(Not So) Frequently Asked Questions

Published on April 17, 2011 1:18 PM by dbo.

CFLdb’s purpose is to provide an information source relating to the Canadian Football League. We have the rulebook and glossary online (improvements coming sooner or later) as resources and our FAQ section covers many of the common and frequently asked questions we see, either through searches and email. The CBA, Schedules and Stadium Status pages also help many find information they seek. We do get specific questions asked, either directly submitted/emailed or arrived from a search engine, that don’t warrant, in our opinion, an entry in our FAQ pages. Instead, we will highlight some of these infrequently asked questions here and provide some answers as well.

Most of the questions that do not qualify for our FAQ are phrased as “why” questions. Generally why questions are not good candidates for the FAQ as they require too much personal opinion and subjectivity in the answer. CFLdb tries to stick to facts and reference our sources when possible to eliminate any personal slant appearing in answers or other informational pages. In this article we will provide our opinion as to the why of some of these questions, which are one viewpoint only.

Why don’t all teams play a Labour Day rematch? Why don’t the Argos host the Tiger-Cats in a Labour Day rematch?

This question may be best answered with a question: Why do they have to? In a small league, scheduling variety can be a difficult task, and having all teams play back-to-back series in the middle of the season can provide a very bland, repetitive schedule. Even with four teams sticking to back-to-back traditions, it limits the competition available to other clubs. As soon as six teams participate, all eight must play back-to-back series.

I can see why some hold that full back-to-back series against rivals is a big crowd opportunity for each team. Symmetry in the schedule and duplicating the traditional match-ups seems automatic, but I believe repeating this stunt scheduling year after year would leave to fan boredom when the schedule is so short. Variety helps bring the unknown and interest into the schedule.

In fact, back-to-back match ups between the teams during that time of the season has been more frequent in the last ten years than in the 20 years previous to that. In the 2000’s, Hamilton and Toronto played back-to-back Labour Day series in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Prior to that, only one true back-to-back series in 1991 and Toronto hosting Hamilton the week after Hamilton had played Montreal on Labour Day occurred a few times in the 1980’s. There is not much tradition here. With Toronto’s stadium availability a factor, requiring the schedule to have the same teams play home and home series would hamstring the schedule maker and make for a very bland schedule.

How will the CFL schedule work with nine teams? How will bye weeks work with nine teams?

The short answer: the same way it has worked with nine teams in the past.

When the Ottawa Renegades were the ninth franchise from 2002-2005, the schedule had the following structure to manage an odd number of teams in the first two years:

  • the regular season schedule had 19 weeks
  • in the first half of the schedule, every other week was a five game week, meaning ten teams played, meaning one team played twice, usually 4 or 5 days apart
  • the weeks following a five game week were a four game week, granting the team who played twice the previous week a bye
  • five teams played games in short weeks this way, but received an extra bye
  • the last nine weeks of the each team received one bye week

In the last two years of the Renegades, the schedule worked as follows:

  • the season was moved back a week to accommodate a 20 week season
  • there was one five game week in the season
  • each team received 2 bye weeks, plus one extra bye week for the team that played twice in one week

Prior to that, the league operated with nine teams and a 18 game schedule in 1996, 1993, and 1986. 1996 featured the same schedule format as 2002-2003, 1993 featured an 18 week season with five games a week in the first 9 weeks and 4 games a week (and one bye) in the last nine weeks of the season and 1986 featured a 20 week season similar to 2004-2005.

Why are CFL player salaries not published? Why is the CFLPA salary survey not available?

Rules around a CFL player salary survey are dictated by Section 26.03 of the CBA. It states that the Player Relations Committee and Players Association will attempt to prepare a joint salary survey. If they are unable to agree as to the form of the salary survey, both parties may proceed with a salary survey of their own. There is nothing to restrict the publication of a salary survey.

The basis of a salary survey, whether jointly performed or by each side can be used internally and shared among their members and other interested parties (agents). There is no benefit to either side to publishing the survey publicly. Would you publish your salary to the world?

In my recollection, CFL player base salaries were publicly published once, in 1992 or 1993, apparently by mistake. I do not expect that to occur again.

How much did the first CFL teams cost?

The original franchises of the CFL, formed in 1958, have storied histories going back decades before their amalgamation into a single league, first the CFC, then the CFL. As such, when they formed the league to operate within, there was no franchise cost. There were no existing franchises to compensate and the league was just a new organization to operate their franchises in as they had done previously.

When the BC Lions joined the WIFU in 1954, there was no expansion fee, but the Lions had to pay the travel costs of visiting teams who had this additional expense compared to previous years. There was no interlocking play at this time, so only Western clubs were affected, though Eastern IRFU clubs did make appearances in Vancouver for pre-season games. It is not clear for how many years this agreement was in place.

Here are some more questions asked infrequently with opinionated answers.

Do I have a winning ticket?

After the Grey Cup, people want to know if their pool ticket is a winner. Without knowing the exact rules of each contest it is impossible to know. If you cannot determine yourself if you are winner based on the score, please contact the organizers of the pool to confirm your tickets worth.

What is the definition of the 13th man?

The CFL plays with twelve (12) men per side on the field. Therefore the 13th man is the home crowd, providing the additional boost for the local team. If a team was to have 13 men on the field, that would be an Illegal Substitution or Too Many Men penalty.

Is the CFL a good place to play football?


Will the CFL expand to Alaska?



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(Not So) Frequently Asked Questions was published on April 17, 2011 1:18 PM by dbo.

1,241 words.

This article is categorized under Game and tagged with franchises and schedules.

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