SSHF wins national sports heritage award

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) was awarded the Canadian Association for Sports Heritage (CASH) Award of Excellence at their Annual General Meeting on Thursday, June 10.

The CASH Award of Excellence was created this year to recognize and celebrate the achievements of CASH members. Projects were eligible to be nominated from four categories: museum, events, communication and collection.

The SSHF was recognized for their current featured exhibit Prairie Pride: A History of Saskatchewan Football.

“I was so impressed by the submissions we received. Everyone’s projects were fantastic and of extremely high quality. The Committee was extremely impressed with one project in particular which made excellent use of the resources available to them,” said Caitlin Dyer, VP of Communications for CASH and Chair of the Award Selection Committee, in announcing the award winner.

“(The SSHF) has an amazing display with a very cool virtual tour and an education component that went along with it. The Committee was really impressed and it’s a great example of an amazing project. We’re so thrilled to present to you the inaugural CASH Award of Excellence.”

Prairie Pride was created by Curator Bryann Seib and went on display when the SSHF re-opened on September 2, 2020. After the Hall of Fame closed to the public in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the province, a virtual tour was created by Seib and Communications Coordinator Matthew Gourlie in partnership with White Rabbit VR in Regina to enhance the physical exhibit with additional content.

Having the new exhibit has provided crucial content for Education Coordinator Vickie Krauss to facilitate her Virtual Field Trip program that has helped bring the SSHF into schools virtually during the pandemic.

In addition, thanks to part-time staff member Justin Ottenbreit, our EZ Wall video system was refurbished to play a series of videos and vignettes related to the exhibit.

Having Prairie Pride on display also facilitated an opportunity where the SSHF has been able to display the original W.G. Hardy Rugby Trophy which has been given to the Western Canadian university football champions since 1922.

The CASH Award of Excellence was evaluated by the Awards Selection Committee using a point system.

CASH is comprised of 70 members and is a national association of institutions, organizations, and individuals dedicated to the preservation of Canada’s rich sports heritage.

New bylaws and Board members approved at Annual and Special Meeting

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame held its Annual and Special Meeting on Thursday, May 27.

At the meeting, the proposed bylaw amendments all passed. With those bylaw revisions comes a change in title for some members of the Board of Directors. The Officers of the Hall now consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Past Chair.

Minutes from the 2021 Annual and Special Meeting are available here.

Two directors were elected at the Annual and Special Meeting. Kelvin Ostapowich was re-elected to a second, three-year term, while Tim Leier was elected to his first, three-year term.

Ostapowich works in the wealth management sector as a Portfolio Manager with CIBC Wood Gundy. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1986 Regina Rams football team. He serves as board member with the Rams.

Leier is a Senior Financial Planner as a partner with Brian Mallard & Associates in Saskatoon. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the 1983 University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team. He has previous volunteer experience including the Canadian Pension Benefits, Sask Sport, and the USask Huskies Athletic Endowment Committee.

The 2021-22 Board of Directors

OFFICERS OF THE HALL

Chair– Robb Elchuk (Regina)

Vice Chair – Trent Blezy (Regina)

Treasurer – Mike Babcock (Regina)

Past Chair – Rankin Jaworski (Regina)

DIRECTORS

Samer Awadh (Regina)

Laurel Garven (Regina)

Tennille Grimeau (Saskatoon)

Tim Leier (Saskatoon)

Kelvin Ostapowich (Regina)

 

SSHF announces 2021 Induction Class

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is pleased to announce the eight (8) inductees who will become the newest members of the SSHF. The Class of 2021 features five inductees in the athlete category, one in the builder category and two teams. All six individual inductees are Olympians and both teams capped their seasons with a championship.

The 2021 inductees are:

IN THE ATHLETE CATEGORY:
Justin Abdou (Moose Jaw) – Wrestling
Rod Boll (Fillmore) – Trapshooting
Colette Bourgonje (Porcupine Plain) – Track and Cross-Country Skiing
Kaylyn Kyle (Saskatoon) – Soccer
Lyndon Rush (Humboldt) – Bobsleigh

IN THE BUILDER CATEGORY:
Shannon Miller (Tisdale) – Hockey

IN THE TEAM CATEGORY:
2000-01 University of Regina Cougars Women’s Basketball Team
2013 Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club

Our 2021 Induction Class announcement video is available here:

This class was selected in 2020, however their induction was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will be officially enshrined at such a time that is appropriate and allows for safe communal gathering while following all provincial health guidelines. The SSHF Board has determined that there will not be an induction in 2021.

We look forward to announcing an induction date when the above parameters are met.

