Roster rules get facelift

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Danny Maciocia is going to have to learn a new juggling act.

Like every CFL head coach, Maciocia will have to adapt to the new roster rules that will be implemented this season.

The new salary management system brings eight roster changes, including much-applauded alterations to the roster declaration rules.

Instead of being forced to declare injured players 48 hours prior to game time, coaches won't have to make final roster decisions until three hours before kickoff.

The change means teams will not get caught making the wrong guess on a player's health.

"There were definitely three or four times last year," said Maciocia, referring to the fact he scratched players 48 hours prior to a game who actually recovered and were healthy on game day.

Maciocia is just as happy with the new rule to protect practice roster players.

In the past, a team could steal a practice roster player from the opposition without any written notification.

Now, an interested team must make their intentions known in writing and wait seven days for a reply.

"I love it. You work so hard to develop (a player) and you want to keep him," said Maciocia.

"And the (opposing) team isn't forcing your hand right away (with the new rule)."

Once written notice has been given from an opposing club, the team holding the player on the practice roster has seven days to sign him to a contract and move him to the active roster.

If that doesn't happen, the opposing team receives the player's rights but must sign him and place him on the roster for two consecutive games.

The Eskimos - like all teams - will now have a 46-man roster, up from 40 players. Only 42 will dress, giving the club an extra non-import and designated import.

"I think with a 40-man roster you are really limited," continued the head coach, knowing he's only one or two injuries away from serious problems.

But every coaching staff will have tougher decisions to make regarding some players because the one-game injured list is gone. Now teams have to decide to stick a player on a four-game injury list or give him one of the four non-dressed spots on the active roster.

LATE HITS: To help teams assess the influx of talent coming north after NFL teams make training camp cuts, the practice roster will expand from seven to 12 players for one month starting in the middle of August.

"In the past, the CFL has had great difficulty of where to place these players in terms of how do you give them legitimate tryouts," said Calgary owner and SMS committee chair Ted Hellard.


Videos

Photos