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Looking Back On The Ontario Cup - A Time When Substitutions Weren't Allowed

By OSA News, 07/03/15, 7:00PM EDT


The Ontario Cup has entered its 100th year of competition. To mark the occassion, the Ontario Soccer Association is running stories throughout the summer of interesting clubs, teams and events that have happened throughout the Ontario Cup's colourful history.

The fourth installment looks at a rule change that re-shaped the Ontario Cup. 


It's hard to believe but at one time the rules that governed the Ontario Cup forbid teams from using substitutes throughout the game. 

Most teams today regularly rely on stragegic substitions to bolster themselves in late game situations. 

That wasn't the case up until 1932 though. If you were tired and run down, tough it out and play until the final whistle was the matra. That was until (the then) Ontario Football Association, decided to vote on a motion to permit each team in the Ontario Cup to use a maximum of three substitions at any time during the game.

The motion, which was met with some resistance, eventually went in favour of the decision by a vote of more than two to one. But not before a motion from Hamilton to allow substitutes only for injured players and another amendment to permit one sub in the first half had to be voted down by the delegates.

The new rule, which is taken for granted today, was implemented only for Ontario Cup games however. Districts continued to be allowed to set the boundaries for their own substition rules during regular league play.