The CFL Weather Protocol established in 2019 allows for games to be declared final when a game is stopped after the midway (7:30) mark of the 3rd quarter if a 1-hour delay does not allow for the resumption of the game. The primary reason for a stoppage would be because of lightning or other dangerous conditions in the area (within 10 km radius of the stadium). Additional details cover the conditions that cause a stoppage (immediate danger to players and fans), the protocol for games that do not reach the midway point of the 3rd quarter, and the differences for playoff and Grey Cup games. Please review the full league protocol for complete details.
Football is played in almost all conditions. Only when the safety of players, fans and others is at risk will a game be suspended. In Canada, the events that would cause temporary suspension (perhaps 15-90 minutes) are lightning, tornados or very high winds (all as part of a thunderstorm in the immediate vicinity) but would not cause the game to be cancelled outright. A game would also not be cancelled because of rain, snow, sleet, cold, heat or any other weather condition. Fans with tickets to a game should be prepared for the forecast conditions and should not expect a postponement until more attractive weather is present for their comfort.
Game delays due to dangerous weather conditions may result in a shorter half-time break if the stoppage occurs in the first half. Teams will welcome eliminating another break in the endeavour to complete the game. An increase in the number of weather-delayed games is the result of a combination of improved technology, increased aversion to risk/avoidance of liability, knowledge of weather systems and climate change. From information stated on weather-interrupted game broadcasts and follow ups in 2018, it appeared the lightning standard was a strike within 17 km radius of the stadium to require the game be suspended, though it is unclear what the time span was for this radius to not record a lightning strike before the game could be resumed. Location of lightning strikes and exact positions of weather systems simply wasn't available to game officials 25-30 years ago, and so game suspensions were left to individual observation of conditions.
Sometimes game times are rescheduled from their original date and time well in advance due to conflicts or other issues. More rare are last minute rescheduled games, but they do happen for unpredictable events such as blackouts and society shutdowns due to terrorism or other events. Cancelled games are not very likely to occur as it would require the team forcing the cancellation to forfeit the game.
The guidelines for postponement of a game are found in the CFL By-laws, Section 1, Paragraph 9 (a).
If prior to any game the best information available indicates the probability of extremely unfavourable playing conditions, including but not limited to those which would be created by inclement weather of any kind, force majeure or power failure, a game may be postponed to the following day if such postponement is authorized:
- For a regular season and playoff game by the Commissioner and both competing Clubs.
- For the Grey Cup Championship Game by the Commissioner.
The reason football does not postpone or cancel games because of weather is twofold: first, football is a game that can be played in any kind of weather with only conditions that threaten safety a concern, and most importantly, football is a game that is played once a week. Schedules do not permit games to be postponed and played later. Unlike baseball, where games are played almost daily with multiple series against opponents in a season, and postponed games can be made up with double-headers or in gaps in the schedule, football schedules do not allow such flexibility. Since football is not affected by the weather, every attempt is made to complete a football game on the day scheduled, allowing for temporary delays for dangerous conditions.
The most famous interruption of a game was the 1962 Grey Cup which was suspended due to fog in the 4th quarter and continued the next day. Prior to floodlights being installed in most stadiums, games in the late fall were sometimes suspended for darkness, to either be replayed or continued on a future date. Otherwise, CFL games have been played in every imaginable condition.
An examination of historical weather was undertaken with the 2014 refresh of the weather information in the database.
See the following links for information for individual stadiums in CFL cities:
Edmonton Eskimos — information on getting to and from Home Games.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats — information on Ticket to Ride and parking around Tim Hortons Field.
Ottawa RedBlacks — transportation guide, including free Park and Shuttle service, transit, bike and park and accessible transportation options. No parking for general admission patrons is available at TD Place.
Toronto Argonauts — parking information for BMO Field.
Each team and stadium policy will vary. See the links to the policies of each team/stadium below. You may also find stadium directions and parking information on the stadium pages.
Generally, personal cameras, small bags or knapsacks and small plastic bottles are allowed. Alcohol, drugs, weapons, laser pointers, hard-sided coolers and anything that could be dangerous or thrown (cans, bottles) are banned. Smoking is prohibited. Check the specifics of each team/stadium first and, if necessary, contact the team for clarification.
Calgary — FAQ
Hamilton — Tim Hortons Field
Winnipeg — Fan Code of Conduct
The CFL and its member clubs pride themselves on player accessibility and community service. The below is generalized information, check with each team for specific details, processes and restrictions imposed by that team.
Policies will differ from team to team, but generally a team practices are open to the public, with perhaps one practice a week closed. Fans should check the desired team's online practice schedule for locations, dates, times, restrictions and more information:
Autographs are best acquired after team practices, special team events and fan days or at community appearances. If you are not local to the team, you may send materials to be signed to the team with information on who is to sign along with return shipping materials prepaid. However, such requests should be reasonable and are done at your own risk.
Visiting team players may be seen at locations around their hotel on game day mornings. Politely and respectfully approaching them for autographs or pictures will likely be well received, especially by young fans. Rudeness, an attitude of entitlement and trash talking would not be welcome by anyone. Visiting players might also be available for a quick meeting as they arrive at the stadium. Your results may vary; evaluate the circumstances, check with official personnel, and act accordingly.
Alumni are best found at official events like award ceremonies, dinners, reunions, appearances and the like. They are likely to enjoy meeting a fan and talk football anytime, but everyone is different and people do have schedules they must keep, so use your judgement and react appropriately.
In addition to multiple partnerships with charities and public service initiatives, teams support charities and initiatives with player appearances. Players make community appearances throughout the year, though appearances are restricted during the season due to busy schedules. Teams provide the ability to request appearances from players and mascots on their websites. Players will donate their time for community appearances, but honorariums may be accepted. Commercial appearances require an appearance fee, which are set by the player.
Teams also provide the requirements on their websites for qualified organizations to request donations for fundraising initiatives. Requests must be for fundraising (not for awards, prizes or incentives) and not for personal use. Due to the volume of requests, organizations may be limited to one request per year, and not all requests can be filled. Check the desired team's website for more details.