Teams from the WIFU and IRFU are restricted to a maximum of five imports and players who had lived in Canada for one full year were eligible to play in the Grey Cup game. The IRFU chose to adopt the rule for its regular season while the WIFU elected to ignore the rule.
The WIFU was formed in August with the Winnipegs, Calgary Bronks, and the Regina Roughriders.
The IRFU and WIFU adopted a two-game point series format for the playoffs. The series was played between first and second place teams.
A white ball was used in games that was being played underneath floodlights in Western Canada.
Intercollegiate teams stopped competing for the Grey Cup. The ORFU continued competing for the Grey Cup.
The Western Canadian Rugby Football Union remained as the governing body in western Canada. The WCRFU playoffs traditionally saw the MRFU and SRFU play in one semi-final while the ARFU and BCRFU would play in the other semi-final. The winners of the two semi-finals would face each other in the final.
At a mid-season meeting of the WCRFU, it was decided that the Winnipegs and Regina Roughriders would face each other in a playoff to determine which team would fill the slot left vacant by the MRFU. The Calgary Bronks were playing games in both the WIFU and ARFU and it was decided that Calgary would have to qualify for the playoffs by winning the ARFU.
These new playoff arrangements meant that the WIFU regular season was irrelevant. To give the WIFU games some significance, it was decided that if two WIFU teams met in the playoffs, the point differential in the standings were carry into the playoff game or series (the maximum advantage would be six points). When the Winnipegs and the Regina Roughriders met in their playoff series, the Winnipegs carried a 2-0 advantage (11 points versus 9 points in the standings). When the Regina Roughriders faced the Calgary Bronks in the WCRFU finals, the Roughriders started the game with a 5-0 lead (9 points versus 4 points in the standings).
In the SRFU, the Saskatoon Hilltops were initially crowned as provincial champions. The final game of the season had to be replayed because the Hilltops used two unregistered players. The Hilltops refused to post a bond which would cover the travel expenses for the Moose Jaw Millers. As a result, the Moose Jaw Millers won the game by default and in the process they became SRFU champions. The Millers chose not to compete in the playoff versus the Regina Roughriders.
On October 24, the BCRFU decided that it would not send a team to compete in the western playoffs. The BCRFU had decided in 1936 to extend it regular season to the end of November and it did not want to interrupt its season to accommodate the western playoffs.
Regular season 
Final regular season standings 
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pts = Points
- Calgary-Regina games are worth 4 points.
Bold text means that they have clinched the playoffs.
Grey Cup playoffs 
Note: All dates in 1936
Division semi-finals 
- Regina won the total-point series by 24–14 (Winnipegs started the series with a 2-0 lead).
Division finals 
- Regina started the game with a 5-0 lead.
- Sarnia advanced to the Grey Cup game.
- Ottawa won the total-point series by 22–6.
- Between their games, Ottawa allowed fewer points against with 8, while Regina allowed 13. By allowing fewer points against, the Ottawa Rough Riders advanced to the Grey Cup game.
Grey Cup Championship 
1936 Eastern (Combined IRFU & ORFU) All-Stars selected by Canadian Press 
NOTE: During this time most players played both ways, so the All-Star selections do not distinguish between some offensive and defensive positions.
1st Team 
- QB – Bob Coulter, Toronto Argonauts
- FW – Ormond Beach, Sarnia Imperials
- HB – Hugh Welch, Hamilton Tigers
- HB – Ab Box, Toronto Argonauts
- DB – Ted Morris, Toronto Argonauts
- E – Wes Cutler, Toronto Argonauts
- E – Seymour Wilson, Hamilton Tigers
- C – Fred Wigle, Montreal Indians
- G – Charles "Tiny" Herman, Ottawa Rough Riders
- G – George Pigeon, Montreal Indians
- T – Dave Sprague, Ottawa Rough Riders
- T – Pete Joktus, Montreal Indians
2nd Team 
- QB – Arnie McWatters, Sarnia Imperials
- FW – Abe Eliowitz, Ottawa Rough Riders
- HB – Andy Tommy, Ottawa Rough Riders
- HB – Mike Hedgewich, Sarnia Imperials
- DB – Hugh Sterling, Sarnia Imperials
- E – Jack Holden, University of Toronto
- E – Syd Reynolds, Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
- C – George Willis, University of Western Ontario
- G – Pat Butler, Sarnia Imperials
- G – George Hornig, McGill University
- T – Ernie Hempey, Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
- T – Gus Greco, University of Toronto