CFL’s rules committee recommends changes to league board of governors

CFL’s rules committee recommends changes to league board of governors

WINNIPEG — The CFL’s rules committee is recommending that coaches no longer be allowed to challenge illegal contact on a receiver this season.

It will also ask the league’s board of governors to accept changes to blindside blocks, expand the definition of spearing and make it illegal for receivers to make low blocks. Darren Hackwood, the CFL’s senior director of officiating, said the moves are all aimed at enhancing player safety and improving the flow of game.

"Our commissioner and board of governors have clearly mandated us to focus on promoting and protecting the health of our players," Hackwood said in a statement. "The rules committee has responded by recommending the board approve several measures that would broaden or clarify rules designed to improve safety for players."

The committee is also asking that coaches can no longer challenge illegal contact on a receiver. It also wants the replay official to automatically review "potential touchdowns" — plays where it seems a TD has been scored but were marked down short of the goal-line.
Here’s a look at some of the rule changes the committee is asking the board of governors to approve in time for the 2018 season. They include:

— Making it illegal for players to forcibly block an opponent that’s moving back towards his own goal-line. This is referred to as a "blindside" block.

— Outlawing low blocks that occur outside the tackle box, which is the area between the tight ends and from the quarterback or kicker to two yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

— Broadening the definition of spearing to include any time when a player delivers a blow with his helmet as the initial or primary point of contact. This wouldn’t apply to a low-running ball carrier.

— Eliminating a loophole in the sleeper play rule by making it illegal for a player entering a game remaining outside the numbers to receive the ball in any manner, including a kick or lateral.

— Simplifying the rule on what constitutes a quarterback making a legal pass behind the line of scrimmage by defining it as the passer having at least one of his feet on or behind the line of scrimmage instead of requiring the release point of the ball be behind the line of scrimmage.

— Eliminating the force out rule by requiring a receiver catching a ball to have at least one foot inbounds regardless of mid-air contact.

— Increasing the penalty for pyramiding — a player using another to elevate himself to try and block a kick from five to 10 yards.

Great read here on the changes

Like them all except the force out rule . Love the elimination of the coaches challenge on illegal contact .

How can one ever keep track? You've think they would have figured out the rules when they were inventing the game.

Until someone (cough O'Shea cough) spots a loophole in the rule that the league thought was air-tight.

I like all the recommended rule changes, I hope the BOG votes them all in.

Maybe in another life I was a soccer fan...

I don't mind the rule changes, if they are needed.

The force out rule, I am not sure about. If you are a DB, could you not catch the player or cut their legs out so they land out of bounds. I know its a hard call, because its subjective, but there will be great catches disallowed because the receiver was pushed out of bounds before the foot touches.

The sleeper play loophole. I think it is exciting when a team actually gets caught on a sleeper play. With the amount of times this happens in a season, is a rule banning it necessary? Should it not be on the other team to be aware of where all their opponents are?

Eight guys head to the bench, seven guys come back to the huddle. One of the nine is standing a foot inbounds in front of 32 other players in matching uniforms all lined up watching the play. You think it would be easy spotting the one player who's actually on the field?

Love that coaches shouldn't be allowed to challenge illegal contact on a receiver. Now force out rule, not sure about that either as others say here, have to think about that one.

while it doesn't seem fair to the receivers, it does take guessing away from the refs in many cases.

I don't mind the proposals. I feel like the past few seasons that they have tried putting stuff through that really changed the game. Some of those, it seems in many people's opinion, were misfires. The league mandated that proposals that slowed the pace were a non-starter this year and they wanted to eliminate some judgement/grey area. We see a couple of those...passer with a foot down vs arm crossing and eliminating the pushout rule. I understand the concerns with the pushing thing...but this seems to have been a good change by the NFL years ago, so I see no issue. NFL is simple...a push can get the WR out for no catch but the act of holding them up/carrying them and the catch is forward progress as that is the act of a tackle, not a push. Been solid south of the border and eliminates contention during press coverage with hand fighting...if the DB is wise enough to knock em out of bounds, great. To boot...only need one foot in here.

Also great to see that they are looking at a few safety matters.

Generally OK, but perhaps they should be able to challenge for PI against the receiver to whom th eball was thrown.
The MOST annoying reviews were something 10 yards downfield at the left sideline when the ball was thrown 50 yards to the right side.

The NFL a few years ago adopted this force out rule, I believe. Perhaps the CFL is looking to standardize the rule? Sometimes it can be a little phony that a player can land 5 ft. out of bounds after being pushed but it's still called a reception. It shouldn't be too much to ask of a professional receiver to touch one foot down in bounds for a legal reception even if he's pushed?

Given how good placekickers have become over the last sixty years, I'd now support moving the goal posts to the back of the end zones.

A beneficial side effect would be that teams could resume scrimmaging for converts from the five yard line regardless of whether they were going for a one or a two point convert. Internal consistency is a plus in my book.

BUT by all means the twenty yard end zones should be kept.


Interesting and yeah, I think it's time to move the posts back as you say, excellent suggestion Baltic.

I think moving the posts back would pretty much eliminate returns from missed FGs, which though rare overall are still exciting plays, so I'd vote against that suggestion.

Just another way to further Americanize the game. Leave it alone!

I applies to a player entering the game as I understand it....a sleeper can still happen if the player is already on the field from the play before...there is no requirement to return to the huddle.

I think it might apply less to the "sleeper play" and more to the "too many players" rule asOfficials must count the players on O and D on EVERY play...tougher to do with players wandering around the bench area.

No, no, no, gawd no.

rule changes made or not should be for the betterment of our game having nothing to do with any other game. If moving the posts back would be good for the game, it would have nothing to do with "Americanization"