Glen Johnson toured the CFL for the third straight time this spring where he discussed the changes in the rules with the coaching staff and members of the media team.
The discussions in the past brought about lots of changes but at least they had a chance to talk. Over the years, some of the changes have involved allowing coaches to challenge interference calls or non calls, though at some point they wanted two point converts to be automatically reviewed which didn’t happen but at least the boss of the Canadian Football League heard them out.
Johnson, who was a former referee before he became the League’s senior vice president, football, thinks the officiating has been fine. During a stop at Regina, he said: “We’re innovating for good reason. With the player safety stuff, as we learn more, it’s all about education and it’s all about evolution. The more we learn, the more we can change and I think it’s the same with the rest of the game.”
The boss added that the game was a complicated one, even as it was incredibly simple too. He says he wants people to understand and enjoy the simplicity. The past season, the rule book didn’t have much tinkering. In the 2014 season, the coaches were given the right to seek reviews on defensive pass interference, one that was a major change. Also just before the 2015 campaign took off, the league changed the rules of illegal contact, this forced defensive backs and receivers to change their methods within five yards of the line of scrimmage. The line of scrimmage was even moved back to the 25-yard line for one point converts. For two point converts it was moved up to the three yard line.
The changes have been rampant and some fans have complained that they have not been able to keep up with the changes but Johnson feels good about the changes this off-season.