What is the CIS?
The CIS is the governing body for Canadian university athletics.
How many universities offer hockey programs?
There are 3 regional associations in CIS hockey comprised of a total of 30 university hockey programs:
1. Canada West
• University of Lethbridge
• University of Saskatchewan
• University of Regina
• University of B.C.
• University of Calgary
• University of Alberta
• University of Manitoba
2. Atlantic Region
• University of New Brunswick
• St. Francis Xavier
• Saint Mary’s University
• Dalhousie University
• Acadia University
• University of P.E.I.
• Université de Moncton
3. Ontario University Association
• Royal Military College
• University of Western Ontario
• University of Waterloo
• University of Toronto
• Ryerson University
• Queen’s University
• University of Ottawa
• Université du Québec à Trois-rivières
• McGill University
• Lakehead University
• Concordia University
• University of Guelph
• Brock University
• University of Windsor
2. Scholarships/Financial Assistance
Can CIS universities offer financial awards or scholarships for athletic competition?
Yes. CIS universities can offer financial assistance/scholarships for university athletic participation within certain restrictions and guidelines as set out by the CIS.
What is the definition of financial awards?
The CIS refers to its scholarships and financial assistance as “Athletic Financial Awards” (AFA). An AFA is any award that is conditional on the student participating as a member of an athletic team. These awards include but are not limited to scholarships, bursaries, prizes, leadership awards, merit awards, housing, and all other related non-employment financial benefit received by an athlete from their institution.
Who is eligible for an AFA?
Both students entering their first year of university and students who have all ready competed for the university are eligible for financial assistance.
What are the eligibility requirements for an AFA?
Students who are considered “entering students” must achieve a minimum 80% grade average in the previous academic year of study in order to be eligible for university financial assistance. An “entering student” is any student who has not yet completed two (2) semesters of study at the CIS institution they are currently attending. This definition includes students entering from high school, students who are currently in their first year of university, as well as students who transfer from another post-secondary institution. Students who are considered “non-entering students” must achieve a 65% G.P.A. within the previous academic year of study. A “non-entering student” is any student who ahs successfully completed two (2) semester of study at the institution they are currently attending. This would include second, third, fourth and fifth year university students.
Is there a maximum number of AFA’s that an individual student-athlete can receive?
Although there are no restrictions on the number of AFA’s that a student-athlete may receive in one academic year, the aggregate amount of the AFA’s received by any one student can total no more than the cost of tuition and compulsory fees.
Is there a maximum amount of money that can be given out by a university in the form of AFA’s?
Yes. Using a complicated formula, each CIS hockey team is allowed 14 AFA units. One (1) AFA unit accounts for 100% of one athlete’s tuition and compulsory fees. For example, if your tuition and compulsory fees total $5,000, and the university awards you an AFA totaling $5,000, then they have used one (1) AFA unit on you. If you receive $2,500 then only 0.5 AFA units have been used on you. Therefore, 14 AFA’s units allows for 14 players to receive 100% of their tuition and compulsory fees.
Conversely, 7 players could receive 100% of their tuition and compulsory fees while 14 players receive 50% of their tuition and compulsory fees. Each individual CIS hockey team decides how it will divide its 14 AFA’s among its student-athletes.
Also, it must be noted that schools are not required to give away all 14 AFA’s each year. Some universities may award the full 14 AFA’s while others may award none – the decision rests with each individual university.
A. High School Requirements
What high school average is required to be academically eligible for CIS?
A prospective student-athlete must obtain a minimum 60% average on those courses used to determine university admission. It must be noted that this only makes the student eligible to compete in CIS athletics and does not guarantee entrance into a specific university or program.
What happens if I don’t have a 60% average but get accepted into a CIS institution?
In those instances where you have not achieved the 60% requirement, but nonetheless have been accepted into a CIS university, you must complete 9 credit hours or equivalent in a single semester prior to gaining eligibility.
B. Continued CIS Eligibility
What is required in order to continue to be eligible to compete in the CIS?
In order to be eligible to continue competing in CIS athletics you must have successfully completed 3 full courses in the previous semester and be enrolled in 3 full courses during the current semester.
