The place for fans of Canadian University Football

A Brief Introduction

Origins of the Game

Central Canada
- CIRFU 1898-1914
- Post WWI 1919-39
- Post WWII 1946-54
- A New Era 1955-66
- Ontario & Quebec 1967-79
- Ontario & Quebec 1980-

Western Canada
- WIRFU 1927-58
- WIFL 1959-1971
- CWUAA 1972-1998
- CW 1999-Present

Atlantic Canada
- Nova Scotia 1940-57
- NB and PEI 1948-57
- Atlantic Canada 1958-73
- AUFC 1974-Present

National and Regional Championships
- Introduction
- Churchill Bowl 1953-1964
- Churchill Bowl 1965-2002
- Atlantic Bowl 1959-2001
- Mitchell Bowl 2002-Present
- Uteck Bowl 2003-Present
- Vanier Cup 1965-Present

Conference Membership
- Atlantic
- Ontario
- Quebec
- West


A History of Canadian University Football
By Robert E. Watkins, B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D. - revised May 2006

1955-1966: New Era for Senior Intercollegiate Football in Central Canada

  • 1955 - upon the disbanding of the CIAUC, the Ontario-Quebec Athletic Association (OQAA) and the Ottawa-St. Lawrence Intercollegiate Athletic Association (OSLIAA) were established as independent intercollegiate athletic organizations

  • The SIFL became known officially as the OQAA football conference although the SIFL tag lingered on for many years afterward; the OSL football conference became the OSLIAA football conference

  • The number of university football programs seeking competition at the senior level mushroomed during this period

  • Upon becoming an autonomous intercollegiate athletic association, the OSLIAA football conference decided to play exhibition games only against the "seconds" of McGill and Queen's rather than incorporate the latter teams into their league; this decision was taken in order to reinforce the perception that the OSLIAA was now playing "senior" level, not intermediate level, football

  • 1957 - the desire for senior football competition also led to the creation of the Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference (OIFC); this conference provided the opportunity for competition at a "senior" level for those universities and colleges which did not belong to, or who were not granted membership in, the SIFL/OQAA senior series

  • The original members of the OIFC were:
    • Carleton, McMaster, OAC, RMC, Ottawa and the University of Waterloo (formerly Waterloo College).

  • The OSLIAA football conference continued as before although the two sections or divisions by 1958 were called "Western" and "Eastern" rather than "A" and "B":
    • Western Division: Carleton, RMC and Ottawa (note: all three members of this Division were also simultaneously members of the OIFC);
    • Eastern Division: Bishop's, Loyola (from 1958), Macdonald College, RMC seconds (who were asked to withdraw following the 1959 season) and St. Patrick's (note: CMR withdrew from competition following the 1957 season, the program later returned to senior competition in 1965).

  • 1960 - the OSLIAA football conference established a championship series between the winners of the Eastern and Western divisions; thus the teams in the Western division could be both OIFC champions and overall OSLIAA champions in the same season, a feat the Ottawa team achieved in 1960, 1961 and 1965

  • 1961 - an important milestone in Canadian university sport was reached with the formation of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU), a truly national university sport governing body whose membership consisted of the various regional intercollegiate athletics associations across the country; university football was included and affected by this development as one of the sports now governed by this body

  • The period from 1960 to 1966 is noteworthy for the growth in the number of schools in Central Canada which took up the intercollegiate game and also for the frequent realignment of teams and leagues

  • The Université de Montréal (circa 1960) and the Université de Sherbrooke (circa 1960) established football programs which played exhibition games against teams of the OSLIAA Eastern Division during the 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965 seasons

  • 1963 - Waterloo Lutheran University (WLU), which first fielded a varsity football team in 1961, joined the OIFC; Loyola transferred from the Eastern Division to the Western Division of the Ottawa-St.Lawrence Athletic Association (OSLAA, formerly the OSLIAA) and also began competition in the OIFC:
    • OIFC: Carleton, Loyola, McMaster, OAC, RMC, Ottawa, Waterloo and WLU;
    • OSLAA Western Division: Carleton, Loyola, RMC and Ottawa;
    • OSLAA Eastern Division: Bishop's, CMR (1965 and 1966 only), Macdonald College and St. Patrick's.

  • 1966 - Laurentian University and the Université de Montréal joined the OIFC swelling the league's membership to ten teams:
    • OIFC: Carleton, Laurentian, Loyola, McMaster, Montréal, OAC, RMC, Ottawa, Waterloo and WLU.

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