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American Collegiate Hockey Association

Not to be confused with American Hockey Coaches Association.
American Collegiate Hockey Association
File:American Collegiate Hockey Association (logo).png
Primary Logo
Established Template:If empty
Type Chartered non-profit corporation
Purpose Sport governing body
Template:If empty
Marshall Stevenson
Executive Director
Chris Wilk
Template:If empty
Formerly called
Template:If empty

The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) is a chartered non-profit corporation that is the national governing body of non-varsity or club-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 three men's and two women's divisions and includes approximately 450 teams from across the United States. Teams offer no athletic scholarships and typically receive far less university funding.[1]

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.[2] Many schools field separate teams in both the NCAA and ACHA.

Policies and regulation

The ACHA's primary mission is to support the growth of two-year and four-year collegiate hockey programs nationwide. The ACHA identifies standards that serve to unite and regulate teams at the collegiate level. The ACHA emphasizes academic performance, institutional sanction, eligibility criteria, and standards of play and opportunities for national competition, and the ACHA promotes all aspects of collegiate hockey stressing the personal development of individual athletes as well as national recognition for member organizations. In order to do this, the ACHA has developed organizational by-laws and a Policies and Procedures Manual to provide the policy foundation for the organization as it works to fulfill its purpose. These documents are reviewed yearly at the ACHA's annual meeting.

The ACHA's policies cover team and player eligibility, rules of play, ranking procedures, national tournament procedures, and other administrative issues, although the ACHA parallels the NCAA Division III with most eligibility requirements, gameplay rules, etc. The league holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the annual convention of the American Hockey Coaches Association, in the month of April in Naples, Florida.

ACHA history

The ACHA was established on April 20, 1991. Fifteen charter members met during the Chicago Showcase in Skokie, Illinois at the North Shore Hilton. These member teams had been playing college hockey for many years but wished to legitimize its play by standardizing some of its procedures.

The members that created the organization were: Tom Keegan (ACHA), Al Murdoch (Iowa State), Joe Battista (Penn State), Jim Gilmore (Ohio), Ernie Ferrari (Stanford), Howard Jenks (California-Berkeley), Jeff Aikens (North Dakota State), Don Spencer (West Virginia), Jim Barry (Navy), Scott Fuller (Navy), Leo Golembiewski (Arizona), Ron Starr (DePaul), Cary Adams (PCHA), Jim Warden (PCHA), and Jack White (UCLA).

The inaugural year of the ACHA was the 1991-1992 season. The goal of the organization was to create an impartial governing body to monitor national tournaments, player eligibility, and general oversight. Over the years the ACHA quickly grew to over 150 teams in three men's divisions.

A Women's Division was added in 2000 with a second Women's division being added for the 2006-2007 season.

By the 2001-2002 season, marking their 10th year anniversary, the ACHA had a total of 179 teams registered with 33 teams in Division 1, 100 teams in Division 2, 18 teams in Division 3, and 20 teams in the Women's Division.

By the 2002-2003 season that number raised to over 250 teams, with Division 3 adding over 80 teams alone.

By the 2003-2004 season the number raised to 278 teams: 40 teams in D-1, 124 teams in D-2, 87 teams in D-3, and 27 teams in the Women's Division.

By the summer of 2007 ACHA membership had reached 360 teams (M1-54, M2-190, M3-139, W1-32, W2-8), that cover 48 of the 50 states.

During the summer of 2009 the University of Alaska Fairbanks established a Women's Division 2 team becoming the 49th state in the ACHA. Hawaii is currently the only state without an ACHA team.

Every year since 2003, the Men's Division 1 Showcase has been an event that features some of the top teams in the ACHA.

ACHA partners with to broadcast many of the league's games and National Tournaments.[3]


File:ACHA Men's D1 Teams, 2013-14.svg
A map of all ACHA D1 men's hockey teams.
File:File-ACHA D2.PNG
A map of all ACHA D2 men's hockey teams.
File:ACHA D3.png
A map of all ACHA D3 men's hockey teams.
A map of all ACHA D1 women's hockey teams.
A map of all ACHA D2 women's hockey teams.

