Once a play has been reviewed by the Command Centre, there are two possible outcomes:

The ruling on the field stands. This occurs when there is sufficient evidence to support the original ruling on the field or there is no indisputable evidence to overturn the ruling made on the field.

The ruling on the field is changed. This occurs when the Replay Official has indisputable visual evidence that the ruling should be changed.

The Replay Official will correct the game clock to what the clock should read based on the outcome of the challenge.

Prior to the 3 minute warning of each half, the clock will start on the Referee’s ready for play signal, with a full 20 second clock.

After the 3 minutes warning of each half, the 3 minute timing rules will apply. The clock will start at the prescribed time depending on how the previous play ended taking into account the final outcome of the play after the review.

NOTE - Standard Reviewable Rulings

The following are examples of rulings which are reviewable under this category

Scoring as defined in Rule 3

  • Whether a player has possession of ball in opponent's goal area
  • Whether a field goal or kicked convert travels between the uprights and over the crossbar
  • Whether a kicked ball goes dead in opponent's goal area
  • Whether a player with possession of ball goes dead in own goal area
  • Whether a field goal or convert attempt scores or is missed


  • Whether a pass is complete, incomplete or intercepted
  • Who recovers a loose ball in field of play or goal area
  • Whether a fumbled ball is recovered immediately
  • Whether a ball carrier fumbles or is down with contact, out of bounds or scores
  • Whether a ball carrier was down with contact when the play has been allowed to continue
  • Whether a pass is forward or onside
  • Whether a passer has passed or fumbled the ball

Touching of the Ball that is Not in Possession of a Player

  • Whether a forward pass is touched by a defensive player
  • Whether a forward pass is touched by an illegible receiver *
  • Whether a kicked ball has been touched by a player called for contacting the kicker
  • Who and where all kicked balls are first touched *
  • Who last touched a loose ball before it goes out of bounds

Boundary Line Rulings

  • Whether ball carrier stepped on sideline if not ruled out of bounds on field
  • Whether kick from scrimmage went out of bounds in flight *
  • Whether a player gains possession of a kick in bounds or out of bounds
  • Whether a player participates illegally on a play – illegal participation *
  • Whether a player has legally substituted – illegal substitution *

Other Situations

  • Whether a pass is onside or offside
  • Whether a player is onside or offside on kicks from scrimmage, open field kicks or dribbled balls *
  • Whether a passer is behind or beyond the line of scrimmage on a forward pass *
  • Whether two forward passes occur on the same play *
  • Whether a 1st down had been gained on a 3rd down attempt
  • Whether the ball carrier fumbled the ball prior to forward progress being ruled on the field
  • Whether a turnover occurs as a direct result of an uncalled major foul during the tackle or attempted tackle *
  • Whether a Team A player commits Illegal Interference on a player attempting to field a kick off *

The Standard Reviewable Rulings identified above with an asterisk (*) may result in a penalty being found and applied which was not called on the field during play, or one that was called being nullified.


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Publication Credits

Content compiled and entered by Jeff Harbin and Andre 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 Darren Hackwood, Senior Director of Officiating at Any inquiries regarding CFL Statistical Scoring Rules may be directed to Steve Daniel, Senior Director of Game Information and Statistics at