Kicking the ball directly to the punt returner

Seems to be a slow day on site so I thought I'd post a question I haven't seen brought up lately.
Why is it (unless it's just me) that we always seem to kick the ball directly to the punt returner(when there is only one man back). I think I've only seen it kicked to the opposite side once in the last several years?And while I'm on the subject of punts even thought I know I'm going to hear how it takes skill on the part of the kicker to make a good coffin kick, why not make it so the ball must touch the ground inbounds first and if not a penalty?We're trying to make the game more exciting to watch but take away the possibility of a return by kicking it out of the field of play.The CFL changed the rule back in 2011 in regards to between the 20 yard marks why not just make it all 110 yards? :slight_smile:

The field is wide enough that kicking to the opposite side takes away a lot of the distance on the kick. Couple that with the possibility of a bounce that favors the returning team, and the uncertainty for the cover team about where to find the ball/returner, and teams mostly prefer to take their chances maxing out the distance on the kick along the near sideline (usually also simplifying contain).

The CFL changed the rule back in 2011 in regards to between the 20 yard marks why not just make it all 110 yards? :)
Before that change, you were allowed to punt out of bounds anywhere. When they made the change, they thought it would be too extreme to eliminate the strategy of punting out of bounds entirely, especially in light of the historic significance of a well placed kick to "pin the team deep". The rule we have now is a compromise that results in a higher percentage of punts getting getting fielded by a returner (the goal of the change), but still rewards teams for a well executed coffin-corner. They're essentially saying, "if you're going to punt out of bounds, you have to earn the right to do so by gaining field position and hitting this narrow window".