RT @CFL: Wishing everyone a #HappyCanadaDay from all of us at the #CFL https://t.co/tSajTcOPI6

Help choose the CFL's first ever #AllDecade Team, presented by #LeoVegas! Click here for a full list of nominees and their stats over the last 10 years: cfl.ca/adt-nominees/ twitter.com/CFL/status/127…
The #CFL's all-time receiving yards leader, Geroy Simon, put together a streak of 188 games with at least 1 catch, the second longest in history behind Don Narcisse (216). Simon also ranks 2nd all-time with 63 games of 100+ yards, 1 game short of Allen Pitts. #CFLEncore twitter.com/CFL/status/125…
On July 27, 2007, Milt Stegall scored his 138th career touchdown, moving him past retired RBs George Reed and Mike Pringle for the all-time #CFL record. That year, Stegall recorded 1,108 rec. yards, marking his 10th 1,000-yard season - one short of Terry Vaughn's all-time record. twitter.com/CFL/status/125…

The Alouettes overcame a 16-point deficit in the 2009 Grey Cup, marking the third largest comeback in #GreyCup history overall and the largest ever in the 4th quarter. Montreal trailed 27-11 with 7:05 remaining before scoring 17 unanswered points for a 28-27 victory. #CFLEncore

In 2009, led by RB Wes Cates and dual-threat QB Darian Durant, the Riders rushed for 191 yards on 22 carries for an average of 8.7 yards, second in #GreyCup history. Hamilton holds the all-time record with 8.9 yards per attempt (24 carries, 213 yards) in 1985 vs. BC #CFLEncore twitter.com/CFL/status/125…
Only 4 offensive linemen taken in picks 1-20, plus Wilfrid Laurier continues to be a hot spot for defensive linemen. Some trends of note from tonight: cfl.ca/2020/04/30/bey…

OL Mattland Riley becomes the first Saskatchewan player selected by the Riders in Round 1 since 2012, when they choose OL Ben Heenan 1st overall. Heenan spent 3 seasons with the Riders, winning a Grey Cup in 2013. #CFLDraft #CFL

The last quarterback selected as high as Nathan Rourke was Jesse Palmer, who also went 15th overall in 2001. twitter.com/CFL/status/125…

Offensive lineman Theren Churchill, selected 9th overall by Toronto, is the first Regina player selected in Round 1 since OL Brendon LaBatte went sixth overall to Winnipeg in 2008. #CFLDraft #CFL

DB Adam Auclair, selected 6th overall by Ottawa, became the 11th player from Laval to be drafted in the first round since 2005. Auclair’s selection is the highest for a defensive back since Chris Ackie went 4th overall in 2015. #CFLDraft

Virginia’s Dejon Brissett is the 7th receiver the Argos have drafted in the first round, joining Brian Jones, J.F. Tremblay, Matt Duboc, Jock Climie, Paul Fedor, and Ted Smale. #CFLDraft

East Carolina’s Jordan Williams (selected by BC) is the first LB to go first overall since Henoc Muamba in 2011. It’s the fifth time in #CFLDraft history that a linebacker has gone No. 1. #CFL

Pierre Lavertu (2014) was the latest 1st overall pick by Calgary. Others include Miguel Robede ('05), Steven Morley ('03), Bruce Covernton ('92), Kent Warnock ('86), Jerry Dobrovolny ('83), Frank Kosec ('81), Dave Kirzinger ('78), Wayne Holm ('70) and Harvey Scott ('62) #CFLDraft twitter.com/CFL/status/125…

In 2001, Toronto selected LB Kevin Eiben in the 4th round, 26th overall. A 5-time East Division All-Star and 3-time CFL All-Star, Eiben quickly became one of the #CFLDraft’s biggest steals, finishing his career with 722 defensive tackles – 9th on the all-time list. https://t.co/3RYyZd0uKe

It’s #CFLDraft Week! Did you know that Lui Passaglia and Bob Cameron, the #CFL’s all-time leaders in games played, were both first round picks? Passaglia was drafted 5th overall in 1976 and played 408 games, while Cameron was picked 6th overall in 1977 and played 394 games. https://t.co/IyOZEKFAVJ