The ACHA includes both Men's and Women's Divisions. The Men's side is made up of three Divisions: 1, 2, and 3. Division 3 was the last to be established in 1999. Each division has its own distinguishing set of guidelines which are explained below. The Women's side has two divisions. Division 1 began in 2000 and Division 2 is the most recent addition to the ACHA with its inception in 2006.

Despite most teams non-varsity status, the caliber of ACHA play can be quite high, especially in Division 1. Many large universities that do not sponsor hockey at the NCAA varsity level have become powerhouses, such as Ohio University and Illinois. Additionally, several universities that do sponsor NCAA varsity hockey teams also field an ACHA-affiliated teams. Of all non-varsity sports activities, the ACHA-affiliated hockey teams generally garner the most attention at their universities, such as Missouri State and Kentucky where it is the third largest spectator sport. The same can be said for the Arizona who draws the third largest fan base behind football and basketball.[citation needed]

All ACHA teams are members of USA Hockey and the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).

Men's Divisions

ACHA Men's Division 1 comprises 57 teams. There are seven conferences along with Independent teams that compete annually for the Murdoch Cup, which is awarded to the Men's ACHA Division 1 National Champion. Twenty teams compete in the National Tournament. These top-twenty teams are ranked/selected by way of computer rankings, and as determined by auto-berths from the seven regular-season Conference champions. At Nationals, teams ranked 1-12 all receive first-round bye's, with teams ranked 13-20 matching up 20 vs 13 (etc.), for the rights to play in the second-round in pre-determined bracket slots.


ACHA Men's Division 2 is currently the largest division in the ACHA, it includes approximately 200 teams in 12 conferences and Independents. These teams are divided into four Regions (Central, Northeast, Southeast and West). A total of 16 teams qualify for the National Tournament, four from each region. Each month of the season a ranking of the top 15 teams in region is released. After the final ranking in February the top two seeds from each region earn an automatic berth into Nationals. Seeds 3-10 compete in their respective single-elimination Regional Tournaments, with the two teams who win both of their games also earning a Nationals berth. The National Tournament is a pool play format with the winners of each pool advancing to the semifinals. The semifinal match-ups are the winner of Pool A vs. Pool C and Pool B vs. Pool D.


ACHA Men's Division 3 consists of approximately 140 teams in ten conferences and Independents. These teams are also divided into four Regions (Atlantic, North, Pacific and South). A total of 16 teams qualify for the National Tournament in the same manner as Division 2. The National Tournament has also been conducted in the same manner as Division 2 since 2010. Before that it was single elimination and every team played four games. The one exception is the semifinals match-ups. The winner of Pool A plays the winner of Pool B and the winner of Pool C plays the winner of Pool D.


Women's Divisions

International competition

Players are selected from all divisions of Men's ACHA schools to represent USA Hockey in the Winter World University Games, an IIHF and FISU event. However, the majority of players are from M1 rosters. ACHA Men's D2 and D3 Select Teams are ACHA events.

The Division 2 & Division 3 Selects Teams alternate going over to Europe each year during the Holiday Break to play European teams. The players are chosen from a round robin tournament in the spring usually in Pennsylvania. The tournament pits each conference's elite players against each other.


The original ACHA logo was created by Dave Kammerdeiner of the West Virginia University Art Department under the direction of Don Spencer for a cost of $50.

In August 2003, the ACHA held an official contest to design a new logo, with the winning school receiving free registration for the 2003-2004 season. The University of Washington's Husky Hockey team won the contest, with former graphic-design intern Tom Eykemans designing the new version of the logo (as shown above).

