Extra official for playoffs

Very solid move for immediate action IMO.
Any sort of spotter via CC or Concussion police or whatever needs time for proper discussion and setup…that needs to start in the offseason…not in div finals. This seems solid for at least short term…Official has one job and can’t do other things. Bravo.

So…you create a new officiating position over a play…even if temporary. If this does not equate to a suspension then what does?


[b]Thursday, November 15, 2018 —[/b][b]TORONTO (November 15, 2018) --[/b]An eighth official whose only responsibility is to watch for any blows delivered to the head or neck of a quarterback, one of the most vulnerable players on the field, will be added for this weekend’s Eastern and Western Finals and the 106thGrey Cup presented by Shaw, the Canadian Football League (CFL) has announced. The change comes after a high hit to Saskatchewan Roughrider quarterback Brandon Bridge, which should have been assessed a penalty for roughing the passer, was not flagged during last weekend’s Western Semi-Final game.[url=https://www.cfl.ca/2018/11/11/game-92-ref-cam-view-of-hit-on-bridge/]Video from a camera worn by the Head Referee revealed his view had been blocked by a different player.[/url] “It is very important that this sort of potentially dangerous play is penalized on the field in addition to being subject to supplementary discipline. Not only is it important to the integrity of the game, it can act as a deterrent,? said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the CFL. “That is why we are adding an additional set of eyes, with a strictly limitedbut well-defined mandate, to our officiating crew. No system is fail-safe and no human is incapable of error. And nothing we do on player safety should be held up as the ultimate solution. Our approach must constantly evolve. But we believe this is a step forward. We will continue to look for ways to not only penalize dangerous play but, more importantly, prevent it.? The decision to act was made after the issue of quarterback safety was discussed this week with the nine CFL member clubs and this particular proposal was presented yesterday to the four clubs still in contention for Canadian professional football’s ultimate prize, the Grey Cup. "I want to thank the clubs for their input and counsel. I especially want to acknowledge the view of some that making a change in the middle of the playoffs has some significant risks,? Ambrosie said. “I understand and even sympathize to a large extent with that position. Making changes at this point is another variable coaches and players and even officials, all of whom are under pressure at this critical time of year, have to consider. But we ultimately came to the conclusion that this step is needed at this time. We have done much over the years to protect quarterbacks, including rule changes. This year, we increased fines and even imposed suspensions. We tweaked our officiating protocols to assign to umpires as well as head referees the responsibility for detecting and calling high hits to the quarterback. But it is clear we need to do more.? If the eighth official sees a blow to the head or neck of the quarterback that has not already been flagged, theywill advise the Head Referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer. The eighth official will have no other responsibilities and cannot suggest or call a penalty for other infractions. The role of the eighth official will be filled by someone who has experience as a head referee. “After the Grey Cup, we will assess this change as part of a complete review of what we are doing, and what else might be done, to protect quarterbacks and improve health and safety for all of our players,? Ambrosie said. “The addition of an eighth official may prove to be an interim step. It may become part of a broader package of reforms which may include changes to the mandate of the Command Centre. That will be determined by a process that will include the Canadian Football League Players’ Association, our Rules Committee, our officials and our governors. The process of improving player health and safety is very important to us and it never ends.?

…also, while in a constant state of observation on the active quarterback this official maintains at all times a distance of no less than three feet from the quarterback as he moves about the field…

Three feet? You jest?

This screams “we are incompetent” Its not hard to identify a illegal hit and if one is missed on the fly there is no reason for the commissioner to ignore that it happened until he is called out buy a bunch of people. Just my opinion of course.

Interesting concept but 1st run on gc? Ugh.

The CFL needs BETTER refs, not more of them.

He never ignored anything. He released a statement almost immediately. You’d have the guy shooting his mouth off with no consultation with the rest of the league?

Released shortly after the game, certainly within a couple of hours (seemed like minutes). Note the date:

If the only discipline for the hit in BB is a fine then it’s piontless to add an extra offical. Simply fines get applied after the game and just having an extra pair of eyes won’t undo a concussion … face it … head shots are part of the game in the cfl.

It’s nothing more than a token gesture that doesn’t change anything. Having a teams starting qb go down in 2 straight games to uncalled head shots has never happened in any pro sports league to my knowledge. Don’t want to see any player get hurt … but the problem isn’t more officials but disciplining violators in a meaningful way.

An extra official for the Playoffs? Excellent! Now they’ll be able to eliminate the Command Centre and all those time wasting reviews of calls on the field.

Really. What next!!

This is not the time to put another official on the field.

Players generaly know the area refs will be during a play, but now where is this ref going to be? I can see a QB drop back or run to a spot where this new ref will be, but he’s not use to this and things like timing of the play breaks down.

Use the cameras and review any questionable hits not called, like they do now with fumbles.

If a penalty is deserved, call it post play.

So it’s official it was only a fine. So for a repeat offender this amounts to a very gentle tsp in the wrist.

Head shots are part of the game and there is no turning back at this point. I do not want to see any player hurt like this but for a simple fine you are cleared to take out a qb as you see fit. You would have to go WWF and nearly kill someone to get a suspension it seems

Love the cfl … disgusted with trivializing illegal head shots to nothing more than a finable offence

But the NHL went to more refs as below so I guess they though more refs on the ice would result in more penalties called that were missed with one fewer ref. I don’t know, you tell me. One could say the NHL just needed better refs as well, I guess…

The[i]three-official system[/i]uses one referee and two linesmen. This is the most commonly used system. The NHL previously used this system until changing to the four-official system in the late 1990s.

whats to say this official isn’t going to make some bad calls like the rest of them do?
I.E- are they going to flag something that’s close to, but not actually a head? Will this be changeable?

I'm really interested to hear the CFLPA's response to this. Will they push for suspensions to protect their members' health, or will they support no suspensions to protect their members' wallets?

I'd hope they'd be on board with the majority of fans (or so it seems to me) in pushing for suspensions on offending players.

He probably will, if he's there for more than three games anyway. But hopefully it won't be because he's out of position because he has so many other aspects of play to monitor.

But hopefully it won't be because he's out of position because he has so many other aspects of play to monitor.
Well said PTBO.

If a repeat offender only gets a fine it will be impossible to suspend anyone outside of an actual criminal assault now.

No point in the extra official now. Simple fines and other non trivial stuff can remain reviewed after the game.

More important will be how can the cfl recruit new qb talent starting next year with the soft stance on player safety. Any qb would be wise to weigh the increases risk in the cfl of concussions and how that will impact future opportunities.

More supervisory staff and overhead expenses in general I presume.


Hmmmm. I wonder if the salary cap Randy Ambrosie has mandated for team back offices will also apply in any way to the CFL offices?


So it looks like Jefferson is doing the west game and Hughes the East. Heard the league wanted someone who has spent an inordinate amount of time in this area this year. Odell Willis gets 10% of each of these guys pay for the game since he was the one that made them available to do this gig, a finders fee sort of thing.