June 22nd, 2024

Bombers kicker Castillo critical of CFL’s use of chipped footballs

By The Canadian Press on June 7, 2024.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Sergio Castillo (14) celebrates as he kicks a field goal against the Calgary Stampeders during second half CFL pre-season action in Winnipeg Friday, May 31, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

One game into the 2024 season, and the CFL has a kicking controversy to deal with.

Winnipeg kicker Sergio Castillo took issue with the league’s chipped footballs Thursday night following the Bombers’ season-opening 27-12 home loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

Castillo missed two of the three field goals he attempted in the game (38 and 40 yards) along with a convert.

Last season, the 33-year-old made 46-of-51 field goals he attempted (club-record 90.2 per cent).

The CFL has inserted microchips into its footballs to help generate real-time advanced statistics through Genius Sports, its data and technology partner.

But many CFL kickers, including Saskatchewan’s Brett Lauther, who is also the vice-president of the CFL Players’ Association, have said the chips negatively impact kicking accuracy.

Montreal kicker David Côté made both of his field goals (22, 19 yards) but missed a convert.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2024.

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