The Shrum Bowl is back!
Football fans can rejoice at the return of the once-annual battle between the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the Simon Fraser University Red Leafs that kicks off again Friday after a 12-year hiatus.
First played in 1967, the bowl game is named after Gordon Shrum who was a professor at UBC before becoming the first chancellor at SFU when the school opened in the 1960s.
Mike Rigell, who is entering his third year as head coach at SFU, said he is excited to welcome the Birds to Burnaby Mountain Friday where the two teams will face off inside SFU Stadium at Terry Fox Field. Kick off is at 7 p.m. PT.
"It's just a great game and a great fundraiser and a great rivalry to bring back," he said, speaking Thursday on CBC's The Early Edition.
WATCH | See the first Shrum Bowl played in 1967
Rigell and UBC head coach Blake Nill both took the reigns of their respective teams after the last Shrum Bowl was played in 2010 and SFU won by seven points.
The historic bowl game was sidelined because SFU began competing in the NCAA Division II south of the border. UBC is a member of the Canada West Division.
Rigell and Nill got to talking and decided they wanted to revive the rivalry and were thrilled when the two school's administration supported the idea and the B.C. Lions stepped in as the event's presenting sponsor.
"We kind of just kept pushing at it to see if we could make it happen," said Rigell, adding many alumni had been asking when and if the Shrum Bowl would ever come back.
This year's game will be played on SFU turf and follow NCAA rules, meaning it will be a four-down football game. In 2023, the Thunderbirds will host and the Red Leafs will follow Canadian football rules.
Coach Nill is pretty chill about adapting to American rules.
"The four downs don't worry me," he said. "So far, we're very excited."
The Shrum Bowl has been played 33 times since 1967 and Simon Fraser holds a 17-15-1 all-time series lead.
According to a press release from the B.C. Lions, Shrum Bowl games will be contested after the regular-season and playoff schedules for both squads, and will be recognized by the NCAA as a bowl game for SFU.
Tickets are sold out but the game will be live-streamed for those who want to take in Friday's action from the comfort of their couch.