There have been several playoff changes in the league’s young five-year history, with last season also seeing disciplinary rules changes hours ahead of the 2022 playoffs.
This year will see the regular season champion awarded with a to-be-revealed trophy and the same amount of financial compensation of the North Star Shield winner, with both the regular season and playoff champion securing a berth in the Concacaf Champions League, too.
“We are excited about this new format because it provides additional incentive to perform well during our regular season and makes every single playoff match essentially a final,” says CPL Commisioner Mark Noonan. “Win and advance or lose and go home.”
The 2023 Canadian Premier League final will take place on either Saturday, October 28 or Sunday, October 29.
The CPL is also introducing extra time to the five matches of its knockout stages, with any playoff match tied after ninety minutes now set to feature two 15-minute halves and, if things are level after that, penalties.
Forge FC has hoisted the North Star Shield in three out of four final appearances, with Pacific FC making history as the only other team to win it in 2021.