ACHA versus CHF

ACHA Announcement Jun 17, 2019:

To: ACHA Membership

From: Craig Barnett, ACHA Executive Director

Date: Monday, June 17, 2019


As the ACHA and our membership prepare for its 29th season of operations and as the only recognized non-NCAA Collegiate Hockey Association under the USA Hockey umbrella, we wish to address some important items as it relates to our membership.

As I complete my first season as the new Executive Director, I will state that the ACHA has room for improvement. We will continue to enhance our communication with membership, provide transparency, and ask membership for input on matters, especially those that affect their teams, financials and student-athlete experience. As I have stated on individual calls with membership, on Town Hall conference calls, and at our Annual Meeting, this is a priority of mine as well as part of my professional makeup.

We are very proud of our membership and accomplishments of the 500+ teams that competed this past year. As the governing body of 5 unique Divisions with different goals, level of play, budgets, regions, leaders, and challenges, it is important to assess our status and make changes to enhance the tremendous growth our sport and membership is experiencing. Changes at this level do not happen overnight but must be well thought out, communicated and planned. Membership elects a Board every two years to provide oversight to an executive staff that runs the day-to-day business of the association. This is quite simply how the ACHA conducts its business on behalf of our membership and what my expectations and experiences have been since I gratefully was hired in this role.

Many of us are aware of a group led by DVCHC President Mr. John Rinck, DVCHC Commissioner Mr. Jay Turcotte, former Colonial States League Consultant/Commissioner Mr. Mark Purowitz, ACCHL Commissioner Mr. Mike Walley, Empire Commissioner Mr. Jon LaRochester, former ACHA M2 Commissioner Mr. Jay Peacock and others have been actively recruiting teams to join a new, non-ACHA association called CHF, or College Hockey Federation.

The ACHA respects and supports that all teams have the choice and decision to play under any association and league they feel is best for them. In the best interest of ALL student-athletes, the ACHA would like to state some facts for those teams so they have accurate information to make the best choice for their student-athletes. Based on calls from ACHA membership and reviewing the CHF presentation that is being used to solicit teams to move away from the ACHA, we find it imperative to correct some misstatements with supporting documentation.

For those teams trying to make decisions about the ACHA and CHF, here are some facts to consider:

A) ACHA is the only non-NCAA College Hockey Partner of USA Hockey: During the Adult Council meeting last week at USA Hockey Annual Congress meeting in Colorado Springs, CO , the question regarding CHF membership in USA Hockey was asked. Below is the official response from USA Hockey:

“CHF (College Hockey Federation) is not sanctioned by USA Hockey and is not a member of USA Hockey. The ACHA is the only non-NCAA college hockey partner of USA Hockey. The extremely positive partnership between USA Hockey and ACHA has existed since 1997 and we are currently under a 5-year contract with every intention of working toward and renewing another long-term contract. Anything to the contrary is false. Each season USA Hockey produces a letter to the ACHA stating which leagues the ACHA can schedule games against such as the USHL, NAHL, etc. This document will be produced after the 2019 USA Hockey Annual Congress and distributed throughout the ACHA as in the past to make sure proper coverage is in place throughout the season.”

In addition, the attached letter dated June 14, 2019 from USA Hockey was sent to Mr. John Rinck and the CHF group to clarify their status. This alone should clarify some of the misstatements and rumors that have been circulating around (see enclosed document).

B) The Value of USA Hockey Insurance as a Member of the ACHA: One of the biggest values our ACHA members receive is USA Hockey insurance.

· As the exclusive college partner of USA Hockey, ACHA members receive insurance for $700 per team (this is part of your ACHA annual dues).

· This includes a team roster of up to 30 players and 4 coaches.

· In order for a non-ACHA team to register with USA Hockey, each individual player would need to register with their respective affiliate and then be claimed by an affiliate team (please contact your USA Hockey district/affiliate for details).

· The cost to register individually through an affiliate for 2019-20 will be $46/player or coach (up from $40 last season) plus any affiliate fees.

· The ACHA value of a 30 player and 4 coach team roster at $700 is equivalent to a non-ACHA team registering only 15 members (players and/or coaches) through their affiliate to attain USA Hockey membership and insurance.

