Hinse puts lid on helmet rules

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

EDMONTON - Just think of him as a bearded Craig MacTavish.

While Gord Hinse may not be nearly as famous as the last NHLer to legally play without a helmet, the Edmonton Eskimos centre inadvertently helped lead to a rule change in the CFL that will improve player safety in the future.

The notorious image of a bloody Hinse (no, that wasn’t ketchup) throwing blocks like a scruffy wildman with no helmet officially became the stuff of legend Wednesday, as the board of governors approved a pair of changes to the way the game is played.

Besides all scoring plays now being subject to official review, a new helmet rule will no longer allow plays like the one from last October’s game at BC Place Stadium, where Hinse threw three blocks for a scrambling Ricky Ray despite losing his lid after snapping the ball.

“It’s a good idea, I mean, no one should be running around without a helmet. That’s actually pretty stupid,” said Hinse, who was promoted from the third string after injuries knocked out Aaron Fiacconi and Kyle Koch last year. “It’s just for the safety of the players and that’s what’s key.”

That doesn’t mean the six-foot-four, 300-pound U of A Golden Bears product doesn’t have a clip of the lid-lifting moment that showed his coaches, teammates and fans his willingness to put life and limb on the line.

“I might be on my PVR still,” Hinse smiled. “Someone actually made a DVD of it for me with the game and stuff.

“I try not to think of it too much because it’s in the past and it’s kind of a stupid thing to do, but it’s kind of a fun story to tell once in a while.”

NEW LID LAWS

• If a ball carrier’s helmet comes off, the play shall be blown dead immediately. The line of scrimmage for the next play will be where the player’s helmet came off.

• If a non-ball carrier’s helmet comes off, that player can no longer participate in the play. If he does, the player will be penalized 10 yards for illegal participation. If a player hits an opposing player who isn’t participating because he lost his helmet, he will be penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.


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