Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national association governing university sports across Canada. Qualifications for academic entrance differ for each Canadian university.

Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA - formerly CIAU)

The Canadian Colleges Athletic Association is the coordinating body for college sports in Canada. There are 5 regional athletic conferences for league play: ACAA (Atlantic), QSSF (Quebec), OCAA (Ontario), ACAA (Alberta), BCCAA (British Columbia.)

Eligibility Rules:

  • Five years of participation eligibility. Student athletes can take any number of years off after enrollment and will only use up eligibility in the years that he participates in the sport.
  • Participation at the major junior hockey level does not restrict the 5 years of eligibility.
  • If a CIS student athlete transfers from another CIS school, he must wait one year from his last participation in that sport - the exception being that when either the academic program of study or the sport has been discontinued.
  • An NCAA transfer to a CIS school must wait one year after transferring, assuming that he has satisfied other eligibility requirements and has not completed NCAA eligibility.


National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is the governing body for all colleges & universities offering athletic programs in the United States. In order to play hockey at any one of the schools competing in Division I or III leagues, students must be deemed eligible by the NCAA and therefore students must submit their transcripts and SAT exam scored to the NCAA Clearinghouse for review.

Eligibility Rules

  • 4 years of participation eligibility; 5 years in which to use up 4 years of participation.
  • The NCAA considers major junior hockey to be professional and therefore renders a player ineligible for NCAA participation if the student athlete is involved with a professional team. A student athlete is considered ineligible if:


1.     Has 1 or more expense paid visits to a professional team or a visit exceeded 48 hours and any payment or compensation in connection with the visit was in excess of actual and necessary expenses. (The student athlete may stay longer at his own expense and must pay travel expenses home after 48 hours.)

2.     Receives any compensation for participation in practice sessions with a professional team.

3.     Enters into any contract or agreement with a professional or sports organization or takes part in any outside competition (game or scrimmage) as a representative of a professional team. (Player's name must not be on an official score sheet.)

Scholarships and Awards

CIS Scholarships/Awards

For all Canadian universities, tuition and compulsory fees is the maximum amount that you can receive for athletic related awards in an academic year. Students are eligible for an award or bursary at the beginning of their first year, if they have a minimum entering average of 80% or equivalent on the courses used to determine university admission.

NCAA Scholarships/Awards

US universities & colleges competing at the NCAA Division I level are allowed to offer hockey scholarships to 18 student athletes per year. The scholarship amount is negotiated in consultation between the institution and the student athlete. Scholarships are granted on an annual basis, and not guaranteed for all 4 years. US post-secondary schools competing in Division III and most Ivy League schools offer financial assistance of varying amounts that are dependant on the annual family income of their student athletes. Athletic scholarships are not offered.

OHL Scholarships

The Ontario Hockey League scholarship is fully guaranteed. For every season an OHL player participates, he is entitled to a full year of tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees to a Canadian or US post secondary institution of his choice.  More in formation of the OHL Scholarship Program is available on the OHL Website.

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