The Head Coach will indicate the challenge prior to the legal snap of the ball on the next play by stepping on the field and throwing a flag towards the nearest Official, and informing the Official of the nature of the challenge.

That Official will inform the Referee of the challenge, who will then communicate with the Official(s) who covered the play, to obtain the detail of what happened, including their ruling, on the play.

The Referee will confirm the nature of the challenge with the Head Coach and then make the appropriate announcement that either:

"the play is not reviewable" or "(team name) has challenged the ruling of "_______"" on the field.

The Referee will proceed to the sideline monitor where the Replay Field Assistant will have an audio headset and the field video booth ready for the review.

The Referee shall be equipped with a headset and shall be in audio communication with the Replay Official located in the League Supervisor booth.

The Replay Official will cue up the most appropriate video clips available and assist the Referee with review of the video as required.

The Referee may direct the Replay Official on the playback of each replay available e.g. "run that in slow-motion"; "run that replay again"; etc.

The Referee has a maximum of 90 seconds inside the field video booth to make a decision. After 80 seconds, the Replay Field Assistant will notify the Referee that only 10 seconds remain in the review time. After 90 seconds, he will inform the Referee that the allowable time is up and the Referee will terminate his video review.

The Referee will then return to the field and make an announcement.

"After review, the ruling on the field stands etc." or

"After review, (appropriate wording......) the challenge is upheld".

The Officials on the field are responsible for the down, distance and scrimmage line of the previous play, which can be confirmed through the Replay Technician in the League Supervisor booth.

Time will not be put back onto the game clock as a result of a successful Replay challenge. On the last play of a half if time runs out during a play that is subsequently reviewed, the half is over, regardless of the result of the review.


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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