Basic Rules of Play

(Items in red have recently been changed due to an AOM change, clarification

or a change in wording from the Commissioner’s Office)


This is just a basic guideline of rules of play, this is not the actual constitution, but will act as a Constitution and the Official Rules until such time that it is deemed necessary to write up a League Constitution. Until that time, in case of any discrepancy, this guideline shall act as the official rules governing the JSN CFFL and will be the basis upon what issues need clarification. If there are any grey areas or situations that arise that is not covered in this article, it will exclusively be the decision of the Commissioner to make the appropriate ruling on such issues. After that time, the new issues will be discussed at the next AOM and will be added to this document, until that time the Commissioner’s decision will be final.


1 – The opponents are determined by the schedule posted on the website. The Home team announces their starting lineup first on the league message board for all to see, (2023 AOM 1 year trial basis rule = midnight the night before kickoff of the first game). Once the Home team has announced their lineup, the Visiting team can post their lineup before kickoff of the first game. The Visiting team CANNOT use ANY of the players that the Home team has advised is in their lineup. If this happens, the Visiting team will get a 0 for that player. There are many rules involved with what happens if one of the teams does not post their lineup on time which will be clarified later in the official Constitution, but it does allow for the non-infracting team to make changes to their lineup AFTER the games have started (even waiting until halftime to select players, see Lineup Penalties below). So please post on time.




In the event that the Home team does not post their lineup on the league message board, or advise their opponent or Commissioner of their lineup in time for the first game of the week the following can/shall apply:


The Visiting team can play any players whose game(s) have already started. This means that if a Home team does not post a starting lineup on by kickoff of the 1st game of the week, the Visiting team can then wait until halftime of the game that has already started to decide to use any players from that game. Failure of the Visiting team to post a player by halftime eliminates this advantage for the Visiting team. Also, if the Home team has not posted by kickoff, they will not be allowed to post a lineup that includes any of the players from the 1st game (or ANY game that has already started) at all.


If a Home team continually posts late, the Commissioner’s office will investigate and will deal with accordingly.


If the Home team has posted late but has used players from a game that has already started, it is the Visiting team’s responsibility to bring that to the Commissioner’s attention. The League Office will not be monitoring times lineups are posted, that is between the 2 owners involved in the game. The Commissioner will look at the time stamp on the message board and will allow a marginal grace period (usually around 15 minutes after the scheduled kickoff time, keep in mind that the scheduled televised time and kickoff time are NOT the same. Just because the game starts at 6pm on TSN, doesn’t mean that kickoff is right at 6pm, this will be taken into consideration when determining the lateness of an Owner’s posting), however, if the Commissioner deems the Home team to have posted late, or this is an ongoing repeated situation, the Commissioner MAY give a score of 0 to all of the infracting players from the Home team’s lineup, will advise the Visiting team of their deadline to post players/change lineup including players from the game(s) that have already started as well as using any illegal players in the Home team’s lineup. After the Visiting team has made their changes, upon the Commissioner’s discretion based on if this was a repeated instance or not, the home team may be allowed to substitute players from other games to fill their lineup but cannot use players that the Visiting team has played.


If either Owner starts a player that is not playing, they will be allowed to change them for another player but the Owner needs to bring it to the Commissioner’s attention immediately in order to determine if the infracting Owner has enough time to switch the player out with one from the same game or if it is simply too late and the player can then only be switched out for a player that is playing later. Because quite often a player is a game time decision or last-minute scratch a little extra leeway will be given with the grace period, but only an extra 5-10 mins. This is always up to the Commissioner’s discretion and the Commissioner’s decision is final. In the event of an unexpected gametime scratch, more leniency will be given from the Commissioner’s office.


If the Visiting team plays a player that the Home team has already announced as a starter for them, the Visiting team will be allowed to switch out that player for another one unless that player’s game has already started. No grace period will be given. Playing someone who has already clearly been indicated as a starter is different than a last-minute scratch.


Any other issues will be added as they are encountered.


2 – A starting lineup consists of the following:

Quarterback – it is allowed to be counted as a Canadian

6 offensive players – any offensive players from any team, rules for the lineup are that there must be 1 Canadian player and as per the 2023 AOM you can only play a maximum of 4 RBs, the other 2 must be WRs

Kicker – may be a Canadian, but ONLY the Visiting team has the option of using a Kicker as the 1 required Canadian in their starting lineup, the Home team does NOT have this option

Special Teams/Defence

Head Coach – as per the 2023 AOM, the HC’s score will be a 100 % positive MOV (margin of victory) up to a maximum of +10 for selecting a winning HC and a 100% negative MOV up to a maximum of -10 for selecting a losing HC. Info can be found on the Scoring Table on the homepage of the site


3 – You can make changes to your lineup by simply posting a message on the message board as to who is out and who is in, if your game hasn’t started yet. However, please keep in mind that there are a few minutes of leeway given regarding that. A lot of times the games don’t start right on time and we don’t find out who is playing until the first offensive series. Your messages are time stamped on the website, if you’re not more than 20 minutes past kickoff, you should be okay. The Commissioner will have final say if there are any concerns regarding late posting. If you think your opponent has abused this rule, it is your responsibility to either simply leave a message on the message board or contacting the Commissioner to complain. The Commissioner will look into the situation (also taking into consideration if this is a repeated issue) and will make a ruling. All rulings made by anyone with Commissioner powers (currently that is Darcy – Commissioner, Rob or Susan – both Co-Commissioners) are deemed to be final A portion of the above statement was previously in item 6 which has been removed and renumbered.


