At the beginning of the season the CFL Officiating Department issued a rules clarification bulletin to go over the new rules. I keep mine next to me in case something like the Bishop case comes up. Here's the new rule.
"When a ball carrier, including a QB, is approaching a sideline and clearly going in an "east-west" direction and giving himself up and going out of bounds; he should not be contacted in an unnecessarily rough manner. If he turns upfield and is attempting to maximize his yardage gain, going in a "north-south" direction; he is a ball carrier and may be tackled within the rules. A ball carrier, including a QB, who creates doubt as to whether he is going directly out of bounds, will be treated as a "north-south" runner".
So there it is. Yes, Bishop was in bounds when the contact was made. In the eyes of the officials though he was heading out of bounds and had given himself up. You may not like the rule, but the officiating crew implemented it correctly.
My problem is when a ball carrier makes like he is going out of bounds, see the defence let up then turns it back up field for extra yards. Daman Allen did this sort of thing frequently. He would ease up then held back down field. When the defence got on to this he would again ease up but the defender would come at him hard, Allen make a quick step out. Penalty for unnecessary roughness.
Smart players will take advantage of this rule. It is not fair to defences. If they are going to have this rule, then there should also be a rule in place where if a runner eases up and make likes he is going out of bounds, but then changes and head up field, that the runner will be penalized (unsportsmanlike) and the ball marked off from where he made like he was going out.
Both these rules leave it to the referees discretion as to what he thinks the player was going to do.
The simple solution is if you are in bounds you can be cleanly hit.
Thanks for the clarification, Mike, but the rule is flawed.
A ball carrier is a ball carrier, and is getting paid to take those hits (as long as they are clean and in bounds, as this one was).
If Bishop wants to take this sort of route, he'll have to learn that "slide", legs first that is there for the protection of QB's, because if you are going to run upright, its only logical to expect you're going to get nailed, and its unrealistic to think that a defender is going to be able to hold up from an openfield hit as a runner tries to scamper up the sidelines.
So it was a bad call. No big deal, but Ireland blew it even further, when it wasn't overturned, and its getting even "stupider" with people declining to admit that the "elephant is in the room" and that this is an issue in the League.
He was not going ‘Clearly’ West to East was running full speed indicating he was not giving himself up. Sure glad the ref’s can memorize the rule book (sometimes). The question is do they know to apply it.
Another interesting thing is the CFL’s recap of this weeks big hits doesn’t include the Bishops hit…and why not?
Mike I don't think most of us don't know the rule; I think most of us DO.....just that in these two cases, Bishop and Walker, the rule was NOT applied correctly....the hit on Bishop was legit since he WAS trying for the first down and was still in bounds when the hit was made, and the hit on Walker was NOT legit since he was, unlike Bishop, already out of bounds. If you take off those blue tinted glasses and watch the replays, you'll see it.