On a kick off, until the ball is legally in possession, the only reviewable aspects are whether the ball is legally touched and who touched first, or last, before going out of bounds.
On running plays there are four basic situations which are reviewable:
There are a number of situations where a pass play is reviewable, including the following major categories:
if it is ruled as a fumble and the offence successfully challenges the play as an incomplete pass; if the correct ruling is incomplete pass, the ball shall be ruled incomplete with downs continuing.
Plays that are reviewable primarily involve:
Most plays involving the goal line and the end zone are reviewable.
Field goals and extra points kick plays are not reviewable.
Plays Involving Offside Passes Or Forward Passes Made After Crossing The Line Of Scrimmage
Where a pass is thrown in a forward or offside direction, and is not a legal forward pass
Instant replay can be used for timing, downs and distance only in conjunction with a reviewable play.
Situations involving the clock; penalty administration; spotting the ball other than for first down; etc. are not reviewable.
When reviewing a play, the Referee may change the ruling on any reviewable aspect of the play.
Penalties which are created as a direct result of the change in ruling may be applied even though a flag had not been thrown, and penalties that were called during the play may be cancelled as a direct result of the change in ruling.
A penalty which occurred after the ball was ruled dead by replay review will not be applied, unless it is a Major Foul.
When the Referee changes the ruling based on an aspect of the play other than what was challenged, the challenging team retains their challenge and is not charged a time out.
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Content compiled and entered by Vern Heath and Josh Oubadia
Special thanks to George Black, Shawn Coates, Glen Johnson and André Proulx
The CFL Official Rule Book is published annually by the Canadian Football League. Any inquiries regarding the CFL Official Playing Rules may be directed to George Black at firstname.lastname@example.org.