Darian Durant's 481 passing yards were the second highest single game total of his career. Durant would go on to lead the CFL in passing in 2010 with 5,542 yards, including a 500-yard performance on Sept. 17 vs. Calgary #CFLEncore twitter.com/CFLFootballOps…

The Riders and Alouettes combined for 105 points on July 1, 2010, marking the third highest scoring game in #CFL history. Toronto and BC combined for a record high 111 points on Sept. 1, 1990, in a 68-43 Argonauts victory. #CFLEncore

Jamel Richardson was the recipient of Anthony Calvillo’s record-breaking pass in 2011, as Calvillo became pro football’s all-time passing yards leader. That year, Richardson recorded 1,777 receiving yards, the 9th highest single season total in #CFL history #CFLEncore

In addition to passing yards, Anthony Calvillo holds all-time records in several other categories including attempts (9,437), completions (5,892), 300-yard games (125), 400-yard games (29, tied with Doug Flutie), and TDs (455). #CFLEncore twitter.com/CFL/status/125…
March 18, 2014

Open for Discussion: CFL Rules Committee table changes

Expanded video review, improved health and safety and faster game will be topics on the table at this week’s CFL Rules Committee meeting in Toronto.

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League is considering making pass interference subject to video review as part of a significant review of its rule book, the league revealed today.

Under a proposal to be voted on Thursday evening by the league’s Rules Committee, coaches would be allowed to challenge both called and potential defensive pass interference fouls under certain conditions.

If it passes, the CFL could become the first football league to subject pass interference to video review.

“This is more than innovative. In the world of officiating, for all sports, it’s revolutionary,” said Glen Johnson, the CFL’s Vice-President of Officiating.

The Great Debate

Should pass interference be subject to video review? Click here to have your say.

“Leagues have been reluctant to subject ‘judgment calls’ to video review, and pass interference in football is the ultimate ‘judgment call”, because it involves so many subjective elements. It will be interesting to see if the Committee approves it, and whether our Board of Governors, which is our ultimate authority on rules, also ratifies it.”

Under the proposal, a team would be able use any and all of its Coaches’ Challenges to challenge a called or potential pass interference foul up to the final three minutes of a game. In the final three minutes of a game, and overtime, a team could only challenge such a call or non-call one time, and only if it still has an unused challenge and a timeout remaining.

The Committee is also considering expanding the role of the Command Centre by requiring it to automatically review all turnovers (fumbles lost and interceptions) and allowing it to detect illegal participation during a play (when a player returns to the field after voluntarily leaving it).

The Rules Committee is also reviewing several changes aimed at further strengthening the health and safety of CFL players:

•    Eliminating low blocks below the waist, other than those delivered to the front plane of a player.
•    Eliminating blocks from behind in the area between the offensive tackles and within two yards of either side of the line of scrimmage.
•    Outlawing peel back blocks, which occur when a play changes direction in the backfield, forcing the defender to modify his  pursuit, making him susceptible to blind low blocks executed by an offensive player moving toward his own end zone.
•    Clarifying the rules make it illegal to “deliver a blow” to an opponent above the shoulders, a standard already followed by officials but not yet codified in the rule book.
•    Requiring an injured player to leave the field regardless of whether a penalty was called on the action leading to the injury (players currently have the option to stay in the game if a penalty was called on the play.)

The Committee is considering other changes designed to promote scoring and improve the flow of the game:

•    Allowing quarterbacks for each team to use their own team supplied Wilson footballs, provided they have met the “new ball” quality standard established by the league.
•    Allowing centres to bob their heads multiple times in an effort to signal timing of the snap of the ball (to be used by visiting teams coping with noise in stadium).
•    Allowing offenses to further dictate the pace of play by no longer requiring the Head Referee to hold the 20 second clock for the defense to substitute.

The CFL Rules Committee is also expected to review proposed editorial changes to statistical scoring rules including one which would make blocked field goals count as missed field goals for the purpose of record keeping.

December 4, 2013

A closer look at the Expansion Draft rules and process

CFL.ca breaks down every major facet of the upcoming 2013 Ottawa Expansion Draft as we near the December 16th selection period.

