Shortened Season Scenarios

I read an interesting one in the 3down comments section.

14 Game season, one division, top 4 to playoffs. 1 plays 4 at home, 2 plays 3 at home, Winners to the Cup.

This would save 4 regular season weeks plus one playoff week. Drop the byes to 2 and that makes 6 weeks saving. This would allow it to start 3rd week of July. For every week longer than that needed for obvious reasons just drop a game at a time, and maybe lose another bye week and presto, could still play 13 games with an Aug 12ish start.

sorry, will not happen. Season will not, or should not, start soon enough. Not even close.

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It would be great to see the CFL go full old school to a traditional fall schedule and have an opportunity to capture an audience if the opportunity happens this season .

Whether 14 , 12 or 8 depending on the fluidity of the situation dictates it would be a great reopening and possible a reawakening to our type of game especially if the other sports not football have been moth balled .

However I no longer count out MLB as the situation changes weekly and the US is under severe strain to open things up in increments .

NBA is still talking about a tournament without fans but played before cameras .

If it's possible the old traditional start of August for the CFL with a more traditional Saturday and Sunday afternoon games would be an interesting experiment now that the CFL schedule is snookered this season .

If they have to change why not take advantage and see if certain markets be propelled into a more celebration of community again once were able socialize again safely .

The opportunity to go with no divisions if they go full equal home and home with 16 or 8 is probably wise .

If they go with a more slanted divisional setup of games they should stay with divisions and play up the rivalry .


If it's 14 games, why would you go to one division? It would be an unbalanced schedule anyway. In that scenario, with two bye weeks and no semi-final playoff games, the season would start Thursday, July 23.

Based on the current landscape, I would have to think that a Labour Day weekend start is most likely (Thursday, September 3). That allows for a nine-week, eight game schedule. Obviously, that would be one division.

I think the Grey Cup HAS to be re-scheduled to allow for more regular season games to be played. A late December game would extend the schedule by four (Dec 20) or five (Dec 27) weeks.

Because it's always an unbalanced schedule. This way the 4 best teams get in for a change instead of the proverbial 8-10 2nd place Eastern team allowed to host a playoff game against the 9-9 Western team that finished 4th. Cut through the chase, lose the semi final weekend to regular season and get on with the 4 best teams. In a shortened season there is no room for the mismatched playoff berths that have been around for decades.

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I think if the schedule gets down to 12 or fewer games, they should go with totally a totally unbalanced schedule, with the only way an East team meets a West team is in the Grey Cup.

Let Winnipeg decide if they want to be scheduled as an East team again or stick with the West before the schedule is made, so they'll play either all West teams or all East teams.

A divided structure for the regular season as well as the playoffs would bring consistency and help reduce travel costs.


I think if it does start in July or August they could still get their 18 games in. Eliminate the pre-season games, let teams use the first couple of games and the fans would understand.
Cut the bye weeks and if possible they may have to occasionally play 2 games in a week.
Eliminate the semi-final playoff game, just have 2nd plays 1st.
Or why not the top team in the East vs West in the Grey Cup with no playoffs, that would put more emphasis on the regular season, every regular season game would mean something.

Winnipeg only ever was an "Eastern" team because of there only being 8 teams in the league ... their biggest rival are the RRs ... they are a Western conference team, geographically (Vancouver is only a couple of hours further away by car than is Hamilton) and historically ... why let them pick where they feel they have the best chance to win?

Winnipeg was an East division team for large portions of the last 40 years, so they have some connection to that division.

Allowing them to choose would increase the likelihood of competitive balance between the divisions while still maintaining a somewhat traditional divided structure.

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The only way to cut the bye week is to have five games every week. That means each week one team plays twice, and every two weeks there is a team playing three games in 14-15 days. So at a time when concerns about player health are heightened enough that we would supposedly (under some of these fanciful scenarios being floated) test them all every day, separate them from families for months, etc., we would nonetheless risk their health and safety to that extent? On the heels of years where "player safety" has been touted as of primary importance?

