Backfield in Motion Offside

I love the CFL, have been a fan for at least 60 years. The big field, the 3 downs, the whole thing.

But, with TV, replays, video evidence etc, the moving backfield appears to be offside at least half the plays.

Are the officials to blame? The players?

...I would blame the speed of light...you see, the perception is the players are offside but in reality they hit the line of scrimmage at the correct time, but by the time you see it time itself has past, so what you are seeing has already occurred split seconds before...can't blame the players for being awesome, and you can't blame the refs for their perception is constricted by the speed of light as well...so I blame the physically properties of light....

Maybe if the refs look for the red shift..... ;D

With apologies to non-physics types

Ask yourself how you know the snap has happened. Do you notice that the snap has happened when you see the o-line and d-line moving? Or do you notice that it's happened when you see it in the quarterback's hands? Or are you, like the linesmen, watching the ball in the centre's hands, watching for it to start moving?

Once you've answered that, you may find your answer.

I think the backfield motion to get across the line the quickest is one of the purest art and technique forms of the CFL. Keeps the refs on their toes for sure, and many times it looks like offside when it isn't.

On TV the camera is never dead balls on the line of scrimmage, so it's difficult to actually see an offensive offside unless it's WAY offside, or you're at field level directly in line with the nose of the ball.

nonsense!they are offside.

Great scientists are never understood. ;D
"Any sufficiently advancedscience isindistinguishable from magic." Arthur C. Clarke

I might be losing my mind, but I seem to remember a segment at half-time of a game this year discussing this. One of the TSN panel guys (Climie?), did a little bit on how WR's always look offside when they're in the motion, but it's really just a bit of a camera trick. The camera isn't exactly on the line of scrimmage, so the angle seems to make every play look offside. Wish I could track down the segment I'm talking about.

Dang, found the link but it's not loading. Was from 2016. They might have taken the video down for some reason:

you are permitted to get into the 1 yard gap section as a WR in motion.

This !

AND if they do show this angle AND there is an off-side, they will not show the same angle on the replay or sometimes not show the replay at all. I've seen this hundreds of times. Can't show those refs making a mistake, can we.
Teams are off-side so much that I don't even bother watching for it and then I wonder why out of the blue they call an off-side. Some teams even line up off-side and it's not called. Some teams are off-side a lot more than others. Maybe they realize they can get away with it !

while I could be wrong here as I havent gone into the rule book to verify ...... are you on crack?

if the defenders pass rush can not enter the 1 yard zone then what makes you think the receiver can? hey show me the rule that says its so and I will accept what you say, but for the x years I have been watching football (X being forever) that has never been the case that I know off.

For the record it does appear that the offence is offside alot of the time, but I also accept that some of those times are camera angles illusions. Sometime however they are just blatantly offside.

Exactly Iconic. Now sure, sometimes a player is offside without a doubt and it's not called but that's the same with any penalty like holding for example that could be called on just about any play. In hockey as well refs miss offsides where it's bang/bang at the blueline with the puck and players legs crossing, leg off the ice or not? they miss some there.

And in the NFL where a back/receiver is allowed to move parallel to the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped, I know sometimes it looks like they are in a position of almost turning but not called when at times I think it should be called, leeway on this in the NFL it seems. And I think this one back/receiver allowed to move parallel to the line actually has to come to a full stop before the snap but it sure looks sometimes the back/receiver hasn't made a full stop or so it seems where maybe the feet are stationary for a split second but the upper body is actually leaning and moving slightly.

Yes Aerial but in the NHL they have cameras just for the situation and will show slo-mo replays over and over to either validate or refute the ref. Not so in the CFL. I don't know about the NFL because I barely ever watch. Hockey is played at a much faster speed than football, I would say..... What we are not being shown is sometimes as important as what we are given.

Last thing I want in the CFL is more video reviews though to slow the game down. Don't want this being reviewed by the Command Centre, that's for sure, it should simply be an on-field call by the refs or non-call. Not sure in hockey if these reviews happen enough or how much it slows down the game, I generally just watch NHL highlights on Sportscentre.

I agree completely. I'm just pointing out what I see and what I don't get an opportunity to see. Hard to make a judgement on something we are not shown. It's easier to hide mistakes that way.

My understanding is the refs will allow a part of a receivers body to be in the one-yard restraining zone when the ball is snapped (i.e. leg or arm in the air). Conversely, if his foot is on the ground in the restraining zone when the ball is snapped, he is called offside.

They do this because it's virtually impossible to discern with the naked eye if a receiver is offside in the air without a video analysis of every play. While technically the receiver might be offside on some plays while sprinting toward the line, it is up to the ref's discretion and is equally applied to both offensive teams.

Yes...they permit to enter the neutral zone in motion. This has been discussed on here several times over the years. They can even put a foot down in it. Generally speaking, they are even permitted to stride some past that (though not technically allowed, you gotta know your refs...which players do...it is part of the prep), but as soon as they plant a foot 1 yard+ they will be flagged. So yes...you will often see receivers in that 1 yard game and depending on the reffing crew you will even see them striding slightly past that (so long as foot does not touch down) and not be flagged. Most officials allow that stride...so even if you are a yard back, a good stride is pushing 3 yards...you are going to look offside because you are...but it is permitted. They use the foot touching down prior to the snap rule of thumb because it is almost impossible to police it in motion otherwise. The perfect scenario for a WR wanting to hit the LOS full out is about 1/3-1/2 a yard into the neutral zone with their rear planted foot and the leading foot therefore a couple of yards further downfield...push it too hard and the refs will push back.

I really should dig up a post I made on it in the past where most were simply left with an "oh...wow." I get that it is counter intuitive

Your arguing against yourself. On one hand this on the other that. Rule is you can't be a receiver and be in the 1 yard area period. Any more than a defender can put his hand in the one yard area. Refs judgement s are one thing the rule is the rule

Very difficult though to exactly judge when the ball was snapped and be able to see exactly at that precise moment if a player is in that one yard area, remember a player is running and there could be a blur with judges eyes from motion. Whereas a defender's hand on the turf stationary is much easier to see, far more objective.

Higgins explained it this way:

Q. One of the things that makes our league different is the unlimited motion before the snap of the ball. Receivers often get a head start on their routes by attempting to hit the line of scrimmage on the run just as the ball is snapped. But they often appear to be offside, and yet no penalty is called. Why?

A. This is one of the least understood elements of the game. We tell officials to not call a receiver offside if the “the ball is in motion? as he hits the line of scrimmage. In other words, the ball doesn’t have to be in the hands of the quarterback, or almost to the quarterback. It just has to be moving.

If the centre has started the snapping motion, the receiver is not off side. We put this standard in on the advice of our league’s coaches and out of a desire to promote exciting, offensive football. We review these calls often in our office, using super slow motion and high definition.