Home Athletics CFL overtime rules 2021, explained: Breaking down how format works

CFL overtime rules 2021, explained: Breaking down how format works

by Zahra
CFL overtime rules 2021, explained: Breaking down how format works

If you happened to be a casual CFL watcher who caught the end of the playoff game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders last week, you may have been wondering, “What the heck is going on in this overtime?”

The CFL operates more similarly to college football than the NFL when it comes to the extra period. Back in 2010, the league’s rules committee considered making changes to the overtime format, but it decided to only make a subtle tweak and keep the same setup in place.

So, how does this whole thing work? Here’s everything you need to know about the CFL overtime format.

CFL PLAYOFFS: Dates, times, TV channels for every game

CFL overtime rules 2021, explained

  • Each team is given the same number of offensive possessions.
  • A coin toss is held in order to determine which team will start on offense.
  • The first team starts its drive with the ball at its opponent’s 35-yard line. Once that team scores or turns the ball over, the second team gets an opportunity to score. The second team also starts its drive at the 35-yard line.
  • If a team scores a touchdown, that team must attempt a two-point conversion. (This was the tweak made in 2010.)
  • If one team is ahead after both teams are given an opportunity to score, then that team is declared the winner. If both teams are still tied, then they each get another opportunity to score from the 35-yard line.
  • During the regular season, the game can be declared a tie after each team gets two attempts to score. During the playoffs, though, the overtime continues until there is a winner.

Saskatchewan Roughriders beat Calgary Stampeders in overtime

Need a recent example of a CFL game that went to overtime? Here you go!

Late in the fourth quarter of the Western Semifinal, Stampeders kicker Rene Paredes hit a 47-yard field goal to tie the game 27-27 and send it to overtime. Paredes and Roughriders kicker Brett Lauther each nailed field goal attempts in the first extra period, setting up a second overtime.

Unfortunately for Calgary, Paredes missed wide left on a 44-yard attempt, opening the door for Saskatchewan to secure the victory. Lauther didn’t miss on his next opportunity, drilling a 34-yarder to send the Roughriders to the Western Final.

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