Goal is to make Referee Calls: "Walk and Talk"

Marshall Ferguson said everybody (League, TSN, Officials, etc) wants to streamline the process of calling penalties. Instead of having the referee go to a spot, stand there, look at the camera, turn on the microphone, and announce the penalty; they are going to try having the ref call the infraction as he is walking which hopefully allows the next play to start sooner.


I’m breathless, just as the referee will be. Don’t see this as having any significant impact on speeding up the game. Using a 30 second play clock with NFL timing rules and eliminating the artificial senseless stoppages in the last 3 minutes would make the game lightning fast, in my opinion.


I like the idea given improved technology that can be used to do it.

Now I'm not so sure this is going to work on a windy day and who knows how referees will adjust in announcing calls such as something like,
"Yes, you #62 offence over there, I saw you holding from clear over here, that'll be 10 yards from the spot of the foul, still first down."

That's why refs should improve their cardo

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Yes. I have a tendency to think hockey refs are in much better cardio shape than football refs, baseball umps probably don't require hardly any, basketball refs for sure require cardio fitness.
For myself, it's not a big deal "speeding up the game" or adopting new timing rules, working fine for me as it is but I can appreciate others are very much into all of this.

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That's why I suggested that the CFL hire young, fit officials that can keep up with the play thus making the game go quicker in regards of ball placement


Couldn't find anything about physical fitness testing for CFL officials but for NFL officials, this is interesting:

"The officials also get information about proper nutrition and take an endurance test in which they have to run 13 40-yard dashes, with 35 seconds between each sprint."

Also, maybe a test like this below, this is a Canadian guideline, that tests cognitive and walking ability ie walking along a treadmill and counting backwards or naming animals. Slow down too much and maybe you shouldn't be a referee. This is interesting research for many reasons. I had the opportunity to go to London, Ontario (Western University) and be tested by Dr. Montero-Odasso's team as part of my assessment for my health issues, very interesting I must say. Suffice it to say I should not even consider being an official in any sport :slight_smile: (any official who slows down almost or to the point of stopping with a walking test as in these guidelines counting backwards from 100, or by sevens or naming animals, well perhaps they should give up on being an official)

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What was ever wrong with the system before we had wireless mic's and all that where the ref used hand signals? Quick simple no equipment to screw around with if you don't know what the signals are the announcers do.....

I think a better system is to remove the microphone setup from the ref thereby making them lighter and therefore more mobile, then the ref makes his call to himself and those around him using the various hand/arm signals were all used to…the TV/Stadium announcement of the penalty is done using a random fan who, to the best of their ability, interprets the refs signals and theorizes their own call from it…


Yup the only guys who want to know who it was is the coach, and they will have a guy at the bench to tell them.
Avoids stupidity like leaving the refs mic open when it shouldn't be like last year when the ref got fined for swearing.

Mind you with today's technology the mic should be able to be controlled from an official in the press box, maybe the alternate official. I would think this is possible.

The problem with this idea is that they're assuming CFL refs can 'walk and talk' at the same time.


I don't see it being a major difference to the flow of the game but every little bit will help I guess.

Agreed changing how the clock works will be more impactful. Maybe a 2023 idea

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They can. One big help this year is they don't have officials tied up talking to coaches the whole game.
Again, we should have an off field video official, with what they spot now it wouldn't be far to go to be able to have the onfield guy watch the replay on the stadium video and step through what happens with the off field. Where its used its WAYYYY faster than what we do now and it just gets calls right and consistent. Which is all we want, the right call.

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If it goes OUR way it's always the right call. :laughing:

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But you can't argue a right call. Or a call that is at least consistent with whats been called all day.

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Other than slightly impacting the flow of the game, Ferguson said the change is being done to focus on the game itself and not on the referees. I guess he means the purpose of airing CFL games is not make Al Bradbury and Andre Proulx household names.

Also, having referees seen so much negatively affects how people feel about the game as they believe the play is sloppy. The hope is that casual fan will barely notice if a game has 25 penalties.


The way this thread is reading and as the trend goes to be more worker-friendly as well, I figure a small sandwich, gyro, donaire or bag of chips as a snack for the referee, eaten during the game because he's too hungry to wait for half-time, will now be optional too.

First question in the CFL referee application,

"Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?"

Question two,

"Can you walk and talk at the same time?"


I can hardly wait to watch Andre Proulx officiated games