Meet the newly appointed Rules Committee Chair, Kelsey Johnson: With over 30 years of football officiating experience Kelsey is currently working alongside Ron Hallock and will officially take over the role after the completion of the 2020 Rule Book (read more …)
Applications for the 2020 Tom Cheney Award and the
Inaugural 2020 Michael Groleau Award of Merit.
The CFOA 2020 Conference has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional details will be forthcoming.
Q: Team A passer crosses the LOS and throws an illegal forward pass to Team A 80, but B 20 commits Pass interference on A80. Can we have pass interference on an Illegal FP?
A: Yes we have two fouls on the play: Illegal Forward Pass and DPI.
Q: Team A passer throws a screen pass to A30, who throws a second forward pass to A80, but B 20 again commits Pass interference on A 80. Can we have pass interference on a second FP?
A: Yes we have two fouls on the play: Illegal Forward Pass and DPI.
Q: Team A passer throws a forward pass to A80. While running his route A80 had stepped out of bounds to avoid B20. in a trail position B20 commits pass interference again on A80. Can we have Pass interference on a potential Illegal Participation?
A: Yes both fouls should be called.
Q: Team A passer throws a forward pass to A78 (who did not declare eligible). Team B 44 commits Pass interference on A 78, resulting in an incomplete pass. Can we have pass interference on ineligible receiver? Or is it just a foul on Team A:
A: You cannot call PI on an ineligible receiver
Q: Would grabbing the front of the inside of the shoulder pads or collar, and dragging a player down (or twisting him around) be defined as a horse collar?
A: If there is a sudden change of direction of the ball carrier then we have a foul.
East-West Bowl: OUA Official Development Clinic – May 10 & 11, 2019
by Dave Hutton, OUA RIC
This year’s U Sports East-West Bowl was held at Carleton University. While the players were in town from Tuesday for the CFL combine to the gameday on Saturday, officials were invited to attend a training session on Friday evening, pre-game meeting on Saturday followed by the game Saturday afternoon.
Fourteen (14) officials were invited. The group of eight (8) OUA officials was supplemented by six (6) prospect officials from several associations.
Six (6) supervisors were invited to provide feedback and on-field coaching suggestions to the officiating staff as the game was being played.
The goals for the event were:
- Supervised on-field reps for all officials.
- New positional experience for established OUA officials. (i.e. potential referees new to the role)
- Training & development for the officials and supervisors.
- Performance audition for the prospect officials.
The funding for this event is provided by the Canadian Football League’s Officiating Department. A special thanks to Darren Hackwood and his staff for their support.
OUA Officials: Kevin Lamont, Paul Duncan, Adam Hinks, Andre Papineau, Jayden Robertson, Cameron Franklin, Marc Burelle, Scott Valberg.
OUA Prospect Officials: Andrew Murray, Craig Pearce, Justin Andrews, Craig Trimble, Kevin Collins, Taylor Mickleboro.
OUA Supervisors: Murray Drinkwalter, Kevin Horton, Ross Saunders, Don Ellis, Don Carmichael and Dave Hutton .
From the interpreter
With the release of the 2019 rule changes, questions are coming in fast. Here are a couple of questions:
Q: Rule 4 Sec 5 art 2(d) The way the new ruling is written, a Delayed Knee Block is now permitted by rule. Example Guard A50 initiates contact on B72 at the shoulders, while engaged, Tackle A66 blocks B72 at or below the knees. OR does Rule 7 Sec 3 art 11 come into play or will this rule be removed?
A: The changes to 4-5-2d just increase the size of the “box” where a block below the waist can happen. There are no changes to Delayed Knee Block rule 7-3-11 is still a valid rule and needs to be applied.
Q: Rule 7 Sec 3 art 17, A Blind Side Block occurs when a player moves towards his own dead ball line. At what point is the player considered moving towards their dead ball line? I realize this sounds nit picky but if the hitter is moving at 90 degree to the sideline would this be considered towards his dead ball line since he is not going towards their opponents end.
