CFL to consider 3 rule changes


TORONTO - The Canadian Football League will consider three rule changes proposed by fans when the league's rules committee holds its annual winter meeting this week.

The league received more than 1,000 letters and e-mails when commissioner Mark Cohon issued a call for fan input into the process. The league will consider three fan suggestions for discussion: changes to converts, safeties and the controversial single point.

Fans complained convert kicks after touchdowns are automatic and statistics back them up: kickers have a 99.5 per cent success rate.

"We don't want our fans going to get popcorn or a hot dog because it's just an automatic play," CFL officiating director Tom Higgins said.

Higgins said the committee could consider moving the ball back five yards on point after attempts.

Higgins said many fans felt there's not enough of a downside to conceding a safety, and that the league might look at having the conceding team kick from its own 20-yard line instead of its 35.

As for the single, many fans feel rewarding a point when the receiving team fails to run a kick or missed field goal out of the end zone isn't fair and should be scrapped.

Higgins sees the point of all three proposed changes but isn't predicting any bold predictions will be made to the league's board of governors.

"I don't expect anything big because we're traditionalists," he said. "But anything's possible."[/i]

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I can't even put into words how much this annoys me. Who cares if the point after is automatic. Cripes. And the rouge? Are we honestly considering changing something that is uniquely Canadian?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the PAT, the safety, or the rouge. But there is something wrong with the fans. They need to learn to accept the great game they have and stop trying to change it just for the hell of it.

I disagree Chief, like life, sports leagues should always be looking at ways to improve the game, for the fans. It’s professional sports, entertainment, and if the product can be enhanced, you have to look at that. Other leagues do it, heck, the NHL has brought in rules to curtail fighting and probably the next step on this will be to keep the helmet on during a fight or else.

I really like the kicking off from the 20 after conceding a safety. Also, I’d like 15 yard end zones with no point if it sails out in the air and I guess the rewarding a point thing after a missed field goal, while I’m not opposed to the current system, can be changed as the article says also.

I think the fans completely missed the point on this. None of these three suggestions make the game better.

My opinion, and I hope it's shared by the rules committee, is that they make it worse.

But now I understand why the rules committee makes the decisions. The people that know about the game of football.

The thing is though z is that this board is already the converted, we love the CFL as it is anyways. What the league wants to do is try and reach out, I think, to a broader fanbase that might be casual fans here and there and really try and cement them in as permanent devoted fans. That's my take on it and I think this is a good idea.

Example, right now I watch practically all the games and never switch the game off because I don't like this or that rule. But I bet there are a fair number of casual fans that do. So by trying to reach out them, I think it can add to the devoted fanbase more.

I'm of two minds about the rouge.......I can see arguments to retain it, and arguments to dispense with it. Either way I won't lose any sleep.

I think moving the kickoff to the 20 is a good idea.

As for converts, there is no more boring play in me it's a waste of time. Two choices; either eliminate it entirely (and grant 7 points automatically for a touchdown), or make it a little more of a challenge.

Just my 2 cents.

  1. 99.5% of converts are good -- move the ball back 5 yards.

Guess what? 99.5% of converts are still going to be good, and this takes away from 2-point attempts. This change produces nothing and takes away from the game.

  1. Too many conceded safeties -- move the ball back 15 yards.

So, let me get this straight. Why do we even bother having safeties? Why don't we just give the other team a TD? You've now removed one of the key points vs. field position decisions from the coaching staff. One point is worth 35 yards on a single and now two points is worth 20 yards.

  1. Single point -- remove.

So, now you advance the ball all the way down the field and past their goal line, the defending team is unable to advance it back out of the goal area, and you recieve nothing. You've also removed another points vs. field position decision from the game.

I am 100% a traditionalist but don't have a problem with rule changes.

What you are suggesting here really, really, makes me angry.

As I have said before, we are way to influenced by the NFL. What does the NFL have, kicking from the 20 after a safety and a smaller endzone.

I am not saying that you are influenced by them but it seems to me that you want to pull the 20 yard line right from the NFL.

Just leave the game alone. There is strategy in safeties and single points.


