Video Review Sep. 23 WPG@TOR

(pardon if i've not got the right thread, this is my first time posting, and I've not found anywhere on the home page with contact information to address this issue)

In the September 23rd contest that saw the Toronto Argonauts hositin the Winipeg Blue Bombers, Coach Micheal Clemmons challenged the call on the feild that an incomplete pass was infact a fumble resulting in Toronto having possesion of the ball.

In the instant replay (wich is actually used in the Sirus Hits of the Week # 12) it is quite clear that Winipeg reciever #88 had control of the football and had planted BOTH feet on the ground, then while turning his shoulders to begin moving down field was hit by Toronto defender #30.

At the point of contact, Toronto defender #30 caused the ball to come out of the hands of Winipeg reciever #88. There was a resulting scramble for the ball, in wich Toronto would have gained possiesion. The official however whistled the play dead, and ruled the pass as incomplete.

I would like to argue that had Toronto #30 not been there to make contact with Winipeg #88, he ( #88 ) would have turned downfield and contined to gain yards and maintain possesion of the football for the Winipeg Football Club.

As an avid fan of the Canadian game I feel this is a grave misjudgement by the officials, and that this is a horrible misinterpertation of possesion of the football.

An example is that many scrambling quarterbacks hold the football with one or two hands infront of thier body (just as Winipeg #88 did on the play in question).

If the interpritation in the September 23rd contest was to set precedence, any player advancing the football could simply hold the ball out infront of himself, and not ever fumble. (I understand that this is a bit of an exageration, but the officiating has left me extremely frustrated)

I have added an oppinion poll so other CFL fans can agree or disagree to the grossness of this issue.

I'm not going to vote because I don't recall the play well enough, though you explain it reasonably well.
I think I thought it was a catch at the time, but I can't even be sure of that.
I also suspect it was a very close one.

I can help you with the "holding the ball out front" aspect of your complaint.
The big difference is, once possession is established, the rules for retaining possession are different than those for establishing possession.
The best example of that is, the ground can't make you fumble, but it can cause an incompletion.
Another is, if you have clear possession of the ball and are running with it held out front as you suggest, and it gets swatted away, it is clearly a fumble.
But if in attempting to make a reception, the ref rules the receiver never had possession, swatting the ball away must be ruled an incomplete pass, not a fumble.

Hope that helps.

If you have video, post it.
Or maybe Ro still has this one tucked away somewhere.

If complaining about the substandard reffing is your thing, you have come to the right place....

Do you remember what Quarter it was?
Ill post it tonight.

I saw the play.

I disagree with the CFL's Rule change. (Surviving contact)

However, based on what they rulled on the entire year, this call is no different from the others that they have called incomplete.

In 2006, that would have been a fumble. In 2007 its incomplete.

I hate the rule change!

ro1313, it was probably the fourth. I know for sure it was in the second half. check out hits of the week #12, the clip is on that highlight reel from two angles.

Here ya go

I think it was a good call based on the rule. Whether or not its a good rule is another question.

Tough call. Undecided.

well they have been consistent on it this year... IMO i think its a stupid rule though. in all honesty as a bomber fan, i thought it should have been a fumble.

another rule i really hate is the roughing the passer going awol. i think it should go back to the old rules, even though the bombers have benifited from it. but i think when a guys in the air, and hits the QB less then a second after he threw the ball, it in no way should be roughing the passer. its gotten way out of hand, this is not a touch football league

Great clip ro!

I hate that rule!
I hate that rule!
I hate that rule!
I hate that rule!
I hate that rule!

In 2006 that would be a catch and fumble. Both feet are down!

In 2007, they have been ruling those incomplete! (Aside from the Nowacki catch, pretty consistant too!)

Did I mention....

I hate that rule!
I hate that rule!
I hate that rule!
I hate that rule!
I hate that rule!

It is a close one.
However, I believe that should have been a catch and a fumble.
And I don't think it has anything to do with the new interpretation of the rules.
He got both feet down, had control of the ball, and turns to run.
All before the defender hits him.
I think the refs chose to not overturn the call upon review, but had that play been ruled a catch and a fumble and the bombers had challenged, it would still have been upheld--that's how close it is.

Anyway, I actually have very little problem with the rule as written, or even the way it is supposed to be interpreted.
But unfortunately, I don't think the refs have been consistant in making the call.
The Nowacki call was likely the worst one this year, but there have been many that are clearly wrong.
But on the other hand, some of the ones that fans and media complain about were in fact good calls.
Two affecting the Riders--a Dominguez non-catch in the endzone, and a Fantuz non-catch at the 3 yard line--have both been talked about by fans and media as examples of the rule being a poor one.
Well in my opinion, both calls were correct, and especially the Fantuz one would have never been ruled a catch under any rule the CFL has ever had--it wasn't even friggin' close.
Yet people want to criticise the refs.
And the rule.

I think the rule is fine.
Maybe they can tweak the interpretation, as they supposedly have done this year in the NFL.
But better training for the refs is a bigger issue.

Soap box alert:

All this particular play did was reinforce my belief that replay is a waste of money and time.
Train and pay the refs and the game will improve!!

