CANADIAN FOOTBALL TIMELINES (1860 – PRESENT)
Timeline: 1860's Timeline: 1900's Timeline: 1940's Timeline: 1980's
Timeline: 1870's Timeline: 1910's Timeline: 1950's Timeline: 1990's
Timeline: 1880's Timeline: 1920's Timeline: 1960's Timeline: 2000's
Timeline: 1890's Timeline: 1930's Timeline: 1970's
Grey Cup Results - 1909 to present
First documented football game was played at the University of Toronto on the present site of University College (400 yards west of Queen's Park) on November 9. One of the participants in the game involving University of Toronto students was (Sir) William Mulock, later it's Chancellor.
First written account of a football game played in Quebec on October 10 was by R. Tait Mackenzie. It was between a team of officers from the English troops garrisoned in Montreal and a team of civilians, mainly from McGill University, and was played on the St. Catherine Street cricket grounds.
The Hamilton Foot Ball Club was formed on November 3 in a room over George Lee's Fruit Store and adopted the colours of black and orange. Games were played on the Maple Leaf Baseball Club Grounds on Upper James Street. The first game for the HFBC was on December 18 against the 13th Battalion (now Royal Hamilton Light Infantry) at the Baseball Grounds. No score was reported. According to the Hamilton Spectator on November 30 the HFBC had more than 100 members.
Back to top
The Montreal Foot Ball Club was organized on April 8 in one of the lower rooms of the Mechanics Hall building. The first game played in Quebec occurred when the Montreal FC played Quebec City on October 12 at the Esplanade in Quebec City. The two teams met again on October 26 at McGill University. Both games ended in 0-0 ties.
The Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club formed the Toronto Argonaut Football Club on October 4 and played its first game against the University of Toronto on October 11. The University of Toronto won by a Goal and a Try to Nil. The Argonauts adopted dark blue as the team colour. The first meeting of the Argonauts and HFBC was on October 18 at the University of Toronto. Toronto won by a Goal and a Try to Nil . The HFBC wore yellow and black for the first time in this game The following Saturday, the two clubs met in Hamilton at the Cricket Ground (later Hamilton A.A.A. Ground). Hamilton won by a Goal and Try plus a Touch In Goal to two Goals and two Trys. It was in the reporting of this game that the HFBC was first referred to as the Tigers.
The rules of a hybrid game of English rugby devised by the University of McGill were first used in the United States in a game at Boston between McGill and Harvard. On May 14, Harvard won 3-0 using Harvard rules. The next day, the teams tied 0-0 while playing Canadian rules. Harvard liked the new game so much they introduced it into the Ivy League. Both U.S. and Canadian football evolved from these games.
The first inter-provincial game was played between Ontario and Quebec on October 16 at the Toronto Cricket Grounds. Ontario won on a Goal from a Try.
The Ottawa Football Club was formed on September 20 at the Russell House and played the Aylmer Club at Jacques Cartier Square on September 23. (Sir) Percy Sherwood kicked a Goal from a Try for the winning point. Ottawa team colours were cerise (moderate red), French grey and navy blue.
required the previous year's champion to defeat all challengers. The Toronto Argonauts defeated the Ottawa FC 9-7 in the first ORFU Championship on 1877
The Ottawa and Britannia Football Clubs played their first game at Montreal. Britannia won 2 Trys and 3 Rouges to 1 Rouge.
Second inter-provincial game is played to a scoreless draw on October 28 between an "All-Ontario" team and a team from Montreal at Montreal.
The University of Michigan played a game against the University of Toronto. The Winnipeg Rugby Football Club was formed.
Back to top
The "Open Formation" was introduced for the first time. Both teams were required to lineup across from each other.
The Ontario Rugby Football Union was formed on January 6; 10 days later the Quebec Rugby Football Union was formed. The ORFU played a Tie Schedule with teams of 15-men per side. Team A played Team B and the winner played Team C until only one team remained undefeated. Three divisions were formed in the ORFU. Referees were used for all games. A point-scoring system was put into place with six points for a Goal from the Field (field goal); four points for a Try (touchdown), Goals from a Try, Penalties and Free Kicks; two points for Safety Touches; and one point for Kicks to the Deadline, Rouges and Touch in Goals. The Quebec Union adopted the Challenge System with Scoring by Goals and Trys. This format November 10.
The Canadian Rugby Football Union was formed on February 7 at the Montreal Gymnasium and used the ORFU and New English Rugby Union Rules to form the Code of Rules for Canadian football. The QRFU adopted the OFRU system of scoring and the Tie Schedule. The Montreal Foot Ball Club (QFRU) defeated the Toronto Argonauts (ORFU) 30-0 on November 6 in the first CRFU Championship game.
The ORFU divided into City and College groups. The CRFU stated that the playing field should be as close to 100 yards in length as practical by 65 yards wide. A combined team from the Montreal and Britannia Football Clubs (QRFU) defeated an Ontario Combined Team (ORFU) 3-0 on November 12 in the CRFU Championship game. The CRFU ruled the game was a draw because the Montreal team did not score four points.
The CRFU ruled that a quarterback could run or kick the ball only after the defenders had pushed the ball through the scrimmage. The ORFU objected to the CRFU rules governing championship games and refused to participate. No championship game was played.
The ORFU withdrew from the CRFU and the governing body ceased to function. The ORFU adopted "heeling" the ball as a method of putting it into play. They also began using a five-man scrimmage. Goals from the Field were reduced to five points. At the end of the season, team executive members arranged a Dominion Championship game at McGill University in which Ottawa College (ORFU) defeated the Montreal Football Club (QRFU) 10-5 on November 5.
