CFL could soon make pass interference subject to replay review


As a time when the NFL seems to be showing some willingness to fully embrace the ability of technology to improve the decisions made in real-time by middle-aged men whoare  simultaneously trying to avoid getting wiped out by large young men in full armor, the CFL could soon be taking it to a new level.

According to the Canadian Press, the CFL’s Board of Governors will vote next Thursday on proposed rule changes that include expanding replay review to encompass pass interference.

As Wilkening (our unofficial CFL correspondent) explained it last month, the proposal goes both ways, allowing pass interference calls to be reviewed — and non-calls to be reviewed for a possible penalty.

Typically, the Board of Governors approves the proposals that come from the league’s rules committee.  If/when that happens in this case, it would create some evidence for further study by the NFL on the question of whether a similar change should be made.

At some point, the NFL needs to consider embracing the possibility of using video to overturn this and other so-called “judgment calls.”  If the evidence is sufficiently clear (i.e., indisputable) that judgment wasn’t properly exercised, why should horribly bad judgment be immune from reversal?

As the game grows, so does the importance of getting the calls right.  Given that defensive pass interference remains a spot foul, too much hinges on the decisions made by officials without the benefit for the safety net that comes from replay review.

36 responses to “CFL could soon make pass interference subject to replay review

  1. I think it has to happen eventually. PI is probably the most controversial play in all of football that sometimes can have direct impact on the outcome of a game.

  2. If the objective is to get the call right for the sake of accuracy, then just end the debate and make everything up for review.

  3. If every pass play the Seahawks defend were reviewed they’d be done winning games.

  4. You COULD but then you’re gonna have people complaining if 3-4 PIs get called and they have to stop and review each one, its gonna slow the game down and take it longer. Personally, I could care less either way. If they need to get the call right, then get it right! Would hate to lose a playoff game because of a phantom PI

  5. I’m not so sure about non-calls unless it’s painfully obvious once replay is shown. That could get messy…. the NFL needs to seriously consider this as well as making it a yardage penalty and not a spot foul. You can ruin a mans life with an illegal hit and get 15 yards but brush against him while the balls in the air and it could be upwards of a 50 yard penalty. Doesn’t make sense and it would show the defense you’re trying to make some of the rules designed for the offense not so one sided. They should also scrap the 5 yard rule and allow contact until the ball is in the air like in college.

  6. Please for love of the sport no more reviewable plays unless moving to a central review location like the NHL. We already spend way too much time watching the zebras stare into the hoods and everyone standing around arguing. It has ruined my gameday experience at the bar, because im tired of arguing with drunks whether something is a touchdown or not. Nobody really knows what a penalty is, the human element was useful at least for expediency.

    Either its reviewed by all the different cameras at once every play, or back off the reviews. You can’t trust the same ref’s that blew the call initially to get the follow up correct.

  7. While I agree PI calls (or non-calls) should be open for review..

    It does start the review process down a slippery slope… Would O-line holding be next? Or Roughing the passer? Facemask? etcetera.

    Truthfully, any/all penalties can influence the result of the game.

  8. This won’t be an issue in the CFL where they call that infraction about 1/3 of the time as they do in the NFL. In the NFL, however, you have refs like Jerome Boger who spends the off season training his flag throwing motion in the gym. It could be an issue then.

  9. That full control of the ball after a receiver hits the ground in the end zone garbage has to go too. If you catch the ball and your feet touch the ground, this should be a TD regardless what happens after the catch.

    If the football can be waived over the goal line and that’s a TD, so should be any ball that’s caught and both feet touch the ground in-bounds.

  10. On the face of it, the review seems like a good idea. However, PI is a judgement call. There’s contact on every play and how much contact is judged to be an interference?

  11. Either make the call/non-call reviewable, or drop the spot-foul bs. A 60 yard penalty is completely stupid.

  12. PI needs to be reviewed.

    A QB can heave a 60 yard lob up for grabs in the endzone, and 4 guys jump for it, and then a ref calls PI on a ball that the WR really had no chance at ever catching and the DB made a good play on, annnndd they get the ball on the 1. Or on the flip side a WR has burned his man as has clear daylight in front of him and is hit in stride with a pass, and the DB blatently chops him as a last resort and it is not called even though every camera shows it should have been.

    how that isn’t reviewable is beyond me.

  13. The staunchly conservative NFL, should also make PI reviewable. Maybe it will prevent QBs from throwing desperation balls to get the call. It will also clarify what is and what is not PI for all the players and fans.

    It might also be sensible for the NFL to implement the college rule of 15 yards for PI. It’s crazy to let a judgment call weigh so much.

  14. Don’t need to review it. Just make non flagrant pass interference a standard 15 yard penalty and that will put an end to refs busting a game open on a judgement call.

    Obviously keep the spot foul for obvious flagrant pass interference.

  15. Seattle’s pass defense would suffer especially if they let you review PI calls until you got it wrong.

  16. The “non-call” on PI is what will forever vex my mind.
    But frankly speaking, when you view the entire game as a whole, there is holding on every play. Period! Now what.
    Enhanced replay would “fix” most problem areas, granted, but there would still be a blown call on occasion.
    I think fixing the non-call on PI would/could be simple. When a sideline suddenly goes postal because a call was missed, have all of the officials immediately confer as a group, determine who saw what, and then make a call. If each and every one of them was “blind” at that instance, everybody accept that and move on.

  17. If PI was called and the receiver was never even touched, then sure that would work. But most of the time you’ve got both the receiver and the d-back hand-fighting or pushing off each other to the point it’s basically impossible to tell who exactly was more at fault. I don’t see how you could ever overrule a call in cases like that.

  18. They really need to add this.

    However, knowing the NFL, they will wait until someone loses a big game because of it. Some WR in a playoff game will trip on his own in the last 30 seconds, it will draw a flag, and it will cost the other team the game.

    Even some of the changes in replays still have flaws. The TD/turnover review addition isn’t fool proof. Waiting for the day when a WR acts like a he caught a ball that he knows hit the ground, then runs all the way to the 1 before stepping out of bounds on purpose. Bonus points if it’s with 2:30 left in the game and the other team is out of challenges.

  19. I can’t believe that PI is still a non reviewable play. It seems like such a no brainer to be able to review it because it is, in most situations, the most deadly penalty in an NFL game BY FAR. Yes, PI is one of those plays that is mostly subjective, but at real time game speed. If you watch it in slo-mo and from different angles, 99% of the time it goes from being subjective to being DEFINITIVE. It seems like every game I watch there’s at least one PI call where I’m yelling at the T.V. “you gotta be kidding me, ref.” Then they show it in slo-mo and it’s even worse. When you have a play that can result in a Penalty of anywhere from 15-20 yards all the way up to 50 or 60 yards, the NFL has a DUTY to make sure they get it right. Just like fumbles and interceptions, PI calls are killers. If they refuse to let coached challenge PI calls then at least make the Penalty the same as college ball, 15 yards, instead of a spot foul that could end up being 60 frickin yards.

  20. If the NFL doesn’t want to make this reviewable, it should only be a spot foul up to 15 yards. Beyond 15 yards, it should just be 15 yards.

    It’s stupid to make non-calls reviewable, though. Then you’re just asking for the refs to get more involved than they already are.

  21. I realize I’m in the minority here, but I’d like to see them dump all form of replay and go back to “the call is the call”.

    This quest for perfection is never going to end, it’s going to continue to wreak havoc on the pace of the game, and is unfortunately going to lower people’s tolerance for being able to accept that life’s not always fair (which is the best life lesson I learned playing sports).

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