The CFL and NFL have announced a joint officiating program that will see American officials working regular season games in Canada this season.
CFL officials will be a part of the NFL’s officiating development program, attending NFL training camps and working pre-season games. CFL officials will not NFL regular season games and NFL officials won’t work CFL games once the American season gets rolling in August.
The NFL officials working in the CFL will be primarily deep wing officials – side judges and field judges – to minimize the impact of some of the rules differences between the two leagues.
“This historic partnership gives officials in both leagues an opportunity to hone their craft and get better through shared development activities and more snaps at the pro level,” said the CFL senior vice-president in charge of officiating Glen Johnson.
The CFL has been the subject of intense criticism over its officiating from players, coaches and fans over the past several seasons. Penalties were up nine per cent last year and have increased 22 per cent since 2012.