How to Try Out for the CFL

Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

The Canadian Football League, or CFL, is a professional football league in Canada. The CFL uses Canadian football rules, which differ in many ways from American football rules. For example, Canadian football uses a bigger field and teams are only allowed three downs. While the process of getting signed by a team in the CFL is highly competitive, CFL teams are more willing than NFL teams to search for players from unconventional backgrounds, like junior football leagues. There are several ways you can get a tryout with a CFL team.

Hire an agent. Agents usually have training in law or in dealing with professional sports leagues, and will be able to market you as a player to potential CFL teams. They will also have connections whom they can contact to give you the best chance of success during a tryout.

Find a listing of tryouts in area. CFL teams generally hold tryouts in many different areas in order to cast a wide net and find potentially talented players, as listed on the Indoor Football Scouting Bureau Web site. Find the location closest to you and attend the tryout.

Use past connections from your football career to help you get a tryout with a team. This may include past coaches, former teammates, scouts, administrators or anyone else you may have potentially contacted during your days as an amateur or professional football player.

Contact individual CFL teams. Many teams may be open to holding an individual tryout for a potentially talented player, and contacting a team's director of scouting may help you get a look from that individual team.

Ensure you have a quality track record. If you are a talented collegiate player, CFL teams may have already heard of you. By working hard at whatever level of football you are playing, you may not have to contact a CFL team for a tryout. Instead, they might contact you.


Keep working out while you wait for a potential tryout, as you'll want to be in excellent shape when the time comes.

Get experience playing at an advanced level, whether it's community college, junior football, collegiate football or semi-professional leagues. This will prepare you for the high level of speed and talent required to play in the CFL.

Prepare a video or DVD of highlights from your football career to show to potential CFL teams interested in your services.


Ensure you have enough experience with the game to try out for a professional football team. Football can be a dangerous game, so make certain you are prepared for the physical rigor and potential health risks associated with professional football.