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Published on August 6, 2014 10:10 AM by dbo.
Getting caught up after returning from brief vacation. I want to comment on the “officiating is terrible” statements referencing the onside kick in Saturday’s game, with the belief the call should have been made correctly on the field immediately.
The Referee behind the line of scrimmage is responsible for making the determination whether a player is onside or not. The Field Judge is responsible for calling No Yards. The Field Judge whistles the play dead, calls a touchdown and throws the flag as he should. The play is dead when the offensive team takes possession in the end zone. It is a touchdown with a penalty for No Yards on the play from the Field Judge’s perspective. He has no notion as to whether this player is onside, the kicker or another player.
The Referee, who is standing in the backfield not looking across the field at the kicker/receiver can’t make an easy determination as to whether onside was achieved at the moment of the kick, especially if he is not looking at the onside player but is focussed on the quarterback as he should be. With video review, he doesn’t make that guess and without seeing the player onside, he is assumed offside. While Rick Campbell threw his challenge flag, my understanding was this was not a coaches challenge, but the automatic review of a scoring play by the command centre. Upon reviewing the video, it was easy to determine that Collins was onside and was eligible to recover the ball without giving 5-yards to the returner.
Why should Ottawa have to tell the Referee what they are planning so he is looking for the right thing? The element of surprise is key to the play. The system worked as it should. This is the reason why video review was adopted, after Matt Dunigan’s Stampeders lost a game in 2004 on a missed onside call (the position of the Referee makes the call difficult). You wanted video review to solve these issues, it is naive to make statements about poor officiating when everyone did their job exactly as required and the end result was correct.