Sneaky Time-Keeping

Has the CFL in an effort to speed up games for TV in recent years slowly introduced some sneaky timekeeping? It looks to me that the clock is always rolling at least until each 3 minute warning. Things I've noticed:

--The game clock will run with the play clock after changes of posession... as opposed to at the snap.

--The game clock will run on extra points outside the 3 minute warning... as opposed to not running on conversions since they aren't technically plays of scrimmage.

-- The game clock will roll with the play clock after incomplete passes & plays out of bounds outside the 3 minute warning... as opposed to stopping the clock until the next snap of the ball.

The extra point issue was discussed on an "ask the ref" feature on The answer went something along the lines of confirming that the time-keeping rule had been changed quietly a number of years ago...

[b]Could someone either confirm my premonition that the other rules have also been changed in the last few years?

If so, did this time lost also contribute in part to the lack of scoring in the CFL this year?[/b]

Take a look at the rule book.

That's how the timing rules have worked for as long as I can remember. Which is why teams try to take the wind for the 2nd and 4th quarters, because they're longer than the 1st and 3rd.

I believe that's always been the case, hasn't it?

When you think of it, it makes perfect sense to have the time running for just any play. What is the rationale for not letting time run while players are in action? Time runs during kickoffs and they are not plays from scrimmage either.

In my mind, the only situation where a play could occur without time running would be if there's a penalty on the last play of a quarter. Then you play another down before heading into the next quarter.

Time should run on converts even after the 3 minutes warning.

Actually I missed this the first time I read it.
This one was a recent rule change. "Recent" meaning sometime in the last 10-15 years I think.
Before that the clock didn't run on any converts.

I think at the same time they started running the clock at the start of the 2nd and 4th quarters on the "ready for play" signal rather than the opening snap. (for a regular offensive play. if the quarter starts on a kickoff the clock starts when the ball is first touched after the kick, as usual.)

The clock starts on the "ready to play" signal at the start of quartres too eh? I guess I never realized that this was the way its always been. I'm probably a victim of playing too much Madden NFL... After taking a look at the rule book... I don't really mind the rules the way they're set up.

However, I don't see the reasoning for starting the clock at the start of the qtr but not until the touch of the return on kick-offs.

If the games start to get too long then maybe that will change too. On NCAA kickoffs the clock starts as soon as the ball is kicked. Not sure if that's a new one for this year, but what is new this year is that they start the clock on the "ready for play" after a change of possession.

I think that this might be done to close a loophole!
Imagine if a game tieing TD was scored with no time on the clock and you were not able to try for the game winning extra point!