ORFU aligned into one unit and competed in a Challenge System. Penalty Kicks were lowered in value to two points. Hamilton Tigers introduced the three-man scrimmage. ORFU and QRFU executives arranged a Dominion Championship at Ottawa. Ottawa College (ORFU) and the Montreal Football Club played to a scoreless tie. This was the last title match until 1892. Winnipeg Football Club, St. John's College and the Royal School of Infantry formed the Manitoba Rugby League.
ORFU lowered the value of a Goal from Field to five points. Intercollegiate teams used a two-point Goal from a Try. The QRFU adopted a Challenge System
Back to top
ORFU returned to the Tie Schedule. All teams adopted the two-point Goal from a Try. QRFU adopted the three-man scrimmage. First game in Alberta, as Edmonton and Clover Bar played to a scoreless tie. In October, Regina North West Mounted Police played the Winnipeg Football Club twice in Winnipeg with each side winning once.
At a meeting of delegates of the Quebec and Ontario Rugby Unions at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal on December 19, the Canadian Rugby Union was formed. Games were to consist of two 45-minute halves, scoring values: Goal from the Field five points; Try four points; Goal from a Try two points; Penalty Kick and Free Kick four points each; Safety Touch two points; and a Rouge one point. ORFU rules were adopted by the CRU including an increase in the height of the goal posts to 20 feet from 13; the Scrimmage had to release the ball before the lines could come together and games were to be won by a majority of points scored. Edmonton defeated Calgary 6-5 in the Alberta Total-point Challenge Series.
The first CRU championship game was played on Thanksgiving Day, November 10 at Toronto's Rosedale Field with Osgoode Hall of ORFU defeating the Montreal Foot Ball Club of the QRFU 45-5. ORFU assigned Umpires for all games. QRFU adopted the Balanced Schedule (all teams played the same number of games) and lowered the value of a Goal from a Try to two points. The Manitoba Rugby Football Union was formed on February 22 and played Fall and Spring Schedules.
QRFU assigned Umpires for all games and returned to the Challenge System format.
Ottawa College and the Ottawa AAA joined the QRFU. QRFU adopted the Balanced Schedule.
Timekeepers were appointed for the first time to relieve the referees of that duty. ORFU and QRFU lowered the value of Penalty Kicks to two points.
CRU game length was reduced to two 40-minute halves and the size of a field was set at 110 yards by 65 yards. CRU published the first "Constitution, Rules of the Championship Competitions and Rules of the Game". MRFU adopted the CRU rules. QRFU introduced five-yard Punt Returns.
On November 24, the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union was organized in Kingston, Ontario. CRU changed the length of a game to two 35-minute halves. The QRFU lowered the Free Kick to two points and adopted a three-team playoff format. Ottawa FC was suspended by the QRFU executive for excessive rough play.
First Intercollegiate game was played at Kingston on October 8 between McGill and Queen's. McGill won by 3 Rouges to 2. McGill then played the University of Toronto on October 15. The U of T won 11-5 in the rain. Toronto went on to win the Yates Trophy as Intercollegiate champions. The CIRFU was accepted into the CRU, but left later in the year. Ottawa FC re-organized as the Rough Riders on September 9 and adopted the colours of the Canadian Regiment in the Spanish-American War - red and black. Ottawa joined the ORFU which adopted the Balanced Schedule of play. The CRU again changed the length of a game to two 30-minute halves.
Back to top
The ORFU prohibited the use of CIRFU players and the CRU stated that players must block with their bodies and not hold opponents with their arms or hands.
The ORFU stated that all players must sign amateur cards. CRU rules that the ball was to be placed on the ground in line with the front foot of the Scrimmage before the lines could come together. John Thrift Meldrum Burnside's revised football rules were put into play in University of Toronto Inter-faculty games, and later in the Mulock Cup championship games.
The ORFU adopted the Burnside Rules which reduced teams to 12 men per side, put into play the Snap-Back system of moving the ball, required the offensive team to gain 10 yards on three downs, abolished the Throw-In from the sidelines, permitted only six men on the line, stated that all Goals by Kicking were to be worth two points and the opposition was to line up 10 yards from the defenders on all Kicks. The Rules were to be made uniform across the country as quickly as possible. The CIRFU, QRFU and CRU refused to adopt the new Rules. QRFU and CRU reduced their rosters from 15 to 14 players. CRU ruled that possession could not go beyond three scrimmages unless during the third scrimmage the ball was moved five yards on a run or a kick. Ottawa returned to the QRFU and MRFU moved to a fall schedule.
The value of a Try (touchdown) was increased to five points and Goals from a Try was reduced to one point in the ORFU. QRFU adopted a rule by Tom (King) Clancy of Ottawa that a team must make five yards on its third scrimmage to keep possession of the ball.
The Intercollegiate and Quebec Unions refused the Burnside Rules. For championship games, the CRU ruled the teams would use QRFU rules for the first half and the intercollegiate rules for the second half. QRFU moved to four 15-minute quarters; Trys worth five points and Goals from Trys worth one point. CIRFU adopted 10-yard rule for three downs and the ORFU gave captains the option of playing four 15-minute quarters. Goals from the Field were increased to three points and the Fair Catch rule was replaced by a three-yard Punt Return rule
Specifications first laid down for the size of football - 11 inches long, 23 inches in circumference and 13-3/4 ounces in weight. Goals from the Field and Free Kicks were increased to four points in the ORFU. Games were four 15-minute quarters in length. CIRFU lowered Goals from the Field to four points and Free Kicks to three points. Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club was formed March 14 at Calgary City Hall.
The Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (Big Four) grew out of an amalgamation between the Hamilton Tigers, Toronto Argonauts of the ORFU and the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Montreal Foot Ball Club of the QRFU on September 13. The QRFU withdrew from senior competition. The Ottawa entry was the result of the amalgamation of the Ottawa St. Pats and Rough Riders. Montreal won the Big Four's first game, 17-8 over Toronto and subsequently became the league's first championship team. Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club played its first game on October 31 and defeated the Strathcona Rugby Foot-ball Club 15-0 at Calgary. The CRU adopted the intercollegiate rule of one yard between opposing lines and stated that the lines could not move until the ball was put into play by the Scrimmage. Teams had to gain 10 yards in three downs; a Try was five points; a Goal from a Try was one point; a Goal from the Field was four points; a Free Kick was three points and a Penalty Kick was worth two points The ORFU adopted the CRU rules. The Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club was formed on April 10 and adopted the uniform colors of black with yellow facings. Edmonton played its first game on November 9 and defeated the Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club 26-5 at the Edmonton Exhibition Grounds. The Saskatchewan Rugby Football League was formed.
Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club was re-organized as the Tigers on August 27 and adopted yellow and black as the team colors. Calgary Rugby Football Union was formed on September 29 in the offices of the Sovereign Life Insurance Company. The Caledonia and Hillhurst Football Clubs play for the championship of the Central Alberta Rugby Football League on September 4. The Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club was re-organized as the Esquimoux on October 16. Goals from the Field were reduced to three points by the CRU.
Lord Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada, donated a trophy to be awarded for the Rugby Football Championship of Canada. Only teams registered with the Canadian Rugby Union were eligible to compete for the trophy. The first game was played in Toronto at Rosedale Field on December 4 between the University of Toronto and the Parkdale Canoe Club with the University of Toronto winning 26-6 before 3,807 fans. Hugh Gall kicked a record eight singles in the game for the U of T. The gross revenue was $2,616.40. On December 11, following an invitation from the New York Herald newspaper, Hamilton Tigers and Ottawa Rough Riders played an exhibition game of Canadian football in New York City at Van Cortland Park. Tigers won 11-6 before 15,000 fans.
Back to top
Regina Rugby Club was formed on September 13 at the Regina City Hall and adopted the colors of old gold and purple. On September 22 the Saskatchewan Rugby Football Union was organized in the Flanagan Hotel at Saskatoon. SRFU adopted the CRU rules. Regina played Moose Jaw Tigers in its first game on October 1 at the Moose Jaw Baseball Grounds. The Tigers won 16-6. Edmonton changed its name to the Eskimos.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Unions formed the Western Canada Rugby Football Union on October 21. Regina RC changed its colors to blue and white. Winnipeg realtor Hugo Ross donated the championship trophy bearing his name; he subsequently drowned in the sinking of the S.S. Titanic in April, 1912. Calgary Tigers won the Western Championship and challenged for the Grey Cup, but the CRU would not accept the challenge because the WCRFU was not a full member of the CRU. University of Toronto defeated the Argonauts 14-7 on November 25 to win its third consecutive Grey Cup championship.
Regina Rugby Club adopted the colors of the Canadian contingent in the Spanish-American War - red and black Hamilton Alerts were suspended by the ORFU on November 23 for flaunting the authority of the Union. Toronto Rowing and Athletic Club had protested a penalty call which had resulted in a victory for the Alerts. The ORFU ordered the game be re-played on the 23rd, but the Alerts refused to field a full team. The Alerts lost to Toronto 39-7 while the main squad lost a regularly scheduled match in Hamilton to the Tigers 12-8. The Alerts went on to defeat the Toronto Argonauts 11-4 in the Grey Cup game. Many of the players joined the Tigers of IRFU the following season.
Hamilton Tigers played four exhibition matches in Western Canada defeating Winnipeg 26-1, Regina 26-4, Moose Jaw 25-1 and Calgary 19-2. This is the first documented East-West series of games. On September 6 the Hamilton Alerts applied for reinstatement. In the ORFU under the name of the East Hamilton Athletic Association, but the request was denied. The Hamilton Rowing Club, however, was accepted.
The remnants of the Hamilton Alerts operated separately from any Union for several seasons before fading from the scene. The CRU appointed Head Linesmen and the CIRFU adopted a three-yard Interference rule IRFU adopted a Residence Rule.
No games because of the First World War.
No playoff games because of a rules dispute with the CRU in the West, lack of interest in the East and student studies to the Intercollegiate Union which were deemed more important.
Back to top
CIRFU and IRFU adopted a four-yard Interference rule while the CRU opted for three yards of Interference.
Western Canada Rugby Football Union joined the CRU and challenged for the Grey Cup. Edmonton Eskimos, first Western team to play in a Grey Cup game, lost to Toronto Argonauts 23-0. Rule changes included reducing players from 14 to 12 per side; putting ball into play by snapping it back; limit of 18 players with substitutes permitted freely.
Calgary Tigers renamed the 50th Battalion. Queen's defeats Regina 54-0 as Queen's scored a record nine touchdowns on December 1. Edmonton withdrew from competition.
Coach Bill Hughes of Queen's introduced the use of films as a coaching technique. Numbering of players, although used for years was made compulsory. The Regina Rugby Club became the Regina Roughriders.
McGill coach Frank Shaughnessy introduced the huddle system to Canadian football. It was at first called the Conference System. Calgary 50th Battalion became the Tigers. Ottawa changed its name to the Senators.
British Columbia Rugby Football Union was formed on September 1.
Western Canada Intercollegiate Union was formed. Ottawa reverted to the name Rough Riders
Tri-City Rugby Football Union was formed on August 25 and consisted of Moose Jaw, Regina and Winnipeg. The Union disbanded the following year because of travel expenses. Saskatchewan and Winnipeg re-formed their unions. First radio play-by-play broadcast of a Grey Cup Game was on December 1. Hamilton Tigers shutout Regina Roughriders 30-0 before a crowd of 4,767 at the Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association Grounds.
