Calgary vs. Edmonton: First Rugby Football Games

By Dempsey, Hugh A. | Alberta History, Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

Calgary vs. Edmonton: First Rugby Football Games


Dempsey, Hugh A., Alberta History


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When the Canadian Pacific Railway reached Calgary in 1883, there was a rapid increase in population, mostly young men who needed an outlet for their energies. Baseball, foot racing, lacrosse, and hockey quickly became popular, as did rugby football, sometimes called "rugger." (1)

Within days of the CPR's arrival, the Mounted Police at the Calgary detachment issued a challenge to any fifteen men who could form a team. They played by Rugby rules. (2) A few weeks later, the Police team played a civilian team using Association rules. Other games were played on the Police barracks grounds during the 1880s, sometimes following Rugby rules, and at other times Association rules. Late in the decade, the town formed a regular team that was prepared to take on any competition. Games were played mostly with the Police, fire brigade, and country teams from places like Millarville. Sometimes arrangements were made for a team to travel west to Donald on the CPR, east to Medicine Hat, or south to Lethbridge. As Calgarian A.G. Wolley-Dod recalled,

   ... there was a strong detachment of
   Mounted Police quartered at the barracks
   and every favourable Saturday afternoon
   we used to play a good old 'tugger' game
   against them. I think it was in 1889 that
   we organized the Country team, many of
   the players coming from as far out as
   Millarville and although we had some very
   good players on our side, I am afraid we
   were nearly always beaten, as we had not
   the same opportunity of practising as the
   police had. However that did not worry us
   much, as the games were good and clean,
   and generally ended up with a smoker in
   the evening. (2)

In 1891, when the Calgary & Edmonton Railway was completed, a new source of The Edmonton football team that challenged Calgary is seen here in this 1892 photo. Although not identified individually, the team included such players as C. Young, captain, and H. Hope, Rev. Cunningham, Richard Hardisty, A. Adamson, W. Edmiston, F. Adamson, A. Pattison, J.C.C. Bremner, W. Clark, P. McNamara, Filders, Freame, and MacKee. competition was found in the northern town. During the 1880s, Edmonton had been active in rugby, playing mostly against the Mounted Police at Fort Saskatchewan, or against local teams. In spite of its isolation, it had formed a good football team and its club waited with anticipation for the completion of the C&E. That came on August 10, 1891 with the arrival of the first train at Strathcona.

One of the first actions of the Edmonton Football Club was to challenge Calgary to a match, a challenge that the southern team accepted. "The fact that they had expressed themselves willing to play any club between Winnipeg and the Coast for the sum of $3,000," said the Calgary Herald, "seemed to have impressed Calgarians with the idea that Edmonton possessed a club of more than ordinary strength." (3) There was a general feeling that Edmonton was the favourite and Calgary would be lucky to win.

A large crowd gathered at the grounds in Calgary on October 17 for the first football game between the two towns in the post-railway era. The Edmontonians, obviously more organized, had regular uniforms while the Calgarians were dressed in clothing that was "a combination of all colors and patterns." (4)

F. Ritchie was captain of the Calgary team and C. Young of the Edmontonians. (5) Inspector Snyder and C.C. McKenzie were named umpires, and Wrigley, referee.

After the kickoff, the play went up and down the field as each team struggled for supremacy. Said a scribe, "The ball was at last carried safely behind the Edmonton goal by West and touched, securing the first point for Calgary." (6) The convert failed, being carried away by a strong breeze. The following plays were filled, as the reporter said, with plenty of vigour, roll and tumble, but no scoring. Then Wallinger, of the Calgary team, made a drop kick over the bar but as it was touched by a member of the opposing team, it did not count. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Calgary vs. Edmonton: First Rugby Football Games
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.