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Canadian football

Canadian Football is a form of football in which two teams of twelve players each compete for territorial control of a field of play 110 yards long and 65 yards wide, with end zones 20 yards deep. Teams advance across the field through the execution of short, distinct plays, which involve the possession of an oblate spheroid ball (a direct descendant of a size 3 rugby ball). Players advance the ball by carrying it in the arms or passing it to another player (only one forward pass permitted per football play). Three attempts, or downs, are allowed to move forwards ten yards, or the team with the ball must relinquish it to the other team.

Canadian football is played at several levels in Canada. The professional league in which the sport is played is the nine-team Canadian Football League (CFL).

Canadian football was originally called rugby football, and is a descendant of rugby union football as played in the 1870s at McGill University. The Canadian Football League was known under various names throughout its history including the Canadian Rugby Football Union[?], and the Canadian Rugby Union[?]. The Canadian Rugby Football Union, original forerunner to the current Canadian Football League was established in 1884.

The rules of the sport are very similar to American football, and the NFL has established a formal relationship with the CFL. Canadian football does retain certain archaic rugby rules which American football has dropped.

With the larger field, greater number of players (12 instead of 11 on each side), deeper end zones, and three downs instead of four, the Canadian game often features more wide open play than seen in the American game. Specifically, these differences diminish the value of the conservative "three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust" tactic that American teams sometimes employ.

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