Canadian Football

This is an index page to the history of the results and tables of Canadian Football – the Canadian Football League, Canadian Junior Football League, Canadian Semi-Pro State League and U Sport (Canadian University Football). Where possible an Irish link has been found – for example American Football Ireland teams v Football Canada teams, Irish-born players in the Canadian Leagues, or simply just a team with an Irish name, such as Queen’s University Gaels in Kingston, Ontario. After the brief preamble explaining the differences between Canadian and American Football, and the common origins of both in a game played between McGill University (Montreal) and Harvard University (Massachusetts), the reader will find links to the results and tables of the Football Canada Leagues (CFL, CJFL, Semi-Pro Provincial Leagues, and U Sport).

There are 4 main versions of Gridiron Football: the traditional 11v11 game played in USA, a 12v12 version of the game played in Canada, and a 8v8 version of the game played Indoors on converted Ice Hockey Arenas.


[1] Professional Football Researchers Association (2011) “No Christian End!” The Early History of Professional Football. pg. 23-32. PFRA Publications. Connecticut.

Bristol (White) v Greendell (Green)

With the first tour of Ireland and Britain in 1994 Canadian teams have been playing Irish teams at American Football, with Canadian rules thrown in.

Picture Credit: [7] Irish American Football Association (2013) Bristol (White) and Greendell (Green) at Tallaght Stadium [Internet] Available from:×487.jpg [Accessed 8 November 2019]

American Football Ireland v Football Canada

American Football Ireland v Football Canada

Canadian U21 Teams International:

Canadian U20 & High School Gridiron Football Teams in Ireland 2012-2013

Irish American Football Teams v Canadian U21 Teams 2002-2013

Canadian Semi-Pro Provincial Leagues International:

Irish American Football Teams v Canadian Semi-Pro Teams 1994-1995

Saskatchewan Roughriders v Edmonton Eskimoes 2008 October 25

Picture Credit: Shutterstock / Scott Prokop (2008) REGINA – OCT 25: Canadian Football League game featuring the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Eskimoes. October 25, 2008 in Regina, Canada. [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 4 May 2021]

The 12v12 version of the game played in Canada differs from American Football not only in the number of players allowed on the field at any one time (12 in a Canadian Football team versus 11 in an American Football team), but also in the size of the field (a Canadian Football field is 110 yards long with two 20-yard endzones, while an American Football field is 100 yards long with two 15 yard endzones). Canadian Football teams also have only three downs (attempts) in which to gain 10 yards or the ball is turned over as opposed to four downs in American Football. There is also the possibility of scoring a “Rouge” in Canadian Football – this happens when the ball is kicked through the back of the endzone, and is worth one point.

CFL Logo 1960s
CFL Logo 1960s

Picture Credit: [3] Kids Encyclopedia facts | Kiddle (2019) Canadian Football League League facts for Kids [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 9 June 2019]

The Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the Big Four (Hamilton Tigers, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders and Montreal Football Club), The Grey Cup was donated in 1909 by the Earl of Grey, for which only Canadian Rugby Union members may play for. The CFL’s version of the Super Bowl, and since the 1950s has been in the sole possession of the CFL, when the sport broke away from the Canadian Rugby Union and formed its own League, with the Cup dating back to the late-nineteenth century.

football game
Photo by football wife on

The 12 players per team dates to 1874 when McGill University from Montreal challenged Harvard University in Massachusetts to two games of Football – one under Harvard’s American Rules, and one under McGill’s Rugby rules. At the time Soccer (Association Football) was favoured in USA Colleges, and Harvard had continued to play by “Boston Rules” (an early version of the game played in Boston). Canadian Football at the time favoured Rugby rules. Only 12 players made the trip to Harvard for the game from McGill, and as well as both Universities favouring the smaller number of players (there is 15 on a Rugby team), Harvard liked the idea of a Touchdown, as used in the Canadian Rugby version of the game. From then on the Harvard-McGill rules won out in both USA and Canada over Rugby and Soccer (with 12 players in Canada and 11 in USA). [For References see The Early History of Professional Football by the Professional Football Researchers Association – see [1] under Bibliography.

