The Canadian Football League’s combine is going virtual for 2021.
Testing, football drills and interviews conducted remotely through video will replace the traditional in-person gathering of young prospects and football personnel from the league’s nine member teams.
“This is the safe and prudent approach for this year, given the current state of COVID-19 pandemic,” commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “We look forward to this spring and the CFL Draft. We remain optimistic about returning to play in 2021. And we intend to return to an in-person combine in 2022,”
The modifications apply to all CFL combines for Canadian and Global prospects.
CFL franchises will have the option of conducting live player interviews online, reviewing prospects’ previous play on tape, and gathering and reviewing medical, background and performance information remotely.
“Consultations with team presidents and general managers revealed a strong consensus that a virtual combine season would ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, including prospects, football operations staff, coaches, scouts and event staff,” head of football operations Greg Dick said in a statement.
Highlights of the virtual approach include:
- All combine invitees (national and regional) will provide their medical history (with input from their school therapist and doctor)
- All combine invitees will fill out a personal questionnaire
- Teams will be responsible for setting up and conducting national player video interviews
- The league will conduct and record video interviews with Global participants with standard questions and distribute to each of the teams. The franchises will also have the option to perform video interviews with Global participants.
- The league will establish protocols and guidelines to have each combine participant conduct and film themselves performing select tests and positional drills in a safe environment with the league distributing to the teams by a specified date.
Draft dates for the CFL Draft and the league’s Global Draft will be announced soon.
“We want to thank our clubs, and especially the excellent young athletes who aspire to play in the CFL,” Ambrosie said.
“Their dream is alive and the opportunity to realize it is close at hand. We know they will overcome the challenges presented by the world’s current circumstances. And we can’t wait until we see many of them, and all of our players, back on the field and our fans back in the stands.”