Tackle 101

Canadian Football typically consists of 12 players per side, but KMFA plays 9-man tackle football. Players attempt to score points by moving the ball down the field across the goal line. The team with the most points at the end of regulation time is the winner.

For the detailed rule book, click here.

The object of the game

The main purpose of the game is to score more points than the opposing team (see Scoring).

  • A team scores by running and passing the ball down the field into the designated end zone or by kicking a field goal.
  • Any time the team is running or passing the ball, they are using their own designed plays.
  • These pre-planned plays are intended to gain first downs for the offense and allow them to maintain the ball.
  • Each play begins with the offensive line from one team and the defensive line from the other facing each other along an imaginary line called the line of scrimmage. The play begins when one player (the centre) snaps (snapping) the ball to another (the quarterback).

A play ends when:

  1. A player possessing the football is tackled in bounds.
  2. A player possessing the football goes out of bounds.
  3. The football is thrown forward and is not caught by anyone.
  4. A team scores by reaching the end zone for a touchdown or kicking a field goal.
  5. The football is kicked and goes out of bounds.

Components of Football


The object of the offence is to move the ball down the field and to score points. The offence consists of a combination of:

  • 5 offensive linemen
  • 4 backs, which include the quarterback, running back, slotbacks/tight end and/or wide receivers.


The object of defence is to stop the opposing offence from moving the football downfield and scoring. A team’s defence is made up of different players than the offence. The defence is 9 players made up of any combination of defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.

Special Teams

two children in tackle football gear on a field

“Special teams” is a term used to describe all of the units on a football team that are not a team’s basic offence and defence. The special teams are comprised mostly of the same players that make up the offensive and defensive teams with a few additions.

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