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CFL changes extra points, with an immediate impact

Ottawa Redblacks v Montreal Alouettes

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Much like the NFL, the Canadian Football League changed its extra point rules this year. But the CFL made more radical changes, with an immediate impact when the league opened its season on Thursday night.

The first touchdown of the 2015 CFL season was scored by the Montreal Alouettes, and after that touchdown the Alouettes missed their extra point kick. A missed extra point was rare in the past in the CFL -- 99.4 percent of extra points were successful last season -- but this year the CFL has moved the line of scrimmage on extra point kicks back 20 yards, from the 12-yard line to the 32-yard line. Extra points are a lot harder now, and it showed right off the bat.

When the Ottawa Redblacks scored their first touchdown of the season against the Alouettes, they decided to go for two. The run was successful, which hadn’t been a common occurrence in the past: Last year, there were only seven successful two-point conversion attempts in the entire CFL season. But this year two-point conversions have been moved up two yards, from the 5-yard line to the 3-yard line.

The CFL decided to change extra points for the same reason the NFL did: Concerns that the play had become so easy as to be boring. But while the NFL only tweaked the rule, the CFL made a much more radical change, making extra point kicks significantly harder and two-point conversions significantly easier.

The NFL is surely keeping an eye on the way extra point changes in the CFL are being received. Through one game of the CFL season, those changes have made a big difference.