Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada is the official governing body of hockey in Canada, representing the country as a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Based in CALGARY, Alta, it was formed in 1994 when the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) joined with the remnants of the original Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, formed in 1914.

The first organization dealing with the administration of HOCKEY was the Ontario Hockey Association, established 1890. A number of other organizations came into being and on 4 December 1914 a meeting was held in Ottawa to provide for a governing body, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA). W.F. Taylor of Winnipeg was selected president and the newspaper publisher and venerable sports figure John Ross ROBERTSON was chosen honorary president. The Quebec Amateur Hockey Association was the first to join in 1919, and in 1920 the Ottawa and District AHA also became a member. The Maritime Association was admitted in 1968, consisting of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association joined in 1966 and, in 1998, the Northwest Territories Amateur Hockey Association was accepted as a member.

The prime purpose of the CAHA in its early years was the promotion of senior hockey and a national championship in this division (seeALLAN CUP). It introduced the MEMORIAL CUP in 1919 for junior hockey. In an era of growing professionalism (seeSPORTS HISTORY), the association maintained a strict code of amateurism, and it was not until 1935 that the code was liberalized so that players could receive payment for loss of time or could take part in exhibitions against professionals.

In 1936 an agreement was reached with the NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE for uniform playing rules and for professional sponsorship of individual amateur clubs. In 1967 sponsorship was eliminated and was replaced by an amateur draft for players reaching a certain age. In 1963 the CAHA authorized the formation of a national team, led by Father BAUER, to represent Canada at the 1964 Olympics, and it continued the program until 1969, when it was turned over to Hockey Canada. Formation of the WORLD HOCKEY ASSOCIATION in 1972 created a crisis for the draft, as the WHA drafted underage players. Today, no formal agreement exists between professional and amateur hockey.

Now Hockey Canada, the organization currently administers 13 regional bodies and oversees governance of the Canadian Junior A Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League. The association currently has over 550 000 registered members.