I don't like #4. If the recieving team is losing at the time of the kickoff, forcing them to field a kickoff burns precious seconds they could potentially use more effeciently scrimmaging from the 35. If a field goal is kicked with less than about 10 seconds remaining, the receiving team on the ensuing kickoff probably won't get even ONE play from scrimmage. Worse yet, by taking away the the option of scrimmaging from the 35, you open the door for the kicking team to squib the kick or attempt an onside kick. All of these factors have the result of making it easier to protect a lead late in the game, which I think is a bad thing. Besides, kickoff returns tend not to be as exciting as punt returns anyway, so not much is gained.
There have been many occasions when a team has kicked a field goal with less than 30 seconds on the clock, but still lead by only 8 points or less. In those scenarios it was always exciting to see how the series starting at the 35 would unfold, even if it was just 2 or 3 hail Mary's. This rule makes last second comebacks less likely, and I think that's a bad thing.
Oh well, maybe this change will encourage trailing teams to adopt rugby-style laterals on late-in-the-game kickoff returns. That could potentially be exciting, but in principle I prefer the former approach of letting the receiving team guarantee themselves at least one play from scrimmage. If teams thought the "rugby" approach was their best chance to make a comeback, more of them would already elect to receive kickoffs in these scenarios, but they seem to consistently choose to scrimmage from the 35.
The only positive I see is that if a team is trailing by 6 points or less with very little time remaining, they can kick a field goal and cut the lead to 3 or less, secure in the knowledge that they will have the opportunity to attempt an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff and try to score again rather than being forced to hand the ball directly over to the other team who will run out the clock.
That's their problem for being behind and allowing the other team to score.
I've personally always HATED the fact that they could take the ball from the 35. If you have a kicker that can bomb the ball (like we do) there's a very good chance that they won't advance the ball as far as the 35. So why should the team that scores get punished by having the other team get good field position?
I have a suggestion for you: Maybe if the league changes the rules so that the half or game can't end on a kick-off (meaning at least one more play (just like it can't end on an accepted penalty)) that would, at least partially, alleviate your concerns. Also, a squib kick wouldn't necessarily run out the last 10 seconds or so anyway as the clock doesn't start until the ball is touched by the receiving team. All the receiving team needs to do is grab the ball and take a knee. This would use up maybe 2 or 3 seconds of the 10.
Under the old rule, the team that scored the field goal was punished for ONLY kicking a field goal rather than scoring a touchdown. If they wanted to be able to guarantee themselves the opportunity to pin the opposition deep, they could have earned that right by finishing their own possession with a touchdown.
I realize this is pretty subjective. My rationale for preferring the old rule is that I think it added excitement by giving the trailing team a better chance to come back and score. I think that the “anything could still happen” aspect in general is one of the appealing qualities of the Canadian game. For the most part, I think this rule change detracts from that and will make the last minute of close games less suspenseful.
I’m not crazy about the idea of setting the rule as “game/half can’t end on a kickoff”. I think that slants things a little too heavily in favor of the receiving team, as they can then basically treat the return as a “free play”, knowing that as long as they don’t turn it over, they are still guaranteed one more play. I’m not sure my position there is really logical, but that’s my gut feeling.
I’m not red in the face and writing furious letters to the commissioner or anything over the new rule, I’m just not yet convinced it’s a good change.
I like the rule adjustments. Never liked the option to start at the 35, Besides it could be returned for a td or in field goal range!, and the saftey rule was being abused . this will keep the integrity of the game intact!! CFL rocks :rockin:
There has to be change to keep the game exciting. In the last few season the NFL has been more exciting than the CFL, more kick off/punt returns for TDs more excitement overall. More points scored.
I don't want to keep the "Canadian" in the game if it means less exciting football.
It doesnt add anything to the game and teams actually return less kicks out of the endzone than they do in the NFL. It's purpose is to reward failure nothing else, if it's purpose was to increase returns out of the endzone they would not give them the ball on the 35 or reward a point if the ball was kicked through the endzone.