College Hockey Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

NCAA Recruiting (11)

Division I men’s college hockey coaches are not allowed to have recruiting conversations with prospective student-athletes until Jan. 1 of their sophomore year (grade 10) in high school. That means they cannot reply to emails, text messages, or return phone calls prior to that date.

As of April 2019, this prohibition also includes in-person conversations and phone calls initiated by prospects. If a prospect does come in contact with a coach prior to Jan. 1 of their sophomore year, NCAA rules require that the coach not engage in a recruiting conversation.
No. As of April 2019, all recruiting conversations with prospects and their families, coaches and advisors are prohibited prior to Jan. 1 of the prospect’s sophomore year.
A college coach may have an evaluative conversation with a third party such as a coach or advisor at any time, but may not use these conversations to send recruiting messages (verbal offers, etc.) to prospective student-athletes prior to Jan. 1 of their sophomore (grade 10) year. Prospects may not listen to evaluative conversations between NCAA coaches and third parties until Jan. 1 of their sophomore (grade 10) year.
College hockey coaches must comply with NCAA rules, which prohibit coaches from actively recruiting players at that age. They may watch players play prior to that date, but they may not have recruiting conversations until then.
College hockey coaches spend a tremendous amount of time and energy scouting and recruiting potential student athletes. If you play for a competitive midget minor, midget major, junior, or high school team, and are an elite player, there is a good a chance that the college coaches know about you.

We highly recommend that American players try out for the USA select festivals that are held in Buffalo, N.Y., every summer. We also recommend you make a list of the schools you are interested in and visit their respective web sites and team pages. Most college hockey teams have a "recruiting questionnaire" on their team web site and it would be beneficial to fill out a questionnaire for each school that interests you.

It can also be worthwhile to create a "hockey resume" to introduce yourself to college coaches. Click here for tips on writing a hockey resume.
More than a dozen junior and high school leagues send players directly to Division I - so in simple terms, there is no right answer. If you are good enough, college coaches will find you.

To learn more about the various options click here for links to the various developmental leagues.
Yes. If a college coach thinks you are physically and mentally prepared for the challenges of college hockey then they will recruit you straight from high school. College coaches often recommend that a player take extra time, following his graduation from high school, to play junior hockey so that player can mature both physically and mentally prior to jumping into the college game.
NCAA rule changes in 2018 and 2019 impacts when prospective student-athletes may visit with college coaches on their campuses.

An official college visit is a 48-hour, expense-paid visit. An official visit cannot be taken until August 1 of the prospective student-athlete's 11th-grade year in high school. A student athlete is allowed (5) five total official visits but only (1) one per school.

An unofficial visit is paid for by the student-athlete, can last any length of time and there is no limit to the number of unofficial visits a student can take. Unofficial visits may not take place until January 1 of the prospective student-athlete's 10th-grade year in high school. During an unofficial visit the coaching staff may meet with a prospective student athlete and provide him with a tour of the campus and facilities.

Prospective student-athletes may visit college campuses at any time, but prior to January 1 of their 10th-grade year they may not have recruiting conversations with college coaches during their visit.
In order for a prospective student athlete to be academically eligible to play in the NCAA he must have graduated from high school, fulfilled a core curriculum of at least 16 courses, and met a minimum index score that combines standardized tests scores (SAT, ACT) and GPA. A prospective student athlete should regularly meet with a college counselor, provided by their high school, in order to ensure they meet these requirements. All certified high school college counselors should be familiar with the necessary steps and minimum requirements set forth by the NCAA. More information can be found at the NCAA Eligibility Center (see below).
If you play a junior A hockey game after your 21st birthday you will lose one year of NCAA athletic eligibility, leaving you with three years remaining (this rule applies only to Division I competition).

Student-athletes can retain their four years of NCAA eligibility and play a junior A game after turning 21 if they enroll full-time in a post-secondary institution. Full time status is determined by the school in which the student athlete enrolls. While this starts a student-athlete's five-year eligibility "clock," they could use their full four years of eligibility provided that they enroll at the NCAA Division I school the following fall. The institution in this case may not be a nonterm institution with rolling enrollment and the classes must have a definitive start and end date. It also cannot field a varsity hockey program (in the U.S. or Canada) or the student-athlete would be subject to NCAA transfer rules.
Many Division I teams will hold open tryouts of some sort for students who were not recruited and meet NCAA Eligibility Center standards, though the number of opportunities for these players are very limited. Check with the school's hockey office for more information.

