The Rouge: Should the CFL make pass interference reviewable?

Ben Fisher, TSN Digital
3/19/2014 11:58:40 AM
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We've seen it a million times. A receiver doesn't make the catch on a passing play and instantly motions to the ref – and everybody else – for a pass interference flag.

Sometimes he gets the call, more often he doesn't; but if the CFL's new proposed rule change – making pass interference calls reviewable – is passed, he'll at least have a chance to be vindicated for his protestation.

The league announced it is considering making pass interference, both called and potential, subject to a coach's challenge, with the potential rule change to be voted on by the Rules Committee Thursday.

The rule change would lead to a more accurately called game, but is it worth the trouble?

Any fan knows that pass interference is questionable on a large number of passing plays, and at breakneck speeds it's not always easy to determine. While a video review would likely lead to the correct call, it would also slow down the pace of the game.

It's probable each coach could find at least two passing plays – his allotted number of challenges per game – to throw the red flag on per game. And if he's correct in his first two challenges, that's another PI call to contest each game. That time adds up.

Making subjective calls reviewable is an issue as well. While fans of the losing team would surely be on board, taking too much power away from the refs is not ideal. Removing a ref's judgment and calling pass interference strictly by the book could lead to a lot more infractions, making a defensive back's job even harder.

It could open the door to more subjective calls getting the video review treatment as well. If pass interference can be challenged by coaches, why not holding calls, offside calls, or roughing the passer?

Thursday's Rules Committee meeting will also see blocking rules reviewed, head shot rules clarified, and changes to scoring rules clarified, but the pass interference proposal is the big one.

The Rouge asks: Should the CFL make pass interference subject to video review?

You've heard what we've had to say, now it's your turn. As always, it's Your! Call.

Ryan Phillips (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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