Notice: Annual and Special Meeting will be held on May 27th

On behalf of Robb Elchuk, President of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, this e-mail serves as an official notice of the Annual and Special Meeting of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame which will be held at the following date and time:

Date: Thursday, May 27, 2021

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Virtually via Microsoft Teams

The agenda will include Annual Reports, Bylaw revisions, presentation of Financial Statements, the appointment of the auditor for 2021/22, and reports on the election of Board Directors.

The meeting package, plus the 2020 Annual Report, 2020/21 Financial Statements, Bylaw revisions, and all other pertinent materials for the Annual and Special Meeting have been posted on this website and are available for review before the meeting.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and limits on public gathering mandated by the Province of Saskatchewan, the Annual and Special Meeting will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams. Please fill out this registration form to receive your access credentials for the meeting which will be distributed no later than noon on Thursday, May 27.

All members of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in good standing are welcome to virtually attend and vote during the Annual and Special Meeting.

If you have questions, please contact the Hall of Fame at 306-780-9232 or email [email protected].

Job opening: Program Assistant

SUMMER EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY 

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is looking for a Program Assistant

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) is a progressive not-for-profit mid-sized NGO museum located in Regina. Our permanent collection encompasses approximately 19,000 items reflecting the sport history of the province. On an annual basis we offer a variety of programs in support of the SSHF inductees, temporary exhibits and events that celebrate Saskatchewan’s extensive sport history.

Job Duties: Assist with the development and implementation of the Creating Active Champions summer program.  Conduct research to support current and future programs and exhibits within the hall of fame.

Length of Term: Monday, June 28 – Friday, August 20, 2021

Hourly Wage: $15.00/hour (37.5 hours/week)

Qualifications:

  • Enrollment in a post-secondary program. Preferred current fields of study include: Education or Kinesiology
    • Ability to work independently & as part of a team
    • Ability to read, write & speak in English is mandatory
    • Strong communication skills would be an asset
    • Knowledge of basic museum practices would be beneficial
    • A strong working knowledge of online platforms would be an asset

To Apply:  Mail resumé with hand-written covering letter & three references to the:

Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame – Attn: Executive Director
2205 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK
S4P 0S4

  Resumé with scanned hand written covering letter & three references is accepted via e-mail to [email protected].  Please use Subject Title – Program Assistant Resumé

Deadline for applications to be received is Friday, May 14, 2021

 

For additional information:

Sheila Kelly, Executive Director or Vickie Krauss, Education Coordinator
306-780-9232 or [email protected]

New virtual tour features 2019 Induction Class

Dedication to Sport: Our 2019 Inductees is the newest exhibit to become a virtual tour.

Dedication to Sport opened in September of 2019 on the occasion of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame’s 52nd Induction Ceremony and Dinner. The 2019 Induction Class featured Chris Biegler (basketball), Wendel Clark (hockey), Jacki Nichol (softball), Kelly Parker (soccer), Marg [Curry] Sihvon (basketball) and Colleen Sostorics (hockey) as well as builders Clarence Campbell (hockey) and Bill Kinash (cycling) to the Hall of Fame.

This exhibit features artifacts, photos and stories from each of those inductees. While the exhibit is intended to last for one year, the 2019 Class graciously allowed the Hall of Fame to continue to display their collections after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the induction of a new in class in 2020.

Our Dedication to Sport virtual tour features the induction video from each member of the 2019 Induction Class at the base of their display. Additional stories and descriptions are available by clicking on the round tags that accompany the tour.

In partnership with White Rabbit VR in Regina, this is the third virtual tour that has captured an exhibit at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. Our current featured exhibit Prairie Pride: A History of Saskatchewan Football is available online.

Our first virtual tour from 2018, Diamond Girls’ Diamond Anniversary: 75 Years of the AAGPBL, also remains available to explore.

Enjoy virtual tour of new exhibit Prairie Pride

Our latest exhibit,  Prairie Pride: A History of Saskatchewan Football, opened on September 2, 2020 and we are pleased to offer you a virtual tour to explore this exhibit which chronicles the province’s passion for football since its earliest days.

Filled with stories, artifacts and photos from more than 100 years of Saskatchewan football, Prairie Pride captures some of the history of the sport at a number of levels and leagues. In partnership with White Rabbit VR in Regina, the virtual tour features tags that expand photos and add captions, context and stories the artifacts. Look for screens around the tour that will lead you to video content as well.

We are sure you will learn something new as you spend time exploring the exhibit.

If you enjoyed this virtual tour, please visit our other virtual tour: Diamond Girls’ Diamond Anniversary: 75 Years of the AAGPBL from 2018.

