It was announced today that the CFL is considering a few rule changes for the upcoming season, most notably the ability for coaches to challenge pass interference calls if they have the challenges to do so.
Football purists are balking at the consideration, saying that it will slow the game down even more, and that the officials should be trusted with what comes down to a judgment call.
Our friend over at CFLDaily.ca, Tyler Bieber brings up a solid point in saying that educating officials is the key to fixing the issue. There is no question that should be a major goal of the CFL and certainly already is on many levels. This doesn’t solve the issue of human error, however.
We can talk about CFL officiating all we want and I’m sure we will continue to do so as fans and analysts of the game. But I’ll be the first to admit that these guys get it right a lot more than they get it wrong. They all make mistakes, some more than others, and that’s the reason that video replay was brought in. Human error is something that we will never get rid of, it’s simply not possible. But with the technology we have today, we can at least try to reduce the amount of times it has an impact on the game. After all, the age old saying is “may the best team win,” not “may the most fortunate team win.”
Of course video review doesn’t always seem to get it right either, as we have seen over the years, but I with a penalty where the punishment can have such a big impact on the game like pass interference; I think it’s a great idea and one that should at least be explored.
Some fans are saying it will slow the game down, but I don’t see that. Coaches will still only have so many challenges per game at their disposal. If they choose to use it on a questionable pass interference call, so be it. Presumably it would only be an option if a flag was thrown on the play, not to determine if one should have been.
Others have suggested that reviews should not be applicable to penalty calls, that these calls are judgments on the part of the officials. If that’s the case then we may as well get rid of reviews on fumbles as well and just go with the call made on the field. Views get impaired, mistakes are made…it happens.
I’ve seen too many games where a pass interference call has decided the game, and many times the infraction was highly disputable.
Reviewing pass interference would be a bold move for sure but if it ensures he right call is made, what’s the harm in that?