Stiffer penalties for no yards

Around the time that Johnny Rodgers and Dick Harris were returning punts Sam Berger and Bob Geary and Marv Levy petitioned the CFL to allow blocking for the first time. The result was a decided advantage for the Alouettes. Smart.

With so many punts in every CFL game it was a weapon so effective that teams began to encroach on the no yards limit just to limit the return. It was more than worth the ten yard penalty.

It occurs that today were a study conducted it may reveal that there are a certain number of no yards penalties on punts that is in excess of the number of punts returned for ten yards or more. If the study determines that there are more no yards penalties than long returns than the game is being dulled or the excitement reduced.

Let Mr. Spock mull on this if it's logical: Increase the penalty for no yards to a whopping twenty: see how it opens up the return game.

Sorry that's "if the study determines that there are more no yards penalties than long returns THEN the game is being dulled."

I think there's room to tweak the no-yards rule. I'd support using preseason games to try out longer penalties for infractions and/or increasing the size of the no-yards halo.

Sounds like touch football ................

While on the subject of using pre-season games for evaluation of new ideas: how about an extra couple of pre-season tilts to train new quarterbacks? The last time a rookie quarterback was the League's top rookie is what .... Chris Isaac in 1982? That's galling.

More pre-season games to indoctrinate new pivots.

Thanks for the reply and the prompt Capital Dave.


Anyone who has ever played touch knows it's a heck of a lot of fun.

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Good thoughts CD. I would suggest a 15 yard penalty but keep the halo the same. More chance for a flag to be thrown. A punt fielded on the 10 yard line, drawing a NY infraction moves the team to the 25 which is not bad starting position, imo.

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A 15 yard penalty might have the reverse effect and cause refs to be less likely to throw a flag because of the greater impact

What about an XFL inspired idea and not allow the cover team to leave the line of scrimmage until the ball passes the line of scrimmage ... have a sideline official ring blow a horn to signal the players

Also, take away the "halo" concept and make it five yards based on yard lines (i.e., if the ball is caught at the 25 yard-line the coverage cannot has crossed the 30 yard line anywhere along the width of the field ... this would give returners more leeway to move laterally.


I don't mind keeping the cover team on side or the five yard line concept but what happens if the ball is fielded on the 21 yard line? Would you suggest the buffer becomes the 25 yard line or the 30 yard line? I don't think the refs would be less likely to throw a flag but who knows? The zebras never throw the flag when I think they should and they keep it in the pocket when it should be thrown. Lol

I think he just means 5 yards up field rather than tying it to the full-width field lines. So a punt caught at the 21 would mean no coverage players could be across the 26 yard line (even though there are no full width lines there). I think that would make it easier to judge NY infractions.

I'd like to see the league try all the suggestions GHT made in some preseason games.

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Any player who gets called for no yards must play in Shreveport for a season.


Beat me to it !!

I thought the penalty was 15 yards except 5 if the ball hit the ground before being touched.

IMO, no stiffer penalty is needed. So often, no yards penalties are unfair as is. It can unfairly punish strong coverage and unfairly punish when a ball takes an odd bounce

...I wonder what the game would look like over time if punting was removed entirely? Just run your allotment of downs and if you don’t get a first down then it’s a turnover, too bad...

That is what it is now

No. Its only 5 yards for that

EXACTLY ... I used the 25 yard-line example for simplicity ... the essence of the idea is to allow the returner a chance to move laterally and not be boxed in as soon as he catches the ball.

As you later stated, it varies between 5 or 15 yrds currently.