The European University Hockey League (EUHL) is the first university league in ice hockey in Europe with10 participating teams from 4 countries: Slovakia, Czech republic, Austria and Poland. The EUHL was established in 2013 and it is managed by the EUHA (the European University Hockey Association)


In the United States, college hockey refers to ice hockey played between colleges and universities with the competitive governance structure established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
As of 2011 there are 58 teams in Division I men's ice hockey teams, and 73 teams in Division III men's ice hockey teams. There are also 34 Division I women's ice hockey teams and 52 Division III women's ice hockey teams.


The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) is the national governing body of non-varsity college ice hockey in the United States. The organization provides structure, regulations, promotes the quality of play, sponsors National Awards and National Tournaments.

The ACHA currently has five divisions (three men's and two women's) with approximately 450 teams from across the United States. Teams offer no athletic scholarships and typically receive far less university funding.

The ACHA offers an opportunity for college hockey programs that struggle with large budgets and Title IX issues, as an alternative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) structure. There are also institutions such as the University of New Hampshire which field separate teams in both the NCAA and ACHA.


Rules & Registration:

Certifcation of NCAA Divisions I and II Amateurism Rules
... in any case do NOT ...

  • Contracts with a professional team (Division I);
  • Salary for participating in athletics (Division I);
  • Prize money above actual and necessary expenses (Division I);
  • Play with professionals (Division I);
  • Tryouts, practice or competition with a professional team (Div. I);
  • Benefits from an agent or prospective agent (Divisions I and II);
  • Agreement to be represented by an agent (Divisions I and II);
  • Organized-competition rule (Divisions I and II).



Tier I - USHL

The United States Hockey League (USHL) is currently the only Tier I league in the country, it consists of teams in the central and Midwestern US. The USHL provides an alternative to Major Junior Hockey for kids who want to play in the NCAA. While playing in the USHL, all player expenses are paid for by the team; no membership or equipment fees are charged. Unlike Major Junior teams however, the pro drafting is significantly less and the free-college stipend does not exist. Tier I in the US is on par with Junior A in Canada, though the actual skill levels may vary by region. Quality of play in the USHL has improved to Junior A levels in the past 15 years, with about 10% of NHL players having played USHL in their career (compared with 40% who have played NCAA Division I hockey at some time). Between 80 and 90 percent of USHL players play NCAA hockey, as this is the main reason for playing Tier I instead of Major Junior in Canada.

Tier II - NAHL

Currently the North American Hockey League (NAHL) is the Tier II league in the United States. The NAHL is the largest junior hockey league in the US and consists teams spread across the Western two thirds of the United States with a significant concentration of teams in the central and southwestern parts of the United States. The NAHL, like the USHL, provides young players an alternative to Major Junior hockey, although the skill level is significantly lower than Major Junior hockey and typically filled with those who would not or did not make the roster of a Tier I team. While playing in the NAHL, all player expenses minus room and board are paid for by the team; this is similar to some of the lower Junior B teams in Canada.

Tier III

The United States currently has twelve Tier III leagues: the Atlantic Junior Hockey League, American West Hockey League, Eastern Junior Hockey League, North American 3 Hockey League, Minnesota Junior Hockey League, Northern Pacific Hockey League, Western States Hockey League, Eastern States Hockey League, Empire Junior Hockey League, Great Lakes Junior Hockey League, Metropolitan Junior Hockey League, and the Southeast Junior Hockey League. In addition to paying for room and board, players at the Tier III level pay a fee, commonly ranging from $4,000 to $6,500. This is for all accounts and purposes an amateur level, although some players go directly to NCAA Division I schools, most Tier III Junior A players are looking to increase their skills in hopes to move up to Tier I or II, other players go directly to NCAA Division III and ACHA schools. Prior to July 2011, USA Hockey, the sanctioning body for youth hockey in the US, split Tier III into Junior A and B divisions.