Canadian Football League (CFL) fans are being asked to propose rule changes this year with a particular emphasis on how to improve the game's overtime format, says CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon.
"We had a tremendous response last year from fans when we asked for the very first time for their ideas on how to improve our rules," Cohon said.
"So this year, we're inviting their input on possible rules changes across the board, but we're asking them to particularly focus on our overtime format."
Under the current rules, if the score is tied at the end of a game, each team gets an opportunity to scrimmage from its opponent's 35-yard line, until it makes a score or loses possession.
If the score remains tied, the procedure is repeated at the opposite end of the stadium.
If the score is still tied after each team has had two attempts, the game is declared a tie, if it's a regular season game. If the game is a playoff or championship game, the same procedure continues until a winner is finally declared.
Some of the questions fans may want to grapple may include:
• Is the series-of-downs format superior to the old system of extra overtime periods or halves?
• Should teams scrimmage from somewhere other than the 35-yard line?
• Should teams be required to drive for a touchdown instead of settling for a field goal, or should teams be required to attempt a two-point convert following a touchdown?
• Does the overtime format really need changes, or is it already as good as it can be?
"Some of our most exciting games last season, including one of our playoff games, were decided in overtime, and that prompted some discussion among fans about our format," Cohon said in a message to fans posted on the league's website, CFL.ca, and team sites that form the CFL Network.
"We have tremendous respect for the knowledge of our fans, and their dedication to the tradition and future of our league, so we'd like to turn that informal overtime discussion into specific ideas that our league can consider as it looks towards the 2010 season."
Fans are asked to send their proposals, including their overtime ideas, by visiting CFL.ca/rules or by emailing - firstname.lastname@example.org - by Monday, February 15th. Those proposals will be shared with the members of the league's rules committee as it prepares to meet as part of the annual CFL Congress, this year in Edmonton on March 3rd, 4th and 5th.