Published on August 12, 2009 10:17 PM by dbo.
The controversy has died down from last Friday’s missed offside player call on a dribbled ball (see 1:41) in the Saskatchewan at BC game as everyone looks forward to the upcoming week. A few thoughts from the whole situation:
- Traffic spiked last weekend on CFLdb as it does every weekend, but this call brought us our best weekend ever as searches for dribbled ball drove traffic to the site.
- The rules surrounding a dribbled ball are not clear in my opinion. Some searchers had problems finding the applicable section they were looking for due to the search function directing to the Statistical Scoring page for a Dribbled Ball when the term is found in the page title (I’m going to fix that). For the record, a dribbled ball is defined in Rule 5, Section 1, Article 5. This is where the penalty for being touched by an offside player is defined. Rule 5, Section 4 makes it clear that No Yards does not apply to a dribbled ball.
- Regarding Saskatchewan’s lack of challenge on the play, it is not clear to me whether onside players on a dribbled kick is a reviewable play. The Reviewable Plays c(4) section states onside players on a kick is reviewable, but no where in the Instant Replay guide is a dribbled ball mentioned. Adding dribbled ball to that section would ensure the clarity of the rule.
- There has been much mention of the fact the CFL admitted the call was missed, but I am disappointed that they did not publish something official, like from Director of Officiating Tom Higgins.
- Glen Suitor (and the whole TSN crew) totally missed the call. I was watching on TV and was immediately calling for an offside player and checked the rulebook to confirm. Yet in all the delay, no one on TSN could find the rule and look at the replay for that aspect. More disappointingly, Suitor explains himself and instead of “I didn’t know the rule” we get some finger pointing — it wasn’t just us, the referees missed it! Ken Miller missed it! Tom Higgins missed it! This isn’t the first time I have questioned a TSN crew’s knowledge of the rulebook or their explanation of it. They need to read it at least twice a year so they know what page to turn to when something happens. Instead of repeating themselves over and over (“It’s legal to kick the ball in the CFL“), look at every aspect of the play.