A: While the wording for Blind side has changed to say move back towards dead ball line, let us all remember we are there for one reason – player safety. Let’s make sure those big blow up hits are being called.
Q: For blindside hits, the requirement to lead with the hands is no longer needed?
A: Correct, we removed any requirements. The penalty is now a forceable hit.
Referee in chief – Expression of Interest
2019 International Bowl
Due to their excellent performances at last year’s Football Canada Cup, the following officials have been invited to the upcoming International Bowl in Arlington, Texas from Jan 15 – 19:
- Michael Klassen
- Alexandre Bibeau
- Dan Fleischhaker
Team Canada will play Team USA AT&T Stadium on Jan 18 at 4PM.
Congrats, gents! We know you’ll represent us well.
Looking back and looking forward
Dear Fellow Officials,
As the end of 2018 approaches, we start to look back on the year that has passed, and feel thankful for what we have achieved and hopeful for what is around the corner.
2018 was an eventful year. We had a very successful CFOA Biennial Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Not only did we share interesting and practical information, it created a renewed sense of community among officials from coast to coast.
One of our key objectives throughout the year was to improve engagement. Through our new website and social media, we have been able to connect with officials on a regular basis. Inviting groups to participate in the development of the annual CFOA exam has clearly demonstrated the appetite for local associations to get involved.
The upcoming year will be an important one as a number of initiatives will (finally) take shape with your support:
- We have been in discussions with Football Canada and a new streamlined process to (re-) certify Master Facilitators will be introduced in the spring. Until then, we’ll continue to rely on existing MFs for their support.
- Football Canada is expected to officially introduce the new FCOCP in 2020. For the classroom portion, the first part covers the administrative / safety aspects of officiating. The second part will be the practical information. (see diagram below)
- In early 2019, CFOA will be calling for local association’s interest in updating mechanics for 3 / 4-official crew, 5 / 6-official crew. For 7-official mechanics, we will adapt the U Sports mechanics. I am happy to report that CFOA is actively working with FC in crafting their program. Many details are still being worked on and we will continue to seek your input.
- A new system, Locker, will be implemented to register our clinics so that we can begin to establish a consistent set of records. Invitation for online training sessions will be extended in January to MF and those who are interested in becoming MF / F.
- It is my pleasure to inform you that the 2020 CFOA Conference will be held in Calgary. More details to come from the host.
As we celebrate the holiday season, please also take a moment to commemorate those who we lost on and off the field.
Enjoy a safe and peaceful time with your loved ones.
Rule Change Proposals
Football Canada is calling for proposals and deadline is December 31, 2018. Anyone can submit a proposal, ideally through your provincial FOA. The idea is to ensure we minimize submission of the same proposal.
You can access the forms here:
The 54th Vanier Cup
Usually sequels don’t live up to expectations but many believe this weekend’s Vanier Cup between Western and Laval will buck the trend and more. Same two teams with the same two quarterbacks, competing in the country’s most electric U Sports football environment. It’ll take a great crew to manage the game appropriately.
Please congratulate the following officials for being selected to work the 54th Vanier Cup:
R: Walter Berry (Montreal, QC)
U: Rob Hendry (Regina, SK)
FJ: Yvan Gatien (Granby, QC)
SJ : Barclay Easton (Ottawa, ON)
BJ: Kristian Strickland (NB)
LJ: Kent Gauthier (Saskatoon, SK)
HL: Adam Hinks (Hamilton, ON)
Congrats and enjoy the experience!
U Sports Final Four
Following last weekend’s conference championships, this Saturday Laval will host StFX (12:30PM) in the Uteck Bowl and Western will host Saskatchewan (4:00PM) in the Mitchell Bowl.
