Roughing the kicker?

I don’t think it is. NFL and CFL review and change rules pretty much every offseason and CFL especially responds to its fanbase more then other leagues.

This rule is one that definitely needs improvement.

It looked like the the Montreal player blocking for the Punter Bede was actually pushing the Ti-Cats player Frey into Bede the Punter in his forward momentum?

If a player pushes the opposing player into the punter is it still a penalty? Almost like in hockey when a forward gets pushed into a goalie by a defender and get called for goaltender interferrance?

If Frey came through clean not touched or pushed and hit the punter its an easy call but it seems strange after being reviewed by the command centre that they didn’t take this into consideration?

I guess its part of this new rule that you can get pushed or blocked into the punter and still receive a penalty?

The only way to block a kick now is for the team to assign a specific player to rush the kicker with a dig route. The player runs straight 15 yards and then turns sharply 90 degrees towards the kicker and executes a perfectly timed jump to block the kick. The players momentum would then carry him across the front of the kicker with no contact instead of chopping out his legs like from a head-on rush.

Of course this would all be a very rare occurence since the block attempt would take too long to execute. Teams would need to rush a real speedster for this to have any chance of working.

The problem with running routes to avoid contracting the kicker is, even if you’re pushed or blocked into the kicker you will still get a RTK penalty.

The league should go back to the “contacting? versus “roughing? distinctions. The former for 10 yards, the latter for 15 and automatic first down.

Alternatively, if the kicker cannot be touched, then he cannot advance up field to, for example, recover a ball or tackle a returner once the ball is kicked, or run with the ball once any kicking motion is made. IMO, if he is untouchable, he should only kick, and not take any other role for that play.

In my several decades of watching this game I cannot remember at anytimes punters requiring the same protection as QBs. Heck with this new rule punters have more protection and again cant remember any career or life altering injuries at the punter position. If they dont change this the Canadian Flag League wont be far off.


Agree. The risk is not worth the reward. Blocking a punt is a risky move these days, any slight contact whatsoever gives the other team an automatic first down.

I just watched the game, and the RTK penalty for the first time. My take is that Bede had already kicked because Frey made contact with the ball when it was in the air. Frey’s momentum was carrying him towards Bede, assisted by the push from the Alouette blocker. Bede’s momentum was carrying him towards Frey, his kicking leg still in the air, and his weight off his plant leg.

Frey had no physical way to avoid Bede, as Bede occupied the space directly in front of Frey. All Bede had to do to avoid Frey was bend his plant foot at the knee, and he would have hurdled Frey. So really, Bede contacted Frey, as Frey was already in front of him.

So I guess my question would be, how is it possible for Frey to avoid the contact, and thus the penalty? For me, this play shows the unintended consequences of a rule very poorly designed and thought through.

I understand the need to protect players but have to ask, why he change? What was the problem they were trying to solve? Did they have a rash of injuries to kickers?

I don’t believe this to be the case. Not a good change.

Excellent analysis?

Stupid rule that needs to be changed .

it is up to the rusher to take an angle that will not put himself in jeopardy of illegally contacting the kicker.

We’ll see the rest of this season. I think it’s almost impossible to do that.

And, I suppose, to also avoid any block, contact, or jostle with any other player that could conceivably alter that angle or his chosen path? And what if the kicker decides to take a step forward, or to one side or the other, thus changing the angle?

If the league wants to stop teams from rushing a kicker, why not just make that rule, and maybe put in a time limit to kick, like a basketball shot clock? Or even better, make the kicking team position and keep say a minimum of 7 players on the LOS until the ball is kicked?

There has to be better options.

That’s why I suggested a dig route above. Over the decades this has been pulled off occasionaly both in the CFL and NFL. It is actually a thing of beauty to see when it is executed properly. The dive comes in from the side similar to a soccer goalkeeper stopping a penalty shot. The kicker usually doesn’t get touched.

A final thought. It feels to me that the number of injuries to kickers on punts, pale in comparison to the numbers incurred by returners or by ST blockers or tacklers. I don’t have stats, but my gut feeling is that if a kicker is injured, it is more often because he landed awkwardly after the kick, or because he decided to pursue the returner and was injured when blocked or when attempting a tackle.

If you really want to stop injuries on kicks, there are more direct ways. Institute rules whereby there is no rush; the kicker must kick and cannot run or pass; the returner must catch and ground the ball without a run-back; institute a five yard restraining zone around the kicker; institute a fair catch rule; force the kicker to stand deeper; require more players on the line of scrimmage; allow fewer rushers. I’m sure the present half baked rule can be improved with a little thought.

The penalty against Frey, although called correctly according the “new” rule, was shameful in that it ruined what might have been a very exciting final minute of football. Especially when it was the momentum of both players that caused the contact, and there was no practical way that Frey might have avoided that contact, other than not rushing the kicker in the first place.

Which reduces his chances of making the block as he’s now crossing at a wider angle. And reduces the chances of stopping a fake punt, for the same reason.

Dumb rule. (Repeating the obvious.)

Exactly, all the punter has to do is drop his kicking leg on the punt blocker and voila - the punter has now been contacted.

One has to wonder why this need for a rule even came up for discussion.

Not needed…changes the fundamentals of the game…current regime seems intent on making this unwatchable

There is something in the new rule that I know I didn’t pick up on right away. The rule only applies to contact on the plant leg. It does not apply to other contract, e.g. upper body, arms, kicking leg. That’s why the first time it happened, there was no penalty.

That said, I’m not sure it should apply when the rusher is pushed into the kicker. I guess they’re using the same logic as for low hits on the QB.