Tim Leier appointed to Board of Directors

Robb Elchuk, president of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF), is pleased to announce that Tim Leier of Saskatoon has been appointed to the Board of Directors effective January 7, 2021. Tim brings to the SSHF Board professional expertise as a certified financial planner. A formal nomination in support of Tim will be put before the membership at the next Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 27, 2021.

Tim, inducted to the SSHF as a member of the 1983 Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU) National champions University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Huskies hockey team, fills a current inductee vacancy on the board. Since the team’s induction in 2000, Tim has held a deep interest in the Hall of Fame and its activities over the past 20 years. His personal and professional schedules have converged to a point where he has more time to dedicate to a SSHF volunteer commitment. Tim’s previous volunteer experience includes the Canadian Pension Benefits, Sask Sport, and the U of S Huskies Athletics Endowment Committee.

Tim played 76 games with the Huskies from 1980-85 and played in three straight CIAU national championship games. He also spent four seasons (1980-84) playing as a defensive back on the Huskies football team. In 1984 he won the E. Kent Phillips Trophy as the University of Saskatchewan’s Male Athlete of the Year. He is currently a Senior Financial Planner as a partner with Brian Mallard & Associates.

Tim joins current 2020-21 board members:

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

President – Robb Elchuk (Regina)

Vice President – Kevin Dureau (Regina)

Treasurer – Mike Babcock (Regina)

Secretary – Mike Babcock (Regina)

Past President – Rankin Jaworski (Regina)

DIRECTORS

Samer Awadh (Regina)

Trent Blezy (White City)

Lori Ebbesen (Saskatoon)

Laurel Garven (Regina)

Tennille Grimeau (Saskatoon)

Tim Leier (Saskatoon)

Kelvin Ostapowich (Regina)

 

SSHF memberships make a unique gift

If you are looking for a unique gift for the sports lover or history buff on your Christmas list, we might have just what you’re looking for. A membership to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is a great way to stay informed about our exhibits and programming. Your support allows us to continue the work of celebrating and preserving Saskatchewan’s rich sport heritage.

Education Coordinator Vickie Krauss hosts a virtual field trip with three classrooms.

In the past year, our generous supporters, partners, and sponsors have allowed us to renovate our exhibit galleries. Our Hall of Fame gallery features new displays of our inductees, while our STEM Gallery sponsored by SaskTel brings the role of science, technology, engineering, and math to life for students and young visitors through interactive displays. These improvements would not be possible without the support of our members. We have also been able to offer our Creating Active Champions program, virtual field trips with schools, a virtual pen pal program connecting our inductees with schools and students, and our Women in Sport panel discussions.

With your continued support, we are excited to offer a new virtual tour experience of our latest exhibit, Prairie Pride: A History of Saskatchewan Football. In addition, in the coming year we are looking to digitize some of our collection of 35mm film prints of vintage Saskatchewan Roughrider and Canadian Football League footage so that it will be more accessible for us to share with the public. Your membership helps make these projects – and many more – a reality.

Local delivery in Regina of a membership certificate is available up until December 18 for Christmas gifting. Any membership purchased before December 31, 2020 is 100% tax-deductible on your 2020 tax return.

SSHF exhibit galleries will be closed indefinitely

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) and its exhibit galleries will be closed to the public indefinitely in response to an increase of positive cases of COVID-19 within the province.

While there is currently no COVID-19 public health order requiring the closure of the SSHF galleries, given the increasing cases in Saskatchewan, however, we believe it is the appropriate thing to do.

Our front doors may be closed, but we still have a lot to offer. Educators can engage their classrooms in a “Virtual Field Trip” with our Education Coordinator. Sport history buffs can immerse themselves in all aspects of our website, including a virtual tour of Prairie Pride: A History of Saskatchewan Football, which will be uploaded soon.

We will continue to monitor the provincial situation as well as public health orders and will re-open the SSHF to the public when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Thank you for your continued understanding and support. We look forward to being able to welcome you back soon.

Saskatchewan Sports Stories: The Regina Rugby Club makes their debut

As the sun began to set below a cloudy autumn prairie sky, quarterback and captain Albert Townshend shouted signals to his fellow Moose Jaw Tigers. The Tigers centre rolled the football backwards with his foot to start the play. Townshend crouched, picked the ball up and spun the ball underhand wide towards the sideline. Reading the play, Regina’s Ted Porter intercepted the lateral before it could reach Tigers halfback Dewart Bissell. Porter quickly dodged the remaining Moose Jaw backs before they had fully recovered from the surprise and quickly broke away into the clear. After running 80 yards, Porter touched the ball down into the grass between the uprights at the Moose Jaw Baseball Grounds.
Porter had just scored the first touchdown in Saskatchewan Roughrider history.

