Conceded Safeties

Plenty of discussion has gone into whether intentionally conceded safeties should be part of the game.

As the rules stand, it is the smart thing to do on a 3rd down deep in your own end. Many have suggested rule changes that would promote punting and making a defensive stand as opposed to deliberately conceding points to mitigate the likelihood of a field goal. These have included moving the goal posts back or forcing the conceding team to give a free punt or kickoff from deep in their own end regardless.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, football adopted major rule changes almost every year as the game quickly evolved from rugby to the gridiron. This included the scoring system. Field goals were once more valuable than a try (touchdown).

Has anyone suggested making the safety 3 points?

This would make it pointless to intentionally give up points as you would already be giving up 3 points and giving up the chance of a missed FG, block or turnover. You also would eliminate intentionally conceded points without changing any significant aspect of the game. You would also add value to a rare defensive feat should a defense be successful in bringing the ball carrier down in the end zone.

No. Anything that removes an element of strategy from the game is not a change for the better.

My opinion of Suitor’s idea, just so everybody knows:

Glen Suitor and his 25-yard safety KO. Suitor is an idiot. The problem is not with the rule, but the coaches. The Hamilton game is case and point of this. They gave up 2 points, and then Sask marched down and took 7. Effectively, Sask got 9 points, when punting from the endzone would have only allowed them to get 3 or 7. In that case, it was a poor coaching decision and those 2 points cost them the game. On a single, 1 point is worth 35 yards, and Suitor believes that 2 points should only be worth 25 yards. Do not change this rule.

Eh, I don't see any need to change the rules. I have no problem with the safeties. It's not like we have a bunch of them being given up each game...

I say give the team that recieves the option of taking the ball on their own 45 yd line. The option will make it more of a stragetic gamble to just give up two points.

Interesting thought there sambo....give the team the double advantage. First they got the two points from defence holding their offense to little no yardage that they were able to get a 2 point safety. Now you want to reward the offense by giving them special placement of the ball.

Personally, they should get rid of the automatic placement of the ball after field goal. It does nothing to add excitement. All kickoffs the returning should be required to play the ball or give up the single point.

But when you give up 2 you don't expect the team to come down and score on the drive.

The cats were also in a situation where it was 3rd and short from their own 20 and decided to punt. They punt and the ball gets returned to their own 25.

You play the odds and you see what happens. Unfortunately it didn't work out for the cats. It's happens!


I agree with mike, get rid of the placement of the ball all together and make them kickoff after every score.

But this is what makes the CFL the CFL. We are too brainwashed by the NFL.

I understand if you want to change the kickoff yard line after a safety by 10 yards, that's fine. You have to make the team that gave up the safety pay but to give them the ball on the 45?!? You are basically giving the other team a first down or 2 away from kicking a field goal.

It's not fine by me. Football is all about field position, especially in the CFL with the larger field. The only reason you are giving up the 2 points is so you can improve your field position. Suitors whole basis is flawed because he fails to recognize that is the only reason for giving up the safety to begin with. Make them kick off and if the opposition gets a big return then their gamble failed. It's all part of the strategy of the game and Suitor wants to try to remove that aspect and pigeon hole it. Bad for the game I say.

You don't expect them to, which is why it's a strategic gamble. If they get 20-30 yards and kick a field goal, they end up with 2+3 points ( 5 ) -- sometimes that would have only been 3, sometimes it would have been 7. If they march down and take 2+7 ( 9 ), then it was a mistake, because kicking would only give away 7.

As it is, it's a very strategic element of the game. Points vs field position. Field position changes the playbook, and the entire strategy of the situation.

I don't think making the safety worth 3 points removes an element of strategy. I think it changes the strategy so that teams aren't forced to give up points. The strategy now becomes punt and let your defense do its best.

It really comes down to whether or not you think intentionally conceded points should be part of the game.

Personally, I don't. I feel the objective should always be to score points and stop the other team from doing so.

I even prefer the CIS rule that awards at least the 20 yard line if a returner advances a kicked ball out of his end zone. This way you don't get conceded rouges for 35 yards and you get a return out of every missed FG or long punt that has the potential to break it huge.

The downside is you might get those cheap returns that seek only the 1 yard line and no more... these essentially amount to the NFL's touchback and I'm not advocating the adoption of any NFL rules unless it makes sense to incorporate in Canadian football.

The thing is, the receiving team still has to earn those yards. The whole strategy of the safety is to gain field position. If you take that away somewhat, then it is more of risk just to give up the safety. If the team that does get the ball earn a first down, they are punting, thus giving the other team some field position back. Its not automatic that the team who got the 2pts will get more.

The rational for giving the ball on 45 yard line or having the team kick-off 10 yards back is not there. First you would need to have a ref decide intent, did the team intend to give up the safety or was it just a bad snap and punter couldn't get the punt off. Or are you going to move the ball to 45 yard line when they sac a quarterback in the end zone. Wait a minute you would have to, because if the quarterback was back there on third down would it be a safety.

Suitor's rational for changing the rule was because he wanted to punish someone, it was because, he thought, by requiring them to punt it deep in their end, it would lead to greater scoring and more punt returns. Well it is simple, don't allow a team to the ball after a field goal at the 35 already your returns increase by 30 or 40%.

As I said befor, no where should CFL rules benefit the offense when the defense has played good. It is the defence that played good enough to get the safety. Why should their offence benefit. They don't count the defensive points as offensive points in the stats....there is a reason for it.

Conceded safeties aren't really strategy when it's a no-brainer decision to give up the 2 points ... I actually wouldn't mind making safeties 3 points, although that would eliminate them completely - I would prefer something that actually makes it a decision whether or not to punt from your own endzone, that way it doesn't eliminate the strategy behind it.

Mike, I bolded this part of your post, because doesn't the conceded safety already do that? After a team gives up a safety, they get field position back. So why punish the D for keeping a team hemmed deep in their own zone?