Rule Change Proposal

Remember when the CFL was looking for fan suggestions?

I wish I could find my submission. But here are the ones I can remember, and I'd like to get some input from you fellow fans.

  1. Coin Toss

I know it's not a major rule change, but bear with me for a second. You know how there are coin toss controversies every now and then? Why don't we get rid of it altogether? Here's my idea.

The home team always gets the choice at the beginning of the game. And the decision is used throughout the course of the game, even overtime. What's the point of an extra coin toss in overtime?

I see a few benefits here. First, eliminating the coin toss means eliminating an element of luck. Second, I expect the home team to choose to receive the ball 99% of the time, which means a better stadium and television experience. How? I'm assuming the home crowd is more excited when their team receives the ball to begin the game and starts on offence. That translates into the impression of an exciting atmosphere. Third, it adds a bit more strategy early on in the game, viz. choosing to receive first means also choosing to receive first in OT, if it should happen; if the team would like to receive right away but would rather kick off to begin the OT, then they have a decision to make early on, with no luck involved.

Anyhow, again, it's not a big change, but I think it's a positive one in every way.

  1. One Point Conversion

I know some were considering scrapping the extra point altogether, but here's my take on it.

Why not push the extra point back to the 30 or 35 yard line and continue to allow 2-point conversion tries from the 10 yard line (or is it further?)? It would make it a more difficult decision and probably lead to more 2-point conversion tries. That means more exciting football, without changing the rules around that much -- not only because 2-point conversion attempts are far more exciting than the practically-guaranteed 1 point kick, but also because there'd be a greater chance that a field goal will be missed, enabling a return for 2 points. Right?

  1. Place kicking for a Field Goal

I mentioned this on the board already, but for those that missed it...

Why can't a player punt the ball through the uprights for 3 points? It seems completely out-of-line with the rationale of the fundamental rules of the game that the ball must be placed on the ground first. Yes, I see that place-kicking is a great means of achieving better accuracy, but shouldn't that be a team's decision? I say that players should be able to punt the ball through the uprights, from any place on the field, even after receiving it or advancing past the line of scrimmage. They are already allowed to punt it in those situations, but just not for a field goal -- but why? I'd love to see a play like last week's rematch game between Edmonton and Calgary, where Kamau received the ball with no time remaining and tried to do a lateral play in desperation, but where he would have instead booted the ball down field and tried for a field goal to win it -- and if he missed, it'd at least be a single if it went through the end zone so he could tie it up.

Now that would make for an awesome football game. In truth, I don't understand why it's not part of the rules already. You can do it in Rugby, and Australian Rules Football depends on such plays for scoring points.

Sounds good to me. What do you guys think?

  1. Coin Toss - I don't totally disagree with you but if abandoning the coin toss, one team (home or away) should have the right to choose or defer the decision to the second half as it is now for the winner of the coin toss. CFL stadia are open and the choice for the 4th quartre wind is often more important than posession. The NFL coin toss winner has the choice between defending an end or the choice to kick or recieve with the second half being the reverse in all regards without the captains having to meet again for second half choices. This is another option.

  2. Convert - I totally disagree. This needlessly complicates the game. As it stands, there is no difference between a one and two point convert. In truth, the convert is simply an additional play from scrimmage where a touchdown is worth two points and a field goal is 1 point. What happens if someone drop kicks the ball from the 10 on a two pointer? What happens if the scoring team turns the ball over on a one pointer from the 35 and the defence takes it back for what would have been two? Are they now only entitled to one point? Let's not needlessly complicate the game.

  3. Field goals from place kicks stem back to their origins in rugby. Even in modern day rugby you can only score from a place or drop kick in the exact same way you can in Canadian and American football. I don't see any reason to change it.


I'm all for moving the one point conversion back to the 35 or even the 40 yard line. Now that would make the game more interesting! :cowboy:

hmmm, things i didn't think about...thanks for your reply.

what about moving all conversion attempts back to the 35 yard line and combining it with proposal #3, viz. a kick or punt through the end zone would convert one point, crossing the line or punting/kicking the ball through the uprights is 2 points? I mean, if the conversion attempt is merely another play from scrimmage, then shouldn't most of the same rules apply (other than regular scoring), meaning that a team should be able to kick the ball through the end zone and get a point for it?

I still like the idea of changing the convert so you have to kickoff from the same yard line that you kick the convert from.

Kick the convert from the 25 - kickoff from the 25
Kick the convert from the 35 - kickoff from the 35
Kick the convert from midfield - kickoff from midfield

The strategy that it would add would be entertaining. The longer kicks would be great too.

I say don't mess with the rules.. leave the damn game alone!

The line of scrimmage for a convert, whether it be a 1 point or 2 point attempt, is the 5 yard line.

I agree with the comments made regarding your third point. I don't want to see that messed with either.

