What are the primary causalities for Canadian Football games to generally be higher scoring and allow for more explosive plays than in the NFL?
First off, most people initially believe scoring in the NFL should be higher in general due to the fact the offense has 4 downs to move the chains as opposed to the 3 downs available in the CFL. Although this fact may have a slight effect on the scoring it is not a prevalent reason. The available downs are no more than fixed units of time for the offense to gain 10 yards and sustain a drive.
The most significant difference is field size in comparison to the relative size of the players. A CFL field is longer (110 yards to 100 yards), wider (65 yards to 53.5 yards), and has deeper end zones (20 yards to 10 yards) than in the NFL. With more room for the smaller players in the CFL to move this creates an environment for more explosive plays to develop.
Also, a receiver knows where they are going and the quarterback knows where the receiver is going therefore the defensive player is always in a reactionary position having to adjust to what the receiver is doing on every single play. This works the same for both leagues. However, the CFL offensive receivers have a distinct advantage with what is called a waggle. The waggle allows CFL receivers a running start to the line of scrimmage prior to the ball being snapped. This is not allowed in the NFL, their receivers must remain in a set position before the ball is snapped.
The time interval between plays also contributes greatly to the generally higher scoring in the CFL. The CFL only has 20 second time intervals between plays whereas the NFL has 45 seconds. This creates more plays throughout the course of a game in the CFL, thus more scoring opportunities in comparison to the NFL.
Finally, the CFL has a 3 minute warning at the end of the half and game and the NFL has a 2 minute warning. The greater difference is that the clock stops in the CFL after every play even if it is a completed pass or run that is in bounds and only begins running again after the ball has been set. This does not happen in the NFL. The clock continues to run if a completed pass or rushing play remains in the field of play.
So the main differences that contribute to more scoring in the CFL as opposed to the NFL are field size in comparison to the size of the players in general, the allowable time intervals between each play, the fact the clock stops after each completed play in the CFL within the final 3 minutes of the half and game, and the waggle feature in the CFL.
For more comprehensive details pertaining to the differences between the CFL & NFL game visit the 13thman.com.
Edited 8/24/13 at 11:07PM by Timothy Wynn - No reason listed.