Time for the League to Put Their Innovator Hat On

Hi there,

With some of the problems the league has been having, whether justified or not, the soon-to-be extra competition for players, I think the onus is on the league to continue to try to be better. Most importantly on player's safety. With that I would like to see the league get a bunch of guys together this off season to see what the game would look like if they only allowed tackling below the waist.

Yes, I know football is a game of inches, but Canadian football only has three downs, so any gains for the offence on the defence would be minimal (as opposed to American football).

I don't know about you, but I don't want to see former players struggling with concussion issues.

If I was a sponsor I would have to ask myself, "Am I part of the problem when I could be part of the solution?"

I think there will always be a risk, but we know the growth of our sport has been stifled. I know there's always that pesty unknown factor that invariably comes with chance, but changing our game to be more true to the human competitive spirit without the need for armor or needlessly aggressive play could open up other avenues for our league. Sure, maybe our league is in one of those lows after peaking and could reach lower, but that is not to say the league couldn't use that to its advantage and come roaring back stronger like any rebuild.

While I won't pretend to know what the future of our league holds I do know research is important to help find that out.

Thoughts? Should they still wear the headgear?

A few suggestions. I think the preseason should be kept at 2 games but 2 weeks in between each game. Gives more time for conditioning the players and that would have to help with injuries. Gives coaches a better look also. Extends media coverage a little.

I don't have the knowledge about how knees are constructed but we have seen a fair number of non contact knee injuries. It must be partially in the footwear putting all the strain on the knee. Must the foot need to slip to prevent injury - maybe

Should knee braces be mandatory for all practices. Preseason games

NCAA targeting rule with player ejection. Is the league bold enough to do this.

League said last year they would bring in Rugby coaches to teach tackling. Anyone know if that happened


The NBA saw the catastrophe that the extra bracing from high-tops brought. I strongly believe you would see the same here.

IMO the modern athlete is just pushing the human body to it's limit.

Or go back to rugby style contact. Leather helmets, tackling only between the waist and the shoulders.

Yes, that's what I was thinking.

Saw this on reddit today.

Soon the league might have no choice but to do something.

One thing I would like to find out if the CFL could have a Team Canada team in the CFL. I don't want full on rugby as I think our game is more exciting, but could a Team Canada team switch between Canadian football and rugby for international tournaments?

The Canadian Flag-Football League?

The biggest problem with sports injuries today, whether, football, hockey or any other sport is the equipment. The equipment is designed to protect you from injuries. Unfortunately the equipment allows the player to hit harder without hurting themselves and our bodies can't take it. Also, I remember the pros and cons that were being tossed about artificial turf which gives you better traction but when you plant your foot there is no give versus natural grass which had some forgiveness when you got hit say below the knees. I haven't looked into it but I would think/guess that other than the minor scrapes, cuts and bruises, you will find that the injuries in Rugby are not as serious because of the lack of equipment.

I don't think they have to go that far. Maybe they could solve the problem by teaching technique. But I think they'll find it hard not to have the players' heads bash with those helmets when they dive together to make tackles.

What I am trying to say is have they even thought about what the game would look like if tomorrow they decided to go back to the headgear? Would that eliminate some of the dangerous hits we're seeing? It would certainly get rid of horse collar tackles if there was no face mask to grab onto.

A horse collar tackle is yanking someone down by the nameplate on the back of the jersey. It has nothing to do with the headgear.

When you sign your kids up for martial arts, you want it to be safe. When you are watching MMA, you want to see carnage. They are getting paid, after all, and they know what they signed up for.

It is my opinion that we should employ a similar approach to Football. We should go ahead and make it safe as we possibly can at the amateur level. But then we should also bring back the brutality at the professional level.

My mistake.

That's an idea. Parents not letting their kids play football is a problem.

If there's one positive thing that has come out of all the negative press that the sport of football got over the concussion issue, it is that the way contact is taught now tries to get the head out of the contact. Yes, a more rugby-style tackle. As an amateur coach, I have to be certified to teach "Safe Contact." Any new coach must be Safe Contact certified within one year of starting coaching.

Keeping the "brutality" in the game at the pro level will only turn off more parents from signing their kids up for the sport, and further exacerbate the problem of declining amateur participation.

I have no proof to be able to point to, but the risk of concussions in hockey as opposed to football must be higher, because you can get up to some rather unnaturally high speeds on skates that you simply can't get to running on the ground, therefore the g-forces in a hockey hit have got to be higher, and more dangerous for concussions and other injuries. But football gets the bad rap, and yet parents have no problem signing their kids up for hockey. Frustrates me when I'm trying to recruit a new player.

I would like to see a study done on football related concussion re players who never played a down of pro.

and players who did not play past high school.

and players who only played 5+ years before high school.

and even more breakdowns.

One little known aspect of FB concussions is in the helmet designs. Up until about six or seven years ago the face mask used to screw into the front of the helmet, right above the nose. What they found when they began studying concussions is that every hit to the face mask was channeling 95% of the force directly into those screws, so it was basically like getting popped right between the eyes. Well they have since corrected that, and now the face mask attaches to the helmet only at the sides. So that alone has helped tremendously.

I do get what you are saying about the rugby tackling. Ohio State, my alma, has been doing it for about five years now. At first I was skeptical, but it actually is a much more consistently effective way to bring a guy down. You don't see nearly as much poor tackling, where a guy just lowers his shoulder for the kill shot, only to have the ball carrier bounce off of him and keep on going.

With the terrible falls in skiing and x sports etc. I see this as a voluntary risk just like Football . It appears the riskier sports for injury are actually advancing like MMA at a higher rate than boxing .

Where football hurts it's cause is not in the injury itself it's the risk after the injury .

It's the protocol that is in question and the compensation as a result of the injury that is in dispute .

It's also that these players are unionized now and the risk reward in a league like the CFL with such low salaries makes the injury that can carry on a lifetime a risk worth really evaluating for any player joining the league .

There will always be injuries when you have contact football it's a given .

Agree; Wrap around tackling should be instilled as a fundamental .

Not sure how they got away from it over the years .

They made sure they did it properly at the lower levels of football . That's how I was taught even in the angle of pursuit drills . You had to arm tackle and not shove or hit the person out of bounds .