Question about playoff format


Prior to the early 1970s the playoffs were as follows:

Winner of the semi- final in the West would play the 1st place team in the West a best 2 out of 3 Western Final. In the East, the semi-final winner would play the 1st place team a two game total points Eastern Final.

Why was that? Why did they not play the same format in both East and West?

because the Eastern conference had different rules and playoffs than the West.

they didn't even have an unbalanced schedule until the 60's...

you know that up to I think 66 the west played each other but no eastern teams? and vice versa?

at one time the East played 14 games while the west 16.

Not sure why, but also noted that in the 60s, the West played 16 games and the East 14 games in the reg season. The schedule didn’t interlock the divisions like it does now.

The teams played teams in the other division only once and filled the rest of the slate in their own division. The schedule was ‘fully interlocked’ in 1980 which had each team play the oether 8 teams twice each for 16 games.

yes correct, Interlocking schedule..

they were holding onto their own set of rules for a long time.. it's kinda like the AFC and NFC back before the NFL formed.

the Eastern Division was around many years before the West and they only saw one another for the Cup..

Much of the reason for the diversity lies with the fact that there were two main independent leagues in Canada and at one time teams relegated play within one league exclusively.

Up until 1958, the IRFU (Interprovincial Rugby Football Union) represented the East, while the WIFU (Western Interprovincial Football Union) represented the West.

During that period, both leagues were considered separate entities, under the CRU org.

Interesting information Tangledweb! I did not know that about the CFL. And yet it was called The Canadian Football League. A single league playing like two separate leagues. You mentioned that it was up until 1958. What happened after '58? For fourteen years the league appeared carry on with the same playoff format. The playoff format remained in effect until about 1972.

Yes, I see the regular season in the east was extended to 16 games effective 1974. I wonder why.

Very interesting information guys. I was not aware of the different set up in the east. It would explain why they played a two game total point series to determine the Eastern Champion. I never liked that rule at all. If a team won the first game in a blow out [let's say 45-3] it meant the losing team would have to score a whopping 42 points in the second game just to tie the series. In essence the team that lost was starting 0-42 going into game two. This to me would change how the team that won the first game would play the next game. They could just sit on the lead and play as if it were the last 3 minutes of the game.

The CFL was born! :thup:
In 1956, the IRFU and WIFU formed a new umbrella organization, the Canadian Football Council (CFC), and in 1958, the CFC left the CRU, becoming the Canadian Football League

And yet the newly created CFL as of '58 still kept the 2 game total points Eastern Final for the next 14 years. Interesting. I much preferred the best 2 out of 3 for the reason I gave above.

can you imagine playing football back before such thing as the 6 pack?

they used on a regular basis Tight Ends and two or even 3 running backs.

no wonder George Reed had so many touchdowns and Running yards during his days..

and the fact that only 1 player since his day has gotten even close.

it took Pringle his entire career to catch up to Reed. and he didn't even beat his record for TD's.

it took Milt Stegall to finally catch and pass him! and it was all receiving TD's except for 1 I believe.

nobody in Saskatchewan will ever catch Reed. they can never stick around long enough!! :lol:

The Grey Cup used to be more like a World Series type deal. Actually more World Series than the World Series. Pre WW2 there were actulally 3 separate 'leagues', 2 in the East and one in the West. The Grey Cup would be contested by the Champs of 2 of those leagues. How they determined which 2 champs would play I do not recall. I'm surethat it's on Wiki. Post war emerged as one conference each east and west and by the 50s became one 9 team league, but the east and west still had their own peculiar scheduling quirks.

Back in the 20sw and 30s the rules in each league could vary quite a bit. The West was much more open to forward passing, while the East had stricter limits on passing. Since the Grey Cup was always played by Eastern rules, the East always had a distinct advantage, usually because the West, which would have a forward passing advantage, would basically not be allowed to throw, or only be able to throw once per half, or only between certain yard lines etc.

Actually, the 2 game total point final was alive as late as '86. Instead of a crossover the rule was that if the 4th place team in one division had a better record than the 3rd place team in the other then the division with only 2 teams played a 2 game series while in the other division 1 played vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3.

I watched the last game of the '72 2 game total point series through a hole in the Ivor Wynne fence. That was, I believe, the last series like that.

The WIFU (Western Interprovincial Football Union) also had the 2 game total point approach for years until the early 60's.

When the IRFU (Interprovincial Rugby Football Union) became the Eastern Conference of the CFL in '61? it kept the 2 game total point from the IRFU but I believe that a series early in the 50's was tied after 2 games and instead of going into overtime (which they had no rules for) the league officials decided to add a 3rd game!

The partial interlocking schedule only ended in 1980 because that's when the two conferences officially merged completely.

It took a LONG time to get a united CFL. I don't even know if the CFL has legal title to the Grey Cup even though only WIFU and IRFU have played for it since the ORFU (Ontario Rugby Football Union) stopped challenging for it in the year that I was born- '54. Universities could challenge for it before that as well.

I remember those days and really enjoyed it; but on the charts that's the way it was back then. The Roughriders had a very good O-Line for George Reed: and to name two of them; Centre Ted Urness - OT Jack Abendschan :thup: ; 5 Time All Star and was the last of the toe style fieldgoal kickers. I cheered for Calgary back then who also had a great team with John Helton and Wayne Harris who was another 5 time CFL allstar on D.

Wow those names are a blast from the past. [Helton, Harris]. I remember those guys and Reed of course. I remember how Lancaster would hand the ball off to Reed and Reed seemed unstoppable. He was like a huge lead bowling ball just rolling over guys. I also remember how Lancaster sometimes would accidentally line up behind the wrong guy for the snap. He would line up behind a guard instead of the center.

Correct, but just to be a bit more accurate, that was the original format of the x-over, which was instituted in the mid 80s and discontinued some time before the US expansion. It was invoked only the one time.