Differences Between American and Canadian football

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    American vs Canadian football

    The origin of both American and Canadian football lies in the extremely popular sport of rugby. Rugby was first introduced in Canada as a game popular amongst British soldiers posted in Montreal. The British soldiers in turn organised games to be played against students of McGill University. In turn the students of McGill University played games against students of Harvard University and this gave birth to a very popular tradition. Despite originating from the same sport, the two sports have evolved differently over the years.

    One major difference between the two games lies in the size of the football fields used for the two sports. This difference in field size arose years back when games were organised at the Harvard campus where due to a relatively smaller campus a smaller field of only 100 yards by 50 yards had to be used. Due to a smaller field the number of players on one side was reduced from fifteen players in case of rugby to just 11 players in case of American football. In case of the Canadian form of game the field size is 110 yards by 65 yards. The number of players also differs as in case of Canadian football the number of players on one side is 11, one more than American football. Also the goalposts for kicking in the two games are placed at different distances, in case of the Canadian form it is placed on the goal line and in case of the American form it is placed at the end line.

    Another significant difference lies in the minimum number of downs required to move the ball further ten yards. When playing American football, players need to down the ball four times while in case of Canadian football only three are required. The most significant difference lies in the kicking rules followed by the two games which makes kicking imperative in case of Canadian football. The Canadian form is exempted from the fair catch rule. When playing American football in case a kick returner feels he will fail to move the ball after recovering it, he has the option of signalling a fair catch and in turn become immune to contact.

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