July 23, 2017

The numbers game

Ladies! –  I’m so grateful for your response to the It’s A Snap Blog! The variety of your questions proves that women LOVE their football, too, so keep those questions coming!

Our first question comes from my biggest fan, my mom, who desperately wants to understand the game but has challenges – mostly that her daughter is in another city. Hopefully this will be the season we get her on the right side of the ball!

Her question:

“I believe that the players’ numbers has some co-relation to their position???? What is that/how does that work and how does it help me watch the game? Does that mean that players do not get to choose their lucky numbers like they do in hockey?”

Generally, players wear numbers within ranges based on their position:

Quarterbacks – 1-19
Running Backs – 20-49
Wide Receivers – 10-19, 80-89
Offensive Line – 50-79
Defensive Line – 0-79, 90-99
Line Backers – 40-59, 90-99
Defensive Backs – 20-49
Kickers/Punters – 1-19

Or that’s the theory, anyway. Truth is that with certain specific exceptions that cover eligibility on offence and special teams, it’s a bit of a numbers free-for-all. On the Stamps, for instances, exceptions to the very-rough numbers guidlines include kicker Rene Paredes sporting No. 30, safety Joshua Bell roaming the middle of the field in No. 11 and receiver Lemar Durant rocking No. 1.
For classic Calgary examples, running back Jon Cornish wore No. 9 and Doug Flutie worked his magic in No. 20.

Numbers 0 and 00 are still allowed and used in the CFL – DB Ciante Evans wears 0 for the Stampeders.

Players who wear numbers between 50-79 are prohibited from catching or touching forward passes (basically, you can’t pass the ball to an offensive lineman), unless he is declared eligible by the referee before the play.

Because these number guidelines are used throughout the levels of football, most players can still have a “lucky” number or continue wearing the number they’ve had throughout their careers.

Some of our players recently changed their jersey numbers, including Micah Johnson who went from 93 to 4 this season. Micah wore 4 in college, but had been thinking about changing to a single digit number for some time. It just happened that 4 became available when Drew Tate was sent to the Ottawa Redblacks in the offseason.

Send your questions in via Twitter – @AlannaNolan – and I’ll provide the answers!