Football Rules - Tackle

Tackle Football Rules

The primary rules used by the CDMFA shall be those endorsed by the Canadian Amateur Football Association (Football Canada). Clubs and Associations are responsible for complying with the safety standards regarding equipment.

These standards are stipulated in the Canadian Amateur Football Rule Book for Tackle Football. This rulebook was founded by U Sports and is published by Football Canada and is provincially adopted through Football Alberta. New versions of the Rule Book are published each year with updated or clarified materials following an annual review. The current version of the Rule Book and the most recent changes to the Rule book can be found here: Canadian Amateur Rule Book for Tackle Football & Recent Changes 

The divisions of play in tackle football in the CDMFA have been historically aligned as follows:

Novice (U9) - Non-contact programs only (tackle not allowed for 8 yeas of age or under)

Atom (U11) - Tackle 6v6 or Non-contact Flag program

Peewee(U13) - Tackle 9v9 or Non-contact Flag program

Bantam (U16) - Tackle 9v9 , Tackle 12v12 or Non-contact Flag programs (players 15 years of age cannot be in Grade 10)

In 2024, the CDMFA will be reviewing naming and age divisions to align with Football Canada Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) model. (you can read more on LTAD here)


The CDMFA Rules Policies and Procedures identify the equipment & field requirements for tackle football for each division of play as well as the player age eligibilities. These can be found here:

CDMFA Rules Policies & Procedures

In addition, the CDMFA has adopted ‘House rules’ that govern the play for each age division. These are reviewed annually by the coaching committees and updated as required. The 2023 House Ruled can be found here:

6/Side CDMFA House Rules

9/Side CDMFA House Rules

12/Side CDMFA House Rules

We are currently working on a Player and parent handbook that summarizes all this information and hope to have it complete in 2024.

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