Regina Rugby Club, 1910: “Billy” Ecclestone (back left), Jas. D. Scott, Pete Green; George Lythgoe (second back row left), M.J. O’Brien, John V. Lackey, R.L. “Dinny” Hanbidge; “Roy” W. Hamilton (third row sitting left), Alex. Page, W.J. Bright, Chas. Galvin, H. Hoppins; Harry B. Froste (front row, left), L.C. Duncalfe, E. “Ted” Porter, “Tommy” Blair, Allan R. Ferguson; Courtland “Slabs” Merrick (front row, reclining). Missing: “Al” Urquhart.

One hundred and ten years ago today the Regina Rugby Club played their first game of rugby football in Moose Jaw. In the century that has passed, that rugby club has changed names, colours and leagues, but with each autumn the tradition that is the Saskatchewan Roughriders grows.
The birth of Riders football took place in Moose Jaw on Oct. 1, 1910.
This is the story of that game, the first football season in the province and the origins of the game.
*  *  *  *
Rugby football was a new sport in the west at the turn of the 20th century. Beginning to gain in popularity in the east, the Canadian Rugby Football Union was formed in 1882 after the game was played on eastern campuses as far back as 1861.
Members of the North West Mounted Police stationed in Regina brought the game west with them. The Mounties took up the sport as early as 1886 and soon formed a team that challenged their Winnipeg counterparts. The game was played informally, but as more young men heeded the call to go west, the desire to organize grew.
The Regina Rugby Football Club was formed at a meeting at City Hall on Sept. 6, 1910. A day later, the Regina team began to practise at Railway Park every day at 5:30 p.m., giving the players at least an hour of daylight after work to learn the finer points of the game.
In addition to their outdoor practices, the Regina team also held “chalk talk” practices once a week at night when they discussed strategy and signal calling. Crucially they also discussed the rules which still often varied by region and league.
Both teams would field 14 men who would play both ways. There were five substitutes ready in case of injury, but once a man was substituted, he could not return.
At a meeting at the Flanagan Hotel (now the Hotel Senator) in Saskatoon on Sept. 22, the Saskatchewan Rugby Football Union was founded by representatives from Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Weyburn and Prince Albert. Given the speed with which organized rugby football was moving, only Regina and Moose Jaw fielded teams for a shortened 1910 season.
The teams would meet four times to decide the provincial champion.

*  *  *  *

Seppi DuMoulin photo courtesy of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Septimus (Seppi) DuMoulin was instrumental in the creation of the Moose Jaw Tigers. DuMoulin, a banker, had relocated to Moose Jaw. The former player and official in Ontario Rugby Football Union brought his know-how to the Friendly City and named the team after his former club — the Hamilton Tigers. In 1950 the Tigers and the Hamilton Flying Wildcats would merge to become the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
After coaching Moose Jaw’s Tigers, DuMoulin would conclude his 1910 football season on Nov. 26 when he returned to Hamilton to coach the Steel City’s Tigers in the Grey Cup. The Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association Grounds was filled by 12,000 fans in the stands and hundreds more who knocked down the outside fence and perched on the scoreboard for a view of the action. They saw the Tigers lose the second Grey Cup 16-7 to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
DuMoulin would be the only man to go on to hold chief offices in all three major football unions — including a term as president of the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union in 1932. He was inducted as a charter member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
*  *  *  *
Though the game was new to many, anticipation was high before the first game. Both city’s newspapers invited players to open tryouts. As the teams took shape, fans gathered after work to watch the open practices and speculate on their chances.
The Regina team already enjoyed the support of the “15th Man” before it had even kicked off their first game. For the Saturday afternoon opening game, 150 fans paid $1.25 each for return fare on a special train to Moose Jaw. There at the Baseball Ground, they were joined by 600 local fans under cloudy skies but with the weather a comfortable 15C.
The crowd was enthusiastic, though a touch confused by the nuances of the rough spectacle laid out before them.
The Moose Jaw Morning Times reported that “a good many of the spectators, being unfamiliar with the game, hardly knew when to yell, but they thought they were right in going to it when a Regina man was bumped.”
The Regina fans may have been out-numbered, but they weren’t shy about letting their neighbours know that they were there. According to Moose Jaw’s Evening Times, the Regina fans “never failed to make themselves heard and encouraged their favorites right heartily.”

