United Hockey Union
|Affiliation||Amateur Athletic Union|
|Chief Exec||Ron White|
The United Hockey Union (UHU), founded in 2012, is a group of ice hockey leagues in North America. The UHU is overseen and insured by the Amateur Athletic Union. Neither body is recognized by USA Hockey, Hockey Canada, or the International Ice Hockey Federation.
In 2011, the AAU expressed interest in sanctioning junior ice hockey leagues. Until this time, USA Hockey was the only governing body of ice hockey in the United States and is still the only organization recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
In the summer of 2011, the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) defected from USA Hockey to join the AAU. As a test case, their 2011–12 season went without a hitch. In 2012, they were joined by the Northern States Junior Hockey League (NSHL) and the Midwest Junior Hockey League (MWJHL). At this point, their partnership, under AAU supervision, was named the United Hockey Union.
The UHU finished off the 2012–13 hockey season with the first-ever UHU National Junior Hockey Championship. The UHU Championship went to the WSHL's Idaho Jr. Steelheads in its inaugural run, with the Steelheads going undefeated in a six-team tournament held in Las Vegas, Nevada in April 2013.
In May 2014, the UHU added a fourth league, the Canadian International Hockey League (CIHL). In July 2014, the Canadian Independent Junior Hockey League (CIJHL) of British Columbia applied for AAU sanctioning as well, but despite the sanctioning, the league shuttered its doors in September without playing a single game.
On September 10, 2014, the NSHL left the AAU umbrella. On November 10, the CIHL also left the AAU umbrella over insurance and expansion disagreements. In turn, half the CIHL broke away and formed the World United Hockey League as UHU members. In March 2015, the MWJHL announced it was joining the United States Premier Hockey League (a USA Hockey-sanctioned league) as part of its new Midwest Division starting in the 2015–16 season.
In 2015, the AAU announced that WSHL had been promoted to "Tier II" and that it was adding a "Tier III" prospect league for WSHL development teams called the Western Prospects League. Despite using the USA Hockey sanctioning terms of Tier II and III, the UHU-sanctioned leagues continued to operate under pay-to-play terms (called tuition) similar to USA Hockey Tier III or Hockey Canada Junior A guidelines.
In 2016, the UHU added two new junior hockey leagues; the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League and the National College Prospects Hockey League, The CPJHL planned to have no more than 12 teams centered around Barrie, Ontario, for the 2016–17 season and would start the season with eight teams. The NCPHL began its season with six teams. With the launch of these two leagues and several WSHL teams' affiliating with the NCPHL, it appears the Western Prospects League had been dissolved.
On September 5, 2016, the UHU announced they would be launching a free-to-play Tier I league for the 2017–18 season. The new league was to consist of six founding teams affiliated with the current Tier II and Tier III leagues. On September 12, the new league was announced as the Central One Hockey League (C1HL) and composed of six WSHL organizations: the Colorado Jr. Eagles, Casper Coyotes, El Paso Rhinos, Ogden Mustangs, Oklahoma City Blazers, and the Springfield Express, although Ogden was later removed. However, sometime in early 2017, the C1HL website was taken down and never replaced. Some teams have since mentioned that the launch of the C1HL had been postponed to the 2018–19 season.
|League||Level||Joined||Teams||Most Recent Champion|
|National Collegiate Hockey Association||Collegiate Club||2014||25||University at Buffalo Bulls|
|Western States Hockey League||Tier II Junior||2012||27||Wichita Jr. Thunder|
|Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League||Tier III Junior||2016||8||Almonte Jr. Sharpshooters|
|National College Prospects Hockey League||Tier III Junior||2016||6||Rochester Rebels|
- Canadian Independent Junior Hockey League (2014; announced, but never played)
- Canadian International Hockey League (2014; became an independent league in November 2014 and ceased operations after one season)
- Central One Hockey League (2016; announced for 2017–18, but appears to be dead)
- Midwest Junior Hockey League (2013–15; joined the USPHL as part of the new USPHL-Midwest Division)
- Northern States Junior Hockey League (2012–14; became NA3EHL in October 2014)
- Tropical Elite Hockey League (2012; announced, but never played)
- Western Prospects League (2015–16; Tier III level prospect league for the newly promoted Tier II Western States Hockey League; replaced by the National College Prospects League as the WSHL's developmental league in 2016)
- World United Hockey League (2014–15; split from the CIHL in 2014 when it dropped UHU-sanctioning in November 2014; announced new teams for 2015–16 season but never played a game)
Junior National Championships
- "AAU's United Hockey Union Formally Approves CIHL". Junior Hockey News. May 24, 2014.
- "CIJHL Formally Submits Application to Join the AAU". Junior Hockey News. July 12, 2014.
- "Midwest Junior Hockey League Joins USPHL Mid-West Junior Hockey Division". USPHL. March 10, 2015.
- "WSHL to Become Tier II Hockey League Share". WSHL. May 21, 2015.
- "The New Kid on the Block: Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League". OHL Writers. March 21, 2016.
- "NCPHL About". NCPHL. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
- "Rhinos Announce New Tier 1 Hockey Team". El Paso Proud. September 13, 2016.
- "Re-Formed CHL Returning To OKC". KFOR-TV. September 14, 2016.
- "Casper Coyotes rise to top level of amateur hockey". Casper Star Tribune. September 18, 2016.
- "Blazers Announce Operational Change". Oklahoma City Blazers. May 15, 2017.
- "NAHL announces the formation of the NA3EHL". NA3EHL. 17 October 2014.
- "Phony SEAL, Phony League?". Junior Hockey News. 27 August 2012.