Breaking The Plane

Personally I hate the concept of just breaking the plane. You should have obsession of the ball with one foot, Knee whatever in the endzone.

Kinda wondering about that obsessed foot playing with the ball.

I’d be more concerned with getting the TD.

Also, I HAVE heard of players being kneed in the whatever. Hurts like the dickens! ?

Gridiron football is inconsistent with what constitutes the play being live or dead or decisions pertaining to the spot of the play.

With the ball being live in bounds or in touch for instance. The ball is live even after crossing the plane of the sideline or dead ball line until it touches something out of bounds. A player in possession of the ball or touching a ball beyond the sideline results in a live ball until some part of that player touches something out of bounds.

This differs from soccer for instance where a ball played through the air along the sideline will be flagged dead if its trajectory takes it over the sideline even if it lands back in the field without touching anything out of bounds.

But for ball placement longitudinally from goal line to goal line in football, the position of the ball matters. Where was the furthest point of the ball towards the defending goal when the ball possessing player became down by contact? This determines the spot of the next play. The same is used to determine a score as you mentioned.

So yes there could be some consistency here but the sideline calls are probably as they are to simplify things for officials. I reckon the sport in its infancy probably had soccer like rules when it came to balls going into touch. Forward pass catching probably made sideline calls cumbersome so feet in bounds became a standard. It’s just a guess… I’m probably wrong.

Yes, absolutely! That’s been a pet peeve of mine since players started stretching and extending the ball toward the end line back in the early 1970’s. I don’t recall such behaviour prior to that time which makes me wonder whether a rule changed occurred about then.

The rule for getting into the end zone should be the same as for staying in bounds. If one foot touches, then a player is in for a touchdown or out of bounds as the case may be. There’s virtue in consistency.


For simplicity, I like the breaking the plain rule, it is cut and dry.

I say, make a touchdown and actual touch down, the ball has to be touched down in goal (with most of the ball, or at least 50%, with the fat part of the ball over the front of the goal line). Will never happen, but would make the game more interesting.
If breaking the plane of the goal is kept as the standard for scoring, then there should be consistency with the rules and the ball is out of bounds once any part of the ball crosses the boundary line. Don’t have to worry about having a foot inbounds or not. Would result in more passing plays being run more towards the middle (or at least not so close to the side lines). Easier for everyone in the stadium to see the plays.

Personally I like getting rid of it as it would then be another thing that differentiates our game.

It’s only the saying as opposed to the seeing that’s cut and dry though. It’s much easier to observe whether a foot is on the line than it is to observe whether the ball breaks the plane when it’s four to five feet above the line. Applying the breaking the plane rule requires too great an element of judgement.


I say do away with spotting the ball on the one yard line whenever a play terminates within one yard of the endzone. That way, when combined with your recommended change we can enjoy watching an offensive play (team A) start with the ball spotted inside the oppositions endzone. (team B) J/K

(team A offensive team)

Actually as far as I am concerned, the spotting of the ball should be where it was when the play ended, just as it is marked elsewhere on the field after a running play. If that spot is in the endzone, voila, touchdown! The ball is in the endzone. After all, it is usual for a running play to end in a 1st down, when the ball is barely over 10 yds, and the ball carrier hadn’t yet stepped on the ground beyond the needed 10 yd mark as well.

No rule change needed, ty.

But there is currently a difference between a play ending in a first down and a play ending in a touchdown. On a touchdown, the play ends as soon as the ball crosses the plane of the goal line. That doesn’t happen with a first down. If the ball crosses the first down line, but then the player pulls it back across the line, a first down is not awarded. Also, If the ball crosses the first down line, but then the player fumbles the ball, it’s a fumble. So stretching out with the ball is riskier when going for a first down than when going for a touchdown.

As a general rule, the CFL will promote/keep rules that increase scoring, so I suspect that breaking the plane is the rule that will stay in place.

My point is that there is no difference in the application of the present 2 rules in that they both designate the advancement of the ball as of having passed a threshhold even though the ball carrier hasn’t actually stepped foot over that threshhold.
Both plays, like any other play during the game, incur risk.

They ought to give thought to increasing each quarter an additional 5 minutes .
Not only should that increase scoring but it will also give me more bang for my ticket price. :smiley:

It could be interesting to define the spot and scoring based on body contact of the ball carrier with the field.

It wouldn’t change pass catching in goal so much but goal line running plunges would be a different story all together. Jumping the pile wouldn’t be enough as a linebacker could push the ball carrier back into the field of play so long as the ball carrier made no body contact with the end zone. It would be a race to the floor instead.

Scoring near the goal line might become more difficult. Plays would be run outside more often. Could be incentive to spread things out offensively.

An interesting thought at least.

Maybe down the road tech. can help, like soccer’s goal line technology. Use some type of variation of it.

Since the game evolved from rugby, it’s safe to assume that at some point they changed the rule for some reason.

Before reverting to the old rules, they would need to consider why the change was made in the first place.

Overall, the current rule increases scoring. There is no real problem with it, as it is a black-and-white rule, with no grey area. The only problem is that, on close calls, there is often some dispute about whether or not the ball broke the plane. That’s why they review scoring plays.

If the problem is the possible human error by the officials, then let’s just do away with all rules that open themselves up to possible human error. What would that leave? Award two points to the team that wins the coin toss, I guess.

If you don’t like it for TD’s then you also don’t like it for first downs. Same mechanics. Same judgement call.

Then here’s my issue, if the receiver catches the ball in the 3 dimensional space of the end zone, is that not the same as breaking the plane?

But then he lands out of bounds, so no TD. Is that where you were going with your comment?

Like in the field of play, if a receiver jumps to catch a ball but lands with both feet (or at least the first foot to touch down) out of bounds it is not a reception … player in the situation you describe does not have possession until his first foot touches down in-bounds … if the ball at that moment has broken the plane then TD