CRU adopted use of the forward pass on a limited basis in Junior, Interscholastic, Western Canada Rugby Union, Western Intercollegiate Union and the Grey Cup final. First legal pass in Canada was thrown by Gerry Seiberling and the first reception was by Ralph Losie of Calgary Altomah-Tigers against Edmonton on September 21. Jersey Jack Campbell of Regina threw the first forward pass in a Grey Cup game and Jerry Erskine made the first reception. First touchdown pass was by Edmonton's Joe Cook to Pal Power in the second quarter of a game against the University of Alberta on September 28. The first interception return for a touchdown was by Joe Hess of the University of Alberta in the same game when he caught a pass by Cook.
Back to top
On June 10, the Winnipeg Winnipegs Rugby Football Club was formed and adopted the colors of green and white. Winnipeg played its first game against St. John's Rugby Club at Carruthers Park on September 13. St John's won 7-3. On September 29 in the first game played in Canada under floodlights, the Hamilton Tigers defeated University of British Columbia in an exhibition game at Athletic Park. The first game in Eastern Canada under floodlights was on October 29 between Oshawa and Toronto Balmy Beach in Toronto's Ulster Stadium. The Convert kicking spot was moved from the 35-line to the 25 but only drop kicks were allowed.
CRU approved the forward pass for all leagues and the first TD pass in Grey Cup history was a Warren Stevens to Kenny Grant play in Montreal's 22-0 win over Regina. Convert scrimmage line was moved to the five-yard line, and the point could be scored by a drop-kick, place kick, run or pass.
Calgary Altomah-Tigers became the Altomahs. Winnipeg and St. John's amalgamated to field a stronger team, and adopt the colors of blue and gold.
Edward (Red) Tellier of Montreal, who had been suspended for life for attacking George Gilhooley of Regina in the 1931 Grey Cup final, was re-instated. Eastern Intercollegiate Union formally withdrew from Grey Cup competition. The horn was introduced to officiating
For the first time a Western team won the Grey Cup. Winnipeg Pegs (they weren't Blue Bombers for another year) defeated the Hamilton Tigers 18-12 at Hamilton. Calgary became the Bronks.
Teams were restricted to a maximum of five imports and only players who had lived in Canada for a full year could compete in the Grey Cup game. The Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU) was formed with Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Bronks and Regina Roughriders. IRFU and WIFU adopt playoff format of a two-game total-point series between first and second place teams. A white ball was used for games played under floodlights in Western Canada. Intercollegiate teams stop competing for the Grey Cup.
The Quebec Rugby Football Union discontinued challenging for the Grey Cup.
Edmonton Eskimos joined the Western Interprovincial Football Union and adopted the colors of blue and white, but withdrew in 1940.
Back to top
The only two-game total-point series in Grey Cup history was played. Ottawa defeated Toronto Balmy Beach 8-2 and 12-5. The series was arranged by the Canadian Rugby Union when it refused to allow Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Western winners, to compete in the final because the West had played its season under rules which varied from rules in the East.
Calgary left the WIFU and Vancouver Grizzlies joined. IRFU was renamed Eastern Canada Union for one season.
WIFU and IRFU suspended operations for the duration of the War.
Calgary Bronks changed its name to Stampeders on September 28 and adopted the colors of blue and gold. IRFU resumed play.
Montreal Alouettes were organized. WIFU resumed play. Regina Roughriders were renamed Saskatchewan Roughriders. Air travel in football was used for first time. Argos flew to Winnipeg for pre-season games.
Hamilton Tigers of the IRFU (Big Four), joined the ORFU, and the Hamilton Wildcats of the ORFU joined the Big Four on April 9. Saskatchewan Roughriders adopted the colors of green and white. Calgary Stampeders introduced pageantry to the Grey Cup Game with saddle horses and chuck wagons. Calgary reverts to the colors of red and white. Stampeders defeated Ottawa 12-7 for their first Grey Cup victory.
Edmonton Eskimos rejoined the WIFU and adopted the colors of green and gold. Wearing of helmets was made compulsory. Western Canada Rugby Football Union ceased to exist.
Back to top
Hamilton Tigers and Hamilton Wildcats amalgamated to form Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Regina officially changed its name to Saskatchewan Roughriders on April 1. WIFU gave the third place team in standings a playoff berth. The first professional playoff game was played at night under lights - Winnipeg at Edmonton.
The B.C. Lions were formed in January at the Arctic Club. E. Kent Phillips of Saskatoon was appointed Commissioner of WIFU.
Television revenue for the first time. CRU was paid $7,500 by CBC for Grey Cup TV rights. CBLT Toronto was the only station to carry the game live.
Three television stations carried the Grey Cup game live, and the CRU was paid $20,500 for the rights. Billy Vessels won the first Schenley Award. G. Sydney Halter, Q.C. was named Commissioner of WIFU.
B.C. entered the WIFU and adopted the colors burnt orange and brown. B.C. played its first game at Empire Games Stadium against the Montreal Alouettes on August 11. The Alouettes won 22-0. IRFU (Big Four) games were televised on the NBC national network.
IRFU awarded the third place team a play off berth. The Grey Cup game was played in the West for the first time in Vancouver's Empire Stadium, attendance 39,500, gross revenue $198,000. ORFU withdrew from Grey Cup competition.
Canadian Football Council was formed January 22 at Winnipeg and national negotiation lists were introduced. Value of a touchdown was increased from five to six points. Television rights were sold for $101,000. G. Sydney Halter, Q.C. was named Commissioner of Canadian Football Council.
Interference by eligible blockers legal up to third five-yard stripe. First Grey Cup game telecast live from coast to coast in Canada. TV rights brought $125,000.
Canadian Football Council withdrew from Canadian Rugby Union. CFC was renamed the Canadian Football League on January 19 at the Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg. G. Sydney Halter, Q.C. of Winnipeg was appointed Commissioner. The CFL opened on August 14 as the Blue Bombers defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 29-21 at Winnipeg before 18,206 spectators.
