CFL rules committee recommending second challenge for head coaches

Committee makes a number of recommendations in Friday report

If a CFL head coach’s first challenge is successful, the league’s rules committee is recommending he get a second one this season.

Darren Hackwood, the CFL’s senior director of officiating, said Friday’s recommendation came the result of commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s annual cross-country visit with fans. Currently, CFL head coaches have just one challenge per game.

“He basically asked the fans what they thought about that one … and they all kind of were overwhelmingly in favour of letting that happen,” Hackwood said. “So (Ambrosie) brought that to the rules committee and coaches were in favour of it as well.

“Obviously the discussion was around if they have to use their challenge early in the game having another one if something big happens at the end was a good thing.”

The rules committee consists of CFL head coaches, GMs, team presidents, league officials and one representative of the CFL Players’ Association. Its recommendations will go to the league’s board of governors, which will render a decision later this spring.

The committee is also proposing the command centre be able to upgrade a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty to 25 yards for a direct blow to a quarterback’s head or neck with the helmet. The defender must have had a clear view of the quarterback and there be no mitigating circumstances on the play like the quarterback ducking.

READ MORE: CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

The committee would also like the command centre to help game officials with called and non-called roughing-the-passer penalties. That would include instances where an obvious call was missed because a referee’s view was blocked.

Another recommendation is that a play be whistled dead any time a quarterback carrying the ball gives himself up by sliding with any part any part of his body. Currently, a quarterback can only give himself up by sliding feet first.

Those proposals, Hackwood said, put an emphasis on player safety and further protecting the quarterback.

“We want to make the quarterback a focus, for sure, and player safety in general,” Hackwood said. “There were kind of three points going into the rules committee and player safety was No. 1.

“Second was looking for ways to improve the game and the third was trying to make the game easier to officiate.”

Other recommendations include:

  • A 10-yard objectionable conduct call be made for diving.
  • The command centre be able to upgrade spearing to a 25-yard penalty when a defender delivers a blow with the top of his helmet and has a clear view of the opponent. Also, there can’t be any mitigating circumstances such as the opponent ducking his head.
  • A player receiving two 25-yard penalties in a game be disqualified.
  • A kicked or thrown football remain live instead of becoming a dead ball when it touches a goal-post ribbon.
  • The command centre being able to assist on-field officials in calling penalties when the injury spotter has intervened in a player-safety situation.
  • The command centre be allowed to assist on-field officials with called and non-called roughing-the-kicker penalties.
  • Removing the stipulation that a defender be allowed to contact a kicker’s plant leg without penalty if the defender has touched the ball before contact.
  • Clarifying the definition of spearing to be when a player uses the top of his helmet as the primary contact point to deliver a blow.
  • Making the use of three or more wedge blockers on kicking plays illegal.
  • A defensive player not being allowed to deliver a forcible blow to the long snapper while the snapper’s head is down and he’s in a vulnerable position.

If the recommendations are accepted, it will mean the command centre being utilized more during games.

“Technology has got better,” Hackwood said. “If the referee doesn’t have a clear picture of what happened he can turn on his headset and ask the replay official for help.

“We don’t see that being a full-on stop … it’s like a quick, ‘Hey, I think that was roughing the passer. Do you guys see anything different? No, then here’s the flag and let’s go on.’”

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Free pads, tampons now available in Surrey school washrooms

Menstrual products previously given out to students upon request

Surrey student selected as Loran Award recipient

Award is valued at $100K over four years of undergraduate studies

‘Coldest Night’ walk in Whalley aims to raise $25K on Saturday

Live music, food and commemorative toques attract teams to national event held annually

Former Cloverdale church elder pleads guilty to sexual assault

Brian Batke, 73, entered guilty plea Feb. 14

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

UPDATE: TransLink gets injunction ahead of pipeline, Indigenous rights protest

The protest rally is in opposition to the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipeline projects

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Mysterious bang booms over Sumas Mountain once again

Police unsure of source, quarry companies say, ‘not us’

Most Read