Men's champions

Division 1

Year National Champion Runner-Up Location Host
1989–1990 Penn State Iowa State Athens, OH Ohio University (pre-ACHA)
1990–1991 North Dakota State Arizona Tucson, AZ University of Arizona (pre-ACHA)
1991–1992 Iowa State Michigan-Dearborn State College, PA Penn State University
1992–1993 North Dakota State Penn State Fargo, ND North Dakota State
1993–1994 North Dakota State Eastern Michigan Ames, IA Iowa State University
1994–1995 Ohio Penn State Tucson, AZ University of Arizona
1995–1996 Ohio Iowa State Athens, OH Ohio University
1996–1997 Ohio Iowa State Ann Arbor, MI Eastern Michigan University
1997–1998 Penn State Ohio Ames, IA Iowa State University
1998–1999 Vacated (Iowa State[4]) Penn State Newark, DE University of Delaware
1999–2000 Penn State Eastern Michigan Minot, ND Minot State University
2000–2001 Penn State Delaware Tucson, AZ University of Arizona
2001–2002 Penn State Illinois Laurel, MD Towson University
2002–2003 Penn State Ohio Athens, OH Ohio University
2003–2004 Ohio Penn State Ames, IA Iowa State University
2004–2005 Illinois Penn State Bensenville, IL Robert Morris University (Illinois)
2005–2006 Rhode Island Penn State West Chester, PA West Chester University
2006–2007 Oakland Penn State Youngstown, OH Kent State University
2007–2008 Illinois Lindenwood Rochester, NY Monroe County Sports Commission
2008–2009 Lindenwood Illinois Gates Mills, OH Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
2009–2010 Lindenwood Iowa State Bensenville, IL Robert Morris University (Illinois)
2010–2011 Davenport Lindenwood Newark, DE University of Delaware
2011–2012 Delaware Oakland Strongsville, OH Kent State & Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
2012–2013 Minot State Lindenwood Bensenville, IL Robert Morris University (Illinois)
2013–2014 Arizona State Robert Morris (IL) Newark, DE University of Delaware
2014–2015 Central Oklahoma Stony Brook Strongsville, OH John Carroll University & Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Team Titles Years
Penn State 6 1990, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
Ohio 4 1995, 1996, 1997, 2004
North Dakota State 3 1991, 1993, 1994
Lindenwood 2 2009, 2010
Illinois 2 2005, 2008
Central Oklahoma 1 2015
Arizona State 1 2014
Minot State 1 2013
Delaware 1 2012
Davenport 1 2011
Oakland 1 2007
Rhode Island 1 2006
Iowa State 1 1992

Division 2

Year National Champion Runner-Up Host/Location
1991–1992 Toledo Kentucky DePaul University
1992–1993 Buffalo State Northern Iowa Iowa State University
1993–1994 Ferris State Colorado State Siena College
1994–1995 Colorado State Indiana Colorado State University
1995–1996 Western Michigan Life University University of South Florida
1996–1997 Life University Penn State University of Missouri
1997–1998 Life University Indiana Rutgers University
1998–1999 Life University Michigan State University of Utah
1999–2000 Miami (OH) Indiana Indiana University
2000–2001 Life University Weber State Indiana University
2001–2002 Life University Michigan New York University
2002–2003 Colorado Stony Brook University of Southern California
2003–2004 Oakland NYU University of Maryland
2004–2005 Michigan State Oakland Oakland University
2005–2006 Oakland Liberty Rochester County Sports Commission
2006–2007 Michigan State Davenport Colorado State University
2007–2008 Davenport Indiana Florida Gulf Coast University
2008–2009 Davenport Florida Gulf Coast Grand Valley State University
2009–2010 Davenport Central Connecticut State Super East Collegiate Hockey League
2010–2011 Grand Valley State Michigan State San Jose State University
2011–2012 Florida Gulf Coast Grand Valley State Florida Gulf Coast University
2012–2013 Michigan State Grand Valley State Saint Louis University
2013–2014 New Hampshire Florida Gulf Coast Northeastern University
2014–2015 NYU Florida Gulf Coast University of Utah
Team Titles Years
Life University 5 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002
Davenport 3 2008, 2009, 2010
Michigan State 3 2005, 2007, 2013
Oakland 2 2004, 2006
NYU 1 2015
New Hampshire 1 2014
Florida Gulf Coast 1 2012
Grand Valley State 1 2011
Colorado 1 2003
Miami (OH) 1 2000
Western Michigan 1 1996
Colorado State 1 1995
Ferris State 1 1994
Buffalo State 1 1993
Toledo 1 1992

