CFL unveils policies for COVID cancelled games


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After much deliberation around teams and vaccination rates, the CFL has decided to draw a serious line in the sand when it comes to possible COVID-19 outbreaks and who will be on the hook in the event a game gets cancelled.

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This article was published 03/08/2021 (420 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After much deliberation around teams and vaccination rates, the CFL has decided to draw a serious line in the sand when it comes to possible COVID-19 outbreaks and who will be on the hook in the event a game gets cancelled.

The CFL has introduced a policy that will apply to any game cancellations owing to COVID-19 issues.

“Our goal is to ensure we have zero game cancellations due to issues caused by an outbreak of COVID-19 within our football operations,” said Randy Ambrosie, commissioner of the CFL, said in a release.

THE CANADIAN PRESS CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie doesn't want any games cancelled this season because of COVID. (Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press files)

“While this policy spells out what will happen if cancellations do occur, its main purpose is to encourage all of our players to get fully vaccinated in order to minimize the risk to our season and, most importantly, their health and safety.”

Per the policy, the CFL lists two different possibilities in the event a game cannot be played as scheduled because of COVID-19:

• And one club is suffering from the COVID-19 issues, that club will forfeit the game and be assigned a loss while its opponent will be credited with a win by a score of 1-0.

• And both clubs are suffering from the COVID-19 issues, then both clubs will forfeit the game and be assigned a loss.

What’s more, in the event a game can’t be rescheduled, the effected CFL clubs will have to prove that 85 per cent of its players under contract have been vaccinated — “at least once, and preferably fully — for players to receive their game cheque. If the vaccination rate is lower than 85 per cent, no players will be paid.

So far, the CFL has not had any issues with COVID-19; from July 15 to the end of training camp last Friday, the league administered approximately 6,000 COVID-19 tests to its Tier 1 personnel, which included players, coaches and support staff, and those tests resulted in zero individuals returning a positive test result for COVID-19.

“While these results are encouraging, we simply cannot be lulled into a very false sense of security, not when Delta and other variants are making their way through parts of Canada, and they have been attacking unvaccinated people in the U.S. and Canada,” Ambrosie said.

The CFL has outlined determining factors to why a game might be cancelled:

• Its playing is precluded by a decision by a government health authority;

• A team does not have 36 players to dress for the game;

• A team does not have an individual available to coach the offence and another individual to coach the defence;

• A team does not have a certified athletic therapist and sports medicine physician available for the game.

Finally, Ambrosie, as the league’s commissioner, can cancel a game at his discretion following consultation with the CFL’s chief medical officers and the CFLPA.


The Bombers had a closed practice Tuesday, but did issue its daily injury report. Running back Andrew Harris (calf) and receiver Darvin Adams (shoulder) have yet to practise this week and should be viewed as questionable, at best, heading into tomorrow’s final report. Kyrie Wilson (thigh) has also been out this week and is doubtful to play as well.

A name that popped up Tuesday for the first time was defensive end Willie Jefferson. Jefferson has an ankle injury that kept him out of Tuesday’s workout, creating some doubt in whether he’ll be able to play Week 1. Unlike the others, Jefferson practised all week prior to his absence. Receiver ArDarius Stewart has also missed the last two practices after being limited in Day 1 of preparations Sunday.

twitter: @jeffkhamilton

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

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