim Wudrick


As per Strategy 2.E: Gradual progression to 12-a-side football
Gradual progression to 12-a-side tackle football.
The modified versions of the game offer more development opportunities, especially at the younger levels. They offer more playing time, more involvement in the action and better coach-to-athlete ratios. The gradual progression will ensure optimal athletic and tactical development at each developmental stage.
For more information on the Football Canada Long Term Athlete Development Competition Review and where the sport is moving please visit:
For any questions or clarification, please contact


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About Football Canada

Established in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally. 

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