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO – On Monday, December 16th the Ottawa REDBLACKS will make the most crucial roster decisions in their brief history as general manager Marcel Desjardins and his staff attempt to compile a list of players that will transition from existing CFL clubs to Ottawa for 2014.

But there are a lot of questions surrounding the Expansion Draft: How many players can be picked? Can there be trades? How many imports/non-imports?  What about free agents?

CFL.ca breaks down every major facet of the upcoming Draft as we near the December 16th selection period.

Live Expansion Draft Coverage

CFL.ca will be broadcasting the announcement of the selections for all three rounds LIVE on Monday in addition to posting exclusive interviews and analysis.

» Read More

Expansion Draft Milestones and Key Dates:
November 25 – Ottawa REDBLACKS are granted permission to begin signing free agents not currently under CFL contracts
December 9 – Protection List submission
December 16 – 2013 Ottawa REDBLACKS Expansion Draft

Round by Round Overview:
Round 1: Ottawa selects 8 import players (one from each team)
Round 2: Ottawa selects 8 non-import players (one from each team)
Round 3: Ottawa selects 8 more non-import players (one from each team)

Protections:
On December 9 at 1:00pm all 8 member clubs must submit a list of protected players to the Canadian Football League office that contains 10 import players, 1 quarterback and 6 non-import players.

CFL clubs will submit a second list of additional non-import players for protection prior to the third round of the draft.

Quarterbacks:
Teams will protect 1 quarterback ahead of Round 1.  If they lose a quarterback to Ottawa, they can then protect an additional 2 non-imports in Round 2.  A team cannot lose both a quarterback and a kicker in the Expansion Draft.

Kickers:
Teams can protect import kickers in Round 1 or non-import kickers in Round 2.  If they lose a non-import kicker/punter to Ottawa, they can then protect an additional 2 non-imports in Round 2 or 3. A team that loses an import kicker can protect an additional non-import as well. A team cannot lose both a quarterback and a kicker in the Expansion Draft.

Trades:
Ottawa is able to trade with other teams during the expansion draft and any time before that.  All of the other 8 member CFL clubs cannot trade with each other as of December 9th.

Releasing and Signing Players:
As teams were eliminated from the 2013 CFL playoffs, they were not allowed to release any active roster players.  Non-CFL free agent players can be signed at any time before the draft but can be eligible to be selected in the Expansion Draft if unprotected. Between December 9-16, teams cannot make any trades unless they are directly with Ottawa, release any players, but they can re-sign their own players, and can also sign non-CFL free agents who would be automatically added to the team’s unprotected list.

Free Agents and Transferring of Contracts:
If Ottawa selects a player that is a pending CFL free agent, they will retain negotiating rights to that player until February 15, 2014.  Once players are selected by Ottawa, the REDBLACKS assume their current contracts including salary, length and pending free agency.

April 9, 2013

CFL Board of Governors approve two rule changes

A new rule change has been approved that will allow coaches to request the review and possibly overturn a ruling of a missed field goal or extra point.

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO – The Canadian Football League’s Board of Governors has approved a rule change that will allow coaches to request the video replay official to review and possibly overturn a ruling of a missed field goal or extra point.
 
“Video review has become a dependable asset to ensure we get the right call on the field,” said Tom Higgins, director of officiating for the CFL. “And with the technology and number of cameras used in today’s telecasts of our games, expanding video review to cover these potential scoring plays is a natural evolution.”
 
The Board of Governors has also approved a rule change that will give coaches more flexibility in how they use time outs.
 
Moving forward, coaches can now use both of their time outs at any point during regulation time of a game, as long as they don’t use more than one after the three minute warning has been sounded in the second half of the game.
 
In previous seasons coaches were only allowed to use one time out per half.
 
Both rule changes were proposed to the Board of Governors by the CFL’s Rules Committee – made up of head coaches, general managers, team presidents, league officials and a representative of the CFL Players’ Association. The Committee held its annual meeting earlier this spring at the CFL Combine in Toronto.
 
The two approved rule changes will be in effect for the 2013 season.