A. Athletic Eligibility
How many years of athletic eligibility do I have to compete in CIS athletics?
Every student-athlete has five (5) years to compete in CIS athletics.
What is considered a “year of competition” in the CIS?
If your name appears on a playing roster for one or more regular season games in one season then you are considered to have “participated” or “competed” for 1 season.
Does ACAC and NCAA competition count towards my five (5) years of CIS athletic eligibility?
Yes. For each year of competition in either the ACAC or NCAA you are charged with a year of eligibility according to that jurisdiction’s rules. Within the ACAC or NCAA an athlete shall be charged with a year of CIS eligibility in accordance with the ACAC or NCAA definition of “competition”, “participation” and “eligibility”. Also, athletes who have used all of their ACAC or NCAA athletic eligibility are ineligible to compete in the CIS.
Do I lose CIS athletic eligibility if I compete for a professional team, play in a professional league orget paid to play hockey?
For each year that you played professional hockey you will lose one of your five years of CIS eligibility.
Do exhibition games count as professional competition?
No. Hockey players are not considered to have competed professional regardless of the number of exhibition games played.
How soon after competing professional can I take part in CIS athletics?
One year must pass between your last professional competition and your first game in the CIS.
Do I lose CIS athletic eligibility if I tryout for a professional team?
No. As long as you do not compete in a game in a professional league you will not lose any eligibility for participation in a tryout.
C. Major Junior (WHL, OHL, QMJHL)
Can I play games in major junior and still be eligible to compete in the CIS?
Yes. Unlike the NCAA, the CIS does not consider major junior hockey leagues to be professional hockey leagues and therefore competition in these leagues will not jeopardize CIS athletic eligibility.
Can I tryout for teams in major junior and still be eligible to compete in the CIS?
Yes. Unlike the NCAA, participation in major junior hockey tryouts will not jeopardize any CIS eligibility.
D. Transferring to the CIS
Does ACAC and NCAA competition count towards my five (5) years of CIS athletic eligibility?
Yes. For each year of competition in either the ACAC or NCAA you are charged with a year of eligibility according to that jurisdiction’s rules. Within the ACAC or NCAA an athlete shall be charged with a year of CIS eligibility in accordance with the ACAC or NCAA definition of “competition”, “participation” and “eligibility”.
If I transfer from the ACAC, how soon after I transfer can I play?
If you transfer from the ACAC to the CIS you may play immediately if:
1. you have not participated in any ACAC contest that semester;
2. you have achieved a 60% average in the ACAC courses used to determine CIS eligibility; and
3. you have not used all of your ACAC eligibility.
If I transfer from the NCAA, how soon after I transfer can I play?
If you transfer from the NCAA and
1. you have achieved a 60% average in the NCAA courses, or subsequent courses, used to determine CIS eligibility; and;
2. you have not used all of your NCAA eligibility then one year must pass from your last NCAA hockey game before you will be eligible to compete in the CIS
Can I transfer and compete in the CIS if I have used all my eligibility in the ACAC or NCAA?
In general, if you have used all of your athletic eligibility in the ACAC or NCAA then you cannot compete in the CIS. However, NCAA athletes who participated for three years or less in the NCAA, but are no longer eligible in the NCAA because of the NCAA time-clock/age limit or terms of attendance regulations, may compete in the CIS using their remaining CIS eligibility.
A. Recruiting Guidelines
Do CIS universities provide for recruiting trips?
Yes. Universities can bring prospective student athletes to campus for recruiting trips.
Can a CIS university cover prospect travel expenses for recruiting trips?
University funding of recruiting trips for prospective athletes is acceptable providing these trips are consistent with general university policy.
How many official visits can I make?
Although there is no limit on the number of universities you can visit on financed recruiting trips, each university can provide for only one financed recruiting trip per prospective athlete.
Can CIS universities pay for my parents to visit the campus?
No. CIS universities are prohibited from paying, providing, or arranging for the payment of transportation costs incurred by relatives or friends of a prospective athlete.
Can I receive university apparel or other products while on a recruiting trip?
Yes you can receive university products or services provided the products or services do not exceed $50.00 over and above what is provided the general prospective student population.
For more information contact: