Rule Changes?

With the regular season behind us I'd like to propose a couple of changes and one significant departure from the paradigm of playoff seeding.

CFL has never been a league afraid to try out new rules and tweak a few others for the betterment of the fan experience and I think these two proposals would be subtle changes that would benefit the game.

  1. Currently, an 'after touchdown' foul is applied against the defence on the kickoff. With the new convert rules in place, I'd like to see the offence offered a choice. a) apply the penalty on the upcoming convert (move the kick into the 10 yard spot for 1 point or place the ball on the 1 yard line for 2 point try) and/or b) apply it to the kickoff as we do now.

Applying it to the kickoff is almost meaningless and therefore the offending team kind of 'gets away with one'.

  1. Currently, offensive fouls push the ball back half the distance to the goal when the penalized yardage is greater than the remaining field of play. I'd like to see the yardsticks pushed downfield in this instance. For example, offence is first and 10 on their own 8 yard line. They commit a hold penalty for 10 yards but the half distance rule comes in and it's moved the the 4 yard line. Now it's first and 14. Hardly what I would call a hold penalty. If the yardsticks are pushed downfield, the line of scrimmage remains at the 8 but now it's first and 20. Defence would have the choice of infraction.

3rd and finally, this one needs to draw everyone out of their paradigm that East must meet West in the Grey Cup. I've been watching this game for almost 50 years and we simply don't need this format. It's not designed to put the best two teams in the final as a playoff structure should. All major sports leagues are guilty of this so this isn't unique to the CFL.

I would like to see a 9 team division, top to bottom all teams. The schedule is balanced so each team meets each team home and home throughout the season. Imagine the 2015 playoffs of BC vs Ottawa and Toronto vs Hamilton in the semi's.
Calgary and Edmonton would both get the bye AS DESERVED for ranking 1 and 2. The bye teams wouldn't know who they are playing until both games are complete. Some might argue rivalries would be at risk but that's a lame excuse. Each team sees each other in the season and playoffs always create great new rivalries. I know this would be a huge departure for many old timers to get their heads around it but for the fan experience, there is nothing better.

That's my opinion. Any thoughts?

Interesting thoughts.

  1. If the "after touchdown" penalty you're referring to is what is called a "dead ball foul", which is usually OC, to apply it to the touchdown play would be like rolling back the clock in a way and I'm not sure that's fair...what if the penalty is against the offence? Do you take the touchdown back?

  2. I get what you're saying about the half the distance penalty not always being as much of a penalty as it should be. Having said that, if the offense is deep in their own end, its doubtful that not being able to move the LOS back the full ten (on holding) will make much difference in the long run but moving the sticks up is an interesting idea. Amateur football changed the "half the distance" rule a few years ago for the major infractions like UR and RP that all the ball to be walked back/forward to the one yard "half the distance" on the bad stuff.

  3. Sorry, not going to agree on this one. The East-West "rivalry" is still important and a heck of a lot of fun if you go to the Cup...always a blast to blah blah with guys from Hamilton or Toronto if you're from the west....

1 - no
2 - yes
3 - no no no no no no no

  1. No
  2. Yes.
  3. NO!
  1. No
  2. Yes
  3. None of my business, this is the CFL.
  1. No
  2. Yes, on a trial basis. Give it a season and revisit the decision
  3. YES! YES! YES! And long overdue. Every argument for abandoning the east/west set up has been shot down. There is no excuse for not having a playoff system that holds open the possibility of the 2 best teams in the regular season meet in the Grey Cup. Anyone that adamantly opposes this also opposes rewarding success in favour of geographic fortune.
  1. F NO! You don't mess with tradition.

And thankfully the CFL will NOT do this... Phew!

That's what "traditionalists" said when they introduced the forward pass. But let's stay the course and let the best 2 teams in the league fight it out every year for the.........division championship. :roll:

you bet...and all the while keeping the other half of the country still interested in the cup game. :rockin:

A very interesting proposal for number one. However, let's look at a couple of scenarios:

Scenario A- Let's say the team that scored the TD has now tied the game with under a minute left in the game. A convert from the 10 yd line would pretty much guarantee going ahead and quite possibly winning the game.

Scenario B- Let's say the team that scored the TD is now up by a single point with under a minute left in the game. They have a choice to go for the convert or try a two point convert from the one. Which option would you choose if you were the coach?

The kickers these days are kicking the ball down to the opponent's 10 yard line and sometimes to the opponent's goal line. And they are kicking it from their 35 yard line! Kicking it from their own 45 or even 50 yard line can pin the opponent deep in their own end. I've not read any statistics on how much of an advantage kicking the ball from your own 45 has over kicking the ball from your own 35 yard line. Maybe someone can dig something up.

Proposal number 3? I agree that the East vs West showdown is antiquated. It is antiquated with the crossover rule. It was antiquated when there were a bunch of U.S. teams in the CFL.
If Montreal had crossed over and beat both Calgary and Edmonton, where is the East vs West showdown?

