Statement from the Canadian Football League

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League (CFL) has released the following statement:

As CFL officials prepare for some of the biggest games of their careers, with our playoffs set to start on Sunday, I have been reflecting on the important role they play. In fact, I have been thinking a lot about officials at all levels, in all sports, following the recent physical attack on an amateur football official at a cégep game in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. ​ ​Disagreeing with an official’s call is part of the game, for coaches, players and fans. But disrespecting an official is totally unacceptable, abusing an official is an abuse of the game, and an attack on any official in any sport is an attack on sport itself. A shortage of officials is a growing problem, particularly in amateur football. Recruitment and retention become even more difficult when people see the treatment too many officials face on a regular basis. We can all help tackle this problem, strengthen the game, by treating officials with respect and, dare I say, gratitude. ​ ​Like the other CFL teams that will take the field in Montreal and Vancouver on Sunday, our officials have reached the pinnacle of their vocation, having earned their way onto a professional playing field. They have dedicated years, sometimes a lifetime, to this incredibly difficult job, running a lightning fast game with complex rules, and running with world class athletes. Football officials at every level are essential to the game we love. Let’s hold them to a high standard, but let’s also elevate how we treat them, whether we are attending our kid’s game at the local park, or watching some of the best in the world, officiating our playoffs and Grey Cup.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Officials are essential to the game
Important job
Thankless job



This is why no one here has ever seen me diss an official. It's a hard job, mistakes happen.

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Sometimes they try my patience but I try to be nice to our officials. I'm trying to imagine what football would be like without them.

Just for a scream we oughta play a preseason game with officials that are present as intermediaries only while the players police the game themselves. The outcome might be surprising.

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It's amazing to me how many people jump down the throat of the head referee for calls made mostly by their crew. I swear some people are only happy when they're bitching.


Talk about "kill the messenger"!

I've seen calls go both ways against my favorite team, but I keep reminding myself that the closest I've ever been to a game is about 360 miles and across an international border.

I do think that some sportscasters might want to think about some of their comments on officiating. In last year's Banjo Bowl brawl Glen Suitor was surprised things weren't called "more evenly". The available video doesn't show how it all started but he commented anyway. Too many people get too upset about officiating without that kind of encouragement.

Final thought: If only we could all be as perfect as we expect game officials to be.


I umped youth baseball in the ‘90s. Most parents were fine. Some thanked me after the game, which was always appreciated.
Then you had the subset, maybe 10-20%, that was always angry, no matter what you did. You call a ball and someone screams it’s a strike. You call that same pitch a strike and a parent from the other team screams it’s a ball.

There are so many things to look at, especially in football. You’re following the ball, looking for holding, looking at feet and the sideline. I honestly don’t know how they do it.


I often think an official has made an error, I rewind ( is that still a correct term considering nothing actually rewinds ) replay the play then watch it in slow motion only to find the official is most often correct, better yet I watch the officials, they are fixated on the everything, the ball, the OOB line, foot placement at the same time looking for infraction with a scrum between him/her and the play.
We need "give a ref a hug" day. But don't hug too long it goes from awesome to awkward really really quickly.