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The Sport Information Resource Centre
Football Canada – A number of changes, clarifications and corrections were approved to the Canadian Amateur Tackle Football Rule Book. The changes are for immediate distribution and implementation. They will be added to the next printable edition of the rule book in May 2020.
The changes include:
  • New rule making it illegal to tie or knot team jerseys and failure of compliance will result in penalty
  • Changes in the “sleeper play” rule
    • It is either a pass play or kick play designed to deceive the opponent
    • Often occurs with the ball on the opposite side of the field, Team A lines up quickly, snaps the ball, and throws either a forward pass or lateral to a remote A player.
  • Revision of Line and Backfield rule – line players include 5 ineligible receivers and two eligible receivers at each end.
  • Revision on the piling on, tackling out of bounds rule
    • When a player in possession of the ball is giving him/herself up by sliding, all unnecessary must be avoided.
    • The slide must be done in a timely manner to allow defences to avoid such contact.
  • Standardization of the blindside block so it shall be illegal for any player to deliver a forcible block on an opponent when moving back towards their own dead ball line anywhere on the field
  • The creation of a section on “Tourist Hits”.
    • A player shall be penalized for unnecessary roughness when he commits, Unnecessary physical contact, including but not limited to, running into, diving into, cut blocking or throwing body on a player who is:
  • Standardization of the rule about blocks at or below the knee On any play, it shall be illegal for a player of either team to block an opponent below the waist except when the block occurs in an area between the tight ends or tight end position, within 2 yards of the defensive side of the line of scrimmage extending back to the initial position of the quarterback or kicker. A player initiating a block below the waist in this area must be positioned in this zone at the snap of the ball for the block to be legal.
I) Out of the play
ii) would not have reasonably anticipated such by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead.
  • It is incumbent upon players to know when the play is dead and whether their actions will be deemed reasonable under this rule. If a player is many yards away from ball carrier and has stopped playing, or the play is clearly going dead and he is not participating in the play, he should not reasonably expect to be hit. Special attention should be provided to kickers and quarterbacks who have given up on the play. An opponent should not see this as an opportunity for a “free shot”.


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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.