American and Canadian Soccer Balls Comparison: Key Differences


North America is famous for playing a different type of football than the rest of the world. The game is a close relative of what other regions refer to as rugby, which is no surprise considering that this version of football stems from it. Professional football fans from North America have two options of the famous game.

One of them is the National Football League (NFL) from the USA and one of the largest sports leagues in the world. The second is the Canadian Football League (CFL), which is played in Canada. Both types of soccer are very similar to each other, but they have some key differences that set them apart.

Field size

The official playing field of Canadian football is larger than that of American football. The former is 100.6 by 59.44 meters, which is similar to the American fields before 1912. The latter is 91.44 by 48.77 meters tall. Canada added 20-yard end zones in 1986, making them 10 yards deeper than American football. Previously, the end zones covered 25 yards, and it was Vancouver’s BC The Place that reduced it to 20 yards in 1986. The Toronto Argonauts reduced it to 18 yards in 2016. With these end zones, the Canadian fields are 34% larger than those used in the United States.

The fields also differ in the placement of the goal posts for kicking. In American football they are on the end line, while in the Canadian version they are on the goal line. Canadian rules are 21.9 meters between the touchline and the bars. In America there are three different distances depending on the level played, as follows:

  • Amateur (high school) – 16.26 meters
  • NCAA (college level) – 18.29 meters
  • NFL (professional level) – 21.56 meters

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Team size

Canadian football has twelve players on each team, while the American variant has eleven. Both sports have the same number of offensive players placed on the scrimmage line, and the twelfth player on Canadian teams holds a backcourt position.

This influences the position designations of various offensive and defensive lines. For example, American football has tight ends that were played in the 1980 Canadian version. Instead, Canadian teams have two slotbacks.

Ball size

Historically, the Canadian Football League has used a slightly larger ball than the National Football League. The CFL had larger specifications, and Canadian manufacturers tended to design balls that were on the larger end of the allowable tolerance. The NFL, on the other hand, made balls that were at the end of the lower tolerance. However, Canada didn’t update its specs until 2018 to incorporate the NFL specs.

Movement at the snap

Canadian football allows all offensive backcourt players with the exception of the quarterback to get to the point. Players can move in any direction as long as they stay behind the scrimmage line during the snap. In addition, the two wide receivers at either end of the scrimmage line can be in motion.

Teams encourage a lot of movement in order to confuse the opposing defense and give the receivers a starting advantage. This way they can quickly cross the line of scrimmage when the ball is caught and get into the field faster than if they hadn’t initially moved.

American football, on the other hand, only lets one offensive player move after everyone else has been hired. He cannot move towards the line of scrimmage while the ball is caught. The player’s movement must begin behind the line of scrimmage while the players cannot move on the line.


In Canadian football, teams must play a game within 20 seconds despite the previous situation. In American football, however, the offensive team has 25 seconds after the referee kicked off the high school play-in. This is changing in the NCAA and NFL, where teams must play a game 40 seconds after the previous game ended. You also get 25 seconds after a timeout or penalty.

Canadian football also has a three-minute warning that traverses all levels of the sport, and the clock is paused for the last three minutes of each half after each game. American football cuts it down to a two-minute warning and grants three timeouts in each half. In the NCAA, however, the two-minute warning is removed, but the clock stops on a first down. Play continues when the ball is ready.


Both American and Canadian football sports place the ball in a line of scrimmage. The middle player takes a snap that starts a soccer game. Canadian football laws mandate that the snapshot must be taken between the center’s legs. There is no such rule in American football, but it is performed in the same way regardless to ensure that the center is in a blocking position after the snap. Canadian Football places a yard between the line of scrimmage and the defensive team. This distance is reduced to eleven inches in American football, making it seem like the players are going head-to-head.


Both versions of football offer a team a set number of downs to bring the ball over ten yards. They are limited to three in Canadian football and increased to four in American football.


Football is mostly about money, and the NFL is burdened with that. Hence, the salaries of its players are much higher than those of the CFL players. The average salary of an NFL player is approximately $ 2.7 million while that of a CFL player is $ 96,857. Canadian players often have to take part-time jobs in the off-season to supplement their football income. The highest-paid NFL player, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, earns an annual salary of $ 45 million. Others topping the list are:

  • Dak Prescott (Cowboys QB) – $ 40 million
  • Deshaun Watson (Texans QB) – $ 39 million
  • Russell Wilson (Seahawks QB) – $ 35 million
  • Aaron Rodgers (Packers QB) – $ 33.5 million
  • Jared Goff (Rams QB) – $ 33.5 million
  • Kirk Cousins ​​(Vikings QB) – $ 33 million

Those salaries are miles above the CAD 2.9 million paid to BC Lions QB Mike Reilly, the highest paid Canadian soccer player.


Canadian and American football are both entertaining in similar and different ways. The CFL and NFL host tournaments each year that can be viewed on various sports channels.

(Devdiscourse journalists were not involved in the preparation of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect, and Devdiscourse is not responsible for, the views of Devdiscourse.)


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