Canadian national sledge hockey team vs Sweden, Vancouver 2010 Paralympics
In 1968, the Government of Canada formed Hockey Canada to oversee all operations of ice hockey in Canada, including amateur, university and professional. The new organization became responsible for international ice hockey team selection, including Olympic and World Championships, but did not govern ice hockey play within Canada. This changed in July 1994 when Hockey Canada merged with the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, which had formed in 1914 to oversee Allan Cup play.
Some junior leagues, like the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League and Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League operate outside the jurisdiction of Hockey Canada. These leagues usually appear for a variety of reasons, ranging from disagreeing with the new Canadian Development Model implemented in 2005 to disagreeing with various zoning restrictions or anger over player raiding by other leagues. In the summer of 2009, Hockey Canada told players that they would have to choose to play within Hockey Canada or outside of Hockey Canada by September 30 of each playing year. At the end of each playing year the player has the right to apply to reenter Hockey Canada if they played in an independent league.
Summer hockey and recreational senior hockey are not under the auspices of Hockey Canada. To date, summer hockey is a massive market and is untouched by Hockey Canada. Also, in summer hockey tournaments, the Hockey Canada rulebook is not always followed, often replaced by professional league rules.
A result of the slow decline of senior hockey in Ontario is the growth of another independent league, the WOAA Senior AA Hockey League. In existence independent since 1943, the WOAA now has 18 senior hockey teams. The WOAA uses the Hockey Canada rule book, but with stricter import rules. The WOAA is very popular in the northern portions of Southwestern Ontario. Most WOAA teams have deep community roots including the sponsorship of minor hockey tournaments.
Less senior hockey has led to widespread growth in recreational adult hockey. Although Hockey Canada has attempted to make moves into recreational hockey and does offer insurance policies to participants, they have failed to make a dent in a nationwide practice.