Replay Needs To Change… Again

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Replay Needs To Change… Again

Postby jazzace » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:17 pm

Readers of this Board may recall that I am generally opposed to the use of replay on the grounds that it changes the way the referees call the game (and not for the better). I am resigned to the fact that replay is here to stay for the near term, but either the way it is administered needs to change or the people in Toronto need to be replaced.

There have been a number of problems during the season, but the 5+ minute wait in -20 °C weather today was inexcusable. The bigger problem was that the people in Toronto took that long to make an educated guess. Cates said to TSN that he was downed by contact (and I have no reason to doubt him) but no replay showed the ball when he first made contact with the ground, so there was no conclusive evidence and the call on the field should have stood.

Before replay came in, I think every officiating crew would have called Cates downed by contact on the field on that play. Now, officials let the play go on and then tell us after the fact that they have decided that the play should have been over earlier (or not). I watched the CIS games this weekend and I really preferred the lack of replay; the officials were decisive (and a couple times clearly wrong) and the flow of play was excellent. CFL officials should go back to calling the game that way, even if replay stays.

The second issue is that the Toronto replay officials all through the season have given up on maintaining the ruling on the field if the evidence was not conclusive. They instead seemed to try to "get it right." Either they should just admit that they do this or they should adhere to the rule as the League wrote it. There were some real headscratchers around Labour Day that were just plain wrong by rule. If it is Jake Ireland manning the booth in Toronto as TSN has suggested, it's time to replace him with someone like Ken Lazaruk or Dave Yule, guys who had excellent careers as head referees and were not nearly as controversial as Ireland.

Replay changed the course of the West Final — maybe not the eventual result — but it would have been a different game without it. Replay needs to change or get a whole lot better.

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Re: Replay Needs To Change… Again

Postby BCRiderFan » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:42 pm

The replay showed his elbow was clearly down before the ball came out, but yes, they should have come to that conclusion much faster.

The replay is getting better than it has been the past few years, but it is working as the correct calls are getting made, as was the case today.

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Re: Replay Needs To Change… Again

Postby iso_55 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:20 pm

To me, it was inconclusive & therefore the call should never had been overturned.
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Re: Replay Needs To Change… Again

Postby Ravi Ramkissoonsingh » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:44 pm

iso_55 wrote:To me, it was inconclusive & therefore the call should never had been overturned.


I too thought that it was inconclusive, Al, but somebody posted a screenshot on esksfans.com that showed that Cates' elbow was indeed down just before the ball came out. BTW, I had no problem with them taking a bit longer to review what was a close call in a critical game. Most of the time, the replay system works quickly (much quicker than the NFL's system) and quite well.
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Re: Replay Needs To Change… Again

Postby jazzace » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:05 am

Ravi Ramkissoonsingh wrote:I too thought that it was inconclusive, Al, but somebody posted a screenshot on esksfans.com that showed that Cates' elbow was indeed down just before the ball came out


The screenshot (http://www.thewritingwizard.net/images/play2.jpg) is a little blurry and the red circles added obscure some things, so I can't tell for certain, but my recollection from other angles was that he still had a foot or toe on the ground when the ball could be seen. If he still had a foot on the ground, the fact that his arm had touched would not have caused him to be downed by contact. Also, you cannot deduce whether he has already lost control of the ball by showing the frame out of context. The fact that we can see so much of the ball might infer that he had already lost the handle.

Again, I'm not saying that the eventual ruling wasn't correct (I have no reason to doubt Cates). I'm suggesting that the evidence was insufficient.

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Re: Replay Needs To Change… Again

Postby Lerriuqs » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:11 am

jazzace wrote:
Ravi Ramkissoonsingh wrote:I too thought that it was inconclusive, Al, but somebody posted a screenshot on esksfans.com that showed that Cates' elbow was indeed down just before the ball came out


The screenshot (http://www.thewritingwizard.net/images/play2.jpg) is a little blurry and the red circles added obscure some things, so I can't tell for certain, but my recollection from other angles was that he still had a foot or toe on the ground when the ball could be seen. If he still had a foot on the ground, the fact that his arm had touched would not have caused him to be downed by contact. Also, you cannot deduce whether he has already lost control of the ball by showing the frame out of context. The fact that we can see so much of the ball might infer that he had already lost the handle.

Again, I'm not saying that the eventual ruling wasn't correct (I have no reason to doubt Cates). I'm suggesting that the evidence was insufficient.


The part in bold is incorrect. If your forearm touches the ground after contact, you're down just the same as if your knee touches the ground.

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Re: Replay Needs To Change… Again

Postby wfm » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:34 am

I agree that replay needs to change, but my opinion is it ought to draw backwards, be used less, and let most of these decisions be made by the refs as they used to. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but todays technology will eventually become tomorrows, and that will certainly, in time, make replay systems so much more intrusive (tiny flying cameras?) that the league, and all sports leagues, will begin to replace human refs with cameras.

It's not that a camera can't stop the action and show us what happened, but when things get to the "well, the tip of his elbow is clearly touching that tallest blade of grass, so he's down and it was no fumble." or even the opposite conclusion, the game becomes way too mechanical.

Humans make mistakes, but so do cameras. In the case of refs it's judgement errors mostly, for cameras its angle, lighting and focus. All in all, I prefer to live with human errors. Refs make instant decisions, the camera system interferes with the flow of the game, and adds nothing to the enjoyment when you're sitting in the stands waiting for technology and television to tell you who won.

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