CFL pass interference replay hasn’t been a problem

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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.

11 responses to “CFL pass interference replay hasn’t been a problem

  1. Yea but the CFL doesn’t have the haters up there like there are in the NFL. You know the guys that can’t wait for something questionable to happen and then show how the most popular professional sport on the continent don’t have a clue what they are doing.

  2. I dont have time to get into it, but from my experience watching, it was terrible. It made the game unwatchable, super frustrating at times. You would think you watched a trial not a football game. Some times they had 2 challenges back to back on the same play by either team. Complete horse crap.

    The problem is also when they look at a play in super slow motion everything looks like PI so now nobody knows how to play coverage defense anymore.

    The proof Im not exagerating is the commissioner took the challenges down from 2 to 1 per game per team, especialy because of this.

  3. As a Canadian, it’s obvious you haven’t actually WATCHED a CFL game.

    CFL pass interference rules (Rule 6, Section 4, Article 9) are COMPLETELY different than the one used in the NFL. With only 3 downs to get 10yds, the passing rules are logically more weighted towards offense. You can’t even face guard (ie hand screening) the receiver as that’s a penalty. Receiver also get a running start BEFORE the ball is snapped.

    With our rules preventing most contact, it’s easy for a replay official to decide quickly.

  4. The problem is not so much lengthening of games, but the fact that one particular penalty can be challenged and not others. Why? You either have to make all penalties reviewable or none of them. This half-measure garbage is only going to create more issues. So, an OL can take down a DL on the same play that a DB barely touches a WR and the Offense gets 50 yards because the officials didn’t call either penalty? This is just one more annoying overreaction by the league to one play because the beloved Saints were affected and cried all offseason.

  5. Expanding a replay system that often fails to correct obvious errors and takes an inordinate amount of time to execute is doomed to more failure, never mind the mind numbing delay and interruption to what some of us still tune in for; competition on the field of play.

  6. The CFL is unwatchable, period. Replay review has nothing to do with the terrible product they put on the field. Between the rouge, no yards, and the ridiculous running starts that the receivers get, it is barely a reasonable hand-drawn facsimile of football.

  7. CFL is not the NFL. Even Canadians don’t watch it with much passion. Miss calls don’t trigger the same kind of out cry. If the NFL is going to copy anything it would be the lack of whining.

  8. The cfl has some good rules and not so good rules. As for the PI rule, if the nfl institutes it like the cfl, this rule will work. Yes, referee’s can’t call everything correctly but if this rule comes in properly this will make the nfl better.

    For all the cfl haters, tell me 2 rules that isn’t good. If you know it, say it, as most of you probably haven’t seen a game.

  9. If the refs could just get the calls right the first time, they wouldn’t need review.

  10. This is such a horrible idea and if left in place, it will result in a myriad of new bad rules to compensate for this bad rule.

    Just picture this in the last 2 minutes, with a running clock, teams trying to snap as soon as possible and the immense pressure of the replay official trying to make an instant decision on whether or not to stop the play to look at it or let it be. Add in offensive and defensive players enhancing any contact at all to try to get a review. And what about the automatic clock runoff like what happened to Detroit after a review when they lost the chance to run another play and the game just ended?

    The next step will almost certainly be the thought that since PI is review-able, why not…… The NFL should have just admitted their Saints mistake, vowed to get better and stopped the use of all-star crews in the playoffs.

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