A quarterback sack is awarded to a Team B player whenever the Team A quarterback is in possession of the ball behind the line of scrimmage and:

  1. Is tackled for a loss of yards by a Team B player or,
  2. Is forced out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage to avoid imminent contact with a Team B player or,
  3. Is forced by a Team B player to fumble the football and the play concludes with a turnover or loss of yards.

NOTE — In condition (iii) listed above, the play does not have to terminate for a quarterback sack to be awarded.

NOTE — In condition (iii) listed above, the Team B player is also to be credited with a forced fumble.

NOTE — The yards lost by Team A in any of the above situations shall be charged to Team A under Team Losses. The yards lost shall also be credited to the Team B player under Quarterback Sacks in the defensive stats section.

NOTE — If the sack results in a safety touch score, the Team B player will be credited with the sack and the yards lost to the goal line but not the two (2) points scored, which is a Team score.

NOTE — It is possible for the quarterback to be sacked for a loss of zero (0) yards, if the sack is less than one (1) yard.

It is not a quarterback sack but a rushing loss if:

  1. (i) The quarterback voluntarily steps out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage without being threatened by imminent contact with an opponent or,
  2. (ii) The Team A player attempting to pass is any player other than a quarterback or,
  3. (iii) The quarterback is tackled with the ball in possession at or across, but not behind, the line of scrimmage or,
  4. (iv) The quarterback attempts a short yardage sneak play and fails to reach the line of scrimmage or,
  5. (v) The quarterback voluntarily terminates the play by dropping to the ground on one knee. In this case, do not score a Rushing Loss, instead, score the play as a Team Loss.
  6. (vi) The quarterback is called for intentional grounding. In this case, score a penalty for zero (0) yards and the appropriate yardage lost against Team A as a Team Loss. Do not score the play as a rushing loss.


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Content compiled and entered by Darren Hackwood, Glen Johnson 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 Glen Johnson, Officiating Technical Advisor, @