Challenges and Changes

In 1931, the forward pass was introduced which changed the style of play, allowing quarterbacks to make spectacular passes and touchdown throws. Prior to the rule change, passes could only be thrown sideways or backwards and the game more closely resembled modern rugby. 1931 was also the year Western won its first senior intercollegiate championship.

That year, the UWO Board of Governors decided that a student could only participate in one major sport through the school year. An unpopular ruling, it was quickly abandoned by the board as the players had not been given time to bring their grades up to the required B average. The Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union also ruled that year that freshman were ineligible in senior competition until they had completed one year at university. As a result, in 1931, Western played three teams: the Mustangs, Colts and Ponies. The Colts were a team of freshmen which played in an intermediate league with McMaster and the Ontario Agricultural College. The Ponies were sophomores who played high school teams from London and Waterloo College, and practiced against the Colts.

Presenting the 1931 Intercollegiate Champions

Excerpt from the 1932 edition of Occidentalia celebrating the previous year's win of the senior intercollegiate championship. Courtesy of UWO Student Council.