C) ACHA Exclusive Partnership with USA Hockey: Similar to USA Hockey partnerships with Junior hockey leagues, the ACHA is the only sanctioned college hockey association under the USA Hockey umbrella. For scheduling purposes, the list of sanctioned college hockey and junior hockey leagues include: ACHA, USHL, NAHL, EHL, and NA3HL. Games scheduled against NCAA programs will also be permitted. As stated in the enclosed document by USA Hockey and per ACHA rules (Part 3, Section 6 of the ACHA Manual), ACHA registered teams are prohibited to play games against non-registered teams and leagues. If an ACHA team schedules and plays a game vs. a non-registered team then the ACHA has the responsibility to inform the non-registered team, USA Hockey game officials, ACHA team, academic advisor/university supervisor, players and parents that USA Hockey benefits and services are null and void for this game and all activities surrounding this game. This action will also jeopardize their USA Hockey membership (see enclosed document).

D) ACHA Affiliate Agreements with Leagues and Conferences : Part 2 Article 1 section 5 b of our By-Laws reads: “For insurance coverage purposes, all local ACHA leagues seeking affiliation must complete the Affiliation form and submit it to the corresponding Commissioners by August 1st of each year. The Affiliation form to be distributed for discussion. The Affiliation grants local league officers and officials ACHA insurance and D&O coverage benefits. [2006, 2012]” We are currently updating the Affiliate form and all leagues and conferences will be required to complete and submit this form. This form will ensure that your league or conference is officially affiliated with and recognized by ACHA to make sure the insurance benefits will inure to your league or conference.

E) Declaration of ACHA Membership for 2019-20 Season : In order to provide clarity for our membership for the 2019-20 season, we are requiring teams and leagues to confirm their official intent to be a member of the ACHA by JULY 12, 2019 . This will set a hard date for teams and leagues to confirm participation in the ACHA and as a sanctioned member of USA Hockey, thus protect our membership schedules.

PROCESS TO DECLARE – Before JULY 12, 2019:

  • Please reply to
  • State which team/school you represent - Do NOT abbreviate school name, thank you.
  • State what Division your team/school competes in (M1, M2, M3, W1, W2)
  • Include your name, contact information and role with your school/team
  • Declare YES if you are officially committed as a member of the ACHA or NO if you will not be a member of the ACHA for 2019-20.

Documents enclosed include:

  1. ACHA Memo to Membership July 2019
  2. USA Hockey letter to CHF clarifying non-ACHA members registration process
  3. USA Hockey /ACHA Sanctioned Letter 2019-20
  4. ACHA Manual (Revisions from 2019 Annual Meeting still being updated and will be forthcoming)

ACHA MEMBERSHIP MEMO_July 2019.pdf (203.7 KB)
CHF Letter Final 061419.pdf (100.4 KB)
ACHA USAH Sanctioned Letter 19-20 Season.pdf (173.1 KB)
ACHA_Manual_-_FINAL_DRAFT_042818v1.pdf (1.4 MB)

Am I the only one who feels this is a disaster and will only get worse? Between the finger pointing/blame, posturing, controlling/extortion - it’s screwing up what is supposed to be “club” hockey - a competitive and fun experience for the players and coaches. If they wanted to be treated like ping pong balls, they would have signed up for politics.

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Can you answer these questions?
Is USA Hockey Insurance voided if a Head Coach, like Liberty, isn’t USA Hockey certified?

Is USA Hockey Insurance voided for players that engage in fighting? I read the policy and it indicates that is the case.

Why not create a league for teams that are not run by the students and receive their own funding and supply athletes with equipment and players pay nothing to participate like Liberty?

In our dealings with ACHA and USA Hockey they stated that the ACHA is just an affiliate and governs themselves. So what are ACHA teams really getting for their money. Referees aren’t appointed by the league and one particular team only uses referees that agree with their entertainment style of play.

Another suggestion is every time a team wants to appeal a player/coach suspension the cost should double each time! Player funded teams can’t afford to appeal decisions and it creates an unfair playing field.

I don’t know if I see this working out. Doesn’t seem viable. Teams have to declare their intent vis-a-vis the ACHA by July 12th, so that gives the CHF less than four weeks to cobble together their league, including establishing a new set of bylaws, arranging for insurance coverage, and procuring qualified officials, among many other issues. I know they’ve been working on this for awhile, but that’s a lot to do with these details only emerging publicly now.

