CFL unveils new and improved footballs

New CFL footballs will be flying around practice fields and stadiums across the country in 2018 and beyond.

3DownNation insider Justin Dunk reported the possibility last September.

“We are currently delivering to our teams a ball that is slightly different from the one we’ve used in the past,” said Ryan Janzen, senior director of football operations for the CFL.

“The new ball is virtually identical, to the eye, to the old one. It has the same laces and markings including our stripes. But it is made of a slightly harder leather. Our partners at Wilson say that allows it to hold its pebbles better.”

Each team had samples of the new footballs throughout 2017 – distributed in April and kept highly secretive – that were made to the same standards as pigskins used in the NFL. Sources say the move makes the balls easier to throw and catch, which should improve scoring.

According to the league, the new balls have “the laces, stripes and other markings of the old CFL ball but the leather and size of the NFL ball.”

“A new, improved and unique CFL ball has been created. And it is being delivered to our clubs now,” Janzen said.

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24 Comments on CFL unveils new and improved footballs

  1. Circumference should be smaller not larger!

  2. Blue rules // March 19, 2018 at 3:51 pm //

    Until 1985 CFL’s footballs were bigger, in 1986 the CFL changed the size of their football slightly smaller than the US football, yet by design (white stripes & colour) still appear larger.

  3. Doug Mc Clintock // March 19, 2018 at 4:21 pm //

    I always thought that out footballs were larger then the USA ones,making our game just that more unique ! In fact they had a book titled ” Our balls are larger !

    • It doesn’t make sense to have a different ball, football is football.
      Would the MLS have a different size ball to the EPL?
      Would the AHL have a different size hockey puck?
      The majority of our players played in the NCAA and the NFL, we have to use the same ball

      • 3rd and 1 // March 19, 2018 at 5:51 pm //

        I don’t know about that Jeff. The field is bigger. Both in width and length. Its been said the larger rounder ball was easier to kick. Which also made the ball go further both on kick offs and field goals. Some said that on a good punt. The ball would hit higher and hang longer.
        I’m not sure it helped or hindered in throwing it. If you look back to the days of Huffnagel throwing the ball. They use to love to throw the high floating lob pass. Letting the receiver run under the ball to catch it. I’m positive that big fat CFL ball had something to do with that style of pass. They all did it back then.

      • Leo Lewis // March 19, 2018 at 6:27 pm //

        Using your logic, because the majority of CFL players have played in the NCAA and the NFL, do we have to play with the smaller field and end zones; do we have to change to three downs; do we have to change to eleven players per side on the field? After all, football is football, is it not?

        I strongly disagree.

  4. Blue rules // March 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm //

    Best answer go to ” cfldb.ca/faq/equipment “

  5. Our balls are no longer bigger.? Too bad

  6. Ya, why not make the hardball in mlb bigger for games in Canada. How the hell does a fatter ball make the game better for the Canadian version of football.
    I get bored watching kick, catch, and run. There is no running game in the cfl. That was the culture of the game before. This new ball sure looks bigger than the Yankee ball. Anyone know the exact measurements? In inches please.

    • Blue rules // March 19, 2018 at 7:02 pm //

      Steve, go to web site I posted above, all that info is provided.

      • Am I the only fan that notices when the NFL ball is punted and allowed to hit the ground, often it will die with virtually no bounce. Is this due to the elongation ‘flatter’ shape, disallowing a ‘springy’ jump with the ball’s reactionary movement, as the CFL ball goes ballistic end over end most times cause it is less ‘flat’ length wise? Or maybe it’s just our frozen turf-lol.
        Any similar thoughts as I see it?

  7. What is the exact measurement of the center girth and length of the new cfl ball, the former ball, and the current NFL pigskin, ‘the duke’. In inches please. Is the U.S. College ball the same as the duke? Need to know.
    Thx, Go boatmen.

    • Thx for that site on measurements. Glad it is in American integers.
      Why in Metric Canada is the field still in ‘yards’. Hardy har har, some things can never change.

  8. Pretty sure college football (NCAA) is slightly smaller than NFL which I always thought was slightly smaller than CFL. At least they look that way when placed side by side and NFL ball always felt smaller to me as well. I thought five or six years ago, the CFL had a whole marketing campaign on ” our balls are bigger.”

    • My understanding which could be totally incorrect was that the CFL footballs were a bit rounder or fatter and shorter than the NFL version. If teams had samples of the new balls last season, no doubt they had a chance to check them out in practice and possibly provide feedback to the league before the change was made.

    • The “Our balls are biggger”, part of the “Radically Canadian” marketing of the CFL was back in 1996. 22 years ago.

  9. Pennyrocker // March 19, 2018 at 7:44 pm //

    Great now we can play with a new balls. Count me out.

  10. Downsizing to American-sized balls made sense (and it was 20 years ago, so I’m not sure why it’s a topic now). I’m more concerned that the league officials no longer provide the balls for each game, but each team gets to supply its own for their offensive possessions. It just raises the possibility that someone finds a way to tamper. Come on Randy, make the teams to stop playing with their own balls.

  11. Barry McCawkiner // March 19, 2018 at 9:46 pm //

    The CFL ball was changed to the same size as the NFL years ago. They are only changing the quality. Ball size does matter for the QB – it’s why the QB hand measurment is a big factor at the combine – bigger the hand, smaller the ball, harder and farther the ball is thrown – in theory….

  12. In 1991 at the Grey Cup festivities held in Toronto, there was an exhibit held by the CFL football manufacturer at the time. I spoke with the gentleman there. He said the NFL and CFL ball were the same size. This was not always true (J5V football), but it was by 1991. I have purchased both CFL and NFL footballs over the years and have measured them. They are identical in size, and have been so for many years thereby dispelling the belief/misconception that CFL balls are bigger.

  13. Me thinks my fellow Canucks if ye take the blindfold test, where as you place an official the’duke’ nfl ball and a cfl ball ‘the beaver’ on a table, then patch over ur eyeballs. Have someone mix em up, then proceed to pick em up one at a time and do a few overhands. The nfl ball seems easier to throw. I mean it goes more like a dart in an overhand type fashion, as the cfl ball you tend to have to ‘heave’. Maybe it’s just the texture of the leather, or the tactile gripness. Hard to say, but curious.

  14. How does it compare to the USports balls.

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