*  *  *  *

It turns out that “games are won in the trenches” may be a cliché as old as the game itself.
After the dust settled on the first rugby football game in the province’s history, the writers of the day were unanimous: size matters.
Moose Jaw Evening Times summed up the first game succinctly in their subhead: “Home team superior in weight and playing ability.”
The story explained that “the Moose Jaw boys could control the scrimmage very much as they liked, while the backs were showing well in judicious rushes.”
The Moose Jaw line trio of Grayson, McDonald and Cochrane each weighed 175 pounds. Incredibly that provided a huge 20-pound average weight advantage in the trenches. Moose Jaw used their size to pound the ball directly at the Regina defence. One of those undersized Regina scrimmage men was Robert Leith “Dinny” Hanbidge who would become a member of Parliament and the party whip in the Diefenbaker government and would go on to be the province’s 12th Lieutenant-Governor, serving from 1963-70.
Depending on which account of the game you trust, either side had the better of a scoreless opening quarter.
The Evening Times felt that “From the kick-off the ball was kept in Regina’s territory and the Moose Jaw scrimmage took control of the ground by bucking the Capital city boys off their feet. Robbins, Townshend and Johnson were noticeable and time and again went through the opposition to the requisite distance as easy as wind through a sieve. But Regina fought better with their feet on their own goal line and managed to keep out the Tigers in the first quarter.”
Regina Morning Leader felt that the Queen City boys — resplendent in the regal colours of purple and gold — “were in the game all the time and had the play in Moose Jaw territory a good part of the game.”
In either case what happened next is a matter of fact, not opinion.
The Tigers finally found their breakthrough when Townshend, their quarterback and captain, was able to bull his way 10 yards through the stubborn Regina resistance to score the game’s first touchdown.
When Robbins failed to kick the convert, Moose Jaw held a 5-0 lead.
The Tigers built on the lead when a Bissell punt forced Regina’s halfback, Miller, into his end zone where the ever-present Townshend tackled him for a rouge to go ahead 6-0.
Regina failed to make much forward headway and Townshend capped a drive late in the second quarter with his second touchdown. Another failed convert gave Moose Jaw an 11-0 half time lead.
The lead either gave the Tigers a false sense of security or lit a fire under the Regina boys — or both. Either way the visitors came out for the second half and began to move the ball — and more importantly — win the battle along the line of scrimmage.
The Evening Times noted that Regina “more than held their own for the only time in the game and the team was able to make ground: but the homesters always tightened at the right moment and nothing came from their efforts . . .”
Regina captain Charles M. Galvin’s punt was fumbled by Tigers fullback Scythes which led to Moose Jaw conceding a single to cut the lead to 11-1.
The Tigers responded in the fourth quarter by pinning Regina deep into their own end repeatedly and not allowing them past their own 25 yard line.
It was there with the Tigers driving to try to extend their lead that Porter read Townshend’s intentions and breakaway for what the Morning Leader called “the outstanding feature of the game.”
Porter was certainly less green than many of the other players on the field. The Regina wing had formerly played for the Toronto Argonauts, as did Regina’s first quarterback Allan Ferguson. The Toronto club was formed in 1873 when the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club decided to form a rugby team.
Regina also had a winger named Sheriff who had come from the Queen’s University side in Kingston. Jim Scott had played for the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association team — Montreal AAA is the oldest sporting club in the country. Their hockey club won the first Stanley Cup in 1893 and would win three more. In 1931 they won the Grey Cup.
Townshend was a constable with the Moose Jaw Police. The “big, husky, ex-Hamilton Tiger” — as the Regina press called him — used his experience to keep the Tigers in possession and on the attack. Moose Jaw also had other seasoned players like Bissell, Robbins, Johnson and Duff who were prominent because of their experience.
Despite their limited time to prepare and many of the players’ limited experience, both teams demonstrated good ball handling and didn’t fumble the ball often.
After Porter cut the Moose Jaw lead to 11-6, the woeful performance of the kickers continued as Galvin missed the convert despite being located right between the uprights.
Once again the Tigers forced Miller to concede a rouge before the Tigers added a final touchdown in a bizarre fashion.
Bissell’s long punt went over the Regina backs and into the end zone. Believing the kick would count as a rouge (or a kick-in goal as it was sometimes called) and that the ball was no longer live, they let it lay there. Which is where Moose Jaw winger Law flopped on it to score the final touchdown in the 17-6 win.
The Regina newspaper account of the game makes no mention of the second Moose Jaw rouge and reported the score as 16-6.

