How Important are Penalty Reviews

Let's put it this way. Thank God we have them. I remember watching a game at Common wealth and watching an Eskimoe reciever reaching up to catch a high pass coming his way. Behind him was the defender positioned in the imediate shadow of the reciever.
As the reciever went up to catch the ball, the Argo defender who was taller and behind the reciever reached up over the head of the reciever and robbed the reciever of the catch, instead turning it into an INT. The referee, standing back away from the two, threw his flag and the defender was charged with interfererance. However; it wasn't. IN those days; they didn' t have replays; so the word of the official stood. When the ball is up in the air, it becomes "LIVE" and it's anyone's ball. The defender never touched the reciever. He simply reached up and caught the ball first. Eskimos won by 1 point as a result of the Cutler Field goal.
Well, that year the Eskimo's made the playoffs by one point, and the Argo's missed the playoffs by one point. A proper call , would have seen the correct teams make and not make the playoffs.


I think you answered your own question to be honest. :slight_smile:

It's nice to get the calls right. It's not nice to interrupt the flow of the game. It's really not nice when they interrupt the flow of the game and still don't get the call right.

When the league made PI a revievwable call, it really slowed the pace of the game. TV numbers and attendance took a dive after that. While I think they've gotten better overall at reviews the past few seasons, I wouldn't be particularly upset if they did away with video reviews altogether.

There are those that want the outcome of the game decided without the actual facts. I'm not one of them. I think or refs are great, but they can sometimes blow 2 or 3 calls in a game. Best to get it right , and elleviate doubt and skeptisim.


I wouldn’t be in favour of eliminating video reviews entirely and believe that all sports will become more video influenced in the future. Baseball will ultimately have electronic balls and strikes. Hockey probably electronic offsides and goals. The recent Aussie Open used completely electronic decisions on whether balls were in or out and it seemed to work very well. Curling has electronic hog line violation calls.

No doubt there have been and will be bumps in the road. There has certainly been improvement on video review in all sports since its inception. I agree that the PI rules need considerable work if they are to stay. If the NFL adopted video review for PI I think that they would do much of the work for us. They seem to be in no hurry to do so but another egregious and potentially championship denying blown call, like in the Rams/Saints Conference Championship game a few years back, may change their minds. In order to discourage marginal PI challenges, perhaps one of the adjustments we will see in the PI rules will include an extra penalty for being wrong in addition to losing a timeout, such as 15 yards or loss of a down, similar to what the NHL did when they added a two minute penalty for being wrong on an offside challenge.

In any sport, when the league schedule only consists of less than 20 games; it's rather important to get those games performed in the right way. If they want to save time on the day; try starting the game in the late morning instead of 5 or 7 PM at night. If they want to get through the games faster, drop the intermission time by 10 minutes. If they want to get the games done faster, do away with the coin toss, and just make it the call of the home team. If they want to save time on the game, drop a commecial or two. Who wants to sit for 10 minutes while commercials are being ran.
BUT WHATEVER YOU never want to take away from the integrity of the game. In doing so; you just lost a pile of fans. Reffing in this league has really improved in recent years; but it's far from perfect, as is the case in any team sports. WE still owe an obligation to get it right. One thing I do find disturbing is when it goes to electronic review and they decide to take all day about it, including a shot from Mars or Jupiter. If you can't come to a satisfactory conclusion within a minute or 90 seconds, then the field call should always stand! We don't need to sit for 5 or 10 minutes. No thank you.


I remember that when the NFL introduced video review that there was a time limit, either 60 or 90 seconds, and if the ref, then under the “hood”, couldn’t find clear evidence to overturn the call within the time limit then the call stood. Not sure of the exact progression that did away with that rule.

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Well I agree, and as fans we sit there and become more frustrated and nevous once more, that there is a delliberate attempt to distort the call. So; I agree, let the decisions be quick and don't fraternize about it for too long. Show confidence then in the official it's not abundently clear otherwise.


I wish they'd use this time to air commercials and then cut down on the TV timeouts later in the game. As viewers, I don't think we need to see the same replay a dozen times while the review centre does their thing.

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The key is to know what types of plays should have review and, as well, it must be maintained that any review but be unequivocal and that the refs initial call stands if it is not unequivocal from looking at the review. Integrity to me implies keeping the human side, the refs, important to the game.