As for the coin toss, I don't have a problem with eliminating it and giving the home team the first option. I would want the option of deferring to the second half kept since weather can be such a factor in Canada and it can change so quickly. However I think I would want to stick with the coin toss for the Grey Cup game.

Leave things alone as well I think, the game is already complicated enough based on what I hear from people who are baseball or hockey lovers and say they can’t understand football, it’s too complicated.

There’s something intangible about the coin toss I like even though getting rid of it wouldn’t bother me. I just like it, that’s all, especially for the Grey Cup.

Your initial suggestion would work, albeit through further complication by stipulating that only a FG for 1 point were in play if the convert scrimmaged from the 35 where the TD would only be in play for 2 points from the 10. As it stands, converts are a free play from scrimmage at the 5 following a 6 point touchdown where a subsequent TD is worth 2, a FG worth 1 while safeties and rouges are not in play.

Like its been said, football is a strategic game with a certain level of inherent complexity in its rules. There's no need to add to that complexity.

If vouching for rule changes, I always strive for simplicity which is why I supported a 3 point safety as opposed to a special case kickoff from the 25. I also support common rules to all kicks from scrimmage instead of having certain rules for punts, place kicks and kick offs (i.e. illegal kickoff out of bounds vs. illegal punt out of bounds through air between the 20s vs. no illegal place kick from scrimmage out of bounds.)

really? i thought my latest suggestion is actually more in line with the spirit that you want to keep, viz. simplify + keep the rules consistent.

I think all kickers before lining up for a FG should have to gulp down a ice cold slurpee and deal with brain freeze whilst going for 3. This would certainly add some excitement to the game. :smiley:

I like the discussion about the game, it is important to keep the game as close to its historic roots as possible !! I like the idea of Adding to the convert, but not changing it accept maybe to move it back or moving it to the hash marks! To add to it make a punted ball that go,s through the goal posts a pre td (?) convert and make it worth 2(?) points, maybe even have the ref signal it by raising one arm similar the Auzy rules :rockin: :rockin:

Re the change to Safety rule was a good rule adjustment that has enhanced the game, Kudos the the BOG

A convert is just a convert. It's one play out of a football game. Why do people think it needs changing? Just because it's "boring" 99% of the time doesn't mean it needs to be changed. Personally, whenever a team lines up for a convert attempt, I don't find myself thinking about how boring it is, usually because I'm still thinking about the touchdown. Plus, convert attempts have the potential to be very exciting. It makes no sense to have converts taken from different distances (for if it's a 1- or 2-point attempt) because a) it removes the possibility for a fake and b) it needlessly complicates the game. Should all field goal attempts from within 12 yards be moved back to the 20? Those must be as boring as converts!

I love the convert (mostly now because there seems to be a movement to change it). It rubs salt in the wound if it's made, and before it's taken the scored-upon team and fans know there is a slim chance that it won't be good.

The convert used to be more important than the touchdown. In rugby, the point of getting a touchdown used to be so as to earn an extra chance at kicking for more points - that being the convert. This is why a touchdown in rugby is called a try - because scoring one used to give you an extra try at kicking for goal. For a long time, the convert was worth more than the try. I think this was the case in the early days of Canadian football, too.

There was an NFL game a couple of years back where New Orleans managed to score a touchdown after time had run out by playing rugby-style on the last play of the game. The touchdown brought them to within 1 point - they just needed to make the convert to send the game to OT. Guess what? They missed the convert. Ask THAT kicker how easy and boring converts are.

i think i missunderstand the drop kick.

Like the coin toss, like the PAT as it is, and punting it through isn't as difficult as a place or drop kick. The only rules I'd ever think about changing are the ones dealing with catches (two feet instead of one - these are pros) and MAYBE a 4 point field goal (on 45+ yards field goals). If you miss you get a runback or a single and the other team takes over where your LOS was. Even though I'd consider these two I like the rules as they are.

If you concede a single, you scrimmage from the 35 or the previous LOS, whichever is further out. A missed FG & single of 47 yards scrimmaged from the 40 would result in the return team scrimmaging from the 40.

For your thing bout the coin toss, its not just who receivers the ball, but what end zone of the field they get and who chooses that in the 1st or second halve (aka 1st Quarter and 3rd Quarter). While I do prefer that the away team, if they want, get to receive the ball in the 1st halve (again, 1st Quarter) and the home team in the 2nd (again, 3rd Quarter), unless one can find a way to decide who gets what end zone of the field w/o the use of a coin toss, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

I would like to see the coin toss just be used for what end zone the winner wants and which team decides in what halve they want it, and the ball posses ion to be decided by the home team (giving them a big but not unfair advantage). Not a huge deal for me though.

forgive me everyone for the second post, but I have to ask as I don't remember offhand.

didn't Doug Futile do this play as a New England Patriot before he retired?