CFL unveils pair of Passing Showcases for U Sports, CJFL underclassmen

Graphic courtesy: CFL

The Canadian Football League has announced plans for a pair of non-contact passing showcases in March, allowing underclassmen from around the country a unique developmental opportunity.

Teams will consist of no more than 24 players, with U Sports participants required to be in their first or second year of eligibility. Those competing from the CJFL must be between the ages of 18 and 21.

“We’re thrilled to present the CFL Passing Showcases as we grow Canadian football,” chief football operations officer Greg Dick said in a statement. “To take the state of our game to even greater heights, we need to band together as a community to create innovative development opportunities set in safe, exciting and competitive environments.”

The 30-minute long games will be played with seven players on offence and eight on defence. Teams will compete in a round-robin tournament, resulting in a seeded playoff bracket to crown a champion. The contests will be officiated, allowing for the further development of referees in Canada.

“Strengthening Canadian football and supporting officiating development go hand-in-hand,” Dick added. “Officials not only help improve quality of play, but they are also essential to educating players and keeping them safe. These events will allow CFL officials to coach and impart invaluable insights to their counterparts from U SPORTS and local leagues as they prepare for the year ahead.”

The first of the two events will take place on March 15 at the East Hants Sportsplex in Lantz, N.S., featuring competition between the four Maritime members of U Sports — Acadia, Mount Allison, Saint Mary’s and St. Francis Xavier. That will be followed by a two-day tournament for high school teams hosted in conjunction with Football Nova Scotia.

The CFL Passing Showcase will then travel west to the Commonwealth Stadium Field House in Edmonton on March 29. Several U Sports and CJFL teams from across the prairies and the West Coast are expected to participate in that tournament.