*  *  *  *

It is worth noting that DuMoulin, as the president and coach of the Tigers, refereed the game.
It was common in the early days of the sport to have representatives of the clubs officiate the games. Often one team would provide the referee and the other the umpire. Sometimes the men would switch positions at half.
In Regina, the Morning Leader made a point to complain about the officiating saying that DuMoulin was allowing Moose Jaw to get away with “off side interference.”
“(DuMoulin) a few years ago was one of the best rugby officials in Canada, but he seems to have neglected his foot ball education since coming to this province. At one stage of the game, Scott, of the Regina team, so strongly objected to his decisions that he was ruled off for two minutes.”

*  *  *  *

A week later the teams met again in Regina. Moose Jaw sent 200 supporters east by train. Admission to Dominion Park was a quarter and the crowd that paid their two bits saw Moose Jaw win a very close 7-6 game thanks to another missed convert attempt by Regina.
In that game Regina was bolstered by a handful of skilled reinforcements. Most notably quarterback Billy Ecclestone — another former Hamilton Tiger — took the reigns. Like Porter, winger Clarence Dale had previously played with the Argonauts. Doc Stringer had an impressive resumé as he had played U.S. college football at the University of Wisconsin and then had played with the Calgary Caledonians in ’09.
After the close win, the Evening Times stated that club officials felt that “the game revealed one or two defects that must be remedied by Saturday.” So daily practices continued and a call went out for “all the regular players, and anyone interested or ambitious enough to try and win a place on the team . . .”
The third meeting of the season proved anticlimactic. Ecclestone could not leave his business commitments and Moose Jaw capitalized on five Regina fumbles in a 38-0 rout to clinch the provincial title at the Baseball Ground.
They completed the season sweep with a 13-6 win.
It is the only winless season in Roughrirder franchise history.
The Tigers weren’t able to challenge the Manitoba champions — the Winnipeg Rowing Club — because they were not part of a recognized amateur association. The next fall the Western Canada Rugby Football Union was formed to rectify the problem with nine teams representing the prairie provinces.
Wanting to build on their great 1910 season, the Tigers’ manager, Walter Ross, offered to pay all of the expenses for the Calgary Tigers if they would come to Moose Jaw on Nov. 12, but the game never took place.
In 1911, Regina changed their colours to blue and white — they would wear red and black in their third season — and claimed the provincial title. They were set to play Winnipeg before foul weather forced them to default in dubious circumstances. The Calgary Tigers beat Winnipeg 13-6 to claim the Hugo Ross trophy as the first Western Canadian champions.
Ross, a Winnipeg realtor, donated the championship trophy and less than a year later would die aboard the Titanic.

In 1912 the Regina Rugby Club won the Western Canada Championship after finishing their debut season winless in 1910.

The men representing the two cities weren’t the only ones making history on the gridiron in 1910. The Regina and Moose Jaw Collegiate Institutes engaged in what is believed to have been the first organized high school rugby football game played in Saskatchewan.
The school, now known as Central Collegiate, hosted Regina on Oct. 29, 1910 suffering a 23-2 defeat.
Moose Jaw Collegiate Institute was in its first semester in its new building. Their first starting 14 featured: Grayson, Sifton, McKay, Moffatt, Knight, Kern, McGillivray, Johnson, Cunningham, Cochrane, Rorison, Paul, Pascoe and Emerson.
Moose Jaw actually took an early 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of singles by their kicker Moffatt. Regina took a narrow 5-2 lead into the half, but their superior backs coupled with Moose Jaw’s poor tackling led to the game getting away from them.
Two days later, Moose Jaw traveled to Regina’s Dominion Park where they lost 23-5 to Regina before a crowd of 800 people.
The Evening Times saw a lot of promise in the teens despite the scores.
“Although beaten the local boys made a good enough showing to warrant a belief in their ability to make a good team, but they suffered obviously from a lack of experience.”

A postcard depicting Regina Collegiate in 1910. Peel’s Prairie Postcard Collection PC002676