March 22, 2013

Rules committee expands video review on field goals

A proposal to allow coaches to request the video replay official to review and possibly overturn a missed field goal or extra point has been approved by the CFL’s rules committee.

CFL.ca Staff
 
TORONTO – A proposal to allow coaches to request the video replay official to review and possibly overturn a ruling of a missed field goal or extra point has been approved by the Canadian Football League’s rules committee.

“It’s vitally important to ensure we get potential scoring plays right, and video review has proven to be a tremendous asset, especially in an age of high definition cameras in multiple locations,” said Tom Higgins, the Canadian Football League’s Director of Officiating.

The rules committee is also recommending that coaches be given more flexibility in how they use time outs.  

It approved a proposal to allow coaches to use both of their time outs at any point during regulation time of a game, as long as they don’t use more than one after the three minute warning has been sounded near the end of the game.

Currently, coaches are only allowed to use one time out per half.

The Rules Committee – made up of head coaches, general managers, team presidents, league officials and a representative of the CFL Players’ Association – wrapped up its annual gathering here today.

Its’ recommendations are now subject to approval by the CFL Board of Governors later this Spring.

The committee tabled a proposal to eliminate blocks below the waist, or “low blocks”, unless they are executed between the tackles along the line of scrimmage by interior linemen or by other stationary players three yards on other side of the tackles.
Members requested more data on injuries and more study on the potential effect on the running game.

That proposal would have eliminated open field blocks below the waist on running plays and screen plays, after previous rule changes had effectively eliminated them for other types of plays.

In the meantime, the committee has instructed CFL officials to broaden the interpretation of what constitutes an illegal low block to better protect all players, by requiring that blocks be clearly delivered from in front of a defender.

It voted down a proposal to change the penalty for pass interference from possession at the point of the foul to a specific yardage penalty and an automatic first down.  

Also rejected was a proposal to change a rule to allow a player who loses his helmet in the act of catching a pass or recovering a loose ball to participate in the immediate continuation of his attempt to gain possession of the football without penalty. 

March 21, 2013

Player safety a focus in rules committee vote

The CFL Rules Committee is expected to vote Friday on a proposal to eliminate open field blocks below the waist in a bid to further improve player health and safety.

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — The CFL Rules Committee is expected to vote Friday on a proposal to eliminate open field blocks below the waist in a bid to further improve player health and safety.

“Protecting the well-being of our players within the context of a tough and physically demanding game remains a key focus for our league and our rules committee,” said Tom Higgins, the league’s Director of Officiating.

The proposal is to eliminate all blocks below the waist, or “low blocks”, unless they are executed between the tackles along the line of scrimmage by interior linemen or by other stationary players three yards on other side of the tackles.

It comes on the heels of previous rule changes which eliminated blocks below the waist on special teams and passes beyond the line of scrimmage.
The Rules Committee is made up of head coaches, general managers, team presidents, league officials and a representative of the CFL Players’ Association. It meets here today and tomorrow and its recommendations are subject to approval by the CFL Board of Governors.

The committee will also consider proposals to:
 
• Allow coaches to request the video replay official to review and possibly overturn a ruling of a missed field goal or extra point.
• Allow a coach to use both of his time-outs in either half of a game, instead of being restricted to using one in each half.
• Allow a player who loses his helmet in the act of catching a pass or recovering a loose ball to participate in the immediate continuation of his attempt to gain possession of the football without penalty, with the play to be blown dead the instant the ball is in possession of player without a helmet.
• Change the penalty for pass interference from possession at the point of the foul to a specific yardage penalty and an automatic first down.

The committee meets here as teams prepare to evaluate top prospects this weekend at the CFL Combine presented by Reebok in Toronto.

The combine kicks off Friday afternoon with player arrivals, medicals and team interviews. On Saturday, the players’ strength, athleticism and flexibility will be tested from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET at the Park Hyatt Toronto Hotel. The event’s final day takes place Sunday from 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET on the football field – and features the 40 yard dash and football drills — at Varsity Centre at the University of Toronto.

April 18, 2012

Rule changes approved: Scoring plays to be reviewed

The CFL has approved the rule changes as proposed by the Rules Committee, including all scoring plays be subject to review by the replay official in the Command Centre.