With inter-conference competition, the games will feature mixed crews from the participating conferences. Here are the officials who have been selected by their respective conference for these assignments:
R: Stéphane Roy (Quebec)
U: Barry DeBaie (Nova Scotia)
FJ: Lawrence Olivier (Quebec)
SJ : Laurent Dubreuil (Quebec)
BJ: Patrick Fairweather (New Brunswick)
LJ: Chris Wall (New Brunswick)
HL: Danny Roy (Quebec)
R: Kevin Mickleboro (Hamilton)
U: Darryl Hern (Calgary)
FJ: Brian Greig (Hamilton)
SJ: Dave Podetz (Lakeshore)
BJ: Jim Carlisle (Winnipeg)
LJ: Mike Ciona (Saskatoon)
HL: Keith Medeiros (Lakeshore)
Standby: Henry Chiu (Toronto)
Continuing our tradition, each member on the Bowl and Vanier Crews will be presented a CFOA pin.
Congrats on the assignment and have fun Saturday.
Conference Championship Weekend
In U Sports Football, all four conferences will have their championships this Saturday. Officials from each provincial panel have all worked hard and traveled long distances since August, hoping to earn a chance to officiate the finals. And here are the officials with the honour this Saturday:
R: Kevin Baird (Lakeshore)
U: Colin Sutherland (Hamilton)
HL: Marc Cobb (Hamilton)
LJ: Keith Medeiros (Lakeshore)
SJ: Bruce Carter (Windsor)
BJ: Barclay Easton (Eastern Ontario – Ottawa)
FJ: Kirk Hayes (Windsor)
Standby: Andre Papineau (Eastern Ontario – Ottawa)
R: J.P. Chorney – Winnipeg – Manitoba FOA
U: Rob Hendry – Regina – Regina FOA
FJ: Iain Cropper – Saskatoon – Saskatoon FOA
BJ: Jim Carlisle – Winnipeg – Manitoba FOA
SJ: Taylor Anderson – Langley, B.C. BCFOA
HL: Dan Mulvihill – Calgary FOA
LJ: – Kent Gauthier – Saskatoon – Saskatoon FOA
R: Greg MacLean, NSFOA
U: Jim Fowler, NBFOA
BJ: Kristian Strickland, NBFOA
SJ: Colin Bawn, NSFOA
HL: Wray Dunn, NBFOA
LJ: Chris Wall, NBFOA
FJ: Vince Williams, NSFOA
R: Brent Young
U: Mario Thivierge
FJ: Lawrence Olivier
BJ: Walter Berry
SJ: Kevin Riopel
HL: Charles Lampron
LJ: Eric Gascon
Congratulations everyone. Have a great game!
High school football will soon begin and some of the coaches may not be familiar with our new rules – safety rule, the targeting rule, etc. Take a proactive approach and help facilitate a rule review session for coaches.
With safety being our priority, here is a reminder that there are two key elements required for Targeting to be called:
- ‘Taking aim’ indicates the hit could have been avoided.
- FORCIBLE contact to the head or neck area, with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder.
There will still be times when players may have helmet to helmet contact. The ones we need to focus on are the forcible contacts that go beyond making a legal tackle, a legal block or playing the ball.
Check out the clips on this site. We hope to add more in the near future.
Fall season officially begins
Hope everyone enjoyed a fantastic Labour Day long weekend.
The arrival of September signals the start of the fall season (though many leagues have already begun) and we would like to share with you some of the recent explanations from the interpreter:
Q: A scenario that happened in the CFL game in July where a returner stepped on the dead ball line and returned to the EZ to take possession of the ball.
A: Same application as Loose Ball Interference in EZ – A (kicking team) takes ball at PLS or B10, first down.
Q: A punt bounces and hits B player. The ball bounces 10 yards upfield and another B player falls on it…two scenarios: 1. an offside player jumps on ball; 2. an onside player jumps on ball.
A: Since it’s a bounced punt, the 5-yard penalty will be applied at PBD in this case. In either scenario described, onside or offside player is irrelevant.
According to Rule 6-2-4 – An offside Pass does NOT occur in the following situations:
5) A ball fumbled forward by a ball carrier, or a player attempting to catch a kicked ball or by a player attempting to intercept a lateral pass.