Rules constantly evolving to make game safer and more open

In 1910 rugby football had a foot in each sport that made up its name.
Many of the key early rule changes that turned rugby into football had already been established. However, with no forward pass, the game would have looked significantly more like rugby than what Canadian Football League fans have enjoyed for years.
Of the key differences between rugby and football, the most basic is one of the most crucial — the team in possession started each play by ‘heeling’ the ball back to their quarterback. While similar to a scrum in rugby, the right of possession divided teams into offensive and defensive sides on each play.
Teams had three plays to gain 10 yards for a first down. Three men were required on the line and they couldn’t move until the ball was heeled back. A yard had to be given by the defence. There were 14 men on the field — as opposed to the 15 in rugby. The Ontario Rugby Union was using 12 players as early as 1903, but the Canadian Rugby Union and other leagues in the country were slower to change.
A touchdown (or try) was worth five points. A goal from a try – a convert – was kicked from the 35-yard line and worth a point. A goal from the field was four points. A free kick was three points and a penalty kick was two points. A rouge was a single point scored off of a punt or a missed field goal when the player receiving the kick was tackled in the end zone.
Many of those changes were the so-called Burnside rules named after University of Toronto captain Thrift Burnside who took many of the innovations Walter Camp was making in the U.S. college game.
When McGill University went to Cambridge, Mass. on May 13, 1874 they met Harvard in the first rugby football game in North America. It could be said McGill brought rugby football to the U.S. as their use of their hands to pick up the ball helped take the game away from soccer. The innovation impressed the Harvard team and the two games the teams played were played first under the “Boston Rules” and the second under the “Canadian Rules.”
Those compromised rules continued to evolve separately in each country.
The forward pass had been legalized in the American college game in 1906 after American president Theodore Roosevelt demanded change after the 19 deaths the year previously. The forward pass wouldn’t be legal in the Canadian professional ranks until 1929. It was felt at the time that with the wider field, the Canadian game didn’t need to be opened up.
In 1910 teams were still using three downs on both sides of the border. The Americans wouldn’t add a fourth down until 1912.

Michigan vs. Penn in a U.S. collegiate game in 1910.

In the U.S. 1910 was a pivotal year in the development of the game.
While violence and death had long been a part of U.S. football — and part of its early appeal. Major changes were made after the deaths in 1905, but the last straws appeared to have been broken in 1909.
Army’s captain Eugene Byrne died after suffering a dislocation between the first and second cervical vertebrae while tackling Harvard’s Wayland Minot.
Army cancelled the rest of their season, but two weeks later Virginia freshman halfback Archer Christian died in a game in Washington, D.C. The death in the capital so soon after Byrne’s death led to renewed cries to have the sport abolished.
Instead major changes were made. The need for seven men on the line and the abolishment of motion at the snap of the ball came into existence. Previously, only the centre was on the line as he snapped the ball, allowing the lines for both teams to be already moving at each other at the snap of the ball. The committee also tried to curb dangerous pile-ups by ruling that a player was down once their knee or elbow touched the ground.
The forward pass was upheld and some of its restrictions were rescinded. When added in 1906, a pass had to be touched by a player on either side before it hit the ground or else it resulted in a turnover. Under the rule change in 1910, it merely resulted in a loss of a down.
Those changes helped make football a far more vertical game and uncrowded the line of scrimmage. The game had taken a huge leap forward in its evolution.

This story was first published in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald on October 1, 2010 to mark the 100th anniversary of the first game in Saskatchewan Roughriders’ history. This version has been updated from the original with minor edits.

Glenn Hall

Saskatchewan Sport Stories: Glenn Hall

There aren’t many unbreakable records in the world of sports.

Glenn Hall, however, surely owns one of them.

The Humboldt-born goaltender played every game of a National Hockey League season seven seasons in a row. His streak of 502 regular games played by a goalie will never be equalled.

“I went back to junior hockey and my five years in the minors and I believe it was a 1,026-game streak by my count,” Hall said from his home in May of 2020.

Glenn Hall

Glenn Hall during his time with the Chicago Black Hawks.
Photo Courtesy : Hockey Hall Of Fame

Hall’s NHL streak ran from October 6, 1955 thru November 7, 1962 when a back issue forced him out of the net in the middle of the first period. The streak extends to 552 consecutive games if you count playoff games.

So what makes Hall’s record streak so insurmountable? The last time any goalie played every game in an NHL season was Detroit’s Roger Crozier in 1964-65. It is almost unthinkable that a goalie would appear in each of his team’s games in the modern era — to say nothing of doing so repeatedly for more than seven years.

Hall’s streak was partly based out of necessity. For most of the Original Six era in the NHL, teams only carried one goalie on their roster.

“In a one goalkeeper system, you played even if you were hurting a little bit. Most of our injuries were puck-related,” Hall said. “I’m sure I was like any goalie, I enjoyed playing.”

Not having a back-up is, of course, not the most notable anachronism of the Original Six era when it came to NHL goalies. Hall, like nearly all of his contemporaries, tended goal without a mask for the duration of his streak and nearly his entire 18-season NHL career.

“The people who played before us, they played without a mask, so we felt that we could too,” said Hall who donned a mask for the first time in 1968, his second season in St. Louis and 15th full season in the NHL. “I’ve had a bunch of little nicks, but I got hit hard three times. If you get hit up (by a puck) in the forehead they don’t hurt like they do around the nose or the mouth. Those are the ones that really hurt. Our big concern was the eye injury. There were a lot of kids who had to quit playing goal because of an eye injury. You felt lucky that you got out of the game with both eyes.”

