The Canadian Premier League announced the season format for 2021 during a press conference with Commissioner David Clanachan on Thursday (June 24).
All eight clubs will play a 112-match season with 28 matches per club in a single table format. The season begins on this Saturday (June 26) in Winnipeg, Manitoba with The Kickoff Presented by Volkswagen. Each club will play eight matches (32 games total).
Back-to-back CPL champions, Forge FC Hamilton open their 2021 campaign this Sunday against Valour.
“Our focus is to deliver a full season with great competitive play throughout for our players, coaches, fans and supporters and I am pleased to be able to announce that today,” said David Clanachan, Commissioner Canadian Premier League.
“With this format, we have made every match competitive and meaningful. By adding a fourth team to the playoff series our clubs will battle to the end to be able to host a semi-final in their market and to be in the lead position so they can host the 2021 Final at home for their fans and supporters.”
Upon the completion of The Kickoff, clubs will return to their home markets to continue the season where they will play an unbalanced schedule of 16 games against teams in their region and four more against teams they are already playing against in Winnipeg. The league says it wants to ensure the matchups focus on minimizing travel and maximizing rest for players as much as possible for the season.
The top four clubs in the overall table will move on to a one-match elimination playoff series (1 hosting 4 and 2 hosting 3). The winners will play in the one-match Final.