CFL Kicks Around Rule Changes

The convert would be less automatic, receivers would have more space, and the game would speed up.

Those are the projected outcomes if rules changes proposed today by the Canadian Football League’s Rules Committee are approved later this Spring by its Board of Governors.

“We have sought to be innovative while protecting the integrity of the game with a focus on player safety,” said Glen Johnson, the CFL’s Vice-President of Officiating and its representative on the Rules Committee.

“We believe we are recommending to our Board of Governors responsible ways to improve the tempo and flow of the game, reduce the number of stoppages including penalties, increase opportunities for scoring and excitement, and simplify our rules.”

The Rules Committee is recommending modifying the convert that follows a touchdown.

A kick for a single point, which now comes from the 12-yard line, would come instead from the 32-yard line.

Last year, 99.4 per cent of kicks for a single point following a touchdown were successful. For field goal attempts from between 31 and 33 yards, 81 per cent were successful.

In fact, there have only been 24 converts missed in 15 seasons, a frequency of just once in every 232 attempts or 47 games.

Under the proposal, a kicked convert that is wide would remain live and can be run back for a two-point score.

If a team opts to run or pass the ball into the end zone for a two point convert following a touchdown, the ball would be scrimmaged from the three-yard line, instead of the current five-yard line, which may entice more coaches to “go for two”.

Last year, there were only 23 two-point convert attempts, and seven, or 30 per cent, were successful.