Throwing a Penalty Flag at CFL Officials

cfl officials
REGINA, SK - SEPTEMBER 04: Canadian Football League referee Andre Proulx during the game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium on September 4, 2016 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images)

If you’ve been faithfully watching the CFL the last couple of seasons, you
will have noticed the abundance of penalty flags littering the field. Penalties are up 30% from last season, and it seems that certain CFL officials and their referee teams are more prone to crying foul. Two officiating crews stand out in particular, those of Tom Vallesi and
Andre Proulx. They are two of the most experienced, yet confusing, officials in the game.

Throwing a Penalty Flag at CFL Officials

They could both take a page from Al Bradbury’s book from time to time.
Bradbury is one of those few officials that gets all the info from his
squad before rushing into anything, unless the call is really that cut and dried. In Vallesi’s case, he is especially prone to snap judgements, and nothing seems to
change his mind. Proulx is a decent referee, but seems confused
and disconnected from his squad from time to time. We all understand that at the
end of the day referees are people, and make mistakes just like the rest, but
when their mistakes start influencing the outcome of a game, it’s frustrating.

CFL head coaches are having meltdowns at alarming rates, the latest being Jason Maas of the Edmonton Eskimos. He followed the officials onto the field after they failed to call a clear late hit to quarterback Mike Reilly last week versus the B.C. Lions. From bad calls to non-calls, it’s getting worse rather than better out on the field. According to CFL vice-president of officiating, Glen Johnson, there has been an average of 24 penalties per game this year, and increase of 30% over the 2015 season, where there was an average of 18.4 called per game at the same time period.

Strangely, there has been no comment from the Commissioner’s office, with Jeffrey Orridge doing little to quell the rash of incompetence from his officials. Fans of the game need to know that the top brass at the CFL is doing something to fix the problems. As it stands, there has been no progress in this area, much to the dismay of CFL fans everywhere.

The CFL has said that it has instituted some new programs, like the exchange with
the NFL that saw CFL referees taking part in contests down South.  But what they really want is competent officials on the field at all times, not ones who commit the same errors over and over again.

Fans can only take so much of anything, and the league will suffer in the long run. There are some hard decisions to be made by the CFL, and they need to come sooner rather than later.

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