Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ground control to Major Tom...and over to Commander Jake!

The CFL launches its new command centre with the Wednesday kick off to the 2009 season.

Tom Higgins, the league's Director of Officiating introduced Jake Ireland as the leagues lead command centre official, he will bring his 557 games of experience to the replay office, helping the new crop of CFL officials perform to the top of their profession.

Ireland will be watching the same replays that those of us at home will see from our TSN broadcasts, however he will have access some toys and tools that the most dedicated football cans could only hope to have on hand, DVSport has developed computer technology that will slow down and isolate images in order to get the right perspective on any calls in question.

The system put in place for the CFL will mirror what DV Sport provides for NCAA football in the United States.

Ireland will have a light workload during his nightly watch, under CFL rules coaches are allowed to challenge two calls made by on-field officials during each game, if they are successful on those two challenges they will be allowed a further third challenge, but only if the call in question falls into one of three categories; including catch/no catch, down-by-contact, and whether the ball crossed the plane of the goal line .

Deciding whether to request a challenge is one of the strategy points for all CFL coaches, a successful one can change the direction of a game, while an unsuccessful one or poorly chosen one can leave a team empty of chances when one may be needed most.

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