Division 3

Year National Champion Runner-Up Host/Location
1999–2000 Butler Georgia Tech US Naval Academy
2000–2001 Wyoming South Dakota State Georgia Tech
2001–2002 Robert Morris (PA) Wyoming Georgia Tech
2002–2003 Muskegon College Hope College Muskegon Community College
2003–2004 Calvin College Georgia Arizona State University
2004–2005 Colorado Florida Gulf Coast California University (PA)
2005–2006 Wright State Northwood Fort Myers, FL
2006–2007 Kennesaw State Albany Fort Wayne, IN
2007–2008 California University (PA) San Diego State Rochester, MN
2008–2009 Saginaw Valley State Florida Gulf Coast Rochester, NY
2009–2010 Saginaw Valley State Hope College Fort Myers, FL
2010–2011 College of the Canyons Hope College Holland, MI
2011–2012 Adrian College Davenport Vineland, NJ
2012-2013 Adrian College Michigan-Flint Springfield, MO
2013-2014 Adrian College Hope College Coral Springs, FL
2014-2015 Michigan State Florida Gulf Coast Pelham, AL
Team Titles Years
Adrian College 3 2012, 2013, 2014
Saginaw Valley State 2 2009, 2010
College of the Canyons 1 2011
California University (PA) 1 2008
Kennesaw State 1 2007
Wright State 1 2006
Colorado 1 2005
Calvin College 1 2004
Muskegon College 1 2003
Robert Morris (PA) 1 2002
Wyoming 1 2001
Butler 1 2000

Women's champions

Division 1 champions

Year National Champion Runner Up Location
2000–2001 St. Cloud State Arizona State Wentzville, MO
2001–2002 Wisconsin St. Cloud State Alpharetta, GA
2002–2003 Michigan State Wisconsin Muskegon, MI
2003–2004 Wisconsin Rhode Island East Lansing, MI
2004–2005 Robert Morris (IL) Michigan State Buffalo, NY
2005–2006 Lindenwood Robert Morris (IL) Wentzville, MO
2006–2007 Robert Morris (IL) Lindenwood Amherst, MA
2007–2008 Lindenwood Robert Morris (IL) Bensenville, IL
2008–2009 Lindenwood Robert Morris (IL) Rochester, NY
2009–2010 Lindenwood Michigan State Blaine, MN
2010–2011 Michigan State Northeastern University Kalamazoo, MI
2011–2012 Northeastern Minnesota Wooster, OH
2012–2013 Minnesota Liberty Ashburn, VA
2013–2014 Miami University Massachusetts Newark, DE
2014–2015 Liberty Miami University York, PA
Team Titles Years
Lindenwood 4 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
Michigan State 2 2003, 2011
Robert Morris (IL) 2 2005, 2007
Wisconsin 2 2002, 2004
Liberty 1 2015
Miami University 1 2014
Minnesota 1 2013
Northeastern 1 2012
St. Cloud State 1 2001

Division 2 champions

Year National Champion Runner Up Location
2006–2007 St. Scholastica Minnesota-Duluth Amherst, MA
2007–2008 Rainy River College Minnesota-Duluth Bensenville, IL
2008–2009 Rainy River College St. Scholastica Rochester, NY
2009–2010 Northeastern Rainy River College Blaine, MN
2010–2011 Rainy River College West Chester Kalamazoo, MI
2011–2012 Wisconsin-Stout Alaska Wooster, OH
2012–2013 West Chester Penn State Ashburn, VA
2013–2014 Iowa State Penn State Newark, DE
2014–2015 North Dakota State West Chester York, PA
Team Titles Years
Rainy River College 3 2008, 2009, 2011
North Dakota State 1 2015
Iowa State 1 2014
West Chester 1 2013
Wisconsin-Stout 1 2012
Northeastern 1 2010
St. Scholastica 1 2007

