Proposed Rule Changes for 2019

The goal post ribbon?


Was there a crucial pass or kick that passed 40 feet over the goal line and brushed the ribbon rendering the ball dead?

Of all the potential pitfalls to the rules, this made it to the final recommendations?

Be a bit brave and make the whole goal post assembly live. Or get rid of TV timeouts… or make the rouge count only on returnable kicks… or get rid of coaches challenges and move to booth reviews only… or streamline illegal kick out of bounds rules so they aren’t different for kickoffs, punts and other kicks from scrimmage…

None of those things were more important than making contact with the goal post flag live?

IMO the only rules the League should be looking at at this point are rules to speed up the game, which has slowed down quite a bit the last several years.

  • A 30 second rolling clock to replace the current 20 second stoppage clock.
  • Elimination of challenges and reviews, but I don’t see that happening, so I’d at least like to see challenges only applying to offensive or defensive pass interference. The eye in the sky or the refs can review in/out of bounds, ball placement, scoring points, and roughing the passer/kicker on their own.
  • If offensive teams call no huddle offense, neither offensive nor defensive substitutions can be made. The League made this change a couple of years ago, but for whatever reason, teams were allowed to sub in last year, and the 30 second rolling clock was never really used.

On a side note: I’d like for the League to speak with TSN about less tv time outs. I understand TSN pays a lot of money, and has a lot of control with the League, but the amount of tv stoppages the last two years has gotten ridiculous. The NHL manages with only 3 tv stoppages during a period (sometimes two), and the NLL manages with 2 stoppages, so maybe something to look at. Yeah, football is different, because there’s a stoppage after ever play, but we don’t need tv stoppage every 5 plays nor change of possession.

I strongly agree. The league has to reduce the dead time during games.

I’d throw in a few more ideas for consideration:

  1. eliminate timeouts (since there are so many breaks and delays in the game now already, just force teams to work out their strategies and rest times during those).

  2. eliminate the 3-minute warning in the first half (I don’t think that extra time is particularly compelling at the end of the second quarter, not the way it is at the end of the 4th quarter anyhow)

  3. encourage TSN to go with split-screen to get their advertising in (there seems to be plenty of time between plays and/or during challenges and such to get this done and not minimize during actual gameplay…no need to make the in stadium fans wait for additional TV timeouts)

If the league is going to insist on having challenges, they should at least cost a time out. That’s win or lose.

To discourage fishing…

It’s called balance. Where is the balance?

I think these ideas are well thought out. However, I would go with either split screen ads, or eliminate time outs, but not both. Time outs could be limited to only 20 seconds, once per half, and only if called from the line of scrimmage by the quarterback in the event of miscommunication with the rest of his players. With split screen ads there would be fewer opportunities for stoppages, so teams would need to be able to call a T.O. in the case of crowd noise, or too many men on the field (though, I suppose they could just ground the ball on first down). Without split screen there are already more than adequate stoppages.

I also like the rolling clock idea, but you would definitely see teams hustling to get to the L.O.S. and more out of breath players. I suspect that might lead to a situation where guys take a knee just to get a stoppage. Tired players hurling themselves the field could also lead to more undisciplined play and more injuries.

I personally think the split screen ads would have the biggest impact, and I don’t understand why this isn’t a common thing. TV time outs should be completely eliminated, and as you have pointed out, there are already plenty of opportunities to break away for commercials.

Split screen ads are how some of the less lucrative footy leagues go about it. You never get commercial interruptions during matches in major footy leagues.

Just make half time longer or break between quarters

  1. … or just have timeouts stop the clock … no time for consultations etc.

  2. agree

  3. good idea … however, might mean lower ad rates for those ads … on the other hand people will be watching the screen, even if attention is divided.

Regarding the QB protection issue, why can’t the focus just be on training the officials to call the existing rules better? Protection rules were already in place, they just needed to be enforced accurately and consistently.


Not surprising.

This is the only situation where video review should be accepted, when the game is on the line and the viewer is invested.

If the CFL is going to have a second challenge this season, I hope they consider making it cost a time out (to discourage fishing), win or lose.

It will be interesting how this will be reviewed as in the NFL there is a lot of minor contact and hand fighting allowed, How much will be allowed will be tough to be consistent
With the CFL, virtually zero contact is allowed.
I can see this possibly creating more controversies than solving the controversy. :o


Though at least illegal contact is not on the table

A couple of time saving ideas. I agree games have become too long.

  • 12 min quarters (oh the purists will flip!)
  • refs restarting the clock sooner. How many times do they hold up the play because a team is substituting or just not ready to go. Sometimes the refs just are not in position.
  • don’t stop the game clock on a first down, keep it running except incomplete passes and out of bounds.
  • TSN could go to shorter tv breaks (I think they may have done this before). So more often they would have a break, but only 1 min vs the current 2-4 mins. It’s a little less flow on tv, but much better in stadium. I really hate the guy with the flag that runs out to stop for a tv timeout.

I don’t like the shortened quarters. I don’t think the problem is that the games are too long so much as that the dead time during games is too long. I like some of the other ideas to reduce that dead time and think the league should start from there.

Someone earlier also mentioned split screen ads. If they must speed up the game a little, which I think they do, I would rather the game on television ran a little behind in time than those enjoying the game in person at the stadium.

Not wanting less football makes one a purist? Wanting a quarter to be a quarter of an hour makes one a purist?

I agree with the clock. I am sure there are lots of good ideas how to adjust that, but something new should be tried.

Didn’t realize the clock stopped after a first down TBH. Is this just while the yardsticks move?

I picked a random game (2017) and jumped to the 27 minute mark…watched a couple first downs and the clock never stopped on them.

Don’t agree with the shorter breaks. I mean hell…I would love to see none, don’t get me wrong…but that’s kinda how they pay the CFL…as for breaking them up…how does that speed things up? they still need their minutes in there…the total time is going to stay basically the same. Personally, I like the break of a few minutes at home. It lets me flip to another score for a minute…or go for a pit stop w/o missing game.

I like the use of the radio mics…that has helped…refs can talk without always having to huddle.

I’d like to see a hard limit on replays. If you don’t see it after 30s or whatever…it is too close…let it stand. If you see something and are watching for spot or something and it has to run longer…fair enough.

agree…the replays on contact and too liberal on PI damned near killed the game. The pace was horrid and you couldn’t cheer, because after every play you were waiting for a flag. That seems to be largely sorted out at this point.

not sure of the purpose for the following rule

“Making the use of three or more wedge blockers on kicking plays illegal”

not sure I like it either

maybe I am unclear on what exactly a wedge blocker is. I understand it basically but not in detail. I have questions such as how far does a blocker have to be from another blocker to not be considered a wedge blocker? How far from the ball carrier? How far downfield?

I am saddened by the posters here who mock the attempts to make the game safer for the players. Reducing the chance of long term injuries is a no-brainer (pun intended). Why do I have the feeling that most of these macho “let 'em play” rants come from “fans” who have never actually played the game beyond Pee Wee, if at all? Contact initiated with helmet is a cheap shot intended to injure and some players need to come to terms with that or retire.

Secondly, what’s the rush on game broadcasts? You guys got something better to do? I’m pretty confident that most of those who scream for faster games are already watching with one hand on your phones and the other on the remote to watch other things…why is your uber short attention span becoming a “major league issue”?