This will be the first of two posts that I will make in the Stukes Chalk Talk forum. It will be the first time that I've created a topic in this forum. By far, Blitz has been the most active in creating topics in this forum, and perhaps he and the rest of you can offer your thoughts on whether there are stratagies with regards to the opening kickoff.
According to the CFL rules, the following procedures apply with regards to kickoffs to start the first and second halfs:
At the start of the game, the captains of both teams shall meet the referee at centre field. The referee shall toss a coin with the visiting team captain making the call. The captain of the team winning the coin toss shall declare whether to have first choice at the start of the first or second half.
The captain of team having first choice at the start of the first half shall choose between:
kicking off or receiving the kickoff or,
which end of the field to defend.
The captain of the other team shall have first choice at the start of the second half, when both captains shall again meet the referee at centre field to make their choices.
What is more important - being able to choose whether to kick or receive the kickoff, or being able to choose which end of the field to defend?
I know that in outdoor games played on days where it is windy, if a team has control over which end of the field to defend, then they will always choose to have the wind at their backs for the all-important fourth quarter when it could be possible that the entire game will come down to a long field goal attempt, and having the wind aid in the distance will definitely help.
Most teams that win the opening coin toss will defer to the second half, and will usually request to receive the ball to start off the second half. So in the first half, the team losing the coin toss will have the choice and they usually elect to receive the ball - but not always.
This is a question that I've been wanting to ask since the Grey Cup game, but have never got around to. In the 2006 Grey Cup, Montreal won the coin toss and they chose to defer to the second half. And at the start of the third quarter, BC kicked off to Montreal to start off the second half. So the Lions had a choice whether to kickoff or receive to start the first half, and they elected to kickoff. So this meant that BC kicked off and Montreal received to start off both halfs.
Why did BC decide to kickoff to start the game when most teams would elect to receive if the other team deferred to the second half? What was the strategy behind that?