1. Rule 1 Conduct of the Game - Section 9 Article 8 Illegal Participation – amended to read as follows:

    If a player goes out of bounds, as a result of bodily contact with an opponent, he is not required to remain out of the continuing play. However, in order to participate further, he must re-establish himself in the field of play with at least one foot in bounds and no contact with out of bounds.

    If a player goes out of bounds, as a result of bodily contact with a teammate, which was not initiated by an opponent, he must remain out of that play. (Page 20)

  2. Rule 6 Passing – Article 8, 9 & 10 re-organized with amended wording added to Article 10 - Interference After A Pass Has Been Completed:

    After a forward pass has been completed across the line of scrimmage, a Team A player may block an opponent anywhere within bounds, provided that contact is made only above the waist of the opponent. (Page 50)

  3. Rule 4 Scrimmage – Section 5 Article 3 Identification & Positions – NOTE: (c) - amended to read as follows:

    (c) On a first or second down kicking formation in the last minute of a quarter, provided that prior to the game, Team A declared to the Referee a list of eligibly numbered players who may be so deployed and such eligibly numbered players shall not be eligible as pass receivers, regardless of the position occupied on that play.

    At any time during the game, an eligibly numbered player may be added to the list by entering the field of play and reporting to the Referee.

    If an eligibly numbered player who is not on the list participates at an ineligible receiver position (within one yard of the line of scrimmage tackle to tackle), his team will be warned once and his number will be added to the list. (Page 35 & 47)

  4. Rule 5 Kicking – Section 4 Article 3 Kick from Scrimmage Going Out of Bounds in Flight amended to read as follows:

    On a kick from scrimmage going out of bounds in flight from 20 yard line to 20 yard line, the receiving team will have the option of having a 10 yard penalty applied against the kicking team at either point of last scrimmage with the down repeated, or at the point the ball was ruled out of bounds with a first down to the receiving team. (Page 44)

  5. Instant Replay - Passing Plays (Approved Rulings) - I.R.A.R. 14 Lateral Pass going forward or backward – amended to read as follows:

    First and ten on A20. QB throws a lateral pass from the A10 yard line that is ruled onside, and Team B recovers the loose ball. Replays show the pass was forward, hitting the ground at the A11 yard line.

    RULING : Reviewable play. Pass is incomplete. A’s ball downs continuing. If the pass was in fact onside but was whistled as incomplete, and Team B immediately recovers the ball, Team B would be awarded possession but not allowed to advance. If not immediately recovered by Team B, Team A would lose yardage but retain possession of the ball at the point from where the pass was thrown with downs continuing. (Page 77)

  6. Instant Replay - Reviewable Plays - Guiding Principle # 2 & Instant Replay (Approved Rulings) I.R.A.R. 13 & I.R.A.R. 18 - amended to read as follows:


    2. Passing plays – pass complete or incomplete. (wording removed – If a pass is ruled incomplete, then the defence cannot get possession of the ball) (Page 72)

    I.R.A.R 13 - QB pass or fumble, Referee rules incomplete pass

    Second and 10 on A25. QB is hit while attempting to throw a forward pass. The ball hits the ground at the A20 and B immediately recovers. The referee rules incomplete pass. Team B challenges and replay discovers that it was a fumble.

    RULING: Reviewable Play. Team B awarded the ball at the point of recovery. (Page 77)

    I.R.A.R 18 - Pass ruled Incomplete

    Team A first and ten at their 38 yard line throw a forward pass to A77, who catches the ball, is hit immediately and fumbles the ball, which is recovered by Team B. Officials rule the pass incomplete.

    RULING: Reviewable Play. However if the pass is ruled complete followed by a fumble, Team B can be awarded possession provided the ball is recovered immediately. After recovery Team B is not allowed to advance its position. (Page 77)

NOTE: All 2011 rule changes have been printed in bold.


In searchable permalink form

Tips on Linking to the Rulebook
Table of Contents

CFLdb is in need of a copy of the CFL 2012 and 2014 Rulebook. If you can loan/provide an electronic copy/sell/help, please contact me.

You are reading the 2011 version of the rulebook. Other available versions of this page are:


Converted to the web by CFLdb. An Adobe Acrobat PDF of the current version is available.

The original source of the version presently being viewed is © Copyright 2011 Canadian Football League

Publication Credits

Cover Design by Barnstorm Creative Group Inc.

Cover Photos by CP Images

Printed by Harvest Group Co.

Content compiled and entered by Darren Hackwood and Andre Proulx

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 Senior Advisor, Football Operations @ gblack@cfl.ca.