Friday 12 February 2010

Overtime in the CFL

The CFL, which I believe to be one of the most fan-interactive leagues in North America, is asking its fans to make suggestions on a new overtime format. If you are interested in making your voice heard you can go to the CFL's website and send in your suggestions. The deadline is February 15, 2010.

Last season the league asked fans to make rule-change suggestions, and the CFL adopted four new rules, most notably the allowance for the "Wildcat" offense that was all the rage at the time thanks to the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

This season the league has specifically asked fans for input on how to improve overtime. I must say that I tend to view the CFL's version of overtime rather positively. Unlike the NFL, which goes to sudden death, the CFL stipulates that both teams get the ball on offense with the opportunity to score. The system in place is almost identical to that of the NCAA with one minor exception, which is also the first thing I'd change about the CFL system: TIES!

In the NCAA, overtime continues until there is a winner. The CFL allows for two possessions for each team, max. In the NCAA, after two possessions the teams keep playing, except after any TD the offense must go for two points, instead of kicking the traditional one point. I would suggest that this should be adopted in the CFL. No one likes ties, and this would be a great way to get rid of them.

The second way I'd change overtime is instead of placing the ball at the 35-yard line, which basically guarantees a field goal, have the offense start from the 45- or 55-yard line. This way points aren't guaranteed, and the offense actually has to work for the points.

If the league chooses to keep the rules exactly as constituted currently, I will not be upset. At least in the CFL each team is provided with the opportunity on offense to score a field goal or touchdown; it's not a coin flip that decide who has the chance to win. The CFL overtime system is at least fair, and with these minor tweaks that I have submitted to the league I believe the CFL would then be able to boast about having the BEST overtime system in all of sports.

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