Major Junior, Amateurism and NCAA Eligibility (7)

No. Signing a contract with any professional team (that includes Canadian major junior teams) results in the loss of NCAA eligibility even if you never play a game for that team.
You can attend (1) one, 48-hour, expense-paid visit per professional team. The 48-hour period begins when you arrive at the team's facility and ends exactly 48 hours later. While in attendance the team can supply you with expenses that include travel, hotel, food, equipment, and all costs associated with practice and off-ice training. You must leave the facility once the 48-hour time period has expired in order to receive an expense paid return trip home.

Click here for a checklist of all you need to know before attending a CHL camp.
Yes, provided you cover the cost of all expenses incurred, including cost for the return trip home, following the initial 48-hour time period. The most common expenses incurred, beyond travel, would be food and lodging.
If the team covered your expenses at the rookie camp then you must cover your expenses at the main camp in order to remain eligible for NCAA hockey. You are only allowed to accept (1) one 48-hour expense paid visit/tryout per CHL team.
No. While in attendance at a CHL camp/tryout, you may not participate in any scrimmages or exhibition games against outside teams. You may participate in an intra-squad scrimmage (i.e. a blue and white game).
No, you cannot accept jerseys, hats, t-shirts, or any material benefits from professional teams without paying for them. If you have received items in the mail your options are as follows: Mail the item(s) back, pay the team for the cost of the item(s) or donate the item(s) to charity.
There is an appeals process for players who have played in the CHL and some have gone on to play NCAA hockey. The appeal must be filed by the NCAA school and only once the student-athlete has enrolled on campus. The minimum penalty is typically at least one year of athletic eligibility plus additional games depending upon the circumstances.

Family Advisors (1)

A family advisor can be a helpful and informative resource, but it is not necessary that you have one unless you are a player who is projected to be drafted in the NHL. If you are going to make a decision on an advisor we recommend you interview at least a few different advisors and as a family decide who you feel most comfortable with.

For more information about deciding on a family advisor and following NCAA requirements, read this article.

NHL (2)

NCAA regulations allow student-athletes (or prospective student-athletes) to take part in one testing or tryout session per NHL team, at the team's expense, for up to 48 hours. An exception is if a player takes part in the NHL Draft Combine or the NHL Research and Development Camp - those events are considered tryouts for all 30 teams. A player could participate in another tryout beyond those events, but would need to pay his own way.
NCAA prospects or current players may attend NHL summer development camps, or prospect camps, but must pay their own way (transportation, lodging, food, etc.) and current players may not miss class to do so.

There is an opportunity, similar to the 48-hour rule (see above), to have an NHL team pay a portion of a player's stay at development camp on a one-time-per-team basis. The 48-hour period begins when you arrive at the team's facility and ends exactly 48 hours later. While in attendance the team can supply you with expenses that include travel, hotel, food, equipment, and all costs associated with practice and off-ice training. A player would have to cover all costs after that 48-hour period, including return transportation home.

Athletic Scholarships (8)

An athletic scholarship is financial aid from a university or college based in any degree on the athletic ability of the student-athlete. Athletic scholarships are formalized by entering into agreements called "National Letters of Intent," which is a written agreement between the institution and the student-athlete.
The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is the name of the document that formalizes an athletic scholarship. It is a binding agreement between a student-athlete and a university in which the university agrees to provide athletic aid in exchange for the student-athlete's agreement to attend the university.

Learn more about the NLI.
A verbal commitment is a non-binding agreement between a prospect and a coach to attend that coach's institution.
Funds for tuition and fees, books, room and board, and certain other expenses. The only required expense that a full athletic scholarship cannot cover is transportation to and from campus.

Not all hockey scholarships are full scholarships - some may cover half or some other portion of expenses.
Thanks to a change in NCAA rules in 2011, scholarship agreements may be made for anywhere from one to five years.

Signing a National Letter of Intent, even for a scholarship promised for four years, commits a student-athlete to that school for one year.

Even those scholarship agreements made for one season are almost always renewed annually; they are very rarely cancelled and never for on-ice performance.
Athletic scholarships may not be reduced or cancelled year-to-year based on your ability or performance, because an injury prevents you from participating or for any other athletic reason.

