Article 1 — Seven Players On Line#

At the instant the ball is put in play, at least seven players of Team A must be within one yard, and on their own side of the line of scrimmage. This does not include the player in the position usually occupied by the quarterback.

Conversely, Team A can never have more than five players, including the quarterback, in backfield positions.


Article 2 — Stance#

No line player of Team A, except the centre, having assumed a three-point or four-point stance, may legally move the head, body, arms, hand, legs or feet until the ball is snapped.


Article 3 — Identification & Positions#

On all scrimmage plays at least five line players, including the centre, shall be identified as ineligible pass receivers and must be positioned in a continuous, unbroken line. In addition, one player at each end of the line shall be identified as an eligible pass receiver.

Any other Team A player is an eligible pass receiver, if so identified by playing number and, at the snap of the ball, is occupying a backfield position at least one yard back of the line of scrimmage.

NOTE: Team A Players shall be identified by numbering as follows:

Eligible receivers will wear numbers from 0-49 and 70-00.

Ineligible receivers will wear numbers from 50-69.

NOTE: Notwithstanding this article, a Team A player wearing an eligible receiver number may enter the game at an ineligible receiver position under the following circumstances:

  1. on a third down play or,
  2. on a convert attempt or,
  3. on a first or second down kicking formation in the last minute of a quarter, provided that, prior to the game, Team A had declared to the Referee which eligibly numbered players may be so deployed, in which event, any such declared player shall not be eligible as a pass receiver, regardless of the position occupied on that play.

A maximum of 2 players wearing an ineligible number (50 — 69) will be allowed to line up in an eligible position as an end or in the backfield after reporting to the referee prior to a scrimmage play. The referee will inform the opposing team and all officials of the player number and position he will be playing.


Article 4 — Linemen In Motion#

No player of Team A, who is within one yard of the line of scrimmage, shall be moving towards the opponent's Goal Line when the ball is put in play.

All Team A players positioned in the scrimmage zone from offensive tackle to offensive tackle inclusive, or having assumed a three-point or four-point stance within one yard of the line of scrimmage, shall be required to remain motionless for at least one second immediately prior to the snap of the ball.

EXCEPTION: Rule 6, Section 4, Article 4, Note 4

Article 5 — Designated Quarterback#

Prior to the game, a team is required to designate three players who shall be permitted to alternate for each other during the game at the quarterback position exclusively. Not more than one such player may be in the game at any time and none of the three can enter the game as a member of Team B.

PENALTY: L25 PLS DR or L25 PBD or option.

NOTE: For the purposes of this Article 5, the duties of the quarterback position may include punting, place kicking and kicking off. If a team designates three quarterbacks for a game, the player designated as the third quarterback shall not be eligible for kicking duties.

Article 6 — Designated Import#

If a team is using its full complement of import players, it shall, prior to the game, designate three import players as special teams players, who shall be permitted to enter the game at another position, only on the understanding that another import player is required to leave the game for that play. Such player may enter the game on an unrestricted basis, only if another import player is removed for the balance of the game.

If a designated import participates in the game illegally:

PENALTY: L25 PLS DR or L25 PBD or option.


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The CFL Official Rule Book is published annually by the Canadian Football League. Any inquiries regarding the CFL Official Playing Rules may be directed to George Black at