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Friday, March 11, 2016


TORONTO - The CFL's Rules Committee is recommending the addition of another video official this season.

The official would be in the league's command centre and able to fix obvious errors that aren't challengeable by replay. He'd have access to a feed from a special camera that would capture all 24 players on the field.

The recommendation highlights proposed changes made Thursday by the committee, which must be approved by the CFL's board of governors April 7 to be implemented.

"This video official is going to be helping the guys in the moment so he's only going to be able to weigh in on things that were called,'' said Glen Johnson, the CFL's senior vice-president, football. "We had nearly 170 penalties called last year that shouldn't have been called so he'll have an opportunity to look at the penalty types that are not challengeable by a coach and have a quick opportunity to help those guys determine if it was or wasn't the right thing to call.

"So it could help reduce the number of incorrect flags that were thrown.''

And also help the on-field officials near the end of a quarter and half, Johnson said.

"So near the end of a half or quarter he could see if there's a second left or not and whether there should be another play,'' Johnson said. "He'll have the timing in front of him and be able to see everything and help the guys with those kinds of things.''

The additional replay official would also help clarify incidents where two fouls occur on the same play. An example would be when both offence and defence jump into the neutral zone before the snap.

"He'll have a really good opportunity to have a quick video review of it so instead of the guys getting together and having a big huddle and debate,'' Johnson said. "We can eliminate those by the video official saying, 'Guys, I've looked at it, it's clearly defensive offside, let's move on.' ''

Two years ago, the CFL became the first league to subject judgement calls to video review when it allowed coaches to challenge defensive pass interference.

The committee now is recommending offensive pass interference, illegal contact and illegal interference on pass plays also be reviewable. It also suggests expanding the list of reviewable penalties to include: no yards, illegal blocks on kick plays, contacting/roughing the kicker or passer, and illegal interference at the point of reception on kickoffs. Again, the additional replay official could assist the command centre in those instances.

"He's going to assist the current replay official and kind of be his assistant and provide another set of eyes,'' Johnson said. "Again, that just gives us an opportunity to get more of those right.

"We didn't get many reviews wrong last year but still, we'd like to try and get down to zero and make sure they're all correct. It's just about protecting the integrity of the game and the outcomes.''

The committee is also proposing unsuccessful two-point converts be automatically reviewed by the replay official.

Other recommendations include:

- Prohibiting players from pushing blockers through gaps in the offensive line on one-point convert and field-goal tries.

- Making it illegal for an offensive player to block an opponent low anywhere on the field when he's moving towards his own goal-line, not just those who start the play in the tackle box.

- Modifying illegal procedure to now allow line players to move slightly, point, or signal blocking assignments while in a three-point stance before coming to a set position prior to the snap.

- The concept of offsetting penalties be created when the defence is offside and the offence holds the offside player, which would result in no yardage difference and the replay of the down.

- A team allowing a field goal in the last three minutes of a game no longer getting to choose to scrimmage the ball instead of receiving a kickoff.

- A player giving an opponent's offensive ball to a fan after a turnover no longer be flagged for objectionable conduct, which had allowed offences to use their own footballs.

(Canadian Press)


Anonymous said...

Yup.. just what we need..more rules and more penalties. That should help sell the game to the young.
If the refs are so bad maybe we need better refs? Maybe a system where they are trained and move up to games depending on competency?
We all know there are inconsistency in refereeing. But a move to review every play has to slow down the game and make the refs look even worse.
Let the players play and unless it is obvious and effects the play maybe let it go? Nothing more annoying then a flag every play. Wait maybe a flag that has no bearing on the success of a play because it is on the other side of the field and does not influence the outcome.
I don't like all the penalties now, I can only hope the new video ref will help not hinder the entertainment factor.

Anonymous said...


Everyone I know complained about the flags, replays challenges killing the game, so they add more opportunities to slow the game?

Who the heck is the cfl listening to that they come up with this plan?. It's sure not the fans.

Viewership plummeted so the cfl adds more of what I hate? Seriously?

I basically quit watching games last year because of all the penalties, challenges, replays. Now they're adding more?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Eliminating tackling would speed up the game and result in fewer injuries.
Having the announcer count steamboats would eliminate offsides and result in fewer holding calls.

I'm no fan of CFL but am sending these suggestions in. With your commissioner they have a good chance of being adopted in the next couple of years. BTW ......nice logo

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great idea! How many times are you watching games nowadays and because of the hd camera and 100 different angles you know within 5 seconds after the play whether there should have been a penalty or not? Why not get it right if you can? Officials are human beings and make mistakes. Even the Almighty NF of L had officials who screwed things up at important moments in games last season. I hope that the new rule changes from last year are better understood by officials and players this season. The games were a touch dull because of the transition last year


Anonymous said...

Are you guys reading the same article as me? I read that the new video official can only weigh in on things that were already called. This infers that he can't call penalties that weren't seen by on-field officials.

Here's how I see it: A flag gets thrown, and the officials get together to talk (just like they do now). A voice comes through their earpiece that says, "Not a penalty. I've seen 3 angles in the time it took you to get together." The head official gets on the loud speaker and says "There was no foul on the play" (just like he does now when someone screws up).

If this is the case, the game will go faster, not slower.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the earpiece failures or broken messages. The huddle , confusion, the call to Toronto, then the on field call and subsequent coaches challenge. Wait again for Toronto, receive the confirmation start the formation, whistle the play down as the earpiece is now working and the call is reversed. Another coaches challenge.......... You think this can't happen in the comedy football league? That's just the opening kickoff. After all of these false and delayed starts someone is going to jump offside.

Anonymous said...

someone will develope a computer program that will be able to officiate the game as per the rule book in a fraction of the time an on field human can.the score boards and surrounding boards that flash ads will blink orange while the infraction scrolls over down and distance adjustment required. dont bother ive pattened it already.

Anonymous said...

""We didn't get many reviews wrong last year but still, we'd like to try and get down to zero and make sure they're all correct. It's just about protecting the integrity of the game and the outcomes.''"

umm, are you freakin serious? You got MANY calls wrong!!!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a real Journalist might suggest who is on the "he CFL's Rules Committee"

Who are these people and why are they on it? Do they actually like the CFL or is it paid for by Rogers in TO who is trying to kill the CFL. If the CFL starts the new season with multiple flags on every play then you can kiss the TV viewership goodbye.