Notable players in professional leagues

Player Position ACHA Team Years Professional Teams Years
Daniel Walcott[5] D Lindenwood (M1) 2012–2013 Selected #140 overall in the 5th round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers 2014
Michael Lebler[6] F Iowa State (M1) 2007–2011 EHC Black Wings Linz (Erste Bank Eishockey Liga) 2011–present
Anton Lidemar[7] F Lindenwood (M1) 2009–2010 Başkent Yıldızları SK (Turkish Hockey SuperLig) 2010–2011
Adam Kubalski[8] G UCLA (M2) 2003–2007 KH Sanok, KH Zagłębie Sosnowiec, KTH Krynica (Polish Hockey Superleague) 2007–2010
Justin Depretis[9] F Penn State (M1) 2001–2006 Wheeling Nailers (ECHL), Wichita Thunder (CHL), Indiana Ice Miners (MAHL), Flint Generals (IHL) 2006–2009
Tom Boudreau[10] F Robert Morris-Illinois (M1) 2001–2005 Huddinge IK (Swedish Division 1), Indiana Ice Miners (MAHL), Reading Royals (ECHL), Bakersfield Condors (ECHL), Wichita Thunder (CHL), Jersey Rockhoppers (EPHL), Mississippi Surge (SPHL), Dayton Gems (CHL) 2006–2011
Curtiss Patrick[11] D Penn State (M1) 2001–2004 Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL), Wheeling Nailers (ECHL), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL), Wichita Thunder (CHL) 2004–2009
Glenn Detulleo[12] F Iowa State (M1) 2000–2001 Essen Mosquitoes (Oberliga), Berlin Capitals (Oberliga), Missouri River Otters (UHL), Quad City Mallards (UHL), Kalamazoo Wings (IHL), Elmira Jackals (UHL), Wichita Thunder (CHL), Mississippi RiverKings (CHL), Huntsville Havoc (SPHL) 2003–present
Mark Scally[13] G Penn State (M1) 1996–2000 Wheeling Nailers (ECHL), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL), Asheville Smoke (UHL), Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL), Texas Wildcatters (ECHL), Asheville Aces (SPHL), Long Beach Ice Dogs (ECHL) 2000–2006
Nick Pappas[14] F Penn State (M1) 1982–1985 Virginia Lancers (ACHL, AAHL), Skövde IK (Swedish Division 1), Hvidovre Ligahockey (AL-Bank Ligaen) 1986-1990
Cody Staves [15] D Pitt-Greensburg (M3) 2011-2013 Steel City Warriors (FHL) 2014-Present
Ryan Lowe [16] G San Jose State (M2) 2002-2007 Utah Grizzlies (ECHL), San Jose Sharks (NHL) [17] 2007-Present
Dustin Penner LW Minot State-Bottineau (M1 / NJCAA) [18] 2001-2002 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (AHL), Portland Pirates (AHL), Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (NHL), Edmonton Oilers (NHL), Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Washington Capitals (NHL) 2004-Present
Justin Barr [19] C Northern Kentucky (M3) 2006-2008 Elmira Jackals (ECHL), Danville Dashers (FHL), Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL), Cape Cod Bluefins (FHL), Fayetteville FireAntz (SPHL) 2008-2014
Jonathan Juliano [20] C Davenport (M2) 2010-2011 Augusta RiverHawks (SPHL), Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL), Danville Dashers (FHL), Dayton Demonz (FHL), Watertown Privateers (FHL), 2011-Present

See also


  1. ^ "This club is ultra-competitive". 26 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "Kennesaw State DOA". College Hockey News. 14 October 2005. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Club Champ Iowa State Stripped Of Title". U.S. College Hockey Online. 13 July 1999. 
  5. ^ "Player Profile: Daniel Walcott". Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Player Profile: Michael Lebler". Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Player Profile: Anton Lidemar". Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Player Profile: Adam Kubalski". Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Player Profile: Justin Depretis". Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Player Profile: Tom Boudreau". Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Player Profile: Curtiss Patrick". Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Player Profile: Glenn Detulleo". Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Player Profile: Mark Scally". Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Player Profile: Nick Pappas". Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^

External links

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