CFL Playoff Format

When ever the CFL comes back why not go back to the format that was used only once (1986 CFL season) where instead of the crossover they stay in division and have a 4 team tournament and the other division has a 2 game series.

That way you still have an East West Grey Cup.

The league is already contemplating a change in the format. Instead of the current format, they will still give the division winners the bye and then seed the next 4 teams regardless of division.

The problem with a 2 game total point series it can drag ratings down. If the first game is a blowout then less people will tune into game 2.

Playoffs traditionally gives the best ratings for the season because it's sudden death. Best of 7 series generally will get the best ratings on game 7 for that reason too.

Soccer works better in a total point format because it's a lower scoring game and an emphasis can be put on the road goal.

Good reason why the 2 game format hasn't been used since 1986 and will continue to do so.

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I see that point but instead of a total point series just have a mini game if teams win one a piece.

The mini game already exists in the event of a tied game which is called overtime. Even using the shootout format can be used to settl after game 2.

It will won't address if the first game is a blowout hurting ratings for game 2. Keeping it all sudden death has a better change of keeping ratings consistently high.

Or the other format would be just 2 teams in each division.

They will play a best 2of 3 series

Winners go to the Grey Cup.

4 out of 9 teams making the playoffs would work in a shorten season like this year may be.

Having the few make it over an 18 game season would put teams out of it sooner which would hurt attendance and ratings later in the season. More leagues are looking to add teams to the playoffs like the NFL is and MLB is contemplating. No chance the CFL will reduce the playoff field.

The problem with a best of 3 would be 2 fold 1), it would take up to 3 weeks to decide who makes the Grey Cup, up from 2 with fewer teams involved which I think will lead to less interest
2) If one division final is a sweep and the other goes the distance then 1 team will have an additional week off before the Grey Cup which will create a competitive disadvantage

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Plus the it would destroy the live gate in game 2 if the home team is already down by 40 after the first match.

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It's nice to talk about something we all care for.

Just want the league to do well.

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We all do. Well, at least most of us here.

Personally, I like the 2 game total points. Makes for great hype the week in between the 2 games even if game 1 is one sided.
What's more, a prolonged contest helps mitigate the "luck" factor a single game can have

No playoff will ever be the perfect one.

The NFL had 5 teams in each conference in the tournament for years

The 3rd division winner never got a home game while a wild card hosted another wild card.

All I am say in a 2 game series the emphasis should be on winning both games not accumulation of points.

That's why mini game would be used.

Also Game 1 won't have any OT as it will make game 2 more important.

Agree the East-West Grey Cup is best. The crossover be darned. And the more emphasis is placed on television the less interesting the game becomes. There are better t.v. shows than CFL football and even if the television product is perfect it serves to deaden the experience of actually *attending.

There's another format that's out there.

Mainly in baseball in the Korean League.

In which the home team already starts the series with a one game lead.

The CFL can use that format in the divsion finals making the road team win 2 straight games while the home team only has to win one of two.


I'm not following, how would giving a team a one game in lead work in a sudden death match up?

If the home team wins, then round over.

The visiting team must win the 1st game to have another chance at game two.

Also making sure the first win wasn't a fluke.

Then there is a possibility of one division final taking place over 2 weekends and the other takes 1.

That would lead to 1 team in the Grey Cup on a 1 week break and the other would have 2

That alone would make it a non-starter

The playoff format mentioned is called the stepladder format.

Puts more emphasis on the regular season.

Finishing first might actually mean something.

In a business model that requires ticket sales as revenue it could be good thing.

Finishing first in the division already means something. It gives a team the bye and closer to a Grey Cup.. Win 2 games instead of 3.

Now are there are other ways to redo the format to put a better emphasis on the regular season? I don't mind the division winners then 3-6 format that was floated last year.

But the sudden death format is a must to keep, it drives ratings better. Good ratings in the playoffs is what broadcasters look at. For a business that's trying to less reliant on ticket sales, I wouldn't add more to sell that may not may not be needed.

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What I put forward is still sudden death like.

Imagine as a higher seeded team losing that 1st game.

Wouldn't you want to go to next game and get your Grey Cup spot back?

Win that first game and have the possibility of having 2 weeks to prepare for the Grey Cup while the other division may have that extra game to play for the final.

I'd rather have all games be worth the same. If the lower seed wins they deserve to move on. One game takes all I think is more dramatic than seeing if another team can pull it off and potentially create a dead week.

Also, how this affects season ticket sales? Most if not all teams include playoff game in their package. They would need to either increase the package price and almost everyone will have credits lying around or one of the division finals game would be selling an entire game from scratch with very little time to sell.

Having game 2 with a smaller crowd than game 1 is a worse optic IMO.