Collegiate Hockey Federation to join with the Amateur Athletic Union in establishing AAU College Hockey
January 19, 2023; Wellington, FL – The Collegiate Hockey Federation (CHF) and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) will partner to launch AAU College Hockey, a new model of collegiate hockey in the United States, the organizations announced in a joint statement today. The program will commence with the 2023-24 hockey season and be operated as a varsity-level sport under the AAU, representing a key part of their new Collegiate Division. “We are excited about the launch of the AAU College Hockey program”, said J.B. (“Jo”) Mirza, AAU President. “The Amateur Athletic Union strives to provide unique, quality participation for athletes of all ages. This initiative will allow student-athletes to continue to play the sport they love at a high level while also pursuing their post-secondary education.”
“The mission of the CHF since our inception has been to raise the profile of our valued student-athletes, dedicated member programs, and loyal conferences,” said Mark Purowitz, Collegiate Hockey Federation Chairman. “We believe the move to AAU College Hockey and partnership with the oldest and most reputable sports organization in the country demonstrates our commitment to achieving this mission.”
Considering that less than three percent of all youth and junior players in the United States can play “traditional varsity” NCAA collegiate ice hockey for less than the 140 school programs available across Division I and Division III, the CHF, and AAU have come together to create another class of varsity hockey. While Division I NCAA schools will retain the sole purview of offering athletic scholarships, AAU College Hockey will offer its participants significant options for playing a very high level of college hockey while continuing to make education their highest priority.
“AAU is extremely excited at the opportunity to help establish another level of varsity hockey for our collegiate programs that raise awareness of the talent these student-athletes have and should be recognized throughout university athletic programs, noted AAU Board Member and National Hockey Chair Keith Noll.
The Collegiate Hockey Federation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, will assume the legal and financial aspects of AAU College Hockey and continue to maintain control of its organizational structure while taking advantage of everything the AAU brings to its student-athletes as the premier governing body across 45 amateur sports and over 770,000 members.
AAU College Hockey will initially include Men’s Division 2 and Division 3 levels, as well as a Women’s Division, while a committee has been empaneled to plan for a projected launch of a Men’s Division 1 program in the 2024-25 season. Additional plans for new events under AAU, including AAU High School Hockey Recruiting Showcases and AAU College Hockey Invitational Tournaments for schools in each of its six conferences, are under consideration.
“The needs of our members are of primary importance as we continue to grow and expand, and our players-first approach guides everything we do across the CHF. As a ‘players first’ organization, we are constantly striving to offer our members the best experience in collegiate hockey and believe this step forward raises the recognition for our current and future student-athletes playing a high level of college hockey while gaining a first-class education”, added Scott Solomon, Collegiate Hockey Federation Executive Director.
The new AAU College Hockey National Championships will replace the Fed Cup Tournament for the first time on March 10-15, 2023, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, wherein forty collegiate programs across CHF Divisions 2 and 3 will compete for national championships.
About the Collegiate Hockey Federation
As the governing body to more than 140 collegiate hockey programs, the mission of the Collegiate Hockey Federation (www.chfhockey.net) is to provide for and enable the best hockey experience for collegiate student-athletes in the United States. For more information, visit www.chfhockey.net.
About the AAU
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport event-driven organization, AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports programs. Founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in sports, the AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by more than 770,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 45 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts. For more information, visit www.aausports.org.