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The trouble with that however, is that a key play or a key situation may be over looked. The way it sits now I think is perfect. You get 2. One in each half. If you call for a video review and it shows that you were at fault, then you lose your challenge on the next ( last ) review. That's a perfect format in my opinion. Most coaches are only going to have reviewed certain violations at key parts of the game. I would agree with you if the challanges were unlimited, but two is not bad at all. Especially at the beginning of a season where, referee's , old and new alike, are more volunerable to making more mistakes. It serves then as a message to them to, that they have to be more vigilant to get the calls right!

Agreed , that's why I say give them 60 seconds to 90, and not a second more. IN fact 60 seconds works best. If it's not apparently clear and transparency can not be better achieved, then don't hesitate to let the officials call on the field stand. I have seen a number of calls go bad, even with the adjunct and supplement of video replay.


I’ll have to disagree with you on the amount of allowable challenges. I find the NFL system to be far superior and more fair. You get two challenges and can make them whenever you choose. This adds coaching strategy. If you miss either one you only get two. If you get both right you get a third, although this rarely happens. There are many critics that believe you should keep getting challenges in the NFL if you keep getting them right because it is not the fault of the team if the refs keep getting it wrong, and it is unfair to the team getting screwed by bad calls. I agree. It may be someone’s position that there should be no challenges allowed and that is fair, although realistically challenges are here to stay. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle and an egregiously bad call that ends a team’s season (see New Orleans) is far worse than enduring an unsuccessful challenge or two a game, in my opinion. But as long as challenges are part of the game, there is no valid reason why a team should have an arbitrary limit on how many they may need to use if they keep getting them right. Refs can have bad days too.

Well it's no different here as well. 2 and 2 is all you get. No more. You lose one if you challange incorrectly. In Hockey, if you do a challange and lose, you now have to face being shorthanded at any time in the game. That's a penalty for delay of game. It's basically the same in the CFL or NFL. The only difference in the NFL is no matter what, you still get your two challanges which; could translate to 4 challanges between the two clubs.

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No value whatsoever and I hate the entire concept

Will a call get missed? Sure
But wasting minutes every game reviewing kills momentum of teams

We survived a hundred years knowing that some games were decided by poor calls

*edit and a challenge should automatically use a teams time out PLUS if unsuccessful give the team a penalty (lets say 15 yards) to prevent frivolous abuse of the system

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One aspect of getting rid of challenges, and I'm saying this with acknowledging that @jon is most likely correct that challenges are here to stay, all-together is that it puts the onus fully back onto the refs to really get the call right in the first place, not that they aren't doing that with challenges but it might make them a bit more of the mindset that if they didn't actually see say the defender's arm grabbing the shirt then they better not call it as with a video review, let's say they have a bias, they might call a penalty for an illegal grab and get away with it if there isn't enough evidence on the video review to overturn the call and therefore they are happy with their bias calling it again's the team they don't like or prefer not to win the game.
In fact, there may even be some unintentional bias eg:


I would rather review a call on the field on a penalty called or anything else especially an outrageous call .

You get one a half on anything but asking for a penalty to be called .

No more fishing for penalties that needs to end .

Thats all I want to see end .

Keep it simple 60 seconds 4 in total . One per half for each team .

End the fishing for penalties .


We are essentially saying the same thing! You might have more faith then I do with certain officials as they are certainly not all the same, no more than they are all the same in any other league. Coaches don't generally call in to question penalties like off sides or equipment infractions, they are more concened about a call that can change the momentum at a critical time of the game. Can't blame them for that. As far as my attention span, it's a game not to certainly amuse me the entire 6o minutes but rather to ensure that on that day, with those tow teams, that the outcome comes to a "certain and satisfactory " conclusion. No getting around that!

That's so very true, and anyone who has followed and or, playes sports for a number of years, knows that this indeed does come up from time to time. Thank God, not a fraction as much as it one time did. Replays help keep everyone honest , and most of all the player who thought he was going to get away with the infraction. That's a great thing in my books.

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The higher their salaries become, the more commercials we have to endure. I remember the old days, 2 or sometimes 3 commercials. Tops! That was it. No more. Now it's 13 or 14 commercials. In the meantime, your sitting in the stands a freezing.