***Tom Wright lookin at RULE CHANGES ?!?!?!

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/News/2005/10/13/1260709-sun.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/ ... 9-sun.html[/url]

Learn the lesson, says Tom Wright.

The CFL commissioner says what's happening right now with the NHL, with fans generally loving the dramatic and revolutionary rule changes put in for them over the objections of the traditionalists and conservatives who had choked the life out of the game, should be noted by his league.

The commissioner and his new director of officiating, George Black, say the CFL has to be open to similar thinking.

"What's happening in the NHL right now shouldn't be lost on the CFL," says Wright.

He says the CFL welcomes ideas to challenge the traditionalists and conservatives to further enhance the entertainment value and unique aspects of the Canadian game.

"I think we have to," says Wright.

"Coaches love predictability. Fans love unpredictability."

Black is a big hockey fan.

"The NHL has done a terrific job. Slowly the NHL game evolved into a game which took away from the fan value. I think the NHL did a wonderful job of bringing it back. They had the courage to listen to the players, the media and the fans.

"There's a bit of a conservative nature to the rules committee," he says of his group.


But the lesson is there to be learned.

"Right now I think we're willing to look at anything that adds excitement. Why would we not? I'd like to see anybody who understands the unique aspects of the Canadian game challenge the committee with ideas."

Due mostly to the much more boring brand of football in the NFL with fair catches, three clouds of dust on a postage-stamp-sized field compared to the CFL's pass-happy game which can end with teams kicking the ball in and out of the end zone, there hasn't been a huge cry for rule changes.

But this year, the same season the NHL has made all the changes that coaches, general managers and traditionalists were against for years, there's been concern about one of the great features of the Canadian game -- the punt return.

Most CFL teams now have a terrific return man to carry on the tradition of Gizmo Williams and Pinball Clemons.

It's ours, it's the most exciting play in football and coaches are trying to eliminate it by booting the ball out of bounds.

Oh, we're still seeing some great returns like the 67-yarder by Tony Tompkins against the Toronto Argos that earned Tompkins a fourth special teams player of week honour. But give a coach a chance to neutral zone trap and he'll play a neutral zone trap. More and more the coaches have their punters booting the ball out of bounds.

The solution may be a 15-yard penalty. Tack that on to a 14-yard punt like the one Sean Fleming of the Eskimos produced in Toronto trying to punt one, and a coach has to think about it.

"We need to find the right balance between ensuring the parts as distinct as the return game retain their prominence yet reward the skill of punters. We don't, to use your expression, want to let the coaches neutral zone trap it," says Wright.


Block says the return game should be precious to CFL fans.

"You and I go back to when we had no blocking on punt returns and they called it the suicide squad. Now the return is a huge part of our game. Maybe we need to look real hard at putting in a penalty for punting it out of bounds between the 20 yard lines. I, for one, wouldn't want to see them eliminate kicking it out in the coffin corner. I think that is an exciting play. But ..."

The shootout, detested by just about everybody in hockey, is a huge, huge, hit with the fans so far. How much more exciting do you think a football game might be if the CFL had a re-think on the convert?

This is something that would never come from a traditionalist conservative football mind. But think about it.

There is zero entertainment value in a convert. None!

Make all points-after two-point converts attempts with teams having one play to get the ball in the end zone from the five.

"Maybe not from the five. Maybe from the three-yard line," says Wright.

Got any ideas? Tom Wright and George Black are willing to listen.

Great time to be a fan in Canada, isn't it?

I can't say I'm in favour of getting rid of the convert after a touchdown, I think leaving the option is better.

I am in favour of some sort of penalty for kicking the ball out of bounds, and the idea proposed in the article sounds good to me. I wouldn't want teams to lose that gamble between the ball going out at the 5, or going into the end zone for a point, but in the middle of the field, where there's no chance for a break for the receiving team, there should be an incentive to kick in bounds.

I'd like to see them increase the penalties for no yards, which was brought up in a post on Monday or Tuesday I think, especially if we're going to make them kick in bounds more often than now.

Besides that tho, I'm pretty happy with our game. I don't think it needs to be changed much, there's tons of excitement as it is. No lead is really safe, and unlike the NFL, if the team in the lead has the ball with less than 3 minutes left, the game is most definitely not over.

i agree with some form of preventing kickin outta bounds on punts, but not infavor of removing the convert...thats like hockey without the fights, as both are a part of the game. always was and always will be!

Just about yeah, it's just not the same game. I would keep thinking, why are they going for two! :slight_smile: I mean, sure, converts are kicked and made 99% of the time..... but what I've liked about the 2 point convert is that it's kinda rare, and that makes it more appealing to me. If you're always going for two, it brings a bit of monotony to it. I know, they've gotta run the play and all..... but it's more fun when it's a gamble on the 2nd point instead of an almost for sure single point.

If they want to make the convert more difficult, kick it from the 15 or so, so it's a 22 yard kick. It won't get made quite as often, if that's the point of getting rid of it in general.

I think Kanga’s incessant obsession with the Action Point finally reached the CFL’s head honchos.

  • starts praying they never use it*

I will join you in prayer Rattler

me too

There was some discussion on another thread about the convert. I like the idea of a 2-point mandatory, or moving the 1-point kick further back from the posts, say 15 or 20 yards, although I'm not sure if that would make a difference...And I really like the idea of penalizing a punt which is kicked out of bounds WITHOUT hitting the field first.

great article and thanks!

