Frequently Asked Questions about Players
- Who is the best player in the CFL? Who is the best player at position x in the CFL? Who is the best DB (Defensive Back) in the CFL?#
That is a good question but requires a subjective answer. CFLdb will not rank current or former players. As for positions, the db in CFLdb stands for database, not defensive back. Some of the great DB's from the CFL's past include Less Browne, Larry Highbaugh, Terry Irvine, Larry Crawford, Paul Bennett, Harry Skipper and Reggie Pleasant.
CFLapedia has records of many historical CFL players, including stats and records. A complete record of players, coaches and games from 1946-2012 can be found in The Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia.
- Where is [former player x] now? How can I contact [current player y]? How do I contact CFL Alumni?#
CFLdb is not affiliated with the CFL or CFLPA and has no contact with or knowledge of current or former players or their agents. I suggest you contact the CFL Head Office, CFLPA or individual clubs for current and alumni player contact information. You may also want to try the CFL Alumni Association.
- How many days per week do players/teams practice? How many hours per day do players practice? How many hours per day do players spend in meetings?#
A team's practice schedule in weeks where their games are seven days apart may look like the following:
- Sunday - play game, may return travel after game
- Monday - travel day, day off
- Tuesday - meetings, film review
- Wednesday - practice, meetings
- Thursday - practice, meetings
- Friday - practice, meetings, may travel late in day
- Saturday - travel day, pre-game walk through
- Sunday - play game
Section 6.02 of the CBA stipulates the following for regular season practices:
- Practice times and meetings must not exceed 4.5 hours in duration in a single day.
- When there are six or more days between games, players are required to have one day off between games without practices or meetings
- When there are five or less days between games, all practices that week shall not be in full gear but in sweats, shoulder pads, and helmets only.
In a seven day span, modern CFL teams dedicate one day to playing the game, two days off from practice usually, three days of practice, one day of walk through before playing their next game. Shortened weeks obviously cut into the practice days when games are less than seven days apart, with one day of practice and a walk-through being possible. Normally one of those games would be a road contest and necessitate travel, however it is possible for teams to play back-to-back games on the road or at home. This is a general guideline and team schedules can change from week-to-week within the confines of the CBA.
The CBA provides for a 4.5 hour working day for CFL players. Practices would generally be 2-2.5 hours long, leaving an additional 2 hours for meetings, film review, etc. There is little time to waste.
- What is the definition of a veteran in the CFL? Who qualifies as a rookie in the CFL? How does experience in other leagues affect a player's rookie/veteran status?#
There are at least two contexts defining a rookie/veteran in the CFL, the CBA and for the purposes of awards. The CBA is only concerned with CFL experience and defines a veteran in Section 10.01 as any player:
- Who in the immediately preceding season:
- Was on the Players Roster and/or Injured Players List and/or Disabled List of a Member Club or Member Clubs of the C.F.L. for seven or more games; or
- Who over any period of time in the preceding seasons:
- Was on the Players Roster and/or Injured Players List and/or Disabled List of a Member Club or Member Clubs of the C.F.L. for eight or more games;
In this Article “games” shall include regular season games, playoff games and Grey Cup games but not pre-season games.
Section 10.02 defines a one year veteran as a player who was on a CFL roster or inured/disabled list for seven games in their first year and for five or more games in any year after the player's first year in the CFL. The qualification of a veteran player and years of experience affects everything from supplementary compensation to negotiation list eligibility to player release restrictions among other CBA rules.
In determining who is a rookie/veteran for the purposes of eligibility for the Most Outstanding Rookie award, a player is defined as a rookie if:
He had not:
- In any prior season dressed for a member Club of the Canadian Football League at the time it played in a regular season or playoff or championship game;
— and —
- In the current season or in any prior season, dressed for a member Club in the National Football League, at the time it played in a regular season or post-season or championship game.
This is the only situation where player experience from other leagues is considered in any CFL rules or regulations to my knowledge.
