CFL ends full-contact practices

Saskatchewan Roughriders' Kory Sheets, left, breaks free from from Calgary Stampeders' Malik Jackson during first half CFL Western semi-final football action in Calgary, Alberta on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Larry MacDougal, The Canadian Press) CFL
(AP Photo/Larry MacDougal, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Football League and Canadian Football League Player’s Association are making an attempt to create more player safety around the league that could perhaps be a launching pad for other organizations within the sport. The CFL announced that it will no longer allow full-contact padded practices during the season in hopes of reducing the amount of injuries, effective immediately.

Full-contact padded practices are allowed during training camp, then unsurprisingly an additional 17 days during the season when teams practice during their “game weeks.”

The league will allow teams to wear full pads at practices, but the CFL will no longer be implementing that strategy over the course of the regular season.

The CFL is the first football league to have such a rule, and it’s one that was emphasized by new commissioner, Randy Ambrosie. He started at the press conference in July, stating why player safety would be stressed.

He talked about the change, per TSN:

“Early on in those first few weeks I saw one of our teams playing three games in 11 days; having been through a tight schedule like that in the past I just know it’s incredibly hard on the players. Frankly, it’s just too hard to ask players to do that.”

Ambrosie had a productive conversation with the CFLPA regarding safety and how it tailored to the players, as well as the fans, who prefer to see athletes at their peak performance.

“Making these changes is right, so why delay it?…let’s advance our game and move forward,” he said.

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