Als-A---'s final play and review

After the final play last night, Coach Barker started arguing with the referees about something. To the best of my knowledge, he didn't throw a challenge flag. Regardless, the play did undergo review. Presumably, the review was initiated by the central office in Toronto.

Why? There was no question that the ball went into the endzone, then out, then back into the endzone without going out of bounds, and possession was clear until the final scrum on the loose ball.

I think there were three possible points to review:

  1. Did the Toronto kicker step out of bounds before he punted the ball?
    -- presumably Barker wouldn't challenge this, but I think if it was called then the Als win by a point rather than 7.
  2. Did the Montreal players leave five yards on Duval's punt? Or, were there illegal blocks as the play became confused?
    -- presumably, these aspects of the play can't be challenged.
  3. Did Montreal recover the ball in the endzone?
    -- no one seemed to dispute this.

So, what was reviewed? And why?
This play decided a game that had playoff implications, and I'd like to believe that the decision to review followed the same procedures and criteria as any other play in any other game.

Anyone know?

I asked something along the same lines at the end of the game thread...
If Prefontaine and #88 were out of bounds prior to fielding the ball, shouldn't it be 1pt for Montreal, and TO ball on the 35?

I am pretty sure from watching the video that both players were on the white stripe at the back of the end zone, so they were definitely ob, IMO. And there is no way they were forced OB, so that would constitute an "Illegal Participation" penalty.

I understand the wish to review, just to make sure they get the right result, but I don't know the specific reason they gave for this particular review.

Also, the coaches do not use challenge flags in the last 3 minutes of a game. All reviews in the last 3 minutes are initiated by Central Command. So Barker would not have asked for a review.

Had the Argos gotten the ball out, and then won in overtime, I think Als (and Ticats) fans would have been in an uproar. I am intrigued to hear the league's explanation of this one.

The only thing that I would change in that quote is that I would not say "pretty sure" in the opening and instead say something like 'absolutely positively" they were on the white stripe. If the play was in fact reviewed, the only way they couldn't make the call of illegal participation would be if their seeing-eye dog had stepped out for a leak. . .

hit-em-hard: sorry, didn't see your comments in the other thread. Sounds like we agree, though, that the only thing that Central Command could have reviewed was the illegal participation. And either their review didn't catch it or they chose to ignore it because it would not have changed the outcome of the game (other than the points scored.)

Still, it seems like they made an arbitrary decision to review on behalf of Toronto. Following Barker's discussion with the referee, the referee was nodding his head a lot. And clearly, judging from Barker's facial expression at the review decision, he expected something that would have kept his team in the game. Hence, he didn't think it was the player out of bounds that was being reviewed.

Given the nature of the game and the review, I think that the league should explain what was reviewed and why. I realize this sounds like paranoid fantasy coming from a Ticat fan, but I think all reviews coming from Central Command need to be transparent and should follow the same guidelines as any coach's challenge.

Why even try a field goal? Why not just punt it through the back of the endzone for the single and the win?

Did none of you watch the telecast? The guys in the booth were clear that there was a possible issue of no yards. Replay showed there wasnt any no yards, which is actually kinda amazing considering the rest of the events of that play.

Yep…the no yards possibility was the issue.
Of greater import was if you bet this game the decision was HUGE.

That was my understand, as well, and I agree that it was pretty amazing that no one was within 5 yards at anytime.

ya, that’s true. it is amazing that everyone was outside of 5 yards.
and we were all saying…when was the last time we’ve seen this play unfold.
I’ve seen it but its been a looooooog time. I thought it was terrific but boy it was also heartbreaking for Toronto. They’ve come a long way.

How anyone can be standing up for the proposition that this play did not need to be reviewed is kind of astounding. The league reviews many plays in the last three minutes and one with this level of uniqueness and possibly game-changing result is a no-brainer, just out of abundance of caution if for no other reason.

Were we watching the game? Good one.
Here’s a better one: have you read the rule book?

Here’s the 2010 Rulebook on challenges (p.70 for those of you following along in the pews):

REVIEWABLE PLAYS - GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The instant replay system will cover a variety of plays in three main areas:

  1. possession rulings in the end zone; forward progress with respect to first
    down or goal line; and end zone plays involving the sideline in goal and
    dead ball line
  2. passing plays – pass complete or incomplete. If a pass is ruled incomplete,
    then the defence cannot get possession of the ball
  3. other detectable situations, such as a ball carrier ruled down by contact,
    and a fumble which occurred prior to down by contact

NOT REVIEWABLE PLAYS
These include, but are not limited to:
• Proper down
• Status of the clock
• Penalty calls and their Administration
• Forward progress not relating to a first down or goal line
• Force outs on pass plays near a sideline
• Recovery of loose ball in the field of play
• Field Goals

If the issue was no yards, then it’s not reviewable. Neither the coach nor Central Command is able to review a play for a penalty call that was made or wasn’t made.

