Third down rule change

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

All the punters in the league have an average significantly over 40 yds. Returners are significantly under 20 yds.

No. With this there is no special teams, no punt returns, no coffin corner kicks, no possibility of a rouge.

Sounds like a solution to something that was never a problem to begin with. If you go two and out and have to punt, well, the defense did something right. Or you did something wrong on offense, in which case, figure it out.

Lets not change the rules just for the sake of change. This is the first Ive ever heard of this being a problem. Lets just leave it as it is.

hey I know, lets just change it to 4 downs

I don’t get how this is at all a good idea.

That’s an arbitrary change… serves no purpose whatsoever.

Good imagination though

Can’t see how having a rule change that will penalize the defense for making a stop more exciting.

While I’m not a big fan of games that have loads of two-and-outs, I think the rule would cause more problems than it might solve.

  1. It would make running plays far more common since offenses would only need to average about 3.5 yards per down to maintain possession. This would make the games more predictable.

  2. It would mean no more punt return TDs, which are highlight-worthy plays. Have no or fewer punts would also make the game more predictable.

  3. Since it would be much easier to maintain possession, we’d lose, at least to some extent, a much-loved aspect of the sport–the feeling that no lead is safe.

So in other words, reward a team for failing to make a first down? Punish a team for getting a turnover on downs? Where’s the gamble? “Try to get a first down, and if you don’t get it, we’ll give you the yardage as if you had punted.”
This would do anything but make third down more exciting. It would make it more boring. Yeah, more people may go for it on third down, but third down gambles would have less risk involved. Where’s the excitement in that?
“NFL third-down excitement”? If you can say such a thing exists, then you can say we have that on second down.

I agree.


A better unnecessary 3rd down rule change

All 3rd down punts should be uncontested kicks.

(details to be arranged upon approval)

Unlike the other change suggested that makes punters nearly irrelavant, hence a pay reduction for the job, this change wouldn’t take food out of the mouth of punters babies. In fact, punter associations could expect to see pay raises for their members.

Why not have a sliding scale depending on how many yards the team has to gain for a first down … KIDDING … solution to a non-existent problem

3rd and inches. Defense makes a stop but the ball gets moved 20 yds downfield. That penalizes defense 20 yds for making great play.

Welcome back MattsDad

Just waiting to hear the “action point? being brought up by someone

I’m on board; I only half-jokingly suggested eliminated kicking from the CFL entirely just a week ago. :slight_smile:

How about 4 downs to get 20 yards.

or 5 downs to get TD or FG. otherwise, turnover on downs.