Suggested Rule Changes for 2011

I have been watching the forums and I have not yet seen the "annual" rule change thread except for the specific one on the CIS returns of kicks that go into touch, therefore I will start it up again.

I do not think that there need to be rule changes just for the sake of rules changes. If you have a rule change that you believe will improve the game, please submit it for debate among the group. If you can provide some rationale to defend it, so much the better.

I have only two suggestions:

1.) Replace the coin toss at the beginning of games EXCEPT for the Grey Cup and during overtime. The new rule would be that the home team would have the the same options as now exist for winning the coin toss. They could have the option of exercising the first choice or defer to the second half.

Reasoning: This would make it more fair to all teams and would make homefield advantage a true advantage. Each team would be guaranteed to "win" the coin toss the same number of times during the regular season. During the playoffs, a home playoff game would be even more valuable. This is not an unusual concept for other sports. The home baseball team always bats last. The home hockey team always defends the same end during the first and third period. The Grey Cup is different as it is a "neutral" site and neither team is truly the home team. The Grey Cup is not always played alternately in the east and then west so awarding the home team to the hosting division would not be fair. Overtime would also have a coin toss as it is an "extra" game.

2.) Extend the penalty for punting out of bounds (ball in the air) to the entire length of the field.

Reasoning: I like the idea of forcing the punt to land in bounds and therefore at least creating the possibility of a return on each punt. If the punter is skilled enough to land it in-bounds and bounce it out of bounds, great. I do not understand the reasoning that allowa a team to "pin" the other deep in their own end without giving them even a chance to return it but having a team in their own end being forced to allow the other team a chance to return the punt. If you can kick it out-of-bounds sometimes why not all of the time. If we were carry the logic of the present rule to other situations, the QB should be able to throw the football without making it to the line of scrimmage without an intentional grounding penalty at certain locations on the field. This would never be allowed so why is it with punting?

I disagree with both.

coin toss has been part of Football pretty much since the beginning.

and you have to have a strategy to try and pin them deep in their end.. you start forcing punters to keep it in bounds and now you have really ruined a big part of Special teams strategy.

The first idea is a real good one and you provide a very strong argument. The coin toss is supposed to be a fair way to determine the choice of when a team will face the elements. However it is possible for the overall balance of fare-play to be uneven because of chance. This should be adjusted I agree.

On any penalty for punting out of bounds I would disagree completely. There should not be a penalty at all. A good kick is a good kick and a shank is a shank, the art of kicking a football is less accurate than horseshoes and the element of the Bounce(including off the kickers foot) should be preserved IMHO.

Re-narles-Just wondering your view on adopting the CIS rule for kick returns out of end zone?
please see poll on topic.

they have designed the coin toss to be something of strategy.

just calling heads or tails is definitely not the end of it.

If you win the toss.. now you have to think about your options.

whether or not you want to defer is important. especially if there's weather involved.

When I played football, and I was playing for my father.. I was the one who dealt with the refs.. as well as the coin toss.

our #1 rule always was.. when we get choice. Defer the choice to the 2nd half.

because you want to be able to decide the 4th qtr. ESPECIALLY if there is wind, or weather conditions that affect the game.

NOW, if you lose the toss.. of course everything you do, depends on the oppositions move.

many coaches below Pro and college (because these guys know what they're doing) don't really know how to strategize.

they'll go "we will receive, we will receive!!"

they don't get it.

so let's say they do that..

now it's your call. if there is wind? you say that you take the wind in the 2nd Qtr, so you choose the end where the wind is in your face.

why? because you get the choice in the 2nd half now.

IF they decide to choose and end instead of receive, then obviously you take the ball.

the 2nd half is strictly determined by the weather conditions.

if there is no wind at all, then take the ball. if there is wind and it can be significant then you take the wind in the 4th qtr.

Leaving the choice to the Hometeam makes it equal over the 18 game schedual. where as by chance of the coin toss.which could give 1 team 18 games with choice and another team 0 games with choice.


Those choices would still exist without a coin toss. The 'choice to choose' would merely reside always with the home team so over the course of the season, each team would have equal chances to choose which half to choose an end to defend or whether to kick or receive. The choosing team would still have to weigh 2nd or 4th quarter wind vs. possession.

On that note:

Can someone confirm that the coin toss procedure is different in the CFL than in the NFL?

As per my Madden NFL video game knowledge, there isn't a 1st and 2nd half meeting of captains to render choices over which end to defend or whether to kick or receive. They toss a coin only before the game and the winner picks an end to defend or whether to kick or receive. If deciding possession, the losing team would then decide ends, and vice versa. The order is reversed in the 2nd half with the team having received to open the game now kicking and the team defending a given endzone in the 1st quarter will defend the opposite endzone in the 3rd.

If that's the case, then you would never have the same team kicking off to start both halves as you see in the CFL. I'm also guessing we do things differently in Canada because of our open ended stadiums that allow strong winds to sweep our playing fields, especially in the prairies.

No reason to change the coin toss procedure that sounds to me the same as American football, rugby, or soccer lest I misunderstand the very lengthy explanations ...

No to the recommended changes to the rules on kicking out-of-bounds. Leave them as they are now.

Nota Bene/Please Note:

If a punter in Canadian football wanted to further ensure no punt return at any point on the entire field, a better way to do it, though decreasing distance, would be to drop-kick it!

If as an amateur and rugby player I can do this with relative ease, I know damn well some professionals with all that extra training and resources can do it.