So I repeat: the only things that could have been reviewed were 1. the players who stepped out of bounds and 2. who ended up with the ball at the final whistle (both are possession issues.)

Again, my issue isn’t the call. It’s about the transparency of the process.

Punting it through the end zone might not be a gimme. They were on the 28, add 15 for the snap, then another 20 for the endzone - thats 63 yards. Definitely doable, but not a gimme. A 43 yard field goal also isn't a gimme, but pretty good odds with Duval.

As for what they were reviewing, there are only three thing I can think of: were the Argos out of bounds at the back of the endzone on the first kick, was there no yards on any of the kicks, and who recovered the ball on the final dribble kick? I don't think it would have been the no yards call, as I don't think that's reviewable. As for who recovered, that would only affect the final score, as either way, Montreal wins. (The only possible way no points are awarded on that is if Toronro had kicked the ball out, Montreal had recovered and then fumbled into the endzone, and Toronto had then recovered. As the ball didn't make it out, moot point.) So what's left is the out of bounds call. And guess what.

They blew the call. Not that it matters; Montreal still won. But how could the reviewers miss this?

ah…so then Montreal only wins by one in that scenario?

better try and negotiate with the bookie then :lol:

Ken Miller got roasted in Riderville for punting instead of trying a fieldgoal in a similar situation earlier this year. The punt didn't succeed either. It don't matter what the coach calls - if it works, he's smart; if it doesn't he's an idiot ... apparently.

Have you? Seems you've read bits and pieces but not all of it.

Page 70 - just below the part you cut & paste:

REVIEWABLE PLAYS - SPECIFICS Not all plays are reviewable, according to the Guiding Principles identified on the previous page. The specific kinds of plays that are reviewable are: (a) Plays governed by Sideline, Goal line, End Zone and Dead Ball Line: 1. Scoring plays, including a runner breaking the plane of the goal line.
Page 71
REVIEWABLE PLAY TYPES e. Scoring Plays

Most plays involving the goal line and the end zone are reviewable.


There was a similar play earlier this season during an Argos/Bombers game where the play was reviewed to see if there was no yards. With 6 seconds left in the 1st half the Bombers kicked off after a FG and the Argos punted it back. The ball went into the endzone. Serna covered the ball and was touched by an Argo. A point was awarded to the Argos. The Bombers challenged the play saying that the Argo player was within 5 yards of Serna before he touched the ball. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field stood. The guys in the booth said that replay rules state that scoring plays are subject to review. As far as I know the only scoring play that can't be reviewed is whether a FG was wide or not.

well, it does look as if the Argo's player was out of bounds on his own so in reality he shouldn't even have been allowed to legally punt that ball out.

that's the only problem with this entire play.

I agree. There should have been an illegal participation penalty on the play. I can see why the onfield officials missed it but not sure about the Command Centre. I guess when you are looking for no yards that it is possible that they didn't review the whole play - just the parts where Duval kicked it back and the Argos tried to kick it out again.

Tom Higgins, the CFL’s director of officiating, confirmed on Saturday to Als Inside/Out that Bradwell indeed went out of bounds and Toronto should have been penalized for illegal participation. Furthermore, the league’s Command Centre arbitrarily decided the Als would have declined the penalty, and notified referee Bud Steen simply to count the touchdown. Had the Als declined the penalty and taken a single, the Argos would have scrimmaged from their 35 for one play, with no time left, since a game can’t end on a penalty.

[url=http://alsinsideout.com/the-snap/trying-to-make-sense-of-the-play/]http://alsinsideout.com/the-snap/trying ... -the-play/[/url]

I'm pretty sure this point in the article is incorrect. A game cannot end on an accepted penalty. If Montreal had declined the penalty, the game would have been over.

Your point is well taken, and you could strengthen your case by citing this part:
"(c) Other Detectable Situations:
4. Onside players on a kick.
5. Where a turnover is the direct result of a major foul which was not penalized (e.g. clothesline which caused a fumble, face mask on a tackle when a fumble occurs)
Note: The reviewable aspect of this play is that the alleged major foul was the primary cause of the turnover. If there was no change of possession, this play is not reviewable."

If the Toronto player received Duval's punt in the air, then it would have been a 15-yard penalty but I don't think that's a major foul unless the Montreal player tackles the receiver with aggression.

Still, I understood these later paragraphs to be clarifications of the main rules. It's not reviewable because it's a scoring play, but scoring plays that fall within the three main areas are eligible for review. You seem to imply that because it's a scoring play, that overrides other considerations. Maybe you're right.

Thanks to disciplineandpunish for Tom Higgins' comments. That answers my original question.