It wasn’t just that Hall was durable, he also maintained an incredible standard of excellence during his career that earned him the nickname Mr. Goalie. He was named a first-team all-star a record seven times and holds the record for most all-star game appearances by a goalie with 13. That is even more impressive when you consider that five of his contemporaries during the 1960s — Johnny Bower, Eddie Giacomin, Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuk and Gump Worsley — have all joined Hall as members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

While Plante is well-known for being the first goalie to wear a mask in the NHL, Hall was an innovator in his own right. He brought the “butterfly style” of goaltending to the NHL. Now the standard style young goalies are taught growing up, Hall’s penchant for dropping to his knees and covering the bottom part of the net was not well received.

“I caught heck for playing like that,” Hall said. “We were taught by people who had never played goal. They would tell you that you’ve got to stand up and you’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that. And they had no idea how to play goal.

“They didn’t want me to play that way, but I knew if I could see the puck, I had a pretty good chance of stopping it,” added Hall who was noted for having incredible vision on the ice. “I could see the puck from down there and I found I could cover the four corners. I did what I had to do. I used to stand on my tip-toes to look over people too, as well as look underneath them. (The butterfly style) was just to see the puck. If you could see the puck you were in good shape.”

Glenn Hall

Glenn Hall tending goal with the Chicago Black Hawks in action against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Hall won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1952 as the Red Wings spare goalie before he had made his NHL debut. In 1955 he was tasked with replacing Sawchuk in Detroit and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. After four years in Detroit, he moved to Chicago and spent 10 years with the Black Hawks, winning the Stanley Cup in 1961. He would finish his career by playing four seasons in St. Louis.

In 1968, Hall won the Conn Smythe Trophy with the expansion St. Louis Blues. He is one of only five players to have ever won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs while not winning the Stanley Cup.

Hall would go on to share his knowledge as a goaltender coach with the Calgary Flames and won a Stanley Cup ring in that role in 1989.

Before reaching the NHL for good in 1955, Hall played in the minor-professional Western Hockey League (not to be confused with the current major junior league of the same name) with the Edmonton Flyers. He and his wife Pauline settled in the area as Hall found off-season work in Alberta.

“We squirrelled away nickels and dimes to buy a little land,” Hall said. “I used to spend the summers at my grandparent’s farm and I loved the farm. Pauline came from a farm herself, so that’s what we wanted. We were very happy when we settled down here.”

Hall, 88, is keeping in touch with loved ones through the phone during the COVID-19 pandemic. His wife passed in 2009 and while there are no animals to tend to on the farm, he has always enjoyed bird-watching.

“I’ve got a couple of golf carts and I drive around and look at the birds. I’ve got a goose nesting about 50 feet from the house. She keeps me a little land-locked. I don’t want to disturb her. I enjoy seeing them and I enjoy seeing the goslings,” he said. “I’m very comfortable here. I’m the boss. I don’t have a dog or a cat, but even if I had a goldfish I would be second in command.”

Hall’s self-deprecating humour aside, he was rarely second in anything in his career.

Hall was the only player to be named a first-team all-star selection with three different teams in any major North American sport. Even since his retirement, that feat has only been matched by National Football League star Deion Sanders.

So with all of the records and accolades, what was Hall’s best memory from his playing career? Hall’s reply was profound in its simplicity.

“Oh, just stopping the puck,” Hall said.

Glenn Hall was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Women In Sport discussion series: Catriona Le May Doan & Daniella Ponticelli

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame hosted its first Women in Sport Panel in 2019 to coincide with National Women’s History Month.

For 2020, the SSHF is proud to present a Women in Sport Series featuring conversations with SSHF inductees.

For our first Women in Sport Series discussion, we were pleased to have Daniella Ponticelli from Global Television in Regina sit down in conversation with speed skating great Catriona Le May Doan.

Le May Doan won consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 500-metre sprint in 1998 and 2002 and also won a bronze medal in the 1,000m in 1998.

The Saskatoon speed skater set world and Olympic records in the 500m and was the first woman to break the 38-second barrier. In addition, she has two world sprint titles and three world 500m titles to her credit.

Le May Doan was the Canadian flag-bearer at an Olympic opening and closing ceremony and she is one of two Saskatchewan athletes who have won the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top athlete.

She has been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She is currently the President and CEO of Sport Calgary.

Please follow us on our social media channels for the next edition of our Women in Sport video series.