If you are receiving an athletic scholarship, the scholarship may be reduced or cancelled only if you:
  • render yourself ineligible for NCAA competition;
  • misrepresented any information on your application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement;
  • commit serious misconduct which warrants a substantial disciplinary penalty; or
  • voluntarily quit the team for personal reasons.
Coaches. Although admissions offices can refuse the admission of any student, thereby effectively refusing an athletic scholarship, coaches and athletic departments typically have a good sense of what to expect from their admissions office. This allows coaches to scout and recruit players who they can reasonably expect to earn admission.
Universities are permitted to grant 18 "full" scholarships and typically carry around 26 players, so not all are on full scholarships. In other words, most NCAA teams have some players who receive only a portion of their expenses in athletic scholarship (i.e. partial scholarship) and some players who receive all of their expenses in scholarship (i.e. full scholarship).

Financial Aid (3)

Financial aid is a grant from the university that is not based on athletic ability or participation on an athletic team.
Financial aid can be granted for tuition and fees, room and board, books and transportation.
Although determining financial aid varies between universities, it is typically calculated based on the student and his parents' ability to contribute to the cost of post-secondary education. This is determined by evaluating the current savings and expected earnings of the student over the summer and the student's parents' overall wealth (i.e. earnings, savings, investments, etc.). Based on these types of criteria, the institution makes a judgment on the amount that the student and parents are able to contribute toward a university education. In theory, any shortfall between the expected contribution and the expected university expenses is covered by financial aid.

Other forms of financial aid include academic aid, which can be granted based upon a student's academic ability.

NCAA Eligibility Center (7)

The NCAA Eligibility Center, often referred to as the "clearinghouse", certifies the academic and amateur credentials of all college-bound student-athletes who wish to compete in NCAA Division I or II athletics. Prospective student-athletes should register at by 11th grade to help ensure that they are on the right path to qualify academically. Click here for more information on NCAA eligibility.
Students should register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at the beginning of their junior year in high school. At the end of the student's junior year, a transcript, including six semesters of grades, should be sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center from the high school. Additionally, students should have their SAT or ACT scores forwarded directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center (by using code "9999") whenever they take the exam.
It may be beneficial to review your school's core courses during grade 9 or 10 to ensure that you are taking the proper classes to ensure your future eligibility.
It is free to create a profile page. Transitioning to a certification account, which is required for Division I or II athletes, costs $90 for U.S. or Canadian prospective student-athletes and $150 for all other international students.
All fees are nonrefundable after successful registration. No refunds will be given due to nonparticipation or disinterest at an NCAA Division I or II college or university. In the event a duplicate registration was completed and duplicate payment was processed, you may be eligible for a refund of the duplicate registration fee(s).
Students who have their status requested by an NCAA college or university are prioritized by the NCAA Eligibility Centerfor processing. If a student's eligibility status is never requested by a college or university, the NCAA Eligibility Center may not process such a student's certification.
If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact the NCAA Customer Service Center at (877) 262-1492.

Academic Eligibility (19)

You need to complete the following to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center:
  1. Graduate from high school;
  2. Complete a minimum of 16 (for Division I) or 14 (for Division II) core courses;
  3. Present the required grade-point average (GPA);
  4. Present a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT; and
  5. Request final amateurism certification from the Eligibility Center (beginning April 1 for fall enrollees or beginning October 1 for spring enrollees).