I’m not saying that the CHF doesn’t have some valid concerns, but this move probably hurts the overall competition level for everyone in D2 and D3. If the CHF really cares about improving the league GO TO NAPLES!

It only takes one convention to establish proxy voting. What makes the CHF think they can organize an entire hockey league if they can’t organize enough participation to change the bylaws they don’t agree with?

The CHF is further along than you think and is making the information known tonight. They have a commitment of 110 teams. They have bylaws and have an impressive board and sponsorships from major companies. Their nationals will be in Nashville .

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Do you know where to find the information?

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This has really turned into a mess for some programs, especially if they have more than 1 team at the University. In some cases I’ve heard where schools have 2 and 3 teams that 1 of them was staying in ACHA & other was going to CHF.

I don’t believe the CHF has 110 committed teams as I’m hearing conferences are starting to bail. Think more like 60-75 will take the initial jump. But out of those 60-75, half of them are the bottom feeders of D2 & D3 anyway. Maybe Farmingdale will finally win a national championship…

ACHA or the rabbit hole, you choose…

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your information is wrong. 120 teams have committed and no, they are not bottom feeders as you say.maybe you should check the financials of the ACHA on how they spent $400,000 on the national tournament and please check out the salaries of the 2 people running the ACHA. That is where the “Bottom feeder” program dues are going to . It will not be that way in the CHL. Everyone is a volunteer there as opposed to the ACHA

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Hey all…lot of speculation, information/misinformation…ACHA spin and such working its way thru the college club hockey world right now. My name is Jay Turcotte, yep same guy as in the ACHA spiel above and CHF partner. This is an exciting, confusing and difficult time for a lot of people. I’ll be glad to answer any questions as best I can about the CHF, its purpose, goals and motivations. If there are any questions that pertain to current"info" I’ll do my best to explain or clarify that too.

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Ok Jay, I’ll bite. A couple questions.

  1. What is the CHF website? Any social media?
  2. I see between 60-120 teams have committed, what teams are in the CHF?
  3. Are universities splitting teams between ACHA vs CHF(university example :Liberty???)
  4. If the ACHA is the sole non-NCAA affiliation with USA Hockey. Is the CHF sanctioned by a governing body? Is the CHF connected to any other USA Hockey leagues(NAHL,USHL, EHL, NA3)?
  5. What is structure of CHF? D1, D2, D3? Are there conferences
  6. Are there rankings? computer or human?

Coach…Here goes:
-Website is in production with Sportngin and should be up very soon. We are active on twitter but I’ll have to get back with the hashtags…I’m a bit of a dinosaur there.

  • There will be an announcement in the very near future confirming Commitments. We’ve been allowing conferences and teams to stay under the ACHA radar to lighten the harrassment.
    -I beleive some schools will be represented in both organizations, dependent on the needs of each program (D2/D3…Conference in or not). In most of these multi-program schools there is a independent management structure so there can be differing paths.
    -The CHF will be USAH insured. How it will be done and accomplished is still in determination with USAH. “sole non-NCAA affiliation” is semantics. They are right now, this minute. The CHF will operate in the same manner as ACHA. The process/layout will likely be different.Our connections with the junior leagues will be no different than exists currently.
    -Currently the CHF make up is primarily M2 and M3 programs. In most cases it involves existing conferences with a number of individual programs.
    -There will be computer rankings for all regions by MYHOCKEY RANKINGS. They are the best out there and are a CHF exclusive. Each region will have the option via a Board of Governors to interject
    other elements to determine which teams get sent to Regionals/Nationals from that particular region.

Hope that helps!

The tweet site is Collegehocfed Looks very nice

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It would seem to me individual teams & conferences are not sure what each individual teams are doing or what is best for the teams themselves. I would also think there will be some issues scheduling because why would CHF teams play an ACHA team? It’s messing up what is supposed to be “club” hockey, a competitive and fun experience for the players, all while enjoying the college experience and getting a college education. They are being treated like poker chips and many teams are going to be caught in the crossfire