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If there is a late start then at least cut one of the bye weeks, eliminate the pre-season games and the playoffs. First place team in the East plays first in the West. It's a one off, just play 18 games and the Grey Cup

If they are talking about the MLB & MLS starting up in May and then likely the NFL will start pre-season in August as usual. It's not going to look good if Canada decides they aren't risking opening stadiums again.

Who is it we are trying to impress? What "looks good" matters less than what is best for society as a whole, does it not?

The decision to not open stadiums has already been made in Quebec -- no public gatherings until at least end of August.

I'd still like to know how eliminating a bye week, or more than one bye week, thereby forcing a team or multiple teams to play two games in a week, would fly in these days when player safety is paramount, and especially when public health is driving government decisions.

And I don't see why the league would ever find it advantageous to eliminate four playoff games -- those get the biggest ratings (other than the Grey Cup) and are therefore worth the most to advertisers (albeit we'll have to see how many ad dollars survive in the short term anyway).

As I said before, I get why people want to find ways to keep hope of a season alive. But I think most of these scenarios -- especially scenarios involving 18-game seasons -- are fanciful.

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So given realistically Labour Day Weekend is the new very best case given the order in Quebec, would such a season be "feasible enough" at the very least?

And of course let's go with no fans in attendance as with other pro sports that re-open this summer.

I would be surprised if there were any type of season at this point. If games have to be played with no fans in attendance that is a huge loss in revenue for the owners. They are likely better off to regroup for 2021, as much as I hate that thought.

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I agree Schweinhund. Plus, as a Ti-Cat fan I can remember going to games back in the days when the stadium was less than half-full. The players seemed to react to the dead atmosphere in the stands seeping out to the field, and the quality of play suffered. With no fans, games would feel more like practices, and the level of play would reflect that.

Other than the owners feeling it is absolutely essential to stay afloat, I don't see the point.

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The longer this covid situation drags on, the more it's looking like an 8 game 2020 season, if we get one at all. Each team plays each of the other teams once, then playoffs, then Grey Cup.

Working backwards from the date of the Grey Cup, November 22nd, that puts week one of the 9 week season on the Labour Day weekend. I'm assuming the bare minimum one bye week per team, necessary due to having an odd number of teams in the league. If the playoffs consist of just 1 vs 2 divisional championships then Grey Cup, no divisional semis, the season could start as late as the September 11th & 12th weekend. It may even be necessary to just have the divisional regular season winners as the Grey Cup teams, no other playoffs.

If the teams are going to have a bit of a training camp before the season, it may be necessary to forego the Labour Day games this year. It's quite possible that there will be no preseason games this year , just going straight into the season out of training camp. Maybe do a controlled scrim with the nearest other franchise in the league. They might play one pre-season game on the Labour Day weekend, but that's it. Due to the odd number of teams in the league, one team might not even get to play a scrim/pre-season game. Maybe the teams could carry camp size rosters for the first couple of weeks of the season, then cut down to the regular 46 players in week 3. I hope Touchdown Atlantic still happens, and if it does, it should be as soon as possible in September.

The absolute last, "drop dead" date to decide whether or not there will be a 2020 CFL season, then, is August 15th. That gives all the coaches, players, and team staff two weeks to get travel plans in order, notice to other employment they may have, and so on. There are already a couple of jurisdictions in Canada that have banned large public gatherings until August 31st. If those bans get extended into September, then I'm afraid there won't be a 2020 CFL season at all.

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I think the league can have a mid July camp - Aug long weekend start with no fans in the stands - Labour Day or the week before - games welcome back fans. The mask situation should recover by then so wearing them at the game shouldn't be an issue along with other precautions. I could see this happening

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Love your optimism but I don't see any of this happening

Canada Cup - style tournament beginning in the fall. Four games each and then playoffs.