CFL changing Rules for '07?

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The Canadian Football League is discussing several potential rule changes this week that are aimed at restoring excitement to its product.

"The topic of the week is the rules," interim commissioner Gene Dunn said Tuesday from Montreal, where the CFL is holding its annual meetings this week. "I think [the teams] are taking it very seriously and are listening to both the fans and [the media]. We want the game to be as exciting and entertaining as possible."

The 2006 season saw a sharp decrease in scoring, with field goals outnumbering touchdowns and only three touchdowns on kick returns all season. In what might have been a first, the CFL averaged fewer offensive touchdowns a game than the National Football League last season.

Most likely to be changed is the rule concerning blocking on kick returns. In 2006, the CFL tightened its definition of a legal block, resulting in countless flags that nullified returns and gave teams poor field position. The league is also expected to debate penalizing teams that punt the ball out of bounds to avoid a return.

Recommendations from Wednesday's meetings will be brought to the board of governors in April.

"I know there is going to be a hell of a lot of dialogue about it and whatever rule changes are favoured to make the game more exciting will be made," Dunn said.

It's also possible that the CFL will end its one-year experiment with footballs that have stripes stitched onto their surfaces instead of painted.

The league adopted the new balls for the 2006 season, but many quarterbacks said they favoured the old ones.

Dunn said the league continues to talk with the group interested in returning a CFL team to Ottawa for the 2008 season. The group is headed by former CFL player Bill Palmer.

"The group's due diligence is still going on, so the franchise committee is working very closely with them," Dunn said.

"We're hopeful we'll have someone there in '08. The terms are highly confidential, but we're on track and they're on track meeting their obligations."

ro1313, some one at Head Office is reading your posts! :wink: :wink: (Penalize for punting out of bounds)

I hope they go back to 2005 blocking standards on punts. That would be a good move!

So do I. I also think that going back to the old balls will help many of the QBs who never got used to the new one.

Yeah Kerry Joseph was one of those guys... So I suppose thats a change Im in favour of! As well as the 05 punt rules - but that goes without saying...

kicking the ball out of bounds on a punt is a very good skill..and should not be taken out

so what they are saying is that to improve the game we need to change the rules.... that were just added last year to improve the game?? I say ten points to the traditionalists who are generally against unnecessary rule changes. I realize that occasionally rule changes are a good thing but ONLY if there is a reason to change them! we have a great game the way it is so lets stop trying to fix what is not broken. (and if it is not obvious i support going back to the rules prior to last year.) to those who say it doesn't hurt to try new rules last year was evidence that it can. let's try and remember that next time someone feels the need to fix our game.

I'm with you on that..... ro and I will disagree on that one forever.

This is the only thing I am going to agree with you on...

IIRC correctly the blocking rules were not changed to improve the game, but rahter it was a safety issue to which the players/CFLPA agreed.

Can anyone help me out here?

Sure it's a skill, but it's a fairly meaningless one when you take in account the bigger picture of the nuamnces of the game.

The skills I'd rather showcased would be returning kicks, covering kicks and kicking in an entirely different manner.

I really hope they go back to the old balls, as Calvillo really struggled with the new ones this year. I'm all for putting the fun back into kick returns, even if it means penalizing teams for punting out of bounds. Yes, I know it's a skill, but it's a skill that robs the game of excitement. Honestly, the CFL is about hits, drama, physicality, speed, and big plays -- not 42-year-old punters angling the ball out of bounds.

Who cant kick the ball out of bounds?
I know, I know you mean inside the 5 or 10.

Im sorry but it is not a skill! Its luck, anyway you slice it. There is no way you can convince me that the punter kicked it in such a way that it would hit the groound leaning to the right so that it would bounce to the left of of bounds.

Even if it is a skill(and its not) balancing a hot dog on your nose is a skill as well but do you really want to sit around and watch someone do it?

I dont understand how people want to bring back the old blocking rules because returns are more exciting yet have no problem with kicking it out of bounds!