Early Canadian Football 1861-1909

Early Canadian Football 1861-1909

Canadian Rugby Union

Canadian Rugby Union 1898-1906

Canadian Rugby Football Union

Canadian Rugby Union Senior Champions 1892-1908

Canadian Rugby Football Union Senior Champions 1884-1887

Canadian Rugby (Football) University v Toronto 1875

CRFU (Results): 1887 1886 1885 1884

Ontario Rugby Football Union

ORFU (Results): 1891 1890 1889 1888 1883

Quebec Rugby Football Union

QRFU (Results): 1891 1890 1889 1888 1883

football players
Photo by Joe Calomeni on

U Sport is the National Governing Body for Canadian University Sports

U Sport (Canadian University Football)

U Sport

Irish-Born Canadian College players

Patrick J Fogarty Irish-born US and Canadian College Football Player 1914-1917

RSEQ (Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec)

RSEQ (Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec) University Football 1987-1990

RSEQ University Football (Seasons): 2019

Canadian Junior Football League Logo
Canadian Junior Football League Logo

The Canadian Bowl is the Championship Game of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), the second level of Canadian Football. It was first played in 1907 as the Canadian Rugby Union (CRU) Junior Championship, becoming the Leader-Post Trophy in 1925. After one year in 1947 as the Evergreen Bowl it became the Leader-Post Trophy again. It was known as the Leader-Post Trophy until 1976, two years after the Canadian Rugby Union (CRU) was renamed the Canadian National Junior Football League (CNJFL), when the Trophy was rebranded the Armadale Cup. It was again renamed in 1989, this time as the Canadian Bowl, seven years after the CNJFL became the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL).

Picture Credit: [Canada 3] Canadian Junior Football League | Facebook (2011) CJFL Profile Picture: March 3, 2011 [Internet] Available from: 20 December 2019]

football players in red and white jersey shirt and white pants
Photo by Tim Mossholder on

The earliest Provincial Football Leagues in Ontario date back to 1890

Ontario Provincial Leagues

Canadian Rugby Football Unions;

Ontario Provincial Championships (1890-1906)

Ontario Junior Football Leagues

Junior Ontario Rugby Football Union (Canadian Football) 1902-1906

Junior Ontario Rugby Football Union (Canadian Football) Championship Games 1890-1901

Ontario Football Leagues (Universities and Colleges):

Junior Inter-Collegiate Rugby Football Union (Canadian Football) 1906

Little Big Four (Canadian Football) 1902-1906

Shamrock Park, Saint John, New Brunswick

Of Interest to readers in Ireland is that the Field in which Saint John Wanderers play in New Brunswick is named Shamrock Park.

Also of interest to Irish readers is that the Maritime Football League Maritime Bowl Trophy is named the McIntyre Cup after one of the founders of the MFL. McIntyre is an Irish name.

[10] Saint John (2021) Aerial of Shamrock Park [Cropped] [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 21 September 2021]

Canadian Provincial Football Leagues (3rd Level)

Canadian Provincial Football Leagues

Maritime Canada

Atlantic Football League

Atlantic Football League Moosehead Cup Champions 2009-Present

Atlantic Football League 2016-2019

Maritime Football League

Maritime Football League (Canada) 2015-2019

Northern Ontario & Quebec

Northern Football Conference 2015-2019


Manitoba Junior Football Leagues

Manitoba Junior Rugby Football Union (Canadian Football) 1893-1904


Alberta Football League (Seasons): 2019

CFL v NFL Cartoon

Picture Credit: [2] Ninety-Nine Yards, Chris Lawton (2020) An International Fixture: When the CFL played teams from other leagues [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 14 May 2020]