- Who in the immediately preceding season:
- How much is a CFL pension? When does a CFL player qualify for a pension? How many games does a CFL player have to play before receiving a pension? How do I find out if I have CFL pension money owing to me?#
Note: I am not a pension specialist or financial advisor. The following is not professional advice. Please seek qualified advice before making any decisions.
The current CFL pension is a defined contribution rather than defined benefit plan. Therefore, it is impossible to place a value on the pension at retirement as it is dependent on the number of games a player plays and how well the money invested performs over time.
Under the current pension plan, instituted in 1999, member clubs make their annual pension contribution for any player on the roster, injured or disabled lists for nine or more games a season per Article 13 of the CBA. This payment is required within 28 days of a player playing his ninth game. A player's contribution is deducted from the player's game cheque over the first nine games (1/9th of the annual amount deducted per cheque) the player qualifies for a game cheque. Games in this instance includes regular season, playoff and Grey Cup games.
In 2013, the annual player and team pension contribution is $3,600 each. This increased by $100 per party for each of the past four years of the current CBA. Pension contributions made by a player are vested immediately and available for transfer out or as pension funds at retirement. A club contribution made once a player receives his ninth game cheque in a season may also be immediately vested1, the vesting period being the nine games but the exact status of these funds is unclear. I am not a pension specialist nor a financial advisor. Players, please contact Scott Flory, CFLPA President or Manulife Financial, Pension Plan Administrators for full details.
Former CFL players can review the CFLPA missing member page and contact the CFLPA with updated address info to claim any pension monies owed to them. Players should remember to keep the CFLPA informed of changes of address after their playing career is over to enable proper delivery of their pension statements.
1 — Vesting occurs after a person has been part of the plan for a specified amount of time in accordance with pension legislation. In Canada, this varies by province and is between two to ten years. Once a person is vested with a plan, they are entitled to receive the value of their own contributions plus those of the employer along with investment returns earned on both. Source: ReitrementAdvisor.ca
- How do I get a tryout with a CFL team? What is required to get a CFL tryout? When and where do CFL teams hold open tryout camps?#
CFL teams usually conduct tryout camps in April and May across the United States for free agent import players. In special circumstances, such as the expansion Ottawa RedBlacks team, free agent workouts were held in October the year prior to them fielding a team to get an advance look at players before they were allowed to start signing players. Some teams also hold late summer/early fall workouts looking for players for the increased practice roster period that occurs in October.
Undrafted Canadian (non-import) players can submit film to teams and request an invitation to training camp. Teams may hold private workouts for non-import players if they are interested. Players such as Rob Bagg and Tim O'Neill have taken this route to the CFL.
Workouts may be open or require film submission and team pre-approval to attend. A registration fee is normally required and will vary from team-to-team. To participate in a tryout/free agent camp, players must have expired college eligibility and be a free agent (not be under contract with a team in any other football league). Players on a CFL team negotiation list will only be able to workout for that team; if a player is not aware he is on a negotiation list, he will be informed if he contacts another team. To enter Canada, players must hold a valid passport whether travelling by land or air. Teams may want to know this is in place before offering a tryout.
Information on all CFL team tryout camps is linked on the CFL Tryout page. Details on each team's details is linked below. Look for teams to publish dates of their spring free agent camps in the first few months of the year. Watch the CFL Tryout page and team sites for updates during the year. Please refer to each team's page for official information, including workout details and registration fees.
Remember to label all film submission materials as "Educational Materials" to avoid border delays.
Submit a Question
Didn't find the question/answer you were looking for? Submit a question (and optionally a corresponding answer) below that you would like to see added to the FAQ on this site. Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated for inclusion in our Frequently Asked Questions list. Questions are not published immediately. Due to abuse you must submit an email address with your question. Valid, non-duplicate generalist questions will be added. For specific questions not suitable for the FAQ, please see the contact page.