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League Board of Governors has unanimously approved the rule changes as proposed by the Rules Committee, including that all scoring plays be subject to review by the replay official in the Command Centre. This would include all touchdowns, field goals, converts, singles and safety touches.

The Board of Governors also approved two rules that specifically address the safety concern of players helmets coming off during play:

•    If a ball carrier’s helmet comes off, the play shall be blown dead immediately. The line of scrimmage for the next play will be where the player’s helmet came off.

•    If a non ball carrier’s helmet comes off, that player can no longer participate in the play. If he does, the player will be penalized 10 yards for illegal participation. If a player hits an opposing player who isn’t participating because he lost his helmet, he will be penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

The Rules Committee is made up of head coaches, general managers, team presidents, league officials and a representative of the CFL Players’ Association.

March 1, 2012

CFL Rules Committee recommendations for 2012

The CFL Rules Committee will recommend to the Board of Governors that all scoring plays be subject to review by the replay official in the Command Centre.

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League Rules Committee will recommend to the Board of Governors that all scoring plays be subject to review by the replay official in the Command Centre. This would include all touchdowns, field goals, converts, singles and safety touches.

“Entering our seventh season using replay review and fourth season using the command centre,  we feel it’s a logical step to introduce an automatic review of all scoring plays,” said Tom Higgins, CFL director of officiating.

“Scoring plays have a great impact on the outcome of a game and putting in additional measures to ensure those calls are correct is prudent,” said Higgins. “When considering these types of changes, we also must consider the flow of the game and the duration of any challenge. For the vast majority of scoring plays, we believe that the replay official will confirm the scoring plays before the next play without a delay.”

The Rules Committee also proposes to introduce two new rules to specifically address the issue of helmets coming off players during play;

  • If a ball carrier’s helmet comes off, the play shall be blown dead immediately.
  • If a non ball carrier’s helmet comes off, that player can no longer participate in the play. If he does, the player will be penalized 10 yards for illegal participation. If a player hits an opposing player who isn’t participating because he lost his helmet, he will be penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

“Every year we task our rules committee to discuss ways to improve our already great game,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon. “The safety of our players is paramount and we continue to challenge ourselves to find new ways within our rule book to make the game safer for our athletes.”

The CFL Rules Committee met yesterday and today as part of CFL Congress in Toronto. The Committee is made up of head coaches, general managers, team presidents, league officials and a representative of the CFL Players’ Association.

The proposed rule changes will be presented to the CFL Board of Governors prior to the start of the season. The Board of Governors is expected to vote on the proposed rule changes in the spring.

April 12, 2011

2011 CFL rule changes approved

The Canadian Football League’s Board of Governors has approved four significant rule changes as recommended by the Rules Committee, the CFL announced today.

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League’s Board of Governors has approved four significant rule changes as recommended by the Rules Committee, the CFL announced today.

The rule changes include expanding the use of instant replay on game changing plays, eliminating blocking below the waist after a completed pass, punting out of bounds and illegal participation.

“Each off-season the Rules Committee is tasked to look for ways to make our game more exciting, more competitive and safer,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon, who is also the Chair of the CFL’s Rules Committee. “We feel these four rule changes help address all of those areas and improve an already great game.”

Here is how the use of instant replay will be expanded for the 2011 season:

  • When a quarterback drops back to pass, is hit and the ball comes out, and the play is ruled an incomplete pass, the defensive team can challenge the call. The new rule allows the Command Centre be allowed to overturn the call on the field, declare the play a fumble, and award possession to the defensive team if the ball had been recovered immediately. In prior seasons, the Command Centre could only review whether the play constituted an incomplete pass or a fumble, but it could not award possession.
  • When an on-field official rules an incomplete pass, the offensive team can challenge the ruling, hoping to have the Command Centre rule it a completed pass. Under the new explanded use of instant replay, a defensive team that believes the ball was caught, and then fumbled, can also challenge the on-field ruling. And the Command Centre could award the defensive team possession of the ball if it decides it was indeed caught, then fumbled, and then recovered immediately. In prior seasons, the Command Centre could only rule if the pass was complete or incomplete; it could not award possession.