Back to top
The Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (Big Four) changed its name to the Eastern Football Conference. Unlimited blocking was allowed on interception returns. McMahon Stadium in Calgary was built in 103 days, and the Stampeders moved in August 15.
The Western Canada Intercollegiate Rugby Union merged with the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union. The Western Interprovincial Football Union changed its name to the Western Football Conference. Partial interlocking schedule introduced between Eastern and Western Conference. First Grey Cup game to go into overtime was 21-14 Winnipeg victory over Hamilton at CNE Stadium in Toronto. Four backs were permitted unlimited blocking on rushing plays if they lined up outside the ends. The tackle-eligible play was made illegal.
Canadian Football Hall of Fame was established and Hamilton was named the site. Grey Cup game stopped by fog on December 1 and the final 9 minutes and 29 seconds were played the next day. Winnipeg edged Hamilton 28-27.
Charter Membership into Hall of Fame.
CFL commissioned an economic study of all aspects of Canadian football. Canadian Football Players Association was organized. First meetings were May 15 to 16 in Toronto.
Unlimited blocking on rushing pays was legalized. Rule book rewritten and reduced in size. Trusteeship of Grey Cup turned over by CRU to CFL. Goose-necked goalposts were introduced.
CFL office setup in Toronto with Senator Keith Davey as Commissioner. Senator Davey was succeeded on February 23 by Ted Workman and then Allan McEachern. Recommendations of Committee On One League (COO) approved to bring operating matters under control of the League. Players' Pension Fund established. CRU became the CAFA on January 1 and turned over the Grey Cup trophy to the CFL. CFL League Office took up residence at 11 King Street West in Toronto in Montreal Trust Building.
J. G. (Jake) Gaudar was appointed Commissioner and CFL adopted new Constitution.
Although the 1962 game was completed on a Sunday, the 1969 game was the first Grey Cup game to start and finish on a Sunday and the first Grey Cup game in Montreal since 1931.
Back to top
3m Tartan Turf was installed in Vancouver's Empire Stadium. First sod was turned for Hall of Fame building in Hamilton. First All-Star Game since 1958.
Grey Cup Game was played on artificial turf for first time in Vancouver. Calgary defeated Toronto 14-11.
Canadian Football Hall of Fame opened in Hamilton. Grey Cup was played on Astroturf in Hamilton's Ivor Wynne Stadium.
Both Conferences adopted standard playoff procedure.
Eastern Conference adopted 16-game schedule. ORFU ceased to exist.
For the first time a Grey Cup final on the Prairies in Calgary. Blocking above waist was permitted on punt-returns; two-point convert was introduced.
The Canadian Football League attracted more than two million fans for the first time as 2,029,586 people attended its games.
Grey Cup Game was played before record crowd (68,318) which paid record receipts ($1,401,930) at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Montreal Alouettes set CFL attendance record of 476,201.
Edmonton Eskimos set single season attendance record of 340,239 for Western Conference.
Back to top
CFL signed record television contract with Carling-O'Keefe Breweries for $15.6 million to cover three-year period (1981-83).
Eastern, Western Conference dissolved and renamed East and West Divisions. Board of Governors replaced Executive Committee and Management Council replaced General Managers Committee. Complete interlocking schedule for first time.
CFL granted a new franchise to Montreal called the Concordes. The Grey Cup game attracted the largest television audience in the history of Canadian television as 7,862,000 viewers watched Edmonton extend their record to five consecutive Grey Cup victories.
CFL signed record television agreement with Carling O'Keefe Breweries for $33 million over a three-year period (1984-86). League attendance reached an all-time high of 2,856,031 for all games. The 71st Grey Cup Game was played before 59,345 fans in BC Place Stadium and was the first CFL championship game to be played indoors. The Game provided the League with its first $2 million gross gate. Television coverage on CBC, CTV and Radio-Canada of the Grey Cup game attracted the largest viewing audience in television history for a Canadian sports program as 8,118,000 people watched Toronto edge B.C. 18-17.
Douglas H. Mitchell, Q.C. of Calgary became the sixth Commissioner of the CFL on June 1. In the fall, a market research study was done with fans in the CFL cities. The League moved to make the 1985 Canadian College Draft “open” and eliminated Territorial Exemptions. Edmonton played host to its first Grey Cup Game.
The CFL moved to adopt overtime in the Regular Season which consisted of two five-minute halves (no-sudden death) and would be implemented in 1986. The CFL changed the overtime format for Playoff Games from two 10-minutes halves (with no sudden-death) to two five-minute halves (no sudden-death).
The CFL moved to an 18-game (per Club) Regular Season schedule. The Playoff structure was revised permitting a fourth place team from one division to qualify for post-season play providing it had more points in the Regular Season standings than the third place team in the other division. The CFL and the CFLPA agree to a new three-year agreement. The Alouettes were re-born as the Montreal Football Club changed its name from the Concordes to the Alouettes, on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Alouettes. The Sports Network carried live coverage of the first round of the 1986 Canadian College Draft from coast-to-coast. Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes played the first pre-season game in the Canada Games Stadium at Saint John, New Brunswick. Winnipeg won 36-10. The CFL amended the quota to 35-man game rosters (13 Imports, 19 Non-imports and three Quarterbacks). The Designated Import rule was eliminated. End zones were reduced from 25 to 20 yards. The Canadian Amateur Football Association changed its name to Football Canada in June.
The CFL celebrated the 75th Grey Cup Championship Season with the milestone Game at B.C. Place Stadium on November 29. The Canadian Football Network, a syndicate of Canadian television stations was formed. The CFL experimented with the TV blackout policy as four games (two in Hamilton and two in Toronto) are televised in the Hamilton-Toronto market. Game rosters were revised from 35 to 34 (19 Non-lmports, 13 Imports and two Quarterbacks) the reserve list was increased from three to four. The Montreal Alouettes folded on June 24; the schedule was revised and the Divisions realigned with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers moving to the Eastern Division. The Playoff format reverted to pre-1986.
