CFL mandates mouthguards, allows players to wear guardian caps in-game

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

CFL players will be required to wear mouthguards for the first time in 2024, as the league became the first in North America to make them mandatory.

According to the league, mouthguards help mitigate the risk of oral-facial injuries and concussions. They will now be considered part of the dress code for players.

“Through additional equipment, education, training, and staffing, we are helping to ensure our players have long and productive careers,” said CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie in a statement. “Players give so much of themselves for our game — their effort, energy, time spent away from family and loved ones, and more.

“For all they do, we owe it to them to explore every avenue to safeguard their efforts on the field, so that they can play to their fullest potential and also lead rich and fulfilling lives after their playing days are behind them.”

Players will also have the choice of wearing guardian caps in-game. The devices, which are worn over a regular helmet, were first used in the CFL last season during training camp. They will now be required for all running backs, receivers offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs during training camp and contact practices during the regular season.

The league will also use GPS tracking technology to provide real-time data on speed, G-force, location, acceleration, and deceleration, which it feels can assist with injury prevention, lead management, and monitoring of rehabilitation.

There will also be league meetings for strength and conditioning staff to receive training and share best practices.