Coach…I’ll respectfully disagree with some of your points. There is most certainly a large unknown. Between conferences and teams. Scheduling is a different issue. The CHF acknowledges the importance of maintaining regional partners and rivalries. We have no problem with teams crossing over and have a mechanism to incorporate those games into a ranking algorithm. As long as the teams share the USAH commonality inter-organizational play is fine. Not sure the ACHA feels the same…in fact I get the the feeling based on their latest letter they will discourage it. I’ll disagree with the “poker chips” analogy. In fact the basis and motivation of the CHF is the exact opposite. We want to offer an organization that places the best interests of all the players above all else. …Not just the select programs that can afford a Florida/National meeting trip…Not just D1…not just the “in crowd”. Every program that pays their fee deserves a quality “player friendly” college club hockey experience. Every team/group of players deserves to have a voice in decision making and not be dictated to. The only way to change that type of administration, as it exists now, is to offer better alternative with the right motivations and goals.
Thats what we are offering.


Folks… Been here for a long long time… From what I have heard, and read, I hope people in the ACHA are good at math, because from my perch, they should have taken this group seriously, because this is going to get bad. From a strictly money point of view, 60-120 teams leaving will devastate the ACHA financially. From what I’ve heard, the entire Atlantic Region of D3 is gone, which is 60 plus teams… and I know that there are a few other conferences committed, so this group is easily north of the century mark… If it’s an even 100, that’s $170,000 out of an $800,000 revenue stream… If you take $700 a team off the top for USA Insurance x 530 your at $371,000… So that means the ACHA operates at say $429,000, and your going to chop off almost 20%, while still trying to maintain the same operation… Yea good luck with that… They better pick the phone up, because 100 will turn to 200 real fast when the dues go up, or things get cut… And then D1 will leave… This is nuts!

Even a well respected hockey101er/hockeyrocker as Fries is, he still has no idea how many teams are going to be making the move. He references 60-120 teams making the move but that is a complete guess as 60 was the low end # I gave and 120 was the # Hobeysmom gave. (BTW its Twitter not “tweet site.”) Also references that “entire” Atlantic region of D3 is leaving, but that is also not the case. No offense to Fries as he always provides valid information to the club hockey community, but we’re all playing whisper down the lane at this point.

Let’s put the chips on the table… Who else has info on which conferences are staying/leaving? Let’s get a legitimate estimate of teams leaving & try and get to the bottom of this like in the 101 days.

Here’s what I know for certain:
Leagues leaving: Empire & DVCHC
Leagues I heard were moving but I don’t have concrete evidence: Metro & ACC
Leagues staying that people think are leaving: CHE & Colonial

God speed

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I found a lengthy reply to Craig Barnett from the CHF here:

@JTurk can you let us know who is in and who is out?

The Collegiate Hockey Federation (CHF) Official June 2019 “Overview & Progress” Memo is linked below:

CHF Overview_June 2019.pdf (1.5 MB)

Also linked is the CHF’s response to the ACHA/Craig Barnett:

CHF Response Letter to ACHA email 2019-06-19.pdf (199.6 KB)

Pokecheck…I can’t give you a master list today. There are a number of conferences/teams who will be
leaving who have not announced yet. There are also a number committed that we are not releasing to save them an ACHA anger bomb. Chiz is somewhat correct. The conferences he mentions are all committed and the CHE and Colonial are still TBD. There are additional conferences and teams from D3 and D2 from that are also on board. There will be a release of committed teams in the very near future.
I’m not completely aware of all the D2 commits so I’d be comfortable with a little over 100 and likely a bit more, but I’d swear to 100 right now .

Mr. Chiz… I wasn’t whispering… I was just going off of what was posted prior to my reply, to get to some round numbers for my financial example. Lets go off your certainty and lay this out… If the Empire, DVCHC, Metro and ACC leave, that’s 80 teams right there. But here’s the thing… If the list of names that Mr. Barnett doxed in his email are really involved, do you really think there’s only 80 teams involved? You have the former Executive Director of the ACHA, the D2 Commissioner, Atlantic Coordinator, and the heads of some of the largest conferences and one of the most influential conferences and programs in all of the ACHA, in one group driving this thing. So my gut tells me that it’s more like 150, not just D3, not just the east coast, and like JTurk said, they’re probably going to not say anything until its time to announce the whole thing…

That July 12 date is bullshit anyway… What are they going to do, tell a team that they can’t play this season if they don’t sign up by July 12, when no college student is in school? And that document isn’t legally binding anyway. Like I said, the ACHA should pick up the phone… This isn’t going to end well… and players get hurt…

We should start a pool

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