July 6, 2015


Record: 1–1–0

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Controversial video review awaiting OK

The CFL board of governors will vote May 8 on a number of rule changes that have already been approved by the league's rules committee.

The change that's gotten the most attention to this point has been a proposal that will see pass interference become a reviewable call. That hasn't been the case until now -- and still isn't in the NFL -- and newly installed CFL vice-president of officiating Glen Johnson conceded the proposal has sparked some controversy, noting it wasn't a unanimous recommendation by the rules committee.

Whether the proposal is adopted by the board of governors remains to be seen, although it bears noting in the past the CFL governors have served as a virtual rubber stamp for the rules committee.

Johnson said allowing coaches to challenge a pass interference call or non-call and have the matter referred to video review just makes sense given how difficult such calls are to make and how often they can profoundly affect the outcome of a game.

Among the other rule changes being proposed:

All turnovers be automatically reviewed on instant replay;

Allow centres to bob their heads on the line of scrimmage as often as they want to signal to receivers when they should start running, something that will help visiting offences in noisy stadiums;

Make illegal a 'peel-back block' -- defined as when an offensive player in the backfield blocks below the waist of a defensive player who is running back towards his own end zone. Those plays are considered particularly dangerous because the defender is usually turning around and seldom sees the block coming and cannot defend against it.

A new wording of the rules on unnecessary roughness, making it clear blows to the neck or head are illegal and strengthening the wording that forbids leading with the helmet.

In addition, Johnson said CFL teams are being put on notice officials are going to be a lot less tolerant of verbal attacks this year. Johnson said there will be zero-tolerance for any "personal attacks" on officials.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 1, 2014 0

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