If it isn't a skill, ro, how does McCallum perform the "coffin corner" so consistently? Sure, once or twice would be luck, but.....

exactly, jm02. Personally, I appreciate the coffin corner punt, it is one of the little strategies in the game that can win a team a game. A lot of times a coffin corner punt will result in a team giving up a safety and kicking the ball off to the other team.

Although I always thought that a two line pass in hockey made for good strategies as well but the NHL got rid of it to open the game up. Not saying they should just get rid of the coffin corner but penalizing it, it might help open up the return game even more. Again, not saying they should do it but should examine it anyways. I never in my life thought the NHL would remove the red line for two line passes to be honest.

I hope they go back to the “old” blocking rules (who doesn’t?) and I agree it’s stupid to change for the sake of change. But I do remember something about it being the CFLPA that pushed it through.

As for the punt-out-of-bounds, I heard something about it only being penalized if it was between the 25’s. I’d be VERY surprised if they made a coffin-corner punt illegal. Sure, when a football lands, it’s pure luck that determines which way it bounces. But these punters CAN kick it - this is a skill - so that it goes out of bounds before hitting the ground, between the 10 (and often the 5) and the goalline.

I’m sure this is personal preference, but I’d rather not have “special” lines on the field, ie, using the 25’s as the limit of when it’s a penalty or not. Then you get an element of luck over whether or not there’s a penalty - the ball could land on the 24, bounce back to the 25 and go out. I’m not quite sure how to describe what I prefer, but a rule such as what they use in rugby (that it must bounce inbounds before going out) is what I’m talking about. I guess this could lead to less skill on coffin-corner punts, if it has to risk a bounce. There’s also the fact that in rugby, if you’re within 22m of your own goalline, you CAN kick it straight out of bounds. But still, it seems a bit more fundamental to have a rule like that, rather than make the 25’s “special”. (FYI I hate how the NHL has added those stupid lines behind the nets.)

Now that I’ve given it a bit more thought, I have no problem with punts going out of bounds. There are already plenty of returns in a game. It’s a bit of a conservative/lame/chickensh** strategy to punt out of bounds to avoid a returner, but that’s just a style of coaching. The fact of the matter is, it’s a tradeoff, meaning a decision must be made, which is really where the interest comes in. The more you try to punt it out of bounds, the less distance you’ll get on the punt, and you’ll start with worse field position. The punter has to angle it JUST right to get the maximum out of his punt. Or, if the coach trusts his defensive special teams enough, he can punt to the other team. To me, it’s a really interesting part of the game.

As for the stitched-on stripes, it makes sense to me to ditch them, since they introduce more drag onto the ball, leading to less accurate throws.

"Yesterday's recommendations go before the board of governors for further discussion at their annual meeting in April in Toronto for approval or rejection."

Ok, maybe I'm out to left field here but I'm thinking that waiting until April to get any rules added, changed is later than need be. Why not do it now so that then the officials can get going by having training sessions and workshops on intrepreting any new rules. I realize it's not rocket science but still, the more time the better I would think for the officials. Or maybe they are already doing this, they know what rules will be done anyways, the BofG thing is more or less a rubber stamp, I don't know.

I thought they were looking at a rule that said the ball couldn’t be kicked out of bounds between the 20’s. If a kicker can punt the ball out of bounds (on the bounce) that would still be allowed.
I hope this becomes the rule.
The coaches will take advantage of every rule or lack of, to win. So the powers that be have to police this legalized cheating for the good of the game.
I think the punting the ball out of bounds really came to ahead during the 2004 Grey Cup. Wally Bouno had O’Malley just turn and kick the ball out of bounds to prevent Levingston from returning any kicks.
A Coach’s short sighted way of trying to win the game, but not very fan friendly.

Actually 40 to 60% of the time is luck.

IMO more than about 70% is because its easy!
Less than about 30% is skill.

I'd be interested to see the source for your "40 to 60% of the time is luck" claim.

well...hes lucky to have the skill to hit the coffin corner...lol