4 – Any player can be replaced at any time through the course of the ‘game’ with any other qualifying player as long as none of the players’ games have started yet. (see rule 3 above for clarifications on start times)


5 – All starting lineups will accrue points based on the Scoring Table found on the league website homepage.  


6 – The game is complete when the weekend’s CFL games are complete. At the end of the game, the Commissioner will post the final ‘unofficial’ scores on the message board including individual player scoring. This is all done manually so every effort is made to ensure that there are no errors in the scoring. Both the Commissioner (Darcy) and one of the Co-Commissioners (Susan with help from Carl) do the scoring manually and confirm that their scores match each other’s. Once that happens, the game scores are deemed to be official and the Commissioner will advise this on the message board. It is each owner’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the scoring for both themselves and their opponent. Bring any issues to the Commissioner’s attention immediately. Once the next week’s games have started, the prior week’s games become official and cannot be changed. In this case an appeal can be made to the Commissioner.


One thing to note here is the difference between how John reported the scores and how I report the scores. John would wait until the games were over and post very soon after the final game. I like doing the “live scoring” way of things and posting them at the end of each “quarter” (1st game of the week being the 1st quarter and so on), this makes less work for me at the end of the game, gives you an idea of how you are doing and allows all owners to question scoring much sooner.


7 – Once the scores are posted, the Commissioner will update the schedule & standings and will post on website. We will continue in this fashion until all 14 weeks of regular season are played.


8 – As of the end of regular season, playoffs will be as follows:


Now that we have expanded to 3 division and a total of 12 teams

6 teams qualify for playoffs:

3 division winners

3 wild card teams based on league record regardless of division


Once those 6 teams have been determined, they are seeded based on record and head-to-head record with any teams that are tied. In the event that 3 or more teams are tied and it is not a clear case as to who ranks above whom by using head-to-head records, overall points for will be used to seed the teams.


In the 1st week of playoffs:

Seeds 1 & 2 will receive a 1st round bye

Seed 3 will host seed 6

Seed 4 will host seed 5


In the 2nd week of playoffs:

Seed 1 will host the lowest ranked winning seed from week 1 of playoffs

Seed 2 will host the highest ranked winning seed from week 1 of playoffs


In the 3rd & 4th weeks of playoffs:

The 2 remaining teams will play a 2-week, home & home series where both teams will be the home team and visiting team exactly once.

All scores in both weeks will be added together to equal a 2-week total score

Highest total score for the 2-week championship game will be deemed the JSN CFFL Champion!


The Commissioner and/or the Commissioner’s Office will make all the final decisions regarding tie breakers, playoff placement etc. If there are any issues, the Co-Commissioner or Commissioner’s Office will make any final decisions if any issue directly relates to a team that the Commissioner is currently associated with.  


10 – When the season is over, the Commissioner will tabulate all the financial info, contact each owner individually and will assess the financial situation of the franchise, pay out all winnings and provide a financial statement for all to see. As per the 2016 AOM, the Commissioner will pay for all engraving out of pocket, but any and all money left over after all payouts and credits have been given out will go directly to the Commissioner for running the league and the league running financial total will be $0 every year.


11 – Miscellaneous stuff:


All owners will pay $60 entry fee


The Commissioner will pay for the engraving of the trophy out of pocket (as per 2016 AOM)


If there are ANY issues, the Commissioner’s decision is final. If it is acceptable, an appeal on any decisions can be made to the Co-Commissioner or Commissioner’s Office, his or her decision is final and cannot be appealed any further.


When in doubt, if you have a question about something or for ANY issues let your opponent know as well as posting something on the message board. Give others the same courtesy that you would like given to you. Almost all of us are texting now, shooting a quick text to your opponent is appreciated.


The only way this league stays so enjoyable and easy to play/run is when ALL the owners are on the same page and all abide by the rules, ESPECIALLY posting your lineups in a timely manner. I understand that we all get busy from time to time, but there is no excuse for not posting on time if you are the Home team. We had almost zero issues with this the past couple of years, I trust that will continue. Keep in mind that we now have a deadline of midnight the night before the 1st game on a 1-year trial basis.


I am sure I am forgetting a bunch of little things here, I am sure they will come up at some point.


If anyone has any questions about ANYTHING relating to this league and its rules, please contact me directly. Thanks, and good luck to all this season.