From the Interpreter on two scenarios: Offside Pass in EZ and Loose Ball Interference
Q: Team A convert attempt. The ball is snapped over holder A2’s head as he is about to pick up the ball at the 15 yd line B1 pushes him out of the way and B44 jumps on the ball. The referee calls B1 for LBI. What options should the referee give to the team A captain.
A: Illegal Interference on a loose ball is PF application. On this play, Team A’s option would be:
- Accept the penalty and try the convert again from the 15-yard line
- Let the play stand – convert is no good, next play would be kick-off.
Q: Offside pass – A eligible receiver tips a pass in B EZ in an offside direction and caught by A ineligible. No one knows how the A ineligible got downfield. Is that a TD?
A: Since no one knows how A ineligible is down field you would have to assume he is there legally. By Rule 6-4-6 e) which tells us the pass would be ruled complete at the point where it was tipped. Since that point is in the EZ, Team A has scored a TD.
From the Interpreter: application of 5-yard No Yards penalty…
Q: A punted ball bounces and A is called for no yards. B returns ball for TD. What is the application for the No Yards foul?
A: Normally in the field of play, L5 can be applied at PBT or PBD.
In this case, Team B has the option of taking the play (TD) or the penalty (5 yds at PBT), though the latter option is unlikely.
By taking the TD, the 5-yd penalty does not carry over.
Football is growing in Ontario
On Saturday, June 2 the Quinte Skyhawks JV team kicked off their inaugural season home schedule against the Scarborough Thunder. The Skyhawks are a member of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) and have plans to field a Varsity team in the future.
The crew for the game was: (L to R) Brian Mortimer, Sean Low, Kevin Horton, Andrew Murray, Blair Mitchell, Frank Pryal
(Story and photo provided by Frank Pryal, Kingston FOA)
Presentations from the 2018 CFOA Conference:
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE RULES EDITOR – Walter Berry
Well it is that time of year, the 2018 rule changes are out. The changes this year are mostly minor adjustments with the exception of the new targeting rule:
- Added the definition of a play.
- Clarification when time starts / when stopped as part of the mercy rule.
- Provided for easier management of inappropriately numbered players.
- Redefined line movement to align with what is happening in today’s game.
- Added a new point of application for a kick off being illegally touched.
- Changed the definition of a completed pass so that it is more concise.
- Added targeting towards eliminating hits to the head.
Since targeting is a new rule let us review the key elements required:
- “TARGETING” (taking aim) indicates the hit could have been avoided.
- FORCIBLE contact to the head or neck area, with the helmet, forearm, hand fist, elbow or shoulder.
There will still be times when players may have helmet to helmet contact. The ones we need to focus on are the forcible contacts that go beyond making a legal tackle, a legal block or playing the ball.
If you still have questions on new or old rules do not be hesitate to contact me since this is how we all improve and stay consistent.
Send questions by clicking ‘Contact Us’.
2018 Rule changes and Safety changes
Tom Cheney Award Nomination
As officials, we all know someone who has gone above and beyond in giving back to the officiating. The nomination form for the biennial Tom Cheney award is now available from your provincial rep. Please take some time to nominate someone worthy.
The award will be presented during the CFOA Conference, at the gala dinner on Saturday, May 5.
For additional information, please contact CFOA Execs Barry Debaie
email@example.com or Chad Doran firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s never too early to get back into it…
Partnering with U Sports, the CFL officiating department has been organizing passing game clinics across the country for U Sports officials and prospects.
Leveraging on the 7-on-7 tournaments among university teams in each region, the clinic comprises a classroom component and on-field reps. As officials go through their rotation, current and former CFL officials provide instant feedback and encouragement. Those who participated have found this a valuable exercise as they get ready for the 2018 season.
Clinics were held in Halifax and Toronto recently. Several more are scheduled for western Canada in the coming weeks.
(Photo credit: Dave Hutton, Rob Hand, Henry Chiu)
Notification of CFOA 2018 AGM
Please be advised that the CFOA 2018 AGM will be held on Sunday May 6th (10:30am) at the Cairn Croft Hotel, Niagara Falls (6400 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls, Ontario). All members are welcome to attend but only the provincial representative is allowed to vote at the meeting. For provincial representatives not able to attend, but who wish to have a voice; a proxy form is attached in this email. If submitting a proxy form, it must be returned to email@example.com at least twenty four hours prior to the AGM.
