Officiating thread

i THINK most cfl officials hold down other jobs in the season. some are teachers, lawyers what have you, making officiating a part time position.

My first step would be to restrict replay to be one and done at regular game speed. Then I would embark on a league wide retraining what constitutes PI.

I would also fitness test all of them.

I would be curious to know the stepping stones to reach the CFL.

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Yup, signed a mortgage with Bud Steen once - fun guy to be around.

So many times what gets called PI is based on the officials viewing angle and whether his view is obstructed. My thoughts are different. Use an off field official. Let the ref make the call on the field. By the time he has the off field guy has seen the play two or three times and if he sees a clear and obvious reason to overturn he can call it. Additionally if any or none of the officials saw something the ref can ask for help from the truck. "I have holding on the field." and the off field guy has seen it twice already and says yes or no, and rules on anything blatant the on field guys missed. All done by the time the official picks up his flag.

In the NRL Rugby league they are doing exactly that. Its fast, its two officials AND if any ref said he saw everything he would be lying. One guy in the truck and it would be fast, simple, and unobtrusive.

Couple weeks ago
ref walks to a clear area in the field
We have illegal block Toronto(Dont remember the team but)
Ref walks away and returns
Correction we have blocking below the waste Hamilton!
Ref walks away and returns!
After review by the command center..there is no flag on the play!!!!!!

And then there was the ridiculous roughing the kicker!

And then we have the stupid penalty where Banks after the play waves the ball in the air to get the refs attention...the ref stands there like a four year old with his tongue hanging out and his arms extended to catch the ball.
Banks flips it to him, it accidently hits a Wpg player and gets flagged

  1. V Adams gets hit late, no flag....play is challanged, no flag.....during the week, the player is fined

2019 Adams rips off BIghill's helmet...flags but not ejected...during the week he is suspended

And that reminds me of AJ Gass....rips off a helmet and tosses it downfield.....ejected and suspended
He appeals, judge/arborator announces he at the start he is an Edmonton season ticket holder....No problem says the league.....suspension overturned by the season ticket holding judge(not quite on topic but,,,,,,,)

How's that to start?

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You don't have to be a plumber to recognize a leaky pipe
You don't have to be a chief to know the food is bad

Should I go on?

Got no problem when any team does a play against the rules and gets flagged. The issue arises when all too often the ref makes a mistake that decides a game. Even in the NFL the refs make mistakes ... one a few years back cost a team a trip to the Super bowl. I also do not the answer to fix it other than better control of refs who constantly make bonehead mistakes. But exactly how that is done... well everyone will have an opinion, but we are fans and will have fan points of view on it.

LOL! I disagree with the moderators here for that topic, but you are dead on right about that!

Yes, I will go on with this...

NFHS football:

  1. fans complaining the kicker returner cannot return a kicked ball that breaks the plane of the goal line.

  2. fans complaining for offsetting penalities when in the NFHS rulebook, you penalize in the order of occurrance (when I officiated).

When it comes to youth baseball (and this was a big one). Yes, I know this has to do with football but it's the same concept.

  1. the home plate umpire pauses by design for a second after the ball hits the catchers glove to make the ball/strike call as a runner is taking off for second base steal.

All of the fans get all riled up and bad mouth the officiating when they aren't qualified.

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From reading your above point, your argument here appears to be that fans don't know or understand the rules well enough to have legitimate grounds to criticize.

I would counter with this...

  1. I, and several others here, have officiated sports, including football. Maybe not at the pro level, but high enough that actual certification was required.

  2. Since your reply quoted R01313, I'll point out that he often cites chapter and verse from the rule book, and while he and I often have different opinions on many things, I do not question his understanding of the rules or their official interpretation guidelines. He's got this. So do quite a few others on here.

By and large, this thread has seen fairly knowledgeable participation, not the rah rah rose-colored fan glasses type response that you are referring to (though yes, that does exist, and your point is valid and well taken. I just don't think it applies to this particular group).

  1. No one here is suggesting that officials are biased, deliberately throwing games, or corrupt. But we have all seen egregious and avoidable errors that have altered games. Specific examples have been provided and that list is nowhere near exhaustive.

