CIS Opportunity

The Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) is the governing body for Canadian university athletics. Canadian university sport is an experience of a lifetime! Not only will student-athletes earn a degree, they will develop skills in addition to gaining an experience that will last forever!

No other sport organization in the country can match the breadth and scope of such a program. From Victoria to St. John’s, student-athletes competing for national honours represent an exciting vibrant dimension of Canadian society.

CIS has several national telecasts broadcast live on TSN. These telecasts showcase the majority of CIS’s National Championship Finals and Semi-Finals.

In addition to TSN, national media exposure is demonstrated weekly through the articles and highlights in major mediums such as the Globe & Mail, CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio, other major dailies, TV, radio stations and websites across the country.

Canadian universities employ more coaches than any other sport organization in the country. The standard of coaching has increased dramatically over the years. Most CIS coaches are NCCP certified at the highest level and are considered the best in the country. Many are involved in national team programs. All are concerned with the development of the individual as a student and as an athlete, and therefore recognize the student-athlete’s commitment to both academics and athletics.

CIS Hockey

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 BC
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Manitoba

2. Atlantic Region

  • Unversity 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
  • Laurier
  • McGill University
  • Lakehead University
  • Concordia University
  • University of Guelph
  • York
  • Brock University
  • University of Windsor

What do I need to do to compete in the CIS?

In order to compete in the CIS, you must graduate from high school, meet the selected university’s academic standards, remain academically and athletically eligible to compete and be admitted to an CIS institution.

CIS Eligibility Rules

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national association governing university sports across Canada. Qualifications for academic entrance differ for each Canadian university.

A common question is 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. Good grades are required and many schools require more than the minimum to gain acceptance into the university.

Continued CIS Eligibility

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.

Athletic Eligibility

Every student-athlete has five years to compete in CIS athletics. 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 “completed“ for one season.

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 lague or get 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. You can participate in a pro league’s exhibition schedule and not affect their eligibility. However, if you play in one league game, the one year waiting period takes place starting at the point of their last game played.

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 thise 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.

Financial Assistance to Student-Athletes

Canadian universities offer student-athletes financial assistance. University awards or scholarships are submitted to the CIS for recognition and acceptance prior to the receipt by student-athletes. Each year awards are offered to varsity athletes by universities across the country to assist in covering the cost of tuition and compulsory fees. The amount of money varies from university to university, however, the award may not exceed a maximum amount of tuition and compulsory fees.

Athletic Financial Awards

Is there a limit to what I can receive?

Tuition and compulsory fees is the maximum amount you can receive for athletic-related awards in an academic year, including athletic-related bursaries.
The value and quantity of athletic-related awards and bursaries available varies from institution to institution.
Specific awards and bursaries may have additional conditions, such as academic success and citizenship, beyond what is stated here.
Many awards, such as academic awards or awards provided by Sport Governing Bodies or the Federal and Provincial Governments, are not included within the tuition and compulsory fees maximum; please consult your Athletic Department.

Who provides athletic-related awards?

* All athletic-related awards provided to CIS student-athletes must be administered through the providing university.
* To receive an award that is not administered by your university, the award must not be conditional on attendance at any particular university, that is, you must be free to attend the university of your choice.

When can I receive athletic-related awards?

* You are eligible to receive an award or bursary at the beginning of your first year at a university (September), if you have a minimum entering average of 80% or equivalent.
* Alternatively, you are eligible to receive an award at the end of your first year at a university (spring or summer) if you satisfy CIS academic requirements with at least a 65% average or equivalent.
* Thereafter, you are eligible to receive an award at the beginning of any year year if you satisfy CIS academic requirements with at least a 65% average or equivalent in the preceding year.

What is a “Letter of Intent Program and Registry“?

The Letter of Intent (LOI) is a new national intiative that is designed to reduce and limit the recruiting pressures on prospective student-athletes, to educate prospective student-athletes on the most applicable CIS regulations and to assist coaches in their recruiting efforts.

The Letter of Intent should not be confused with a letter of admission from a university, as the Letter of Intent is related only to a prospect’s expressed intention to participate at a specific university in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. It should also be noted that a prospect does not need to sign a Letter of Intennt if they wish to play a CIS sport. The Letter of Intent is a voluntary system that a prospect can choose to enter into and that is respected by all CIS member schools.

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.

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