Not all plays are reviewable, according to the Guiding Principles identified on the previous page. The specific kinds of plays that are reviewable are:

  1. Plays governed by Sideline, Goal line, End Zone and Dead Ball Line:
    1. Scoring plays, including a runner breaking the plane of the goal line.
    2. Pass complete / incomplete / intercepted at sideline, goal line, sideline in goal, and dead ball line.
    3. In, or out of bounds ruling on a ball carrier / receiver.
    4. In, or out of bounds related to last touching / recovery of loose ball.
    5. Forward progress on a third down play, relating to first down.
  2. Passing Plays:
    1. Pass ruled complete / incomplete / intercepted in the field of play.
    2. Touching of a forward pass by an ineligible receiver.
    3. Touching of a forward pass by a defensive player (makes all players eligible).
    4. Quarterback (Passer) forward pass or fumble.
    5. Illegal forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage.
    6. Onside / Offside pass beyond the line of scrimmage.
    7. Forward pass or onside pass thrown behind the line of scrimmage.
  3. Other Detectable Situations:
    1. Ball carrier ruled down by contact.
    2. Fumble prior to ruling down by contact
    3. Touching of a kick.
    4. Onside players on a kick.
    5. Where a turnover is the direct result of a major foul which was not penalized

      (e.g. clothesline which caused a fumble, face mask on a tackle when a fumble occurs)

      Note: The reviewable aspect of this play is that the alleged major foul was the primary cause of the turnover. If there was no change of possession, this play is not reviewable.


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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