Getting into the CFL Schedule
Brief Introduction to the CFL
The Canadian Football League (CFL) is a Canadian professional football league. The CFL is the top level of football play in Canada. The league is made up of nine clubs, each of which is based in a different Canadian city. They are split into two divisions: the East Division has four clubs and the West Division has five.
The CFL was formed when the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (or “Big Four”) and the Western Interprovincial Football Union merged on January 19, 1958. Eastern clubs exclusively played Western teams in pre-season and the Grey Cup Championship before inter-division play was introduced in 1961.
The CFL is the main sport that Canadians follow during the summer and fall as they do not have a big college football presence like in the United States. When hockey is not in season the CFL is one of the biggest draws throughout the country as a uniting force.
History of CFL Schedule
Team training camps begin 28 days before the first regular season game of the season, with a separate session for first-year players authorized three days before the main camp begins. Each club plays two games against opponents from its own division during the pre-season exhibition schedule, which lasts two weeks.
The regular season runs for 21 weeks, starting in mid-June and ending in early November. The CFL’s nine current clubs are split into two divisions: four teams in the East Division and five teams in the West Division. Each club plays two games against each of the other eight teams, as well as two divisional games against opponents that are rotated during the season. Each club receives three bye weeks throughout the regular season, which consists of 18 games.
The Labour Day Classic, which takes place over the Labor Day weekend, features the first half of a home-and-home series between the traditional geographic rivalries of Toronto–Hamilton, Edmonton–Calgary, Winnipeg–Saskatchewan, and Ottawa–Montreal. BC faced one of these clubs in years when Ottawa or Montreal were not in the league.
The replay of these games the following week is also a popular event, particularly in recent years, when the rematch of the Saskatchewan–Winnipeg game has been called the Banjo Bowl.
The Hall of Fame Game and the Thanksgiving Day Classic, a doubleheader scheduled on Thanksgiving that normally does not involve traditional rivalries, are also part of the regular season schedule. Touchdown Atlantic was a neutral site regular season game played in Moncton from 2010 to 2013.
Main Events on CFL Schedule
In November, the playoffs are held. The top club in each division receives an automatic home berth in the division final and a bye week during the division semifinal after the regular season. Unless a fourth-place team from one division finishes with a better record than a third-place team from the other, the second-place team from each division hosts the third-place team in the division semifinal.
The winners of each division’s semifinal games go to the division finals to face the first-place teams. Scotiabank has been the title sponsor of the division semifinals and finals since 2005. The two division champions then meet in the Grey Cup game, which has been hosted on the fourth or fifth Sunday of November since 2007. In 2021, the game will be played in December for the first time since 1972.
CFL Main Venues
Commonwealth Stadium is an outdoor stadium in Edmonton, Alberta’s McCauley neighborhood. It is mostly used by the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Elks. The stadium, which was built for the 1978 Commonwealth Games and opened in 1978, is owned and administered by the City of Edmonton. Commonwealth Stadium is the largest stadium in the CFL, with a permanent seating capacity of 56,302.
BC Place is a multi-purpose stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on the north side of False Creek. The BC Pavilion Company (PavCo), a crown corporation of the province, owns and operates it. It was the world’s largest air-supported roof when it first opened on June 19, 1983.
The stadium was shut down in 2010 for a substantial refurbishment and reconfiguration. It reopened as the world’s largest cable-supported retractable roof stadium on September 30, 2011. The BC Lions of the Canadian Football League call this stadium home.
Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field is a football stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan, that mostly hosts Canadian football games. Since 1910, it has been the primitive home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, and since 1936, it has been a complete stadium. The University of Regina Rams of the Canadian Football League, the Regina Thunder of the Canadian Junior Football League, and the Regina Riot of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League all call it home.
After Covid-19 Details
After COVID-19 hit, the CFL ended up canceling the entire 2020 season. This was much in part due to the heavy mandates that swept through Canada. The CFL had planned on an abbreviated season but those plans were put on hold and eventually concealed as a new variant appeared.
The 2021 season was a 14 game slate instead of the usual 18 games. For the most part, the season ended up going on without a hitch and Canadian football fans got their football fix. This upcoming season will be mostly back to normal as this summer they will embark on the 2022 season and no sanctions have been announced yet for this year of play.
CFL Schedule FAQs
They play 18 regular season games.
The title game of the CFL is dubbed the “Grey Cup”.
No, the CFL ended up canceling the entire season.
Commonwealth Stadium is the biggest stadium in the CFL.
They are generally held in November each year.