Preview And Background
Giving this another go ...note especially this is not a comparison of games for sake of which is better nor as one person thought a forum for waving flags ...those are other discussions!
Please note first that I am a new fan of the CFL as an American and Italian and avid fan and amateur player of all things football including the NFL, rugby union, and soccer. I also have even more views on worthy changes to the NFL, which I find to be a better game due to its higher amount of talent though way has too many stoppages in play and not enough action. The NFL needs even more changes for such improvement not just from the standpoint of fans but for that of the players, and many of those changes could be borrowed quite simply from the CFL! If you doubt the NFL needs vast improvement in its flow of play, how else could one explain the incredible interest in a "RedZone" channel?
Anyway, there are many ways I wish the NFL game were like the Canadian game rather than the other way around, as your game allows for more flow of play overall.
As follows are some rule changes I wish I saw in your CFL game for sake of making it the "perfect game with three downs on a rugby pitch" as opposed to improvements to the NFL to make it the "perfect game with four downs" on its smaller field.
Comment away constructively please with more than a bojack "NO!", and please bear with me as a NEW fan to your fine game that I enjoy now more more than most American college football!
Common Suggestions Or Topics And Perhaps More Likely Changes
Elimination Of The No Yards Penalty And 5-Yard Buffer Rule After A Kick Has Touched The Ground
As I have seen with many CFL and Canadian commenters alike, I HATE this rule altogether as noted below -- why is the receiving team so rewarded and coddled in your league for not catching the ball? Why penalise the kicking team for strategic low kicks?
Once the ball has touched the ground, open field kick rules should apply.
If an offside player touches the ball before any receiving player, a la the NFL such is "illegal touching" but no penalty and the receiving team takes over possession there as I explain further below.
Should the ball cross the goal line yet remain in the end zone to be touched illegally after touching the ground, a single should be scored all the same so as to incent the receiving team to return such kicks even more.
Change CFL Overtime Rules
Your overtime rules are much like those in American collegiate football in which the complete game to include the role of all special teams, is ignored. As such it's not really football at such point but rather like a practise scrimmage and an awful way to decide a FOOTBALL game between otherwise even teams. As a purist, I would welcome just a return to tie games at the end of regulation, but that is not going to happen with the desire of more folks for a victor.
And it's downright awful in the CFL that a win in overtime can come down to a wimpy single way too easily. Reward failure for sake of the victory, though I fully agree with the rules on singles otherwise.
All the same, others like me do not like the sudden death rules of the NFL either, so we all have still the Holy Grail solution to find.
The best solution I have come across is "6-point margin or end of period lead" rule.
The game like in the NFL would start anew with overtime play.
The first team to build a six-point margin wins. If a team is ahead at the END of the overtime period by less than 6 points, including existing final play rules in the CFL, it wins. Otherwise if the score is still tied, the game is a draw at the end of said overtime period.
In the playoffs, in the unlikely though possible event of the need for a second or more overtime periods, the first team to build only a 2-point margin in any subsequent overtime period wins with the same rules for overtime in place otherwise.
Uncommon Suggestions I Feel Seem Unlikely For Changes, But Feedback Backed With More Than "NO!" Definitely Appreciated
Borrowing From The NFL (As The NFL Has From You As Well At Times), The Defensive Backs Are Allowed To Bump Any Eligible Receivers At Least Two Yards Outside The Tackles In The First Five Yards Instead Of Only In The First Yard.
It is not as if your quarterbacks don't have enough time to throw with the wider field and defensive linemen one yard off the ball at the snap already you know!
The pass coverage in your league is absolutely awful too due to less overall talent on defense and wider fields anyway.
Even things up for the defence a bit, and this would sure help as well as force more receivers to be more physical like in the NFL!
We have a saying in the States that "yards after catch is too easy." The truly best players on offense at any position make "yards after contact."
No 5-Yard Buffer Rule At All For Kicks Inside 20 To Goal Line, Only 2 Yards Otherwise, Fair Catch Inside 20 Only In Most Cases
This is to reward teams who punt strategically INTO the field of play instead of merely going for singles and to allow for safety of the receiver of the ball upon a catch.
Exception: To allow for potential close calls and controversies near the 20 yard line and to avoid additional interruptions in play, only a RECEIVING player who lines up INSIDE the 15 before the kick but ventures no further than the 25 at any point, is afforded the same privileges.
In such case when the 20-yard line is touched or crossed, the fair catch signal must have been by any receiving player BEFORE the 20 is touched as well.
Otherwise if said player touching the 20 did not remain inside the 15 BEFORE the kick, the strict rule above applies.
A penalty for an invalid fair catch signal as described below applies in the event a fair catch signal is called by said player or not called before said player touches the 20.
The 15 and 25 yard lines should be marked a bit differently with an additional coloured stripe to be standardised and determined as well to designate this "Receiving Buffer Zone."
Those on kick coverage must play also the call for fair catch or not accordingly so long as the ball is in the air.
In the event of an invalid fair catch call due to the ANY of the rearmost TWO receivers of the ball having been offside by not lining up inside, not at, the 15 yet venturing to the 20 or beyond, or by not calling for the fair catch inside, not at, the 20, for safety reasons play is stopped immediately and a replay of down is ordered with a five-yard penalty against the receiving team.
A second or any more offenses by the receiving team before any change of possession awards the ball back to the kicking team with an automatic first down and another five-yard penalty.
Please note there would still be no fair catch allowed on kickoffs of any kind, as is allowed in the NFL, or in the end zone!
All ineligible receivers on offence are allowed to venture out 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, or up to the goal line, on any down but only up to two yards out from the tackle position.
All other rules apply otherwise with regard to any touching of a forward pass by said ineligible receivers.
More downfield blocking is advocated with such a rule change for plays like those with short passes or play-action delayed running plays.
The ineligible receivers are fair game for any hits by defensive players in said zone subject to a bonafide defensive effort to play the ball as mandated under current rules penalising what we call in the States "unnecessary roughness" and penalised as a personal foul.
Such existing rules already help eliminate many of the cheap shots off the ball with those 15-yard penalties.
Please note that also these ineligible linemen cannot recover any open field kick or dribbled ball into the end zone unless it is touched first by an opposing player.
End Zones Shortened To 10 Yards Deep With Goal Posts In Rear
Just like the NFL here to make it progressively harder to score inside the red zone as well as to score a field goal ...I hate when teams in your league are in the red zone and balls are lofted by quarterbacks high and wide between goal posts and the like -- way too slanted to the offence, and your field is already so much bigger mind you!
If you are not good enough to score a major/touchdown on a field already bigger but with an end zone half the size, well does such an offence really deserve a major/touchdown? Alternatively asked, why make it so onerous on the defence?
And if your offence is not good enough to score a short field goal, well why ought your offence be awarded with a single point as the following explains.
No More Singles For Kicking The Ball Outside Of The End Zone From Scrimmage Unless It Touches The Ground First
Singles would only be awarded in the event of any one of the following on punts and missed field goals:
a) the receiving team chooses not to return a scrimmage kick into of the end zone by downing said ball or allowing it to cease movement
b) otherwise illegal touching by an eligible receiver but offside player on the kicking team of a scrimmage kick into the end zone only after the ball has touched the ground (see previous commentary in number 1 one under the "common topics")
c) the ball goes out of bounds in the end zone after touching the ground
Such a change makes for not rewarding awful failure on shorter field goals and facilitates more incentive for teams to return kicks out of the end zone as well as for return men to catch balls in the first place.
Punters are also rewarded for greater strategic placement of punts as are coverage teams for solid kick coverage.