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Canadian Football: Called Games History Clarification

August 10, 2019 - Canadian Football League (CFL) News Release

Following on yesterday's CFL regular season game between Montreal and Saskatchewan that was called with 2:41 to play in the 3rd Quarter due to severe weather, the CFL Stats Department provides the following clarification as to a previous occurrence along with its relevant circumstances.

The earlier game took place on October 25, 1954 in Vancouver between the BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders. That one was called with 6:11 left in the 4th Quarter by WIFU Commissioner G. Sydney Halter due to foggy conditions at Empire Stadium and the result of 15-9 in favour of Saskatchewan declared final. Further context around that decision was offered that day by the Hon. Mr. Halter: "As it was the final game of the season and as the standing of the league cannot be altered or affected, I see no purpose in the game being replayed either wholly or partially. Accordingly, I'm going to rule that the game stand as a completed game". The essence being somewhat different reasons for the call, and if there had been something at stake it would likely have been resumed later on.

Historical Treatment

Given the 1954 date, historically therefore it was NOT a CFL regular season game since the league itself was not formed until 1958 when the merger of the old IRFU (Big Four) and WIFU leagues in the East and West was completed. However ... our deep history dates back to 1907 in the East and 1936 in the West with many founding Clubs that date their formation back to those years and even earlier and are still CFL member Clubs today.

Therefore it is more than correct to include this October 1954 game as the first of its kind, and to view the 2019 game in Montreal yesterday as the SECOND such occurrence. The CFL has always viewed its history as deeper than the merger year of 1958 of course since very little changed immediately either side of that year beyond a few rules and organizational matters. Since 1907, we now count 5,681 regular season games from IRFU-WIFU days up to last night's contest in Edmonton.

Note: To these two occurrences, can be added the 1962 Grey Cup but of course not as regular season play. That game was resumed the next day in any case.

CFL Stats would like to thank sincerely our many talented writers and commentators such as Rob Vanstone for their contributions to this event, and to all other historical matters as their research is every bit as valuable as our own.


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