Football is derived from the sports of rugby and soccer, in Canada dating back to 1861. The game is played on a field 110 yards long (100 in the US) and played with an oblong-shaped ball. The object of the game is to score points by running and carrying the ball, or throwing it to a team mate past the opposing team's goal line (a "touchdown"). You can also score field goals by kicking a ball through the uprights in the other team's goal posts. Each team has 11 players on the field playing either "offence" (the team with the ball) or "defence" (the team blocking) from a complement of over 30 players. In the Canadian Football League, teams play three "downs" or attempts to score a touchdown or a field goal. In the US, they play with four downs. The season usually starts in June and runs through until November (in the US, it finishes with January's Superbowl game). Football is a demanding sport that combines speed, agility, strength, and precision.
Football varies on cost depending on competitive level. To play flag or touch football all you really require are football cleats and athletic wear (and of course the football). To play tackle football you'll need football cleats (shoes), gloves, mouth guard and a protective cup. Together, these items will cost about $130-$150, and are available at selected sporting goods stores around town. Most teams will provide you a helmet, shoulder, thigh, knee and tail bone pads (there might be a rental or league fee for this).
Tackle football is an extra curricular activity in most high schools. For those no longer in school,
contact the Victoria Minor Sports Association(250-268-3224). Flag football is offered in various leagues; contact
your local Parks & Rec department. There are
a number of football leagues in the Victoria area: Vancouver Island Football Assoc. (250-727-9148),
and Victoria Spartans (250-389-1117).
The V.I. Pee Wee Football Association is a developmental football league for youth (boys and girls) aged 8 - 14. They field over 20 teams and 500 players in 4 age divisions in both spring and fall schedules. All equipment is owned by the Association which makes for an affordable contact sport experience. Contact Denis Lummerding (President) at 250-391-7981 or Garth Pilkey (Vice-President at 250-386-3231.
There's plenty of football entertainment in Victoria at the University of Victoria. If you are looking to watch Profesional Football, you'll have to head to Vancouver's BC Place Stadium where the BC Lions of the Canadian Professional Football League plays.
To get involved in tackle football you can contact the Victoria Rebels Football (479-1590)of the BCFC. Tackle football is an extra curricular activity in most high schools. If you want to participate in flag football, you can call the Flag Football Association at 582-9979 for more information. For touch football, you can call the Touch Football Hotline at 444-8223.