In order to enhance not only the flow of play, but the overall fan experience, the CFL is looking to limit when coaches can challenge plays.
The CFL’s rules committee is meeting in Regina during CFL Week and they have recommended coaches no longer be able to challenge a play following a TV ad meaning they would have to throw the challenge flag within the 30 seconds of the break rather than wait for the break to come to an end.
The committee is also looking at changing what coaches can challenge, limit some of what can be challenged on a roughing-the-passer call and that the replay official only change a call that was clearly wrong rather than try to officiate plays to ensure they are right.
Rules committee chair Glen Johnson feels they are doing things to improve the process of the coaches challenge with less of them being called and the delay being much shorter than it currently is.
“We brought this in to fix big mistakes,” he said. “We didn’t bring it in to try and officiate the game to perfection.”
The committee would also like to retain a rule adopted last year that coaches lose a timeout if they get a challenge wrong.
Another recommendation was increasing a replay officials’ duties to correct errors when flags are thrown for:
— a line of scrimmage penalty (offside or procedure)
— an unnecessary roughness penalty following a play and the video official sees other unnecessary roughness infractions
— an illegal contact call on a receiver that should be changed to defensive pass interference because the ball had been thrown
The committee also requested changing all 10-yard illegal low block penalties to 15-yard unnecessary roughness calls. Another recommendation was preventing a kick-return team from putting a player on the field just prior to the snap to hide him so he can receive a lateral pass from the kick returner.
That play would be subject to a 10-yard penalty.
The recommendations must be reviewed by the CFL’s competition committee and ultimately approved by the board of governors to become official.