CIS Keeps Getting Better

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the governing body for all University sports in Canada and have a number of great sports under their umbrella. The crown jewel of the CIS would usually be the hockey being in Canada where the sport is kings. CIS did not follow this however as with other competition, including NCAA and Major Junior hockey, it is not the biggest CIS sport. Instead the biggest sport and the crown jewel in the CIS cap is Canadian Football that is broadcast on TV throughout Canada and is quickly becoming bigger. The popularity of Canadian football has never been that great and will never rival hockey but Canadians have seemed to adopt football as their second sport. The CFL has grown throughout Canada and is looking to expand, Ottawa in 2012 and possibly to the East Coast by the late ‘10s, and with this growth comes an interest in the future of the game. This future is in the CIS and watching the future of the game is great entertainment. The talent in the CIS is great and seeing some of the plays they make is amazing. As the summer comes to an end the football season starts and The CIS begins as they take their first steps towards the Vanier Cup.

Last year the French machine known as the Laval Rouge et Or did it again after a disappointing 2009 campaign that saw them watching as Queen’s University won the Vanier Cup in their own stadium. Luckily for Laval the Vanier would be played in Quebec City again in 2010. With that motivation the Rouge et Or went on to a #1 ranking almost every week of the season going undefeated. Laval went 9-0 and were the only CIS team to go undefeated as they carried this into the playoffs. In their first QUFL playoff game they destroyed the overmatched Bishop’s Gaitors by a score of 56-1 but the competition got stiffer. They then went on to face Sherbrooke in a much closer game, 22-17. The Rouge et Or took their machine to Western Ontario where they faced the Mustangs in a thriller that saw the Rouge et Or squeak out a 13-11 victory. In the final game Laval took on the Calgary Dinos who cruised most of the way through the playoffs. In the snow at PEPS Stadium in Quebec City Laval showed their strength at home beating the Dinos 29-2 and claiming their 6th Vanier Cup. Along with Laval looking to repeat there are a couple other things to watch for including a team in the OUA. The Waterloo Warriors had their season cancelled last year after multiple players were found with steroids. This year they will return to the OUA and attempt to restore their reputation by going out and taking over the Ontario division of the CIS. Staying with the OUA the York Lions will look to restore their program as they are in the midst of a three-year losing streak going 0-8 in 2008, 2009, 2010. They will be looking to join their city counterparts, UofT Varsity Blues, in the win column after the Blues won their first game in 6 years in 2008. There are plenty of stories to follow as the CIS season looks to be a good one. With Laval remaining strong and a number of teams lining up to take them off of the pedestal it will be an interesting and exciting season. I will be providing some in-depth coverage over the next week so follow along as I look at every conference in the CIS and show who might be able to challenge Laval, if anyone.

CIS Quick Facts:




Atlantic University Sport (AUS)

– Governing Body for all university Athletics in Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick

– Established in 1974 with the joining of Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the Atlantic Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association

– Total of 11 member schools (4 Football Schools)


Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ)

– Governing Body for all University Athletics in Quebec

– Established in 1906 as a part of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union

– Total of 8 member schools (6 Football Schools)


Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

– Governing Body for all University Athletics in Ontario

– Established in 1906 as a part of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union

– Total of 19 member schools (10 Football Schools)


Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA/CanWest)

– Governing Body for all University Athletics in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia

– Established in 1919  as The Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union

– Total of 15 member schools (6 Football Schools)


Major Awards/Trophies:


Vanier Cup

– Created in 1965 as the Canadian College Bowl

– Given to the best team in CIS football through a playoff format

– Named after former Governor General of Canada Georges Vanier

– University of Western Ontario has the record for most wins (12)

– Will be played on Grey Cup Weekend November 5th in Vancouver in 2011


Uteck Bowl

– Created in 2003 during a shift in championships

– Awarded to the winner of one Semi-Final of the Vanier Cup Playoffs

– Named after legendary St. Mary’s coach Larry Uteck

– Laval Rouge et Or have won the most with a 4-1 record

– This year it will be played between the OUA and AUS champions


Mitchell Bowl

– Created in 2001 as a replacement for the Atlantic Bowl

– Awarded to the winner of one Semi-Final of the Vanier Cup Playoffs

– Named after former CFL Commissioner Douglas H. Mitchell

– The Saskatchewan Huskies have won the most with a 4-0 record

– This year it will be played between CanWest and RSEQ champions


Hec Crighton Trophy

– Created in 1967

– Awarded to the MVP of CIS football after the season

– Named after Canadian football Hall of Fame head coach Hec Crighton

– Chris Flynn, QB (St. Mary’s Huskies) is the only player to win it three times (1988-1990)

– Brad Sinopoli, QB (Ottawa Gee Gees) was the 2010 winner

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  1. […] year in August I began writing my 2011 CIS Preview with the title CIS Keeps Getting Better as I looked to the future of a league ready to break out. I did not think that 2011 would be the […]

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