Canadian and american football both descended from rugby and started in Canada as a match played between British troops garrisoned in Montreal. The soldiers played a string of games against students at McGill University. McGill played several games against Harvard in 1874 and a tradition was born. Despite their mutual roots, the Canadian and the American sport developed differently and now have substantially different rules and regulations.
The biggest difference between American and Canadian football is the size of the playing area. In Canada, soccer fields are 110 yards long and 65 yards wide. In America soccer fields are 100 yards long and 53 and 1/3 yards wide. The goal articles in Canadian football are put at the front, in contrast to the back of the end zone that’s also deeper in Canadian soccer than American.
Canadian soccer teams have twelve players rather than the eleven on American clubs. Because the identical number of players is needed at the line of scrimmage in both matches, this leads to an excess backfield player on Canadian teams. This means that the average Canadian offensive set up has two slot backs rather than a tight end and on defense, two defensive halfbacks and one security instead of 2 safeties as is typical in the American sport.
Another difference between the two games is that the number of drawbacks. Rather than four as in the American sport, Canadian soccer has three. This causes a more pass and kick oriented sport as there are fewer drawbacks available for short-yardage running plays. The kicking principles will also be slightly different with the kicker being able to recover and advance his own kick. Because of this, kicking is a far more integral part of Canadian soccer than American.
The largest difference between the kicking rules in both games is that there’s not any fair catch rule in Canadian football. In American football, if a kick returner believes he won’t have the ability to advance the ball after restoration, he can signal for a fair catch and be immune from contact. In Canadian football no player on the kicking team except the kicker and any players on the area may ever be within 5 yards of the ball unless it’s been touched by an opponent. In addition, in Canadian soccer any kick that goes into the end zone is a live ball, except for successful field objectives.
There are additional minor differences too including scoring, movement and time rules but they aren’t as significant as the significant differences noted here.