The WIFU changed its name to become the Western Football Conference.
The CFL season schedule was partially interlocked to allow teams of the Eastern Football Conference to play the teams of the Western Football Conference.
A third consecutive year of interleague exhibition matches were scheduled with teams in the National Football League. As in 1959 and 1960, in both of the two games played, both CFL teams lost (the Toronto Argonauts lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 36–7, on August 2, while the Montreal Alouettes fell to the Chicago Bears, 34–16, on August 5). The Hamilton Tiger-Cats had a better idea for success: challenge the nascent American Football League to a duel. The Tiger-Cats faced off against their cross-border "rivals," the Buffalo Bills, on August 8. The Tiger-Cats defeated the Bills, 38–21, giving the Canadian league its first win over an American team since 1941. The AFL, embarrassed over the loss, declined to play another international game, and with the CFL consistently losing to NFL teams, the CFL ended international competition.
The CFL made rule changes for the 1962 season, permitting four defensive backs per team to have unlimited blocking during rushing plays, as long as they are lined up outside the ends. Additionally the tackle-eligible play became illegal.