13th Man Options

Now that the hilarity of the event has died down, my curiousity takes control.

If someone on the Riders team had realized there were too many men, what were the options?

  1. Take a time out. (That one I figured out on my own...)

Assuming they didn't have a time out or didn't think to call one, what were the other options.

Could Armstead have run out the back of the end zone? Is that a proper way to leave the field of play or can it only be off the sidelines?

Could some one from the line ran off the sidelines or were the Riders then due for a procedure call for 13 men in the huddle?

Just curious what the various options might have existed for the Riders to not lose this way.


Not much. We didn't have a time out. Either someone has to try to get off the field. Take a deliberate offside. Fake an injury. Maybe throw the challenge flag and take the penalty. Ken did this earlier in the year and got roasted for the challenge but IMO it was a real heads up move.

Players must leave the field towards the bench and they would have been flagged anyway.Doesnt matter what they did they would have recieved a 10 yarder for too many men or delay of game cause the play was blown in.I think the best bet if they had known they had 13 on the field,would be to go offside,the Al's would have declined and then taken the 10yd's for to many men.They still would have tried to kick the FG from the same spot,but the way the game ended likely wouldnt have been as wierd as it was.

that's not true.

if you can get off the field before the play is run, then you won't get called for too many men.

As I understand it (and I may be wrong), he would have to exit the field on his own sideline, prior to the ref blowing the whistle to start the snap clock. As it was, the returner didn't get the message that they weren't setting a return (although the Western Riders kicker Congi and any others who were on-side could've recover the ball if they were lucky).

Armstead was supposed to be in the endzone. He was NOT the extra man. He was in the endzone for both attempts and the Riders were going for a block both times. One of the guys on the line shouldn't have been there. The Rider coaches have said that much but they won't say which guy on the line was supposed to come off.

Regarding substitutions, from the Rule Book:

Article 4 — Substitution Procedure ... A team that permits more than 12 players to participate in its huddle or formation before the ball is snapped shall be subject to a penalty for illegal substitution. ... The side officials (Head Linesman and Line Judge) shall monitor the team bench on their sides of the field and, when the ball becomes dead, shall observe that Sideline for possible substitutions. When Team A breaks the huddle, or if no huddle, and the Referee declares the ball in play, the side officials shall turn away from the Sidelines and raise their arms to shoulder level. ("Raising the gates.") Further substitution shall not be permitted.

Blue Blood, I don't know how you can garantee that Armstead wasn't the 13th man, as it made no sense to have a kick returner there. The Als would have got squat with a single point, so there was no need to take the ball out of there. And, of course, when you are 43 yards away from the uprights, you do go for the field goal. There's no way the Als would have tried something crazy like trying to recover an onside kick in the endzone.

But back to the topic, I think the Riders (had they realized they were 13) could have run into the Als' offensive line to get an encroachment penalty. I don't think they would have been flagged for having too many men, as encroachment is a dead ball foul, so technically, you can't have too many men on a play that didn't occur, right ? (I could be wrong, though).

But that, of course, would still have gotten the Als closer to the endzone, which is certainly not what you want when a critical field goal is coming up.

I wonder if faking an injury would have distracted people from counting on. They might have had a freebie by doing that, but it is such a longshot.

The coaches have said it was someone on the line. Armstead says he was supposed to be there. (see below) Have you ever seen a FG attempt in the CFL where there wasn't a guy in the endzone. The Als didn't have anyone lined up onside on the play but do you think that would have been the case if they had seen no one in the endzone? I'm not saying they would have tried an onside kick but they may have had someone onside in case the FG was missed. IMO the only reason Armstead was labelled the 13th man in the first place was because he was the last guy TSN counted on the replay. If they had numbered the players starting with him and then going down the line the guy at the end of the line would have been labelled the 13th man.

“It wasn’t Jason (Armstead),? Joe Womack, the Riders’ director of player personnel and secondary coach, said during Monday’s welcome-home rally at Mosaic Stadium. ... “Jason Armstead didn’t do anything wrong,? said Womack. “He was back there as he always is on field goals. He wasn’t the extra guy on the field . . . that’s his responsibility.?
Armstead pleaded his innocence. He emphatically denied that it was his fault.

"It was a personnel situation. We had the block on. I was supposed to be out there," he said "It was a terrible loss. We just didn't finish them off. It was one play at the end."


They still would have been nailed with too many men,they were in formation,12 on the line and 1 in the endzone.Had a player ran off the field before the gates were raised it would have been legal like Bluebloods qoute from Article 4 of the rulebook says.

And I dont think it was Armstead at all from the moment it first happened,If they attempted to go for a block with 12 on the line from 43 yards,why on earth would they not go for the block with 12 on the line from the 33.

The first attempt I would have had Armstead back there,cause had the Al's seen nobody in the endzone,that would have changed things,odds are it still would have gone out,but if that thing takes a wacky bounce in the endzone and stays in,lookout.On the 2nd attempt it would be an all out rush to the kicker,they were to close for that thing to stay inbounds unless he shanked it.