The NFL was willing to expand replay this week, a tectonic change in rules for a league that traditionally moves slowly if at all.
But they’ve been doing this north of the border for five years, and Canada hasn’t fallen apart — or grown old waiting for reviews.
John Kryk of the Toronto Sun provides some numbers for CFL replays of pass interference, and it’s clear that the process isn’t burdensome.
During the 2018 CFL season (86 games, including playoffs), there were 71 coaches challenges, and 45 of those were for defensive pass interference. Of that sum, 22 of the challenges were successful (21 for adding the penalty and one for removing a flag thrown on the field).
There were just six challenges for offensive pass interference, and two were successful (both for adding the foul after the fact).
Over the last five years, 41 percent of all pass interference challenges have been successful.
The CFL has a slightly different set of rules for replay review. Since 2017, coaches are only allowed one per game, and they’re using 0.88 per game. Prior to that change, they were using 2.22 per game.
And while many have worried about lengthening games (even though the number of total challenges hasn’t changed, just the scope of what can be challenged), that hasn’t been the case.
In 2017, CFL games averaged two hours and 50 minutes. Last season, games averaged 2:51.
If the NFL could enact their system as efficiently — and most importantly, get calls right — it will be a huge success.