  2. One of the biggest complaints is consistency. Even the untrained fan can see when the same rule in similar situations is applied differently. No qualifications are necessary, just the ability to watch and compare. And even worse, (though I don't think you are doing this here, but the league certainly has in the past), coming back at disgruntled fans with "you don't understand the rule" comes across as elitist and arrogant, and smacks of avoiding responsibility.

  3. The least reliable metric is unfortunately the most crucial... fan perception. Put your ear to the ground and listen to what casual fans say. The CFL is perceived to have extremely weak officiating. Right or wrong, this perception exists. Basic and obvious mistakes like those mentioned previously in this thread reinforce that perception, and need to be eliminated. Officials in other leagues could make the same mistakes, but because of the perception problem, when we make them, it hurts us more.

Which is a long way of saying that we have to be better just to be perceived as being the same. It sucks but it's the reality of the situation.

Let me switch gears here for a moment. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the officiating is fine as it is. That, unfortunately, does not change the overwhelming public perception that it is flawed. And it is that very same public that supports the CFL and holds the league's fate in their hands. If they start leaving because they perceive (even if it's incorrectly) that the officiating is sub-par, the league could have the most perfect refs in the world and still go broke.

We need to fix the perception even more than the actual product. That's the reality. And the only way to do that is to be seen to be doing something
If the solution happens to fix an actual problem, that's even better.

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And that has what to do with anything?

Rules have nothing to do with either bad refs or being qualified....

Pretty hard to have full time officials some of these guys other jobs are 100 k plus and they already work around them .

The over sight from the league central command was to correct the obvious mistakes .

Most have been done well from what I have seen while the NFL has actually done some pretty shady things come playoff time with billions upon billions to work with .

Now I do find it unusual why Harris was not removed with the Rider players when they should have went to the command and sorted it out with their view ; I do understand that the game is becoming too slow and they might have made a mistake not on purpose but for expediency .

In this case they should have taken more time to evaluate it .

Good point. But a reasonably lucrative pay package and promise of full time, or even full-time seasonal, employment might lure some other top shelf candidates to consider th position, no?

Here's a different thought out of thin air. Won't help the officials, but still....

How about when a player gets fined for actions against another team (rough play, intent to injure, head shot, etc), that fine goes to the team that was wronged, AND counts as a credit for that team's salary cap space?

They definitely would need to change how they acquire personnel and keep them .

The over sight for me is the key in getting this right . They could use better tech to get the view of the incident being looked at faster and with better angles .

I have watched rugby where they actually hear the over sight talking while they review the incident so the audience sees the same angle and hears why the call is being made .

It is also kinda weirdly entertaining .

I recommend they do this for the CFL as well .

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I thought this was interesting.

I have never heard the booth overturn an offside call. And I have seen many that could have been.

If they do this for offside, they should do it for all penaties

Occasionally, the booth seems to randomly show up and reverse non challenged calls. This gives the appearance of favoring one team over another.

The refs can ask for a review

oh please do :slight_smile:

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After thinking this more I would not want to increase teams expenses more by moving officials to full time. If there are more dollars available to do this I'd rather it go to the players.

And hope that further clarifying rules, off season zoom training sessions and the other things I mentioned will help the 40 officials.

Personally I can live with the mistakes made.

It is at last the beginning of off field officiating. I think they can do offside and spotting the ball so far, right? In any case they have gotten a lot of those little calls right. I think it was the Winnipeg game this week when the ball was spotted for a first down when it should have been spotted a yard and a half back, not much but the difference that they would have gotten a free first down in the red zone and instead it was corrected - quickly and seamlessly.

I am sure that as an official you would have loved to have an off field official at times too. The consistency it has added to NRL Rugby is excellent, and its fast. Way faster than the current replay process.
It's crazy because hockey has taught us that adding officials in play makes things worse. Some guy with both angles and no 300 lb lineman in his way and a reverse angle can get the call right - quickly. Or at least make the same call as the guys on field did. Instant feedback for the rules crew too.

I assume even if foul play doesn't get detected, the player(s) can still be fined/ejected after the game is over from the league office watching game film afterwards.

I like the credit thing too. If a QB takes a head shot the team can spend more money to bring in a replacement star player if they choose to do that.

Are we out of ideas?