There will be two Executive Board positions open for candidate nominations
1) President – Henry Chiu
2) VP – Nigel Bushe
Both of the members are re-offering for their positions but nominations will also be accepted.
CFOA Executive Nomination Form has been distributed to your provincial rep.
Minutes of the 2016 AGM held in Saskatoon will be circulated at a later time prior to the meeting.
Football Canada Games 2018
Some exciting news about the 3 Football Canada games this summer.
In an effort to provide more opportunities for our officials, each participating province in this year’s Football Canada Cup and the two U16 Challenge has been asked to provide 2 officials. By doubling the out-of-town participation, more officials can now benefit from the high-intensity game experience and learn from your peers and evaluators. The nomination criteria have also been updated to ensure clarity and transparency.
At the same time, those who wish to contribute as an out-of-town RIC, be sure to get the Expression of Interest form from your provincial rep. Return the completed form to Chad Doran (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than March 31st.
On a related note, the provinces that host these games, their PSO are expected to work with the provincial (or local) FOA to appoint a qualified local RIC.
We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge Football Canada’s support and their willingness to work closely with CFOA in all officials-related matter.
His job took him across the country but his love for the game has never wavered
Born in Meaford, Ontario, Terry Kennedy was every active in sport and played everything that his school had to offer – hockey, baseball, basketball and mostly football. Like most young kids during that era, Terry was an avid Toronto Maple Leaf fan and loved the Canadian brand of football.
Terry served on the Royal Canadian Navy and during his posting in Halifax, the flag football game on the Garrison Grounds below Citadel Hill became a weekly ritual. Each year, the enlisted men would play a ‘championship game’ against the officers for the base trophy and bragging rights.
Terry also got into coaching boys, between the ages of 6 and 10, for several seasons. As long as they made an effort and attended practice, they were going to play. These young kids learned about commitment and work ethic from Terry. It was never about wins and losses.
When Terry was posted to Ottawa, he became involved in officiating. He loved happy about staying involved with the sport that captured his heart. When he returned to Halifax, Terry continued officiating with NSFOA and the minor football leagues in the area. With his booming voice, and knowledge of the rules, he quickly rose to the level of “White Hat”.
On the field, Terry was well respected by all. He was quick to help his crews with determining finer points of the rules. He was also a big believer in not calling every minor foul on the field. “The parents didn’t come to see me throw flags. They came to see little Robbie play”. He called all the players “sir” and showed them respect when they were on and off the field.
Due to health issues Terry was forced to give up officiating in 2014 but that didn’t stop him from attending games to see the coaches, the players or supporting the officials.
Terry passed away on September 17th, 2017 after a very brief but acute illness.
Job Posting: OUA Referee-In-Chief
Full Job Description……..
A new football season will soon be upon us. In anticipation of a busy year, the CFOA is launching this site along with a Facebook page. We have a simple objective – to engage more officials across the country quicker. Equally important, we want to create a platform where we can centralize questions and responses regarding rule interpretations.
A number of key events will take place:
- The Biennial conference will be held in Ontario from May 4-6 at the picturesque Niagara Falls. Hosted by Lakeshore FOA, the conference’s theme is ‘Game Changer’- a holistic look at official’s role in football. There is a great lineup of presenters who will share best practices on the technical side as well as other aspects of the game. For details, including discounted flights, please visit: https://cfoa2018.com/. More details will be posted as they become available.
- Announcement will be made at the conference regarding an important recognition in honour of the late CFOA President, Mike Groleau.
- An event schedule for the three marquee games where officials from across the country get to work together: (Nominations for officials and out-of-town RIC will be distributed shortly)
- Football Canada Cup – Calgary, July 15-22
- U16 West – Edmonton, July 6-14
- U16 East – Ontario, July (TBC)
This 2018 season promises to be an eventful year. Let’s have a healthy and productive season.
