Before most teams hit the field, and even before evaluations have commenced ranking new CFL prospects, the Rules committee is required to look at the game and determine if there are rule modifications that can be made. For a rule to be changed, the modification must enhance the game in some way; be it making the game more exciting, or making the game safer for players. This committee feels that the proposed change this year accomplishes these goals.
Among the rules being affected, relying more on instant replay in response to scoring plays, and circumstances making on-field participation illegal are both subject to change. The push this year appears to be in hopes of making the game a safer place for players as well as eliminating controversial plays.
The change in video replay for 2012 is aimed at ensuring that all variables are taken into account with regards to plays that result in scoring. Regardless if the play is a touchdown, field goal, convert, single or safety touch, the Command center in charge of the respective game will be responsible of reviewing the play. The main goal of this decision is to eliminate the possibility of controversial plays affecting the outcome of games in the 2012 season.
The second and more interesting set of rule modifications pertain specifically to player safety. In the 2012 season, should the helmet of a ball-carrier ever come off the play will be blown dead. Furthermore, should a player not carrying the ball lose their helmet, their participation in the play becomes illegal. Any player continuing play after losing a helmet shall be penalized 10 yards. Conversely, any player that illegally hits an “inactive” opposing player shall be penalized 15 yards. In the wake of concussion awareness, the CFL aims to limit any potential hazard facing its players.
The Rules Committee is made up of CFL coaches, general managers, team presidents, officials and a representative of the CFL Players’ Association.