League considering coaches challenges on interference calls

I noticed on the cover story today on the cfl.ca website that among the rule changes the league is considering is opening up the possibility of coaches challenges on interference calls.

[url=http://cfl.ca/article/open-for-discussion-cfl-rules-committee-table-changes]http://cfl.ca/article/open-for-discussi ... le-changes[/url]

Not sure I like that idea since interference calls can be so subjective - as some refs allow a fair bit of contact and let players play and others can be more stringent with their calls. I don’t think I like that being reviewable since it really is such a judgement call.


Yes, that's a tough one. I'm not sure. I do like the idea of this being challengeable though but I don't know in practice if it's possible, as you say subjective. Maybe if the penalty is big ie. loss of a timeout or challenge plus loss of 10-15 yards then that would really make coaches think twice.

Part of me likes the idea of holding refs accountable on botched PI called at the worst time, but that is going to make refs look absolutely stupid if high numbers are overturned by the command center.

It's a dynamic play, like holding in hockey when a guy puts his stick on the other guy's shin pads skating up the ice behind the puck carrier, subjective, if he does little taps ok but half second taps, some refs call it, some don't. You can't really review that. Then there is the issue of the puck carrier sensing a stick tap, changes his stride to make it look like the stick has caused him to go off balance. Same in PI, a bit of push, ... too subjective.

Better the refs look stupid rather than penalize teams without warrant, especially in close or crucial games.

Hopefully such a rule change will not only implement direct accountability but also needed improvements in officiating.

The other problem is, like hockey, some games warrant more leniency in how the flow of the game transpires, other games tighter calls depending on personalities involved, coaching style, if the game started out nasty and therefore control needs to be exercised etc., to make it all up to a video thing takes away the human aspect of each individual game IMHO.

I just noticed TSN analyst Duane Ford just tweeted this -
A league with a history of "rule change regrets" might want to think long and hard about including pass interference in video review.

Why not ? They have only so many challenges they can use. Its a lot less tough to overturn than the placement of the ball in a pile. We saw in the East final a completely blown call on an obvious intentional interference call that possibly changed the rest of the CFL season. Had Popp been allowed to throw the flag on this any sane official would have seen what we all saw.

Duane "The Drama Queen" Forde. :roll: Its not a rule change Dewwane. It is an enhancement to the challenge rule itself.

Another tweet from Arash Madani - one of a handful of Rogers employees who actually seems to closely follow the CFL this.

Under review, you could likely find fault in coverage (by the book) and call a flag for pass interference every time. Slippery slope. #CFL

I tend to agree with that.

Yup. I'd rather the league try and educate refs more on what is and what shouldn't be called PI. And agree Hf, not a rule change in the strictest sense.

Agreed, only because they have limited challenges they can make. Maybe they can narrow the scope of challengeable PI calls, maybe only allow them to be challenged in the last 3 minutes of quarters or halves so that a bad PI call or missed call late in a game doesn't affect the outcome.

The other rule change proposed I really like is that refs no longer would have to hold whistling in the 20 second play clock to allow defenses to make substitutions. It's pointless to try a hurry up offense if the play is constantly held up before being blown in.

I don't like the idea of allowing the centre to bob his head for the snap count in a noisy stadium. Why would you want to take away a teams advantage in it's own stadium and nullify the passion of the fans who buy the tickets who loudly cheer on their team? Teams and players do a better job of managing stadium noise these days anyways.

I don't see a problem with this at all. Both teams know what the head movement of the Center means. It does not take away the rights of the fans to cheer as loud as they want. Home field advantage doesn't mean your actually influencing the quality of the play on the field.

Why not both?

As HfxTC says, teams only have a few challenges to use. Why not allow them to challenge more types of things? Personally, I support this change. In fact, I think maybe every type of call should be allowed to be challenged.

The problem I see with this one, though, is the whole "indisputable evidence" required to overturn the on-field call / non-call. How much contact is allowed? Was it incidental contact with both players making a play on the ball? Did the contact have an impact on the play? Was the ball catchable? This particular rule depends on the subjective call by the officials, and that includes the replay officials. I suspect that there won't be many overturn rulings - only the really obvious ones, probably.

No! We do not require another video review in the CFL. The refs are doing fine ( mostly) and, allocating time for another review would slow up the game. We have to realize that occasionally there has been a questionable PI call by an official. Lets keep most of the game in the hands of the refs. If we do have such a call, one would then be searching for just another issue to request yet another challenge.

Reposted from the Ti-Cat forum.

I'm of the firm belief that every play should be challengeable. Getting the right call and potentially burning a timeout is a fair trade off. That being said, PI is one of those calls that for challenges, should be treated like the spot. It's very rare unless there is some blatant shenanigans that a spot get's overturned, and that would be my expectation on challenging either a PI non-call or a PI call.


Anything and everything game related should be challenged.

As long as any challenge has a hard and firm time limit of something like 60 seconds. If it is taking any longer than that then an overturn is not obvious - so get the game going again. Last thing I want to do after paying to watch a game is sit there - if anything like last year in Guelph - in lousy freezing wet weather - staring at a guy in a striped shirt twiddling his thumb for two minutes with a headset on. That is not what going to a football game should be about.

Good. I am so sick of watching receivers who are constantly pushing and hand fighting the whole route getting PI calls when the defender tries to fight through these push offs. I would qualify that calls should only be overturned if it is extremely obvious upon replay that there was no interference. Anything that isn't 100% black and white would remain as it was originally called.

Unfortunately refs in the CFL are extremely flag happy and are constantly calling PI penalties that, upon replay, are pretty obvious that they shouldn't have been called. Sometimes there isn't even any contact. Other times the receiver is clearly the one initiating the contact. Refs seem to constantly call these plays against the DBs though.

Plays like this need to be reviewed and overturned (go to the 5:40 mark):

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUEXTtMnWSY&list=PLB0AA3291482377D0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUEXTtMn ... 91482377D0[/url]

What does it matter if some time is spent reviewing these plays? Coaches have a finite number of challenges. The same amount of time is being spent on reviews either way, and these types of calls can have just as big an effect on game as any other reviewable play, depending on the circumstance.