This week, I was able to sit down and have a great...
The Ontario Football Conference (OFC) is part of one of Canada’s largest football leagues (CJFL) and runs in two divisions: Junior – for ages 17 to 22; and Varsity – for ages 11 to 19. The Varsity division includes age groups for Senior Varsity, Junior Varsity, Bantam and Pee Wee. The Junior season runs through the fall, and the Varsity programs run throughout the spring and summer months. Both divisions culminate in a provincial play-off and championship.
The OFC Story
The OFC was founded in the mid-1950s by the Toronto Argonaut Old Boys, led by Don Durno and Dan Shaw. The conference consisted of several Toronto area teams from Scarborough, Weston, Parkdale and Lakeshore, among others.
In 1957, the Burlington Braves joined the conference, and then Oshawa and Hamilton followed in the early 60′s. In 1970, the OFC and the Junior ORFU (Ontario Rugby Football Union) amalgamated with teams from Windsor, Sarnia and Brantford becoming part of the new conference. Later, the Ottawa Sooners of the Ontario Quebec League joined the OFC, as did a team from Verdun, Quebec. The conference provides a place for persons 22-years of age and under, who aren’t playing in a College or University program, to continue to play the game of football and to improve their football skills.
Over the years, the conference has fluctuated in membership with as many as 13 teams and three divisions during the 1970′s. In 2010, there were seven teams competing in the OFC: the Burlington Braves, the London Beefeaters, the St. Leonard Cougars, the Windsor AKO Fratmen, the Hamilton Hurricanes, the Ottawa Sooners, and the Brampton (GTA) Bears. The OFC is part of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), which consists of additional conferences in British Columbia and the Prairies. As of 2010, there were 19 Junior teams playing in the CJFL.
Every November, the top teams in the CJFL battle for the Canadian Bowl, which is symbolic of Junior football supremacy in Canada. In various forms, this trophy has been competed for since 1908, making it one of Canada’s most historic championships.
In 2008, the OFC started the Varsity division, expanding in 2009 to Junior Varsity and Pee Wee for a total 16 teams, and again in 2010, expanding to 36 teams in four separate age groups. The entire league plays an exciting brand of three down Canadian-style football, helping to prepare young athletes for Junior and/or CIS play. The league’s founding members are from clubs with a long and successful track record of competitive play and sound administration. As part of the growing OFC, they join with clubs that are committed to football at the highest possible level outside of professional and CIS play.