The league has new rules that may or may not affect CFL gambling. The CFL board of governors has greenlighted 10 rule changes for the upcoming season, so Glen Johnson took the time to go on the road and ensure that everyone understands them before the start of the season. The first stop for the CFL VP was Winnipeg, where he met with corporate sponsors, season ticket holders, Bomber coaches and the local media to go over the 2016 innovations. The major changes have been known for a while now, such as the addition of a video official who will help correct errors that coaches can't challenge and the expanded list of calls that can be reviewed, for instance roughing the passer, no yards, illegal contact and offensive pass interference.
Two of the league's five main goals this year are decreasing the amount of penalties and improving game flow. Hopefully the former will improve the latter. It doesn't necessarily mean that games will be shorter, but Johnson said CFL gambling fans will be ok with that if it makes the game more exciting. “What if these changes and some of the other changes are so good scoring goes up and there's more touchdowns?” Johnson said during an hour long session with the Winnipeg media. “What if there's more stoppages for touchdowns and games are longer because we have more touchdowns? We have to make sure that there's not bad, unintended consequences by trying to rush the game along. We just want to find spots where there's wasted time, negative time, that we want to get out and put more positive time in there.”
Coaches threw an average of 1.65 challenge flags per game last season. Johnson that number will likely increase this season with more plays coaches are able to challenge, but he said that the sideline sergeants should hold on to their final challenge just to be on the safe side. “They'll want to keep one for one of these things that happens late in the game that could really change the game,” he said. Coaches get a third challenge if they get the first two right.
The CFL wants to remove hundreds of penalties from its games, and the way to do that is by relaxing the illegal procedure standard for offensive linemen. They will now be allowed to move other parts of the body after getting into their three point stances to help set up blocking schemes. Johnson remarked that will not only reduce the number of flags, but it should also help protect quarterbacks. If and how these new rules will affect CFL gambling and CFL betting lines has yet to be seen.