The CFL's agreement with CFN was extended through to 1990. Game rosters were to consist of 20 non-imports, 14 imports and 2 quarterbacks, the reserve list consisted of up to two players. When a team dressed 14 imports, one had to be designated as a specialty teams player. Roy McMurtry was appointed Chairman-Chief Executive Officer and Bill Baker President-Chief Operating Officer on December 12, both appointments were effective January 1, 1989. The Board of Governors also approved the sale of the Toronto Argonauts from Carling O'Keefe to Harry Ornest.
The Board of Governors approved the sale of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from Harold E. Ballard - Maple Leaf Gardens Limited to David Braley on February 24. Two months later, the CFL announced a two-year television agreement with Carling O'Keefe for $12 million plus an additional $3 million in Club promotional support. Hamilton hosted the CFL Annual Meetings-Canadian College Draft for the second consecutive year. The Argos began play at the SkyDome, which would play host to the 77th Grey Cup Championship on November 26. Saskatchewan defeated Hamilton 43-40. Murray Pezim purchased the B.C. Lions in September. The Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union moved its championship, the Vanier Cup, from Varsity Stadium to the SkyDome. The University of Western Ontario defeated the University of Saskatchewan 35-10 in the Silver Anniversary game. Bill Baker resigned as President-Chief Operating Officer effective December 31.
Back to top
J. Donald Crump was appointed the eighth Commissioner of the CFL on January 5. The CFL Annual Meetings-Canadian College Draft were held in Hamilton for the third consecutive year. Rosters were increased to 37 players including 20 non-imports, 14 imports and three quarterbacks. The reserve list remained at two players. Toronto and B C. set a record for most points in a game when they combined to score 111 on September 1 at Toronto Argonauts won 68-43. B.C. added silver to its colors. Vancouver played host to the Grey Cup Game for the 11th time.
The Toronto Argonauts were sold by Harry Ornest to Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky and John Candy on February 25. Ottawa Rough Riders Board of Directors resigned on July 24 and two days later the CFL assumed ownership of the club. On October 19, Bernie and Lonnie Glieberman purchased the club from the CFL. Five days later, Larry Ryckman purchased the Calgary Stampeders from the Stampeder Football Club Limited. The eight clubs combined for a record 64.2 points per game and attendance figures broke two million (2,001,858) for the 10th time. Winnipeg played host to the Grey Cup Game for the first time on November 24. Toronto defeated Calgary 36-21 before a crowd of 51,985 fans. The Game was the most-watched Canadian TV show with an audience of 3,531,000 viewers. J. Donald Crump resigned as Commissioner on December 31.
Larry Smith, former running back and tight end with Montreal Alouettes was named the ninth Commissioner of the CFL on February 27. CFL celebrated 100 years of football in Canada, commemorating the formation of the Canadian Rugby Union in 1892, the forerunner of Football Canada and the CFL. Calgary Stampeders signed free agent quarterback Doug Flutie in March, 1992. On August 27, the League revoked the franchise of B.C. Lions owner Murray Pezim and assumed control after his refusal to pay club bills. Bill Comrie purchased the B.C. franchise on September 23 from the CFL. At CFL's Outstanding Player Awards during Grey Cup Week, Flutie is named the Most Outstanding Player for the second consecutive year, only the third player in League history to win back-to-back awards. Toronto hosted the Grey Cup for the 45th time, more than any other city. The 80th Grey Cup was played at SkyDome as Calgary defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 24-10 for their third Grey Cup win and first since 1971, ending the longest drought of any CFL team.
At the League's Annual Meetings on February 23 in Hamilton, the Sacramento Gold Miners are admitted as the CFL's ninth franchise, to begin play in 1993 in the Western Division. Sacramento became the League's first franchise based in the United States and the first addition since the B.C. Lions in 1954. The Annual Canadian College Draft was held in Calgary on March 6, the first time it was held in a Western Division city since 1971 in Winnipeg. Calgary's McMahon Stadium was the site of the Grey Cup for the second time in history with the 81st Grey Cup Championship played on November 28. The Eskimos defeated the Blue Bombers 33-23.
The Las Vegas Posse, Shreveport Pirates and Baltimore Football Club became the CFL's tenth, eleventh and twelfth members respectively, and all beginning play in the 1994 season. Las Vegas joined the Western Division while Baltimore and Shreveport participated in the Eastern Division, bringing the number of teams in each Division to six. Bruce M. Firestone purchased the Ottawa Rough Riders Football Club from former owner Bernie Glieberman in February, 1994. In May, the JLL Broadcast Group purchased the Toronto Argonauts. B.C. Place Stadium played host to the 82nd Grey Cup Championship on November 27. It marked the twelfth time the game has been played in Vancouver. The first Grey Cup championship between a Canadian team and an American team was played on November 27 when the B.C. Lions defeated the Baltimore Club by a score of 26-23 on the last play of the game.
The 1995 season began with two more U.S.-based teams becoming part of the CFL family while during the off-season, the Sacramento Gold Miners were moved. In 1995, the San Antonio Texans (formerly the Gold Miners) played at the Alomodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Las Vegas Posse, after a slow inaugural season in 1994, ceased operations. However, the Memphis Mad Dogs and the Birmingham Barracudas brought to five the number of teams in the newly-created "South Division", while the "North Division" was comprised of the eight Canadian-based teams. The Grey Cup went south of the border for the first time ever as the Baltimore Stallions defeated the Calgary Stampeders 37-20 in Regina, Saskatchewan.
At the League's Board of Governors Meetings in February 1996, it was decided that the League would revert to its original All-Canadian team format. The Baltimore Stallions relocated to Montreal, a city which has been without the Alouettes for nine years. With the new configuration, the League also realigned the divisions to the original East-West format, which included moving Winnipeg back to the Western Division. A dispersal draft was held in March for the players from San Antonio, Shreveport, Memphis, and Birmingham. The B.C. Lions and Calgary Stampeders underwent ownership changes.
