Some wrinkles need to be ironed out and questions need to be answered, but instant replay will "absolutely" be implemented in time for the 2006 Canadian Football League season, says the league's director of officiating.
George Black discussed the proposed system with coaches and general managers Thursday morning here on the final day of the CFL's annual congress. He is confident the rough draft of rules and regulations will be refined and accepted by the CFL board of governors this spring.
"We need to make sure that we've got everything done -- nailed down -- and that we can do a really good job on it," he said. "And I'm optimistic that we can."
Instant replay made its CFL debut during an exhibition game last spring in Halifax, and it will be worked out in the pre-season again this year. It will borrow from systems already in place in U.S. college football and the National Football League, albeit with some Canadian twists.
Under existing rules, teams in the CFL are allowed only one timeout per half, but there has been talk of adding another that could be used in either the first or second half of a game. Officials will also have fewer camera angles than their NFL brethren but, like those in the U.S., they will only be able to overturn contentious calls if there is irrefutable visual evidence.
"We're not going to do some fly-by-night, nickel-and-dime operation that's not going to be effective," Black said. "If it's not going to be effective, I'd rather not do it."
The NFL reportedly pours millions into the coach's-challenge replay system it adopted seven years ago, and its officials had the benefit of three dozen cameras at Super Bowl XL last month in Detroit.
The CFL has budgeted to spend between $1,500 and $2,000 each game on replay, and will have between five and 12 cameras trained on the field during the regular season.