- page 10

COVER FEATURE
»
Canadian Football League
10
marquee quarterbacks out there more often, but
at the same time it gave some emerging talent
the opportunity to be showcased.”
In the major leagues, off-seasons are every
bit as important – and busy – as the playing
season itself. It’s a year round mission to remain
on top of everything from a business standpoint.
This past offseason was no different, with the
commissioner and his executive team aiming to
make immediate strides towards enhancing the
brand beyond its current scope.
“Off the field there are many things that we
accomplished in short order,” Orridge says. “I
inherited a drug policy, which by a lot of stan-
dards was sub-par, so we went about enhancing
that and making it more transparent by having
more meaningful sanctions and developing a
more robust drug policy. We instituted new anti-
tampering rules related to coaches, as well as a
new branding and marketing strategy.”
Player Health & Safety
Player health and safety is always top of mind,
but in a sport like football where violent collisions
are part of the game, it’s even more crucial to do
everything possible to protect the welfare of the
players, who are the primary assets. Part of such a
safety plan includes having officials who are well
in tune with the latest rules and regulations.
“We launched officiating development
including our exchange program with the NFL
along with an expanded use of replay. We’ve got
a video official on the player health and safety
side,” Orridge says. “We’ve expanded other
rules and reduced the number of padded prac-
tices in working with the union on that. We’ve
got an injury spotter in the booth now that can
recognize if anybody is in distress for better
assessment in executing concussion protocol.”
Orridge exudes a high level of energy and
enthusiasm and his excitement for what’s ahead
is evident in his voice. It’s clear that he is proud of
what the league has been able to accomplish dur-
ing a very short period of time. He has identified
several key targeted areas, and plans to do every-
thing possible to make continued improvements.
“Player health and safety has always been
paramount for the league for so many reasons,”
Orridge says. “The players are our greatest asset,
not only on the field but in the community as
well. Helping to ensure their high level of per-
formance and longevity not only makes human
sense but it also makes business sense.”
Orridge believes that the fundamental
training he has accrued in terms of his legal
background has certainly helped his cause. The
role of the commissioner has evolved over time,
“Player health and safety has
always been paramount for the
league for so many reasons.
The players are our greatest
asset, not only on the field but
in the community as well.”
– Jeffrey Orridge
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18
Powered by FlippingBook