The Grey Cup

1920 Football Team

1920 football team.

In Canada, the game of rugby continued to develop and a number of rugby unions existed in Ontario and Quebec. During the 1880s and 1890s, universities in these two provinces played sporadic games until the intercollegiate league was founded towards the end of the nineteenth century. The winner of the intercollegiate league was awarded the Yates Cup and advanced to play in the Canadian Rugby Union Dominion championship. The Big Four (Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa), the precursors to professional teams, played in the intercollegiate league until 1907 when they began their own. In 1909, Lord Grey, Governor General of Canada, donated the Grey Cup which was to be awarded to the winner of the Dominion championship. From 1909-24, universities dominated Canadian football with the University of Toronto and Queens winning seven of the twelve championships played during this time (none were played during the First World War) and by 1924 most universities had withdrawn from the Dominion competition.