Pass interference calls need to be better defined

Friday and Saturday there were almost identical instances of a receiver tripping over a defensive player’s feet when the receiver was trailing. On Friday it was called accidental pass interference against the defence. On Saturday, there was no call.

By my interpretation of the rules, Saturday was more correct but still wrong (should have been called against the offence), while Friday was blatantly wrong.

Rule 6, Section 4, Article 9(b): (iv) Inadvertent tripping by a player with equal position shall not be ruled as interference. (v) Tripping an opponent from behind shall be considered accidental pass interference.
Equal position is no penalty; contact from behind is ruled accidental. In both cases, the receiver should have been penalized. Right?

But they’ve been calling PI incorrectly all year.
Consider the following, from the same Article 9(b) (my emphasis):

(i) Eligible receivers of both teams have an equal right to the ball and are [b]entitled to the positions they occupy[/b].
So why are they calling PI when a receiver runs over a defender? The defender is allowed to be there!
(ii) If a player commits pass interference when a forward pass is deemed uncatchable, no penalty for pass interference shall be applied.
Folks, this means that a defender can straight up tackle the receiver and if the ball is overthrown, [i]it's not a penalty! [/i]So why are they throwing the flag on the slightest jersey grab when the ball is thrown five yards past the receiver?
(vii) A player who has gained position shall not be considered to have impeded or restricted the opponent in a prohibited manner if all such actions are a bona fide effort to go to and play the ball.
Translation: a defender who is in a position to catch or deflect the ball, and makes every attempt to get that ball, cannot be flagged for PI.
(ix) Any eligible receiver who makes contact, [b]however severe[/b], with one or more eligible opponents while looking for and making a genuine attempt to catch or bat a reachable ball will not be called for interference. It shall be ruled pass interference if a player "goes through" an opponent during an attempt to play the ball.
"However severe" - really?! How many times have we seen the defender make a brilliant play on the ball only to be penalized because he had a hand on the receiver's shoulder, or grabbed a bit of cloth?

They either need to re-write the rule book to reflect the way the game is actually called, or start calling the game the way the rule book dictates.

Am I wrong?

Can’t argue with any of that.

Now don’t complicate things by using the rule book and logic.

What’s the expression in baseball with a bam/bam play at first? Time goes to the runner, the offense. Same in football, if it’s super close, usually the receiver will get the benefit of the doubt.

I agree, PI calls are very inconsistent. Refs need better training in what to call. Can’t the omnipresent video officials overturn these poor calls?

I suspect it's not a training issue, more a rulings issue. I suspect that the league has decided how to call interference in these cases, and the officials are just following their direction.

I have been saying just that for several years now. The officials simply ignore the rule book when it comes to PI.

Thanks SaladGoat for posting that and for doing the homework that I have been too lazy to do myself.

I have long complained about the application of the defensive pass interference call and have advocated for a major revision, without actually reading the rules.

It appears to me that there is a disconnect between the actual rules and how they are applied on the field. Seems to me that the rule do, in fact, allow the players to play the ball. The way they are currently being applied is so extreme that a passing sub-atomic particle, bouncing off a strand of the receiver’s hair, would be called for DPI.

It is time to sort this out and let the players play.

Thanks again for that post and for laying out the rules for guys like me too lazy to look 'em up!

But in baseball…it is not the benefit of the doubt…its the rule

The rule states that you must get the ball to the base BEFORE the runner…if it is a tie, then it was not before and the runner is safe

PI is a judgement call based on very clear rules.

Despite this, some here will never be happy. To them it’ll always be a conspiracy against their favourite team, officials that “ignore the rule book? or a command centre that’s old/vision impaired/intoxicated or bribed.


But there have been times when the rules were not properly applied
There have been times where the replay decision was so bad that the league publicly apologized for them

No, If the rules are very clear, then PI is not a judgement call

The way PI and holding have been called has influenced wins and losses for all of the decades I have been watching football. I don’t know how you fix it. Replay has helped a bit on PI calls but even then there is little consistency on when there will and when there will not be a penalty called.

I don’t completely blame the refs. Plays happen so fast and the angle that their sight line affords them could be completely different on two otherwise very similar plays and result in a different call or non-call.

It has been frustrating, but I’ve had to accept that slightly outplaying the other team isn’t good enough to guarantee victory in the CFL. A team has to be at least four or five plays better than the other team as you can count on at least a few bad calls/non-calls. If they go your way and you are winning anyway, it let’s you breathe easier but if they go the other way you can lose even if you were otherwise the better team on the field.

Good points all. Here is a suggestion:

Turnovers and touchdowns are automatically reviewed; presumably because there is wiggle room for error. So how about including PI, considering the points discussed in this thread. I don't think it would cause any undue delays in the game and would certainly go a long way towards making things fair.

The problem with that is the CC usually ignores the rules as written as well.