In both of these instances, the defensive team would be awarded the ball where it is recovered. The Command Centre could not award return yards after the recovery.

Here is a look at the three other rules that will be changed for the upcoming season:

Eliminating Blocking Below the Waist after a Completed Pass:

To promote player safety, only blocking above the defender’s waist will be allowed following a completed pass across the line of scrimmage.  Blocking below the waist on such a play would result in a 10 yard penalty. Blocking below the waist had previously been eliminated on kick returns, interception returns, and fumble returns. It would still be allowed on running plays and passes completed behind the line of scrimmage.

Punting Out of Bounds:

When a punt goes out of bounds in flight in between the 20 yard lines, the receiving team should have the option of taking the ball where it went out of bounds plus a ten yard penalty against the kicking team, or requiring the kicking team to re-kick ten yards back from the original line of scrimmage. Currently, the receiving team can either take the ball where it went out of bounds or require a re-kick ten yards back.

Illegal Participation:

If a player is pushed out of bounds by an opponent, he can return to the field of play and make a play. If he goes out of bounds on his own, or is bumped out of bounds by a teammate, he cannot legally participate in the play. This clarifies the previous version of the rule, which does not specify bodily contact from an opponent.

The CFL Rules Committee is made up of head coaches, general managers, team presidents, league officials and a representative of the CFL Players’ Association.

The above rule changes were recommended by the CFL’s Rules Committee who meets each off-season to discuss the rules of the games. This year they met in Toronto prior to the Evaluation Camp presented by Reebok on March 4. The 2011 CFL Draft is scheduled for May 8 at 12:30 ET.

The 2011 CFL season opens with RONA Canada Day Kickoff Weekend when the Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes host the B.C. Lions on Thursday, June 30 at 7:00pm ET on TSN / RDS. Opening weekend continues on Canada Day with a double header as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium at 6:00pm ET (TSN) followed by the Calgary Stampeders hosting the Toronto Argonauts at 9:00pm ET. RONA Canada Day Kickoff Weekend wraps-up with the Edmonton Eskimos playing the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, July 3 at 7:00pm ET (TSN).

March 4, 2011

CFL Rules Committee makes recommendations

Recommended rule changes could have a big impact on game changing plays as the CFL Rules Committee looks to expand the use of instant replay.

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — The Command Centre will have a bigger say on some potentially big plays if the Canadian Football League’s Rules Committee gets its way.

“Some of the toughest calls for on-field officials are what the media sometimes calls ‘bang-bang’ plays, when a decision has to be made on a potential change of possession in what can seem like the blink of an eye,” said Tom Higgins, the league’s Director of Officiating.

“The rules committee is looking to give the use of instant replay more say in two of the most prominent examples: when the ball comes loose as a quarterback is hit in the pocket, and when officials have to decide if a pass was caught, not caught, or caught and then fumbled.” 

Here is what will change if the recommendations made today by the Rules Committee are approved later this Spring by the CFL Board of Governors:

– When a quarterback drops back to pass, is hit and the ball comes out, and the play is ruled an incomplete pass, the defensive team can challenge the call. The committee is suggesting the Command Centre be allowed to overturn the call on the field, declare the play a fumble, and award possession to the defensive team if the ball had been recovered immediately. Currently, the Command Centre can only review whether the play constituted an incomplete pass or a fumble, but it cannot award possession.

– When an on-field official rules an incomplete pass, the offensive team can challenge the ruling, hoping to have the Command Centre rule it a completed pass. Under the change recommended today by the Committee, a defensive team that believes the ball was caught, and then fumbled, can also challenge the on-field ruling. And the Command Centre could award the defensive team possession of the ball if it decides it was indeed caught, then fumbled, and then recovered immediately. Currently, the Command Centre can only rule if the pass was complete or incomplete; it cannot award possession.

In both of these instances, the defensive team would be awarded the ball where it is recovered. The Command Centre could not award return yards after the recovery.

