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

National and Regional Championships

Atlantic Bowl 1959 to 2001

  • 1959 - the Atlantic Bowl, inaugurated in 1956 for competition between the winner of the MIAA football conference and mostly championship intermediate from Central Canada, became restricted to competition between university teams--the MIAA champions and generally the winners of one of the three university football conferences in Central Canada; the first university inter-conference Atlantic Bowl was won by StFX of the MIAA over the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC, now the University of Guelph) of the OIFC by a score of 26-14

  • Emblematic of victory in the Atlantic Bowl is the Robert L. Stanfield Trophy, a handsome silver bowl donated by Robert Stanfield then Premier of Nova Scotia, later leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

  • 1959-1961 - the MIAA champions played against teams from the OIFC/OSLIAA football conferences

  • 1962-1963 - the MIAA champions played against teams from the OQAA (SIFL) football conference

  • 1964 - the Atlantic Bowl game was once again competed for by the MIAA and the OIFC/OSLIAA title winners

  • 1965-1966 - Atlantic Bowl competition was suspended due to the establishment of the invitational Canadian College Bowl

  • 1967 - the Atlantic Bowl was re-established, now serving as one of the two semi-final bowl games leading up to the national championship--the Vanier Cup; McMaster of the CCIFC played StFX of the AUFC for the right to move on to the Vanier Cup

  • From 1967 until 2001, with the one exception noted below, the Atlantic Bowl was staged in Halifax, the competitors being the winners of the AUFC and, on a rotational basis, the winners of one of the other three university football conferences

  • 1983 - for this one year only, the Atlantic Bowl featured two teams from the AUAA football conference (StFX and Acadia) with the winner not proceeding to the Vanier Cup; this state of affairs resulted from a dispute between the AUAA and the CIAU over the venue of the Atlantic Bowl game; the CIAU, under pressure from one or more of the other university football conferences, wished to rotate the site of the game, the AUAA refused and withdrew from Vanier Cup competition; the Atlantic Bowl was re-established as a semi-final game for the Vanier Cup for the 1984 season and played in Halifax

  • Following the 2002 and prior to the 2003 football season, the governing body of football within Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS, formerly known as the CIAU) decided that the semi-final bowl game formerly known as the Atlantic Bowl must alternate between the Atlantic University Sports (AUS, formerly the AUAA) site and a site located in one of the other three conferences, this decision marked the end of the forty-three year history of the Atlantic Bowl; the CIAU Almanac (post 2003-04) now lists all prior Atlantic Bowl games under the Uteck Bowl heading

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