I don’t know if anyone has proposed this previously, if not, then this is a rule change proposal to encourage CFL teams to use the third down to advance the ball rather than just punt it.
The rule would be: If a team attempts to make a first down on third down and fails to make the necessary yards, the opposing team would take over the ball 20 yards towards their own goal line from where the stop was made or in case of an incomplete pass 20 yards from the original line of scrimmage. If the mark off of yards would put the ball closer to the goal line than the 20 yard line the ball would be scrimmaged from the 20 yard line. If the stop was made inside the 20 yard line the ball would be scrimmaged where the stop was made or the original line of scrimmage for a dropped pass inside the 20 yard line.
Why 20 yards? The average CFL punt is just over 40 yards and the average return is just over 20 yards.
In many circumstances a team can try to advance the ball on 3rd down and not suffer greatly in field position.
If a team is on its own 10 yard line, it is probably going to punt the ball on 3rd down.
If a team is at center field and on third down had an incomplete pass, the opposing team would take over on their own 35 yard line.
If a team tried on third down and ran to the 25 yard line without making a first down the opposing team would take over on their 20 yard line.
Inside the 20 yard line the existing rules apply.
This provides some of the NFL third down excitement without a fourth down.
I think this would go a long way to curbing the quick two plays and a punt that can plague some CFL football games and increase fan enjoyment