CFL teams can now choose whether their kickers and punters use chipped footballs, following a critical incident with Winnipeg's Sergio Castillo. The league confirms ongoing use of microchip-implanted balls this season but will review them before 2025. Kickers raised concerns about the impact of the chips on performance, prompting the new decision.

By the Numbers
  • Winnipeg kicker Sergio Castillo missed 2 out of 3 attempts in the season opener.
  • Last season, Castillo made 46 out of 51 field goals, a club-record 90.2% success rate.
Yes, But

Some CFL kickers, including Brett Lauther and Lewis Ward, expressed dissatisfaction with the chipped footballs.

State of Play
  • Teams will decide pre-game on using chipped or non-chipped footballs for kickers and punters.
  • The CFL plans to maintain data collection with microchipped balls while addressing player concerns.
What's Next

The CFL will continue using microchipped balls this season but aims to improve their impact on player performance for future seasons.

Bottom Line

CFL kickers' concerns prompt the league to allow teams to choose footballs, balancing data collection with player comfort and performance.