The official football for a Canadian Football League game shall be the Wilson CFL Official Game Ball, which shall be inscribed with the signature of the Commissioner.

The game is played with a ball made of Wilson Exclusive Gameball Leather in four panels that shall be inflated to a pressure not less than 12 1/2 psi nor greater than 13 1/2 psi. The circumference of the long axis shall be not less than 27 ¾ inches nor greater than 28 1/4 inches. The circumference of the girth or short axis shall be not less than 20 7/8 inches nor greater than 21 1/8 inches. The length of the long axis shall be not less than 11 inches nor greater than 11 1/4 inches. The total weight of the ball shall not be less than 14 ounces nor greater than 15 ounces. The exposed laces shall be not more than 4 3/8 inches in length and 1 1/8 inches in width.

The ball shall be painted with 1-inch white stripes around the short axis, commencing 3 inches away from the point of greatest circumference of the short axis.

A minimum of eighteen footballs shall be used in a game. Each team will supply to the Game Officials, no later than 90 minutes prior to scheduled start time, a minimum of six balls stamped with their team name to be used exclusively by their team when they are on regular offence (“Offensive Balls”). These Offensive Balls may have been used in practice prior to game day and may have been used in previous games. They must however meet a new ball standard at the discretion of the Referee to be used during a game.

Once the balls are under the control of the Game Officials 90 minutes prior to the game, no team may alter the footballs in any way. Teams may present additional balls to the Game Officials for use after this time. The additional footballs must meet the new ball standard to be used in the game.

The home team must also supply a minimum of another six new, unmarked and unaltered balls to be used for kicking plays (“Kicking Balls”). Both teams will use the Kicking Balls for all kickoffs, punts, kicked convert attempts, and field goal attempts. The home team must also have on hand a sufficient supply of additional Kicking Balls and make them available to the Game Officials should they be required due to weather or other circumstances. If the visiting team runs out of Offensive Balls, they will use Kicking Balls for the remainder of the game while on regular offence.

Any team that uses an illegal football or alters a ball during a game will be subject to a fine or suspension by the Commissioner.


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/help, please reach out.

You are reading the 2017 version of the rulebook. Other available versions of this page are:

Please report any issues with the converted rulebook.


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 2017 Canadian Football League

Publication Credits

Content compiled and entered by Glen Johnson, Jeff Harbin 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 Darren Hackwood, Director of Officiating at Any inquiries regarding CFL Statistical Scoring Rules may be directed to Steve Daniel, Director of Game Information and Head Statistician at