Friday, March 22, 2013

CFL Rule Changes

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.

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