Tiger, why don't we just go back to the original Canadian rugby football rules back in 1800's? Hey, the soccer boys then wouldn't mind playing on the field no grid lines to bother those prissy fusspot players or fans. :wink: Well, TFC ones at any rate. :lol:

I just want to try and make the game better but, as I've said, I'm happy either way what the rules committee decides, they know way more than you and me combined on what could be good for the game from both a traditionalistic point of view as well as a progressive marketing point of view.

tweaking the rules is fine. The 3 rule changes proposed are pretty lame. Leave the rouge alone. If you think that will "solidify" the casual fan, you are nuts. I have no problem with pushing the convert back 5 as long as the line of scrimmage for the two pointer remains the same. But really? Wow? That was the BEST change proposed of the 3. Yikes!!
I can see changing the safety kick-off by 5 yards, but 15? No need for that. What I might accept is a kick-off from the 20 IF the idiot kicker runs around for 10 seconds.

But what I know for sure is, on this forum we discussed a number of better more imaginative changes that actually make the game better. The 3 the league picked are at best boring, and at worst, hurt the game, not help it.

Oh, and a 15 yard endzone is the worst idea on this thread so far.

What Arius, a bit too difficult for you to understand that with new stadiums possibly coming on board in the future in the CFL or some major reno's, that this might be the time to consider bringing any end zone seating a bit closer in to tighten the field up a bit and bring spectators closer? I know this could be complicated to understand though, at least for some people out there.

I'm not say it must be done or whatever, just something for the rules committee to consider, you can call it stupid and dumb or the worst idea, that's fine, I'm a big boy and can take it.

Converts: I’m indifferent to the proposed change. I don’t think its needed but I wouldn’t shed a tear to scrimmage the convert from the 10.

Safety: I’d accept the kickoff from the 25 but really, I’m still a fan of making it 3 points and keeping the rest of the game the same.

Rouge: Hopefully they’ll choose not to scrap the rouge entirely. Hopefully they take a look at the suggestion to make it count only on returnable kicks. I would be happy with this and consider it a great improvement.

I agree with you Earl. But if you're going to tighten up the end zone and keep the rouge, you really have to make the rouge count only on returnable kicks.

I'd be in favour of going back to the old 25 yard endzones.....
If you build a new facility and know you need to accomadate a 20 yard endzone, it would indeed be stupid not to do so.....
One of the things that makes the CFL exciting and separates it from the NFL is in fact the large endzones. Changing that will make the game worse, not better. Plain and simple.

How does that make sense?

If you're playing with a 15 yard endzone, there are that many more kicks that will sail through the endzone without a chance of a return. This is the case especially on short field goals. Making a rouge count only on returnable kicks would eliminate any notion of 'reward for failure' while retaining the rouge itself. This is true on any sized endzone.

I agree with Earl that shortening the endzone might be a good idea to make the league a better partner for stadium redevelopment with soccer teams.

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Mark Cohon -- Commissioner

Marc Trestman -- Montreal Alouettes
Adam Rita -- Toronto Argonauts
Scott Mitchell -- Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Doug Berry -- Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Jim Hopson -- Saskatchewan Roughriders
John Hufnagel -- Calgary Stampeders
Danny Maciocia -- Edmonton Eskimos
Wally Buono -- B.C. Lions
Kevin McDonald -- Director, Football Operations, CFL
Bud Steen -- President, CPFOA
Jeff Pilon -- CFLPA

I almost feel like collecting e-mail addresses so people can lobby AGAINST these changes directly to the members.

I feel they will make some solid decisions. While parts of the article are presumptuous, I believe the competition committee will look at these three areas and make some solid decisions. I also don't believe they will necessarily make black and white decisions either like scrapping the rouge vs. maintaining the existing rule. I think we'll see tweaks from this, nothing more.

I like what the CFL is doing with these possible changes and especially seeking feedback from the fans.
What a great idea.
The convert has got to go, I would line up on the 5 yard line requesting a play from scrimage for the one point and moving it back to the 10 yard for a two point play from scrimage.
Moving it back to the 20 to kickoff from a two point is also a good idea.
Here is another good idea not mentioned in the above article, but I found in the Toronto Sun this morning. GM Rita has a good idea of a kickoff resulting inside each three minutes of the half when a FG is kicked. Which would enable on side kicks instead of the team automatically taking the ball at their 35 yard line.

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They should kick off after EVERY field goal.