Canadian football glossary
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This is a glossary of terms used in Canadian football.
- A defensive position on scrimmages. Typical formations include two cornerbacks, whose main duty is to cover wide receivers. See also defensive back.
- defensive back
- One of the players whose main duty is to cover wide receivers. Typical defensive formations include five defensive backs: two cornerbacks, two defensive halfbacks, and one safety.
- defensive end
- See defensive lineman.
- defensive halfback
- A defensive position on scrimmages. Typical formations include two defensive halfbacks, one on each side, but deeper than the cornerbacks. Their main duty is to cover wide receivers. See also defensive back.
- defensive lineman
- One the players who line up opposite the offensive line on scrimmages. In a "four-three" formation, there are four defensive linemen: two defensive tackles and two defensive ends. In a "three-four" formation, there are three defensive linemen: one nose tackle and two defensive ends.
- defensive tackle
- See defensive lineman.
- illegal procedure
- A five-yard penalty against the kicking team or the offence. Most often it is a lineman who moves after taking a three- or four-point stance but before the snap. Other illegal procedures include kicking the ball out of bounds on a kick-off and "no end".
- A defensive player positioned behind the defensive line on scrimmages. In a "four-three" formation, there are three linebackers; in a "three-four", there are four. Linebackers can be used to blitz the quarterback, make tackles on running plays, or be used for pass coverage.
- no end
- A penalty on the offence for having fewer than seven players within one yard of the line of scrimmage at the snap. It is most often called on field goal attempts because of the curved formation of linemen used: if the line is curved back too far, the ends are too far back to be considered linemen, and are called for "illegal procedure: no end".
- nose tackle
- See defensive lineman.
- no yards
- A penalty against the kicking team: all offside (sense 2) players must be at least five yards from the ball when it is first touched by a member of the receiving team. In amateur rules, no yards is always a 15-yard penalty; in CFL rules, the penalty is reduced to five yards if the ball hits the ground before being touched.
- Not onside. A player not onside incurs a five-yard penalty.
- Legally positioned at the kick-off or the snap. On kick-offs, members of the kicking team must be behind the kick-off line; members of the receiving must be at least 10 yards from the kick-off line. On scrimmages, at the snap the offence must be behind the line of scrimmage; the defence must be at least one yard beyond the line of scrimmage.
- A player of the kicking team who can legally recover the kick. The kicker himself and any teammates behind the ball at the time of the kick are onside. Thus on kick-offs all players of the kicking team are onside, but on other kicks usually only the kicker is. The holder on a place kick is not considered onside.
- onside kick
- A kick recovered by an onside player (sense 2).
- quick kick
- A type of trick play: a punt from a running or passing formation, usually on second down. The play relies on catching the defence by surprise and using an onside player (sense 2) to recover the ball and gain a first down or even a touchdown. A rule change in the early 1970s that allowed the receiving team to block before gaining possession made the quick kick even more difficult to execute successfully, so it is rarely attempted today.
- see: single.
- A defensive position on scrimmages, also called free safety. Typical formations include a single safety, whose main duty is to cover wide receivers. See also defensive back.
- A two-point score. The defence scores a safety when the offence carries or passes the ball into its own goal area and then fails to run, pass, or kick the ball back into the field of play.
- short kick-off
- Deliberately kicking the ball just over 10 yards on a kick-off in an attempt to make an onside kick. Short kick-offs are usually directed towards the sideline (left sideline for a right-footed kicker) to give members of the kicking team time to get downfield to recover it. It is illegal procedure if the ball is recovered before it has gone 10 yards downfield.
- single or rouge
- A one-point score. The kicking team scores a single when the ball is punted, drop kicked, or place kicked into the receiving team's end zone (without scoring a field goal or hitting the goal post) and the receiving team fails to run or kick the ball back into the field of play. The single also is scored if the kick goes out of bounds in the end zone, except on a kickoff. On a kickoff, the single is scored only if the ball stays inbounds and is not run out of the zone, or if the defence puts the ball out of bounds in the end zone.
- An unnecessary roughness penalty of 15 yards imposed when the player drives his helmet into an opponent in an unnecessary and excessive manner. The referee's signal is a chopping motion above the head.
- three-minute warning
- In the Canadian Football League, the three-minute warning is given when three minutes of game time remain on the game clock in the first and second halves of a game.
- A yard is exactly 0.9144 metre.
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Published - January 2009
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