The League entered into the 1997 season with eight teams due to the non-participation of the Ottawa Rough Riders who folded after the completion of the 1996 season. The Montreal franchise began operations under new ownership headed by Robert C. Wetenhall and retained the Alouette name and logo. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers returned to the Eastern Division after a one year stint in the Western Division. A Dispersal Draft was held in February to distribute those players who were under contract to the Ottawa Club.
For the second time in its 86-year history, the Grey Cup game was awarded to the City of Winnipeg. TSN (The Sports Network) signed a five-year television contract giving them the rights to all CFL television broadcasts. The League also struck a sponsorship agreement with adidas that saw them become the "Official" footwear, practice wear and sport glove provider to the League.
The League enters the final season of the millennium on the heels of increased attendance and larger television audiences. Figures from the 1998 season show an increase in attendance of 6.1% as well as a 26.6% increase in TSN television viewers aged 2+. The 1998 Grey Cup game drew 3.06 million viewers, up 20.5% over 1997.
Back to top
The League enters the new millennium on a continued upward curve. League attendance is up for the second straight year gaining 5.6% over the previous season as 1,718,312 fans filed through the turnstiles during the regular season. Television ratings rose dramatically as TSN's grew by a 17.9% increase over the '98 season. The CFL had another excellent season on the whole in 2000. Television ratings and attendance both rose dramatically over the 1999 season. Acting Commissioner & Chairman John Tory and President & COO Jeff Giles both stepped down from their respective positions. Michael R. Lysko was named as the tenth Commissioner of the CFL on November 1. Calgary hosted an extremely successful week of Grey Cup festivities culminating with another classic finish to the game.
Many new corporate partners were brought on board, buying into the "less is more" philosophy. Television ratings grew again in 2001, especially in the key 18-34 category where TSN saw a growth of 55%, while RDS' grew by an astounding 116%. The CFL suspended it's Week 11 games due to the Sept. 11 tragedies. The CFL officially returned to the city of Ottawa on October 16. A group led by Brad Watters secured the Ottawa Renegades as well as the 2004 Grey Cup. The 89th Grey Cup took place in Montreal with incredible success, marked by the second largest attendance in history at 65,255. The CFL moved offices in December to a downtown Toronto location on Wellington St. East after 10 years on Eglinton.
The Board of Governors unanimously decided on March 19 to relieve Michael Lysko of his duties as Commissioner. In accordance with the constitution, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. David Braley became the acting Commissioner. On April 29, Paul Tagliabue became the first NFL Commissioner in history to visit the CFL Head Office. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers returned to the West Division. The Ottawa Renegades play their first regular season game ever on June 28 at Frank Clair Stadium. The CFL and CFLPA agreed to a new CBA on Oct. 16. TSN reported a 27% increase in viewership over 50 games. Tom E. Wright was introduced as the 11th Commissioner in CFL history on November 23. The Grey Cup attracted more than 60,000 fans for a record 2nd consecutive year. CBC announced a record TV audience of more than 5.2 million viewers nationally for the Grey Cup game.
A new 5-year television deal with TSN and CBC was announced on February 27. Seventy-seven games broadcast on TSN and CBC, most in League history. League introduces new specialty weekends including Canada Day Bash, Labour Day Classic and Gridiron Thanksgiving. CFL.ca launches new Website in July. The League office assumes control of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club on July 29. Chairman of the Board, Paul Robson, is appointed as interim Operations Manager. Receiver is appointed July 30. League office assumes control of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats football franchise on August 15. Alan Ford is appointed as interim Operations Manager. CFL announces sale of Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club to Bob Young on October 7. CFL announces sale of Toronto Argonauts Football Club to Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon on November 5. TSN achieves second highest viewership average in League history. League realizes its second straight attendance increase (+2%) in as many seasons, more than two million fans filed into CFL stadiums. Grey Cup TV audience reaches 4.4 million Canadian homes. CFL signs long-term partnerships with Reebok, Rogers and Sun Microsystems.
George Black appointed as new Director of Officiating (replacing Neil Payne who retired in February 2004). The League, through its partnership with Sun Microsystems, launched real-time in-game statistics entry with live play-by-play and scoring offered on CFL.ca. The CFL announced its partnership with FSN and launched a player-based and team-based game for 2004 season on June 2. The CFL also launched its first ever online kids section - the Dare CFL KidsZone. CFL embarked on a new international broadcast agreement with Trajectory Sports & Media Group, which delivered Canadian football to more than 50 million households across 176 countries. More than 2.2 million fans took in CFL games, an 8% increase over 2003. U.S. television coverage resulted in the largest international broadcast distribution of the 92nd Grey Cup in Ottawa, available to more than 55 million television households. CFL post-season crowds set new playoff attendance record of 181,717.
New ownership group led by former player John Forzani takes over the Calgary Stampeders. Ottawa Renegades also announce new ownership group led by Bill Smith and Bernie Glieberman. First ever CFL game is played in Halifax, Nova Scotia as the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats play to a 16-16 draw at Huskie Stadium. For only the second time ever, a Grey Cup was decided in overtime as the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Montreal Alouettes 38-35 at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C.
