3 CFL rules NFL should adopt that could help SF 49ers

Kick-off to begin the 107th Grey Cup Championship Game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Kick-off to begin the 107th Grey Cup Championship Game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Reuben Frank, Calgary Stampeders
Reuben Frank #77 of the Calgary Stampeders (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Conveniently placed on this list, the NFL should adopt the ‘rouge.’

The CFL prides itself on being multicultural and adaptable to everyone across the world. Recently, they’ve implemented every CFL team must have at least one player who doesn’t have Canadian or American citizenship. They also broadcast games on ESPN 3 and ESPN+.

But the most unique thing about the CFL, which should be added to the NFL even if for one season, is the “rouge.” It’s more commonly known as a single point.

A single point is awarded to the offensive team in a variety of ways. Most common is if a field goal (not an extra-point try) is missed and sails out of the end zone. Another way is if the punter kicks the ball over the goal line or if the returner kneels down in the end zone.

There have been many debates about this rule. Some like it, while others think it’s time to move on from the rouge.

But here’s the thing: The rule can sometimes win you a game or two. Just like BC Lions taking a one-point victory from the Toronto Argonauts in 2019:


It’s not the prettiest victory. But a win is a win, right? If you’re wondering what happened in the clip, the Lions kicker missed a game-winning field goal. All Argo’s returner Chris Rainey had to do was not step on the boundary when receiving the ball.

He touched the boundary. Automatically out of bounds, the rouge rewarded to the Lions. And they walked away with their first win of the year.

When kicker Robbie Gould missed both of his field-goal attempts in Week 16, it didn’t mean much because the SF 49ers won. Had the game been tighter and the rouge in play, he would’ve gotten two points total and it could’ve determined the outcome.

Again, it might not be the greatest rule in the CFL rule book, but it could be fun to see how it would impact crucial games like the Super Bowl.

Bonus Rules

Erik Paul of The Bleacher Report looked at five different rules between the leagues.

There are two additional rules which could benefit the SF 49ers in which Paul highlights: One foot in bounds to make the catch, and defenses need to be a full yard off the line of scrimmage.

The one foot in bounds rule is just like the college football rule. So players would be familiar with it. While the single-yard-off-the-line rule for the defence would challenge the front guys to get out of their stance faster on short-yardage situations.

Next. Grading 49ers' 2020 rookie class after one season. dark

The CFL might not be as highly valued as the NFL. But it’s a fantastic league which develops some of the NFL’s future stars. Adding in some of the Canadian rules would certainly make it an easier transition for players. If any come to the SF 49ers, it would give them a leg up on making the roster.