Published on October 18, 2009 12:31 PM by dbo.
Yesterday’s ‘Riders — Stamps contest probably wore out a few rulebooks as well as hearts with some rare calls and back-and-forth play. Luckily we have the rulebook online for those that don’t carry around a dog-eared copy of the most recent CFL rulebook. Here are the supporting rules for the calls in question.
No call on possible face-mask on #83 Saskatchewan Andy Fantuz
Covered by Rule 7 — Fouls & Penalties, Section 2 — Major Fouls, Article 3 — Unnecessary Roughness, point (e). A judgment call, I don’t believe this was missed, but because there was a lack of grasping, it was not called. You may claim there have been other instances less severe called, but when it comes down to judgment of an official on a rule that is not as black as white as offside, there is going to be incidents that are called and not called from game to game. The human element is involved and that brings an added dimension to the game.
Unnecessary Roughness (overtime call on #97 Saskatchewan - John Chick)
Covered by Rule 7 — Fouls & Penalties, Section 2 — Major Fouls, Article 3 — Unnecessary Roughness, points (a) and (i). This is a judgment call and by the wording of these items, well within reason. Burris’ attempt to stand before falling the second time did introduce a slight question as to whether he would be considered to be advancing the ball or not. Still, I believe the call was within the bounds of reason and does not indicate a problem with the quality of officiating.
Pyramiding (overtime call on #91 Calgary - Tearrius George)
Covered by Rule 7 — Fouls & Penalties, Section 1 — Illegal Tactics, Article 3 — Pyramiding. Yes, pyramiding does not distinguish between opposition players and teammates. Rarely called because it rarely occurs. Rules are created to prevent illegal tactics, not catch them.
Yes, Calgary can return the ball for two points as convert attempts are live plays for 1 or 2 points either way. They could have ended the play and avoided any risk and won the game (ignoring the penalty). The convert attempt will not be attempted on a winning touchdown in overtime.
I get that people are upset and emotional after games, but posting on sites and forums across the Internet the clichéd reaction that the CFL will never compete with the NFL because of its poor officiating and other such statements is actually damaging to the image of the CFL. Many will still believe their team was screwed after reading these rules and that is fine. Disparaging the league of your team actually hurts both when many are trying to build on the recent growth of the CFL. Image is one thing the league is fighting and claims that the league and it’s officiating is secondary are damaging and stay out there forever. Stick to arguing the calls and interpret the wording of the rule with the play as it happened (remembering it is a judgment call and judgments differ), but keep the over-reactionary run-downs of the toughest job in football to private conversations.
Still frustrated by the tie? Sure, everyone would like a winner be declared, but those four series, with scoring that occurred very quickly, took about another 30 minutes to play. There are considerations for broadcasters and fans when trying to come to an outcome. Hopefully the CFL will consider some overtime rule adjustments in the future to address this and other concerns for overtime in the playoffs.