Determining Catch/No-Catch with smaller Officiating Crews:
Not all officials are awarded the opportunity to work 7 man crews. More do have a favourable combination of circumstances to work 6 man crews. However, the vast majority of amateur football games across the country are officiated by 3 or 4 individuals – the bread and butter of local Associations. Fewer officials mean that they will have to be on the move as plays develop.
Let us assume that a receiver near the sideline or dead ball line jumps for a pass, secures the ball with one foot (or another part of the body) down in bounds before falling out of bounds.
It can be extremely difficult for the official to look at both parts of the catch process at once – the hands to see if the receiver firmly possessed the ball; and feet to see if there was a foot or body part down inbounds with possession.
In smaller crews you may be on an island for the call. Do not look at the hands and then the feet. Try to sense the ball coming in, look at the feet to see if the receiver is inbounds and then look at the hands to decide if there is complete control of the ball. If you focus from hands and then to feet the receiver may already be out of bounds and you missed that the receiver may have actually got a foot down inbounds with possession.
Another mechanic to assist with catch/no-catch is to be as stationary as possible as the ball arrives. As wing officials in smaller crews you are most certainly trailing receivers going away from you. If you make the call while on the run there is a better chance of incorrectly processing the action as your eyes are jiggling – bobble head. With smaller crews, officials will be on the move as the play develops. If possible try to stop as the ball is in the area of the receiver. You do need to be able to stop without sacrificing your ability to officiate the entire play. The actions of the receiver should assist you as to when the ball is coming in.
If you have the opportunity, practice these mechanics at team practices and scrimmages.
A GOLDEN MOMENT TO REMEMBER
Taylor Mickleboro, Hamilton Football Officials’ Association
This past June, I was selected to represent Canada as an official at the Women’s World Championship in Langley, British Columbia. Teams from six countries competed in a total of nine games over the course of seven days, with three matches per game day. The games were fast, high caliber, and hard hitting; these women could play football and they could play it well. I was selected to officiate in four of these games; the most notable being the Gold Medal game between Canada and the United States. I was joined by 16 officials from Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Finland. These officials came prepared and willing to learn from each other to be better officials both on and off the field.
The best way to describe my time in Langley was that I went to an 8-day mechanic/rules camp for officials. Even though the rules and mechanics were not Canadian, I was able to apply what I knew to the experience and adapt my mechanics to meet the requirements of working these games (NCAA rules/IFAF mechanics). I personally felt that I was on equal footing with the international officials, even though they were more familiar and had a better understanding of the specific rules. This opportunity provided me with skills and knowledge that are transferable to the Canadian game, such as moving with a purpose and knowing where I am on the field.
An important part of our game day preparation was our three classroom sessions. We spent approximately 4-6 hours each session watching game film and discussing what mechanics needed to be corrected for upcoming games. In our first classroom session prior to the start of the tournament, we mainly focussed on situational clips and discussed mechanics and rule interpretations since each country had minor adaptations of the mechanics. It was comforting to know that the Canadian officials were not the only ones who had to adapt their mechanics to successfully officiate the games.
My time in Langley was fantastic and the big takeaway was that football is football and the desire to improve as officials are universal, whether you are male or female.
No yards foul 5 yard variety ball in the Team B end zone
Team A committing a 5-yard no-yards foul in Team B’s goal, with Team B subsequently running the ball out of the end zone (but short of the B 20 yard line)
The approved ruling from the Football Canada Rules Interpreter:
1. Accept the no-yards penalty and apply the 5-yards from the B 10 yard line
(since the foul occurred in goal (PBT) ).
Team B – 1st and 10 from the Team B 15 yard line.
2. Accept the no-yards penalty and apply the 5-yards from the actual PBD.
Team B – 1st and 10 from the resulting point.
3. Decline the no-yards.
Team B – 1st and 10 from the B 20 yard line (since they legally carried the ball out of the end zone).
[Rule 5-4-1-b, and 5-4-2-g]