CFL considering allowing coaches to challenge pass interference calls


The NFL isn’t the only football league weighing whether to give coaches more power to challenge officiating decisions.

The CFL’s rules committee Thursday approved a plan to allow coaches to challenge pass interference penalties and uncalled, but possible, pass interference fouls, the league reported on its website. The proposal must still be ratified by the league’s board of governors later this spring.

According to the proposal, CFL coaches can challenge either a pass interference penalty or a possible instance of pass interference as many as three times before the final three minutes of the game, the league’s website said. (The CFL’s challenging rules are similar to the NFL’s; if a team makes two successful challenges, it gains a third challenge.)

In the final three minutes, coaches can challenge pass interference just once, and only if the challenging team has a timeout.

Upon the challenge, the pass interference penalty — or unflagged play that could constitute pass interference — would be reviewed by video.

“Pass interference is one of the toughest calls to make,” CFL vice president of officiating Glen Johnson said, Thursday, according to “This gives us a second opportunity to get it right on a penalty that can have a great impact on a game.”

The NFL is weighing a proposal from New England that would allow coaches to challenge all judgment calls, including pass interference.

14 responses to “CFL considering allowing coaches to challenge pass interference calls

  1. Gee it’s about time they started to evolve their rulebook. Fix it up completely and then I’ll start watching and probably end up buying tickets and merchandise. I would love to see a fully professional football league in action. That would be a lot of fun and very interesting competition.

  2. One of the main problems with the NFL replay system is the amount of time it takes to review a play, it’s crazy.

    The NHL’s is so fast, you actually wonder how they do it.

  3. The NFL, more than anything, needs to cut down, or ideally, eliminate as many judgement calls as possible. Instead they seem to be adding more (see “Don’t say the N word” rule). Judgement calls just give the refs too much power and control over a game.

  4. The CFL also has challenges reviewed from a central headquarters, to hopefully remove any bias from the official overturning their own crew’s decision.

    I thing it would be a bit much to be able to review everything (ie. holding, etc.) but pass interference can be a 50+ yard penalty, so it makes sense to get it right as the impact on the game is usually greater.

  5. I would have no problem with any call being subject to a challenge. Just leave the number of challenges as they are today but let the coaches use them how they will. It is then their decision how they use them and if they want to wait for an erroneous call or just use them willy nilly.

    Oh yeah… Go Riders!

  6. If the CFL went to NFL regulation sized fields, and rules, then the NFL would have a minor leagues to develop talent!! Other than that, no-one cares what the CFL does!

  7. Pass interference penalties are commonly used by refs to fix games in favor of the gamblers that paid them off.

    The ability to challenge those penalties will improve (though not fix) the integrity of the game.

  8. Only one thing to do with Pass Interference rules. Junk them. Return to 10 and 15 yard penalties MAX. Unless a player is interfered with in the End Zone. Also allow players on both sides to hand check more all over the field as long as movement on the ball is not being restricted. Those kind of changes would eliminate most of the need to make catastrophic hits to dislodge the ball. Because rules allowing catastrophic yardage gains from a PI penalty would be eliminated. Catastrophic 30-80 yard penalties are simply ridiculous for any kind of play. And no fair analog exists on the defensive side. It allows Offensive coaches to actually program fake interference acting & moves into the offensive scheme. Thus severely compromising integrity of NFL Officials.

  9. About bloody time!

    I have asked this question so many times before, and have never received a satisfactory answer.

    How the NFL or and League can allow a possible officiating error of such magnitude not be challengeable is a complete joke! Games can be lost when a receiver initiates contact with a defender, but the defender gets called for interference, moving the offense into field goal range.

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