Note: Due to the effects of the coronavirus, the NCAA will not require standardized test scores (ACT/SAT) for student-athletes entering college in the fall of 2020 or 2021.
You need to look at your high school's list of NCAA courses. Follow these steps:
  1. Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center website at;
  2. Click on the "NCAA College-Bound Student-Athletes" link to enter;
  3. Click on "Resources";
  4. Click on the appropriate link for "U.S. Students" or "International Students";
  5. Click on "List of NCAA Courses";
  6. Input your high school's CEEB code (if you know it) or search by your high school's name and state; Canadian students can find CEEB codes for each province here;
  7. Review the list.
*Very important: If a core course you took is not on the list, it will not be used in your eligibility determination. Courses that appear on your transcript must exactly match what is on the list.
See your high school counselor immediately. Someone at your high school is responsible for keeping your high school's list updated. It is important your high school does this each year to make sure the core courses you are taking appear on the list.
Follow your high school's policy regarding its lowest passing grade. If the NCAA Eligibility Center does not have this policy, the lowest passing grade that will be used is D.
No. Courses completed through credit-by-exam will not be used.
No. Traditional vocational courses (e.g., typing, auto mechanics, driver's education and health) are not acceptable.
These grades may satisfy your core-course requirements. The NCAA Eligibility Center will assign your high school's lowest passing grade for a pass/fail class so long as the course receives credit toward graduation.
A high school course taken in the eighth grade may be used if the course is on the high school transcript with a grade and credit and if the course is on the high school's list of NCAA courses.
Yes, if the following four conditions are met (beginning August 1, 2010):
  1. Courses that are taught through distance learning, online, credit recovery, etc. need to be comparable in length, content and rigor to courses taught in a traditional classroom setting. Students may not skip lessons or test out of modules. The course must be four-year college preparatory.
  2. All courses must include ongoing access between the instructor and student, as well as regular interaction for purposes of teaching, evaluating and providing assistance. This may include, for example, exchanging of e-mails between the student and teacher, feedback on assignments, and the opportunity for the teacher to engage the student in individual instruction. Any course taken must have a defined time period for completion. For example, it should be clear whether the course is meant to be taken for an entire semester or during a more condensed time frame, such as six weeks, etc.
  3. Nontraditional courses should be clearly identified as such on the high school transcript. Nontraditional courses completed prior to August 1, 2010, will be reviewed under NCAA standards in place prior to August 1, 2010. It is important to remember that all courses need to be rigorous and four-year college preparatory in nature.
  4. Students should be encouraged to take courses that are quantitatively and qualitatively the same as courses offered through traditional means, and to take courses that will prepare them for the academic rigors they will face at a four-year college or university.
College courses may be used to satisfy core-curriculum requirements if the courses are accepted and awarded credit by the high school for any student and meet all other requirements for core courses. For NCAA Division I only, such courses must be placed on the student's high school transcript. Courses taken at a college will NOT appear on the high school's list of NCAA courses. The high school's list of NCAA courses will include only those courses taught/offered by the high school.
A one-year course that is spread over a longer period of time is considered one course and will receive a maximum of one core-course credit. (Example: Algebra 1, spread over two years, would receive one unit of credit.)
If you attended a secondary school outside the United States for all or part of grades nine through 12, different evaluation procedures will be applied to your international education documents. You must submit original-language documents with certified translations for NCAA Eligibility Center evaluation.
Your core-course GPA is the average of your best grades achieved for all required core courses. If you have taken extra core courses, those courses will be used in your GPA, only if they improve your GPA.
A school's normal practice of weighting honors or advanced courses may be used, as long as the weighting is used for computing GPAs. Weighting cannot be used if the high school weights grades for the purpose of determining class rank. Additionally, in no instance may the student receive greater than 1.000 additional quality point for purposes of calculating the GPA for initial eligibility.
The NCAA core-course GPA is calculated using only NCAA-approved core courses in the required number of core units. High school GPAs generally include the grades from most or all courses attempted in grades nine through 12.
For Division I, maybe. Only courses completed in grades nine through 12 will qualify as core courses for Division I. If you graduate from high school on time (in eight semesters) with your incoming ninth grade class, you may use one core course completed in the year after graduation (summer or academic year) prior to full-time collegiate enrollment. You may complete the core course at a location other than the high school from which you graduated and may initially enroll full time at a collegiate institution at any time after completion of the core course.

For students with diagnosed disabilities:
  • For Division I only, beginning August 1, 2010, a student must graduate "on time" in order to use up to three (3) additional approved core courses taken before full-time enrollment in college.
  • For Division II only, students may use any approved core courses taken before full-time enrollment in college.
  • For Divisions I and II, students may use courses for students with education-impacting disabilities that are designated on the high school's list of NCAA courses.
Many future NCAA hockey players will take university courses prior to enrollment; this can help them stay academically sharp and those credits may transfer in to their future NCAA school. It is important, however, not to enroll full-time in a post-secondary institution. NCAA athletes have five years to complete their four years of eligibility, and that five-year "clock" starts upon full-time enrollment at any post-secondary school, with the definition of full-time being determined by that institution. (One exception to this is the 21-year-old rule, above.)
The SAT is a standardized test used by colleges and the NCAA to help determine college admission and eligibility. Visit the College Board web site for more information on the SAT, including test dates, registration and study guides. Many companies offer customized tutoring or instructional books to help students prepare to take the SATs.

Some schools also accept the ACT, another form of standardized test. Click here for more information on the ACT.

You do not have to take both the SAT and ACT.

Note: Due to the effects of the coronavirus, the NCAA will not require standardized test scores (ACT/SAT) for student-athletes entering college in the fall of 2020 or 2021.
Note: Due to the effects of the coronavirus, the NCAA will not require standardized test scores (ACT/SAT) for student-athletes entering college in the fall of 2020 or 2021.

Yes. Students with diagnosed education-impacting disabilities may take a nonstandard ACT or SAT exam. The test score must be provided to the NCAA Eligibility Center from the testing agency, just as any other test score.

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