If you only get interested in the Grey Cup because one of the participants comes from a particular side of the Manitoba/Ontario border then you aren’t much of a CFL fan and not likely to stick around long term.

That kind of close minded thinking is what almost killed the league in the 80s.

Not sure your forward pass analogy is fair but let' roll with this idea. So, you've got one nine team division? How many teams get into the playoffs? Top four? Top six? What are the matchups?

unfortunately, DC, far too many fans are only interested in the local team(s).

How many times I have heard Canadian say, and post, that if there is no Canadian team in the Stanley cup, then they will not watch.

I know that for me, growing up with the cfl since I was 11, it was always that I cheered for the west team in the cup no matter who. Got a little tired of Edmonton during their 5 cup run, but still, it meant a lot to cheer for the west for a few decades.

If you only get interested in the Grey Cup because one of the participants comes from a particular side of the Manitoba/Ontario border then you aren't much of a CFL fan and not likely to stick around long term.

That kind of close minded thinking is what almost killed the league in the 80s.
Overspending is what almost killed the league, not an East vs West format.

You cannot have a Edmonton vs Calgary Grey Cup, this will alienate eastern Canada.

Stop with this ridiculous crap! Forget it, never going to happen!

"You cannot have a Edmonton vs Calgary Grey Cup, this will alienate eastern Canada."…by cflisthebest

And yet that is exactly what could happen the day Edmonton or Calgary crossover to the east. Sounds like the CFL is not as concerned about alienation as you are cflisthebest.

It has proven that it does not hurt to have 2 West teams in the Cup ( 1988 )

Yes the Bombers were in the East , but they were still a Western team.

However, I still choose to have 2 division champs meet for the cup.

As for getting rid of divisions . No

UNLESS they go back to a 16 game set, where everybody plays everybody 2 x and all is equal.

Problem with the 18 game set is you could have 1 team playing a doormat ( TiCats vs Riders 3 x or a team in the East flying to Vancouver 2 x )

Just examples to show it is to unbalanced to have a 9 team 1 division with 18 games.

I said it was that kind of thinking, as in the same type or style of thinking, not the exact same subject. Respond to what I post not what you would have liked me to post to fit more conveniently into your argument.

Stop with this ridiculous crap!

No need to change anything else. Top 6 make the playoffs with 1 and 2 getting the bye and 3 vs 6 and 4 vs 5. Schedule doesn't need to change. Play everyone twice and keep the extra 2 games against natural rivals or within the current traditional geographic regions to maintain current annual team travel costs.

To all those that refuse to believe the CFL would break from tradition; it was tradition to kick for the PAT from the 5 but they did away with that, it was tradition to kick for 1 but they introduced the 2 point convert, overtime was not a regular season tradition but it is now, Hamilton/Toronto is a Labour Day tradition the league has passed on twice in the last 5 years, Winnipeg has played in both east and west division, 2 teams from west of Ontario have played in the Grey Cup 3 times in the last 15 years so the league is not that concerned with tradition.

The crossover leaves open the possibility ever single year of an all east or all west Grey Cup so the notion that that would alienate one half of the country doesn't both the league anymore than deviating from tradition.

I think you're being overbroad with what you're willing to call tradition- most of these I'd consider simply historical practice. Of the ones you mentioned, the only one I'd consider a tradition is the Labour Day Classic matchup, because people cared about it. You wouldn't hear "I'm really looking forward to this 1-point PAT kicked from the 5," or "I'm really looking forward to this game ending in a tie," but you might well hear "I'm really looking forward to the LDC this year."

I'd call the East-West matchup in the Cup a tradition, though that's not to say pragmatic considerations (like having only 3 Eastern teams for most of the last decade if they hadn't counted Winnipeg) never interfered. They always remind viewers of the all-time record between the divisions and it has historical significance dating to the formation of the CFL. I just don't see a pragmatic reason why it's better to have #1 of the league play #2 of the league than it is to have #1 of one division play #1 of the other division. You haven't convinced me that much of the country would be vastly more excited to see Edmonton-Calgary than Edmonton-Ottawa (assuming the playoffs fall out according to seed this year).

Sure, but to have a one-division Cup under the current system, the fourth-best team in one division has to (a) finish ahead of two (or three, depending on division) teams in the opposing division, (b) win a road game against the second-place team in the opposing division, and (c) win a road game against the first-place team in the opposing division, who is coming off a bye week. In years when there's reasonable parity between the divisions, that's quite a tall order. By contrast, if the fourth-place team is strong enough to pull that off, then the divisional balance is really lopsided. Under those circumstances, it's probably worth sacrificing the East/West rivalry to ensure that we don't have a really horrible product on the field for the championship game. So all in all, the current setup strikes a better balance than would a divisionless playoff.

imagine if you will.

Calgary vs B.C. in the Grey Cup..

especially if the game happened to be in the West.

how many people outside of Saskatchewan eastward would be watching the game?

now if it were Calgary vs Ottawa.