I agree with ro, based on the rule they have in place, it was the proper call. I aslo agree with Sporty, the rule is very stupid. In reality, that was a catch and a fumble. The CFL needs to take a look at this rule in the off-season. Just like the blocking rules on punt/kick returns, etc.. this one needs to be changed to define what is and what is not a catch.

Arius, I dont think its the replay that is the problem, it the poor officiating and dumb rules that are the culprits on this particular play.

My problem with the rule is....How many steps before surviving contact doesn't count: one, two, three, four?

I agree, the Nowacki incomplete call was wrong! (CFL did a media release if I remember correctly, admitting they were wrong.) But why, prior to 2006 has this type of play not been a problem? Why do we have so many of them in 2007, but only a fraction prior to 2007?

It was a correct ruling, based on the rule as it stands now. A lot of people (myself included) aren't that keen on the way the rule stands now, but that's not the question you're asking.

The off-season rule change was instituted for this reason. There were too many inconsistencies, where a play like this would be called a catch and a fumble one time, and then an incompletion the next. The idea was to make the ruling black and white, so it's one thing or another, with no grey area.

I personally like the idea of a pass being called complete after possession is gained and then maintained after both feet touch the ground. You'd still only need the first foot in bounds to be called a catch, but if you lose control of the ball before the second foot comes down, even if it is out of bounds, it's an incompletion.

You could say that of any play in which a hit causes an incompletion.

Dave, you are in Hamilton....Can you go up to Toronto and convince them of that?

I like your interpretation!

Actually, as you may or may nor recall, they changed the interpretation of the rule (more so than the actual rule) this year because there were so many complaints last year.
I think the rule, wording wise, changed very little from last year.
They simply clarified what was meant by "surviving contact".
And the reality is, "surviving contact" has always been an aspect of making a reception--and always will be.
What they are trying to do, and this is where it is breaking down, is compensate for inadequate training with more precise wording.
And that will never work.
Get the refs into a seminar or two in the off season and watch video tape until they are blind(er?) and teach them.
Changing the interpretation, or wording year by year just mades the muddy water muddier.

Simply put, you cannot write a rule that will cover every possible situation, so quit trying.
Just prepare the refs better and they'll make better calls.

And, Sambo, while I actually think replay is a complete waste of time, I recognize it isn't going anywhere. I just think the money would have been better spent elsewhere.
The refs have cancer, and replay is a bandaid.

I'm a BB fan and even me and my buddy thought that was a catch and a fumble. I guess according to the rule they made the right call, but I think anyone would be hard pressed to say that wasn't a fumble. They should change that rule.

Maybe an actual look at the rule:



Rule 1 Section 3 defines possession -

* “Possession means having the ball firmly held in hand or hands, arm or arms, leg or legs, or under the body.?

Rule 6 Section 4 Article 6 (e) states that a pass shall be incomplete, if -

* “While in midair a receiver of either team who has firm control of the ball, but loses possession of the ball when that player’s feet or other part of the body hits the ground, with or without contact by an opponent.?

On what is generally referred to as a “bang–bang? play, there are several elements involved in determining whether the pass is to be ruled complete or incomplete.

Typical “bang-bang? plays are:

(a) When a receiver is attempting to catch a pass and either gets contacted quickly by an opponent; or

(b) When a receiver is attempting to catch a pass and falls or is driven to the ground quickly;

* .

For a forward pass to be ruled complete on a bang–bang play, the following needs to occur.

  1. The player must catch the ball and have it firmly controlled. Control in the air does not equal possession.

  2. Possession occurs after he survives contact with an opponent and / or the ground.

FOR 2007

The Catch / No Catch on a “bang–bang? play will be ruled as follows:

For a pass to be ruled complete, the receiver must catch the ball, and have it firmly controlled.

If the ball is quickly jarred loose by contact with an opponent and / or the ground, preventing the player from achieving possession, the pass will be declared incomplete.

The receiver must retain control after “bang-bang? contact to confirm possession.

If a player catches a pass near a sideline, and because of contact by an opponent he cannot get a foot down in bounds (called a Force Out), he must still retain control of the ball once he comes to the ground out of bounds, to confirm possession in order for the pass to be ruled complete.

Note: The old myth that the ground cannot cause a fumble is not completely true.

  1. If a ball carrier goes to the ground without contact, the ground can cause a fumble

  2. If a ball carrier goes to the ground after contact by an opponent, he should be ruled down by contact with no fumble.

  3. In the process of catching a pass before possession has been achieved, if the receiver goes to the ground, the ground can cause an incomplete pass.

Clearly in this case, he survives contact with the ground. The only question is, does contact with the other player qualify as “bang bang”. I don’t think it does, but it is close. But surely nobody is saying an opposition player can’t prevent a reception by knocking the ball loose? So write me a rule eliminating the “bang bang” concept?
Once again, it isn’t a problem with the rule, but with the onfield calls/interpretations.

Agree call made was correct as the rule currently stands. However, the rule now as it stands is wrong on so many levels. While I agree with Arius you can't make a rule for every type of play. It does need some better clarification, if you have both feet on the ground and are able to adjust your body, providing you are not juggling the ball, that should be a catch. There is a big difference where the hit arrives at the same time as the ball. THere it could be said the initial contact forced the ball out. But in this case the person was able to grap the ball and turn with out juggling it.

Good description Mike! Especially both feet on the ground part!