Other rules changes we have beaten to death on here on other threads:

  1. No single point for any kick landing directly out of bounds in the Goal Area

  2. Conceded safeties provide possession at the 20-yard line instead of the 25-yard line.

  3. 6:00 real game play in the overtime, instead of the current high-school scrimmage format, with each team guaranteed a minimum of one possession no matter what the outcome of the first possession. Then it is sudden death for both teams.

A great game for which the teams are even should not be decided by what appears to be a practise scrimmage.

I can't think of any other recommended changes off-hand, for the game of Canadian football has its rules more intact than does even the game of American football.

As per kicking out of bounds through the air:

[i]It should be allowed in all cases for all kicks with respect to the sidelines in the field of play or, in the interest of kick returns, simply;

It should not be allowed in all cases for all kicks with respect to the sidelines in the field of play.[/i]

I've said it many times but I don't see why a kickoff out of bounds is penalized against the kicking team for the random bounce of an oblong ball into touch while a punt can very well do the same and in that case the receiving team just has to bite it.

If the ball bounces in the field of 'play', it should be 'played'... if not, take your chances that you might end up with crappy field position.

There's a certain notion that I'd personally like to see with respect to kicks that the path taken by a kick is the responsibility of the kicking team while airborne and the responsibility of the receiving team while bouncing about in play. Extend this notion to footballs kicked into the goal area for the rouge and viola, its no longer in any way a reward for failure.

If there's one thing I don't like about gridiron football, its the myriad of exceptions and conditions that seem needless and redundant. Illegal kickoffs out of bounds were introduced to solve a problem of a lack of kick returns in one era and was addressed in one way while punts out of bounds were addressed in another era in another way. Now we have two different ways to solve the same problem.

I believe that the NFL only brought in the deferral option last season. so it makes it identical to the CFL's procedures.

the team that wins the coin toss gets to choose to receive, kick, choose an end or defer to the 2nd half.

then in the 2nd half the opposite team or the team that deferred then gets to choose the same 3 options.

as far as the toss, the referees in both leagues must confirm before he tosses the coin what the home team's choice was to avoid a conflict.

  1. Leave the Rouge Alone
    2)Indifferent. don't think it will make much of a difference
  2. NO. I absoluetly love the way the CFL does their Overtimes. If anything they should extend it to 3 sessions just to eliminate more ties, but definitely keep it with the scrimmages from the 35 (or where ever it is). I disagree wholeheartedly that you can liken these to practice scrimmages. The only difference from real play is that they get to start at the 35, and that there is no worry about the Game clock running out. Both Rider games this year that went to OT were two of the most exiting games I have ever witnessed. And the OT had a lot to do with that.

Rule Change: Teams giving up the safety must now punt the ball from the 25 yard line instead of kick-off.

The league's recent rule change of moving the kickoff back from the 35 yard line (to the 25) following a safety was a good first step. However, to be a true deterrent from having so many punters simply take a knee (lame!), or worse, run around in the end zone to take time of the clock, I propose we follow the NFL's lead with safeties by having teams punt from the 25 yard line, as it's not likely to travel as far as a kick-off.

I can't off the top of my head remember the teams involved - but it was the game where the time officials paged the Ref about adding time and the Ref missed it and then called back a TD after the play ruling that the play should not have happened as the time official was paging...

I would like to see a rule change to prevent that debacle from ever happening again. Maybe a rule change to state that once play is whistled in that play can not be stopped for the time officials and corrections if possible will be added or deducted at the conclusion of the current play.

Reason - should be obvious.


I can remember. That was Montreal at B.C. in 2009. :lol:

how about... just leave the rules how they are. CFL is popular and growing in popularity year after year. This isnt the NHL here.. dont need fancy shcnazy rule changes every year to get people interested in the game and honestly.. high scoring games... thats awesome. i may be in the minority here but... personally id rather see a 55-54 ot win then a 9-6 snoozefest.

I think everyone likes the game the way it is but its by no means perfect and there are always little things to tinker with in any sport to keep up with changing strategies and evolving athletic ability. If rules stay the same and new strategies turn what was once a typical 60 point game into a 10 point game, something might have to change to restore a semblance of the aesthetic we once enjoyed.

If it weren't for creative thinking with respect to rules over the last century and a half, there wouldn't be such a thing as a forward pass or down and distance.

There is a huge difference from "real play," actually. Canadian football consists of three relatively equal components: offence, defence and special teams. OT in the CFL consists of two elements: offence and defence. Special teams essentially don't exist (apart from field-goal attempts). A team with a great return game or a great punter loses this advantage. And fans lose the chance to see huge, game-changing plays such as big returns, blocked kicks, etc. The league should definitely go back to the old OT format where all aspects of the game are included.

I agree, go back to the two 5 min. halfs for OT. If the game is tied after that, then the teams each get a point (in the standings). In the play-offs, after regular OT, if the game is still tied, then have the shootout format to decide things.

sorry you guys, they can't go back to it.

there is nothing wrong with the current format of OT. it's very exciting, and with the mandatory 2pt convert attempt it creates an unknown!

why must we change it? for the simple sake of the return game? oh come on now...

Ditto. I don't mind the current OT format, but what's wrong with playing real football to settle the deadlock?
This year there was 5 games that went to OT (at least from what I recall) which is a bit of an anomaly. It doesn't happen that often- We should do it right when it does!

The kick return is such a crucial part of our game and yet we turn our back to it in Overtime..