Back to top
GREY CUP RESULTS – 1909 TO PRESENT
2005 - Edmonton Eskimos 38, Montreal Alouettes 35, OT
2004 - Toronto Argonauts 27, B.C. Lions 19
2003 - Edmonton Eskimos 34, Montreal Alouettes 22
2002 - Montreal Alouettes 25, Edmonton Eskimos 16
2001 - Calgary Stampeders 27, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 19
2000 - B.C. Lions 28, Montreal Alouettes 26
1999 - Hamilton Tiger-Cats 32, Calgary Stampeders 21
1998 - Calgary Stampeders 26, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24
1997 - Toronto Argonauts 47, Saskatchewan Roughriders 23
1996 - Toronto Argonauts 43, Edmonton Eskimos 37
1995 - Baltimore Stallions 37, Calgary Stampeders 20
1994 - B.C. Lions 26, Baltimore CFLers 23
1993 - Edmonton Eskimos 33, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23
1992 - Calgary Stampeders 24, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 10
1991 - Toronto Argonauts 36, Calgary Stampeders 21
1990 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 50, Edmonton Eskimos 11
1989 - Saskatchewan Roughriders 43, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 40
1988 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 22, B.C. Lions 21
1987 - Edmonton Eskimos 38, Toronto Argonauts 36
1986 - Hamilton Tiger-Cats 39, Edmonton Eskimos 15
1985 - B.C. Lions 37, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24
1984 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 47, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 17
1983 - Toronto Argonauts 18, B.C. Lions 17
1982 - Edmonton Eskimos 32, Toronto Argonauts 16
1981 - Edmonton Eskimos 26, Ottawa Rough Riders 23
1980 - Edmonton Eskimos 48, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 10
1979 - Edmonton Eskimos 17, Montreal Alouettes 9
1978 - Edmonton Eskimos 20, Montreal Alouettes 13
1977 - Montreal Alouettes 41, Edmonton Eskimos 6
1976 - Ottawa Rough Riders 23, Saskatchewan Roughriders 20
1975 - Edmonton Eskimos 9, Montreal Alouettes 8
1974 - Montreal Alouettes 20, Edmonton Eskimos 7
1973 - Ottawa Rough Riders 22, Edmonton Eskimos 18
1972 - Hamilton Tiger-Cats 13, Saskatchewan Roughriders 10
1971 - Calgary Stampeders 14, Toronto Argonauts 11
1970 - Montreal Alouettes 23, Calgary Stampeders 10
1969 - Ottawa Rough Riders 29, Saskatchewan Roughriders 11
1968 - Ottawa Rough Riders 24, Calgary Stampeders 21
1967 - Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24, Saskatchewan Roughriders 1
1966 - Saskatchewan Roughriders 29, Ottawa Rough Riders 14
1965 - Hamilton Tiger-Cats 22, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 16
1964 - B.C. Lions 34, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24
1963 - Hamilton Tiger-Cats 21, B.C. Lions 10
1962 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 28, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 27
1961 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 21, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 14, OT
1960 - Ottawa Rough Riders 16, Edmonton Eskimos 6
1959 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 21, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7
1958 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 35, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 28
1957 - Hamilton Tiger-Cats 32, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 7
1956 - Edmonton Eskimos 50, Montreal Alouettes 27
1955 - Edmonton Eskimos 34, Montreal Alouettes 19
1954 - Edmonton Eskimos 26, Montreal Alouettes 25
1953 - Hamilton Tiger-Cats 12, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 6
1952 - Toronto Argonauts 21, Edmonton Eskimos 11
1951 - Ottawa Rough Riders 21, Saskatchewan Roughriders 14
1950 - Toronto Argonauts 13, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 0
1949 - Montreal Alouettes 28, Calgary Stampeders 15
1948 - Calgary Stampeders 12, Ottawa Rough Riders 7
1947 - Toronto Argonauts 10, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 9
1946 - Toronto Argonauts 28, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 6
1945 - Toronto Argonauts 35, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 0
1944 - St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy 7, Hamilton Wildcats 6
1943 - Hamilton Flying Wildcats 23, Winnipeg R.C.A.F. Bombers 14
1942 - Toronto R.C.A.F. Hurricanes 8, Winnipeg R.C.A.F. Bombers 5
1941 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 18, Ottawa Rough Riders 16
1940 - Ottawa Rough Riders 12, Toronto Balmy Beach 5
1940 - Ottawa Rough Riders 8, Toronto Balmy Beach 2
1939 - Winnipeg Blue Bombers 8, Ottawa Rough Riders 7
1938 - Toronto Argonauts 30, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 7
1937 - Toronto Argonauts 4, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 3
1936 - Sarnia Imperials 26, Ottawa Rough Riders 20
1935 - Winnipeg Winnipegs 18, Hamilton Tigers 12
1934 - Sarnia Imperials 20, Regina Roughriders 12
1933 - Toronto Argonauts 4, Sarnia Imperials 3
1932 - Hamilton Tigers 25, Regina Roughriders 6
1931 - Montreal Winged Wheelers 22, Regina Roughriders 0
1930 - Toronto Balmy Beach 11, Regina Roughriders 6
1929 - Hamilton Tigers 14, Regina Roughriders 3
1928 - Hamilton Tigers 30, Regina Roughriders 0
1927 - Toronto Balmy Beach 9, Hamilton Tigers 6
1926 - Ottawa Senators 10, University of Toronto 7
1925 - Ottawa Senators 24, Winnipeg Tammany Tigers 1
1924 - Queen’s University 11, Toronto Balmy Beach 3
1923 - Queen’s University 54, Regina Roughriders 0
1922 - Queen’s University 13, Edmonton Elks 1
1921 - Toronto Argonauts 23, Edmonton Eskimos 0
1920 - University of Toronto 16, Toronto Argonauts 3
1915 - Hamilton Tigers 13, Toronto Rowing 7
1914 - Toronto Argonauts 14, University of Toronto 2
1913 - Hamilton Tigers 44, Toronto Parkdale 2
1912 - Hamilton Alerts 11, Toronto Argonauts 4
1911 - University of Toronto 14, Toronto Argonauts 7
1910 - University of Toronto 16, Hamilton Tigers 7
1909 - University of Toronto 26, Toronto Parkdale 6
SOURCE: CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Back to top