The committee is looking to make significant changes to three other rules that affect blocking, punting and illegal participation:

– To promote player safety, the committee is suggesting only blocking above the defender’s waist be allowed following a completed pass across the line of scrimmage.  Blocking below the waist on such a play would result in a 10 yard penalty. Blocking below the waist had previously been eliminated on kick returns, interception returns, and fumble returns. It would still be allowed on running plays and passes completed behind the line of scrimmage.

– When a punt goes out of bounds in flight in between the 20 yard lines, the committee is suggesting the receiving team should have the option of taking the ball where it went out of bounds plus a ten yard penalty against the kicking team, or requiring the kicking team to re-kick ten yards back from the original line of scrimmage. Currently, the receiving team can either take the ball where it went out of bounds or require a re-kick ten yards back.

– The committee is suggesting that if a player is pushed out of bounds by an opponent, he can return to the field of play and make a play. If he goes out of bounds on his own, or is bumped out of bounds by a teammate, he cannot legally participate in the play. This would clarify the current version of the rule, which does not specify bodily contact from an opponent.

The CFL Rules Committee is made up of head coaches, general managers, team presidents, league officials and a representative of the CFL Players’ Association.

It met today in Toronto on the eve of the CFL’s Evaluation Camp presented by Reebok. Tomorrow and Sunday, CFL teams have the opportunity to evaluate more than 50 top prospects for the CFL Canadian Draft, scheduled for May 8th.

April 13, 2010

Overtime rule changes get final approval

The CFL’s Board of Governors has approved a rules change that will see teams that score a touchdown in overtime be required to go for a two-point convert instead of kicking for a single point.

OVERTIME RULE CHANGES GET FINAL APPROVAL
Board of Governors approves two-point converts proposed by rules committee and fans

TORONTO, Ont. — This year, a thrilling touchdown in overtime might just be the prelude to even bigger drama.

The Canadian Football League’s Board of Governors has approved a rule change that will see teams that score a touchdown in overtime be required to go for a two-point convert by running or passing the ball into the end zone instead of kicking for a single point.

The proposal was brought forward by the league’s Rules Committee last March, after the change was among those suggested for overtime by fans from across Canada.

“It’s now official,” said Tom Higgins, the CFL’s Director of Officiating.

“The Governors have agreed with our committee, and our fans, that the two point convert will make an exciting approach to overtime even more exciting, with a pass or run with the game potentially on the line replacing a kick that has become relatively routine.”

In 2009, CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon took the unprecedented step of asking fans for their input on proposed rules changes, a step that led to a change in field position following a safety.

This year, Cohon issued the call to fans on behalf of the league again, but this time he asked them to pay particular attention to whether the league’s overtime format could be improved.

Fans sent in more than 2,000 rules suggestions, with about 1,500 of them focused on overtime.

The vast majority said they preferred keeping the league’s overtime format, which has teams take turns scrimmaging from their opponent’s 35-yard-line, instead of changing to a different format, such as two five-minute halves or some other sort of “mini-game”. But many suggested various tweaks to the format.

In the end, the rules committee agreed the format should not be changed and decided that the best “tweak” is requiring two-point converts in overtime.

Under the current rules, if the score is tied at the end of a game, each team gets an opportunity to scrimmage from its opponent’s 35-yard-line, until it makes a score or loses possession.

If the score remains tied, the procedure is repeated at the opposite end of the stadium.

If the score is still tied after each team has had two attempts, the game is declared a tie during the regular season. If the game is a playoff or championship game, the same procedure continues until a winner is decided.

The Board also approved three other rules committee recommendations that:

  • Will allow a team that gives up a field goal (during regulation time) the option of scrimmaging from its 35-yard line instead of receiving a kick-off.
  • Will ensure there is no penalty for pass interference applied if a forward pass is deemed uncatchable.
  • Will, when a ball is punted, hits the ground and hits a player from the covering team, result in a penalty of five instead of fifteen yards. 

John Butler, Chair of the CFL Board of Governors, thanked the rules committee for its work.

“And on behalf of the Board, and Commissioner Mark Cohon, I want to thank our fans for their input,” Butler added.

“It’s another sign of their tremendous passion for our game and our league, and that passion is one of the things that make the CFL so special.”

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