CFL rules committee recommends changes to enhance flow of game, fan experience

Rules changes aimed at enhancing flow of game

REGINA — The CFL’s rules committee wants to limit when coaches can challenge plays to enhance the flow of play and overall fan experience.

A recommendation tabled by the committee Wednesday requests coaches no longer be able to challenge a play following a television commercial. It approved, coaches would have to throw their flag within the first 30 seconds of the break rather than be allowed to wait the entire duration before doing so.

The committee also wants to change what coaches can challenge, limiting what can be contested on roughing-the-passer calls when a quarterback is in the act of throwing or slides head-first across the line of scrimmage. It suggests unnecessary roughness penalties against the passer behind the line of scrimmage, such as facemasking or horse collar tackles, as well as actions that occur when the quarterback crosses the line of scrimmage with the ball no longer be challengeable.

In addition, the committee requested the replay official only change a call that was clearly wrong rather than try to officiate plays to ensure they’re right.

“What we’ve done is take three of four things that as a package will make the whole coach’s challenge process better,” said Glen Johnson, the CFL’s senior vice-president of football and chairman of the rules committee. “There will be less of them, they’ll be shorter, they won’t impact the flow of the game.

“When you bundle this all together, it should result in a reduced number of challenges and result in a better flow of the game and better fan experience.”

Johnson said the roughing-the-passer recommendation will further streamline the coaching challenge process.

“They’ll only be able to challenge the specific roughing the passer rule,” he said. “That’s when they’re in that vulnerable position of passing or about to pass, or have just passed.”

Johnson said limiting the replay official to changing just calls that are obviously wrong is in keeping with the original spirit of the replay format.

“We brought this in to fix big mistakes,” he said. “We didn’t bring it in to try and officiate the game to perfection.”

The committee would also like to retain a rule adopted last year that coaches lose a timeout if they get a challenge wrong.

Another recommendation was increasing a replay officials’ duties to correct errors when flags are thrown for:

— a line of scrimmage penalty (offside or procedure)

— an unnecessary roughness penalty following a play and the video official sees other unnecessary roughness infractions

— an illegal contact call on a receiver that should be changed to defensive pass interference because the ball had been thrown

The committee also requested changing all 10-yard illegal low block penalties to 15-yard unnecessary roughness calls. Another recommendation was preventing a kick-return team from putting a player on the field just prior to the snap to hide him so he can receive a lateral pass from the kick returner.

That play would be subject to a 10-yard penalty.

The recommendations must be reviewed by the CFL’s competition committee and ultimately approved by the board of governors to become official.

The Canadian Press

Canadian Press

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read