No out of bounds punts-------WOOOO HOOOOO even coffin corner.
mandatory 2 point convert-------- na the XFL did that takes away the stratagy

That's what I was thinking in regards to the convert, going for two doesn't matter if everyone does..... going when there's the safe option makes for a coaching decision we can all wring our hands about.

I like High_Five's comment that the penalty should be on balls that go out without hitting the ground first. That way, you can still kick to the sidelines, and attempt to contain a returner, but the punter has to make sure it doesn't go out of bounds first otherwise there's repercussions.

Thats better than is is now but if I had my way it would be a penality either way, just like a kickoff.

Leave the convert alone. I like the stratedgy of one or two points (See Don Mathews Vs BC).

Punting out of bounds....hmmm jury still out....

As for new ideas....

How about letting Offensive Linemen catch balls? Could you imagine Okeke rumbling downfield for the first down?

Making TD's 6 points with a 2 point try every time is stupid, it would decreses the scores. not good.

If the CFL takes my advice (and I'm be writing Wright a letter with my ideas soon :smiley: ) and makes the AP a really, they should make the TD 7 points and the cover after that 1 point inside of 2 points. In that case, the scores didn't go down and acturally increase!

but I don't like the way that the CFL is looking to the NHL and deciding to make chage, the NHL in my opion has gone backwards with it's new rules.

But I wouldn't worry if your an Kick convert fan ,the CJFL and maybe the CIS will still use it.

I'll repost my rule chages again retooled.

if there is a penaie for a OB ball on a punt, make it 5 or 10 yards, not 15, that's too much.

I also agree with the suggestion that a penalty be applied to balls punted out of bounds, unless it bounces in bounds first. I think that will give the opportunity for more returns, but will still allow teams to kick away from returners if they choose.

I'd even extend that sentiment to the awarding of a single point for balls kicked through the endzone. If the ball bounces, and then leaves the endzone, award a point. If the ball doesn't land in bounds, then no point is awarded and the defending team is awarded the ball at the 35.

It takes no skill to angle a punt out of bounds. It will take a great deal of skill to bounce one out, especially in the coffin corner.

I say it would be a mistake to take away the coffin corner punts, as it makes drives VERY interesting when a team starts at its own 2.

Maybe the solution would be to allow the punting out of bounds from the 15 yards line to the endzone. A ball punted directly out of bounds between the two 15 yards lines would be penalized. This way, coaches could still go for that strategic field position play that is forcing the opponent deep inside its own zone, but they could not just punt out of bounds all the time to avoid giving big returns.

And that would also ask more reliability from kickers. If you try the coffin corner, but shank it, and it goes out at the 18, you just put your team in trouble.

Great punters would keep on being an important part of the game.

What do you say?

Couldn't agree more Third...... how do you feel about punts that bounce first before they go out between the 15's? I don't know how they could do it, maybe leave it up to the refs on catchable balls where they could waive a penalty if the returner just doesn't touch it at all and lets it roll out.... or just make it not a penalty if it at least bounces in the field of play. I mean, if it takes one bounce and goes straight out, it's more luck than anything, the punter can't control the bounce direction, unless they're a lot better than I think they are....

Good point....I could live with no flag on a ball that bounces out of bounds, and penalize those that kick it in the air out of bounds.

The Canadian game is based a lot more on kicking (than the American game). So keep that aspect of it ... it helps to make it Canadian! It's also closer to rugby than the American game ...

In rugby, if you're within 22m of your own goalline and you kick the ball straight out of bounds (ie, no bounce inbounds first), then the other team throws the ball in at the point where it went out. If you're further than 22m away from your own goalline, and you kick it straight out of bounds, the other team gets to throw it in from where you kicked it. So you only gain territory if your kick bounces inbounds first.

That's why I'd be OK with a rule that penalized you for kicking the ball straight out of bounds, but left it as OK for the ball to bounce inbounds before going out (as some people have already suggested!)

Someone also mentioned the ball having to bounce in the endzone before getting a single; that's what I've been saying all along and I think it's a great idea ... in order to 'concede' a single, you should have the option to run it back.

Don't mess with the convert system; it's fine. Leave the option there for the 1 or 2-point attempt. Don't cheapen the game and gyp the (true) fans out of those important decisions that have to be made!

I too think the no-yards rule could use some tweaking. It's good that if the "halo" is violated before the ball hits the ground, the penalty is 15 yds; and if it's violated after it hits the ground, the penalty is less (5 yds). But I don't think the penalty should be called when the ball is just bouncing around, going nowhere, and everyone's trying to back away from it, but can't get far enough away fast enough. It's because of this (IMO) that the no-yards penalty gets called so often ... I say it should "expire" after the ball bounces, say, 3 times.

I don't really like the idea of drawing "zones" on the field (or rink, for that matter) - as in, if-the-kick-goes-out-of-bounds-inside-the-20-it's-OK, or the-goalie-can-only-touch-the-puck-here. They're stupid and too restrictive.

And as a parting shot, I think the shootout in the CFL is good (but I had no problem with the 2, 5:00 halves either); but the shootout in the NHL is ABSOLUTE CRAP. What's so bad about a tie?!?

So we all agree that there should be a penetly on OB punts?