|Headquarters||Richmond Hill, Ontario|
U Sports (stylized as U SPORTS) is the national sport governing body of university sport in Canada, comprising the majority of degree-granting universities in the country. Its equivalent body for organized sports at colleges in Canada is the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Some institutions are members of both bodies for different sports.
Its name until October 20, 2016, was Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS; French: Sport interuniversitaire canadien, SIC). On that date, the organization rebranded as "U Sports" in both official languages.
The original Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) Central was founded in 1906 and existed until 1955, composed only of universities from Ontario and Quebec. With the collapse of the CIAU Central in the mid-1950s, calls for a new, national governing body for university sport accelerated. Once the Royal Military College of Canada became a degree granting institution, Major W. J. (Danny) McLeod, athletic director at the RMC directed the establishment of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU) in 1961.Major McLeod ran the CIAU from his office at RMC as the first CIAU Secretary-Treasurer. In the 1960s the CIAU functioned as a voluntary, autonomous, educational sport organization which represented by the various universities from coast to coast. In 1978, the Canadian Women's Interuniversity Athletic Union (CWIAU), which had formed in 1970, merged with the CIAU; the expanded CIAU reinforced its university focus by adjusting its name to the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union. It changed its name to Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) in June 2001 due to growing misconceptions about the name of the organization since the term "athletic" was associated with track and field and "union" with labour movements.
According to the organization, the name change to "U Sports" came about in part due to a desire for a brand that was "instantly recognizable and identical in both French and English."The rebrand was accompanied by a new approach to presentation of Canadian University sports, its teams, and its players. The new, singular logo and name came with a new website to better present stories taking place throughout the athletics programs U Sports governs, bolstered by a new approach to social media.
On October 20, 2016, CIS announced that it would be changing its name to U Sports, accompanied by a new logo and approach to Canadian University sports. The name was chosen in part to better represent Canada as a bilingual nation with a united name as opposed to separate acronyms. The new name and look are also intended to increase the marketability of Canadian University sports.
Signifying a major shift in the presentation of Canadian University sports, U Sports aims to better engage with Canadian sports fans and present the athletes it governs. To do so, U Sports aims to promote the stories of its key athletes through a new approach to social media as well as a new website in order to "create a massive change in the way Canadians see university sports in the digital era".
The U Sports member institutions offer athletic scholarships known as Athletic Financial Awards (AFA); subject to minimum academic requirements. The AFA's are capped and may not exceed the value of the tuition and compulsory fees for the student-athlete. Universities also may provide additional non-athletic awards including academic scholarships and needs-based grants for athletes in addition to this cap, provided the additional awards do not include athletic criteria. In 2008/2009 one in two U Sports athletes was receiving an athletic scholarship.
Increasingly, U Sports schools are offering booster-support programs, where alumni, parents and/or corporations can donate money to a targeted fund especially designed to off-set a student-athlete's tuition and living costs. The University of Windsor has an Adopt-A-Lancer program,for example. U Sports has no regulations regarding how much each school can provide to teams through private support. The Université Laval's Rouge et Or football team, winner of seven the last 12 Vanier Cups, is so successful with fund raising, the team trains in Florida during the spring.
Canadian Hockey League teams offer financial support for their graduates – who attend school within two years of playing major junior – who choose to play for a U Sports school after graduating from major junior hockey based on a model where the league will give scholarships commensurate with the seasons they played in the CHL. Hockey players who play in the CHL are ineligible for NCAA athletic scholarships, although many attend a CHL training camp. However, they can only stay a maximum of 48 hours and can not dress in any games.
Week 1 is the 9th Saturday following Labour Day Monday
Week 1 is the 25th Saturday following Labour Day Monday
There are 56 member universities in U Sports.These 56 member universities are currently organized into the four following regional associations. In some of these sports, these associations are sometimes referred to as conferences.
|Acadia University||Axemen, Axewomen||Wolfville||NS||1838||Public||4650||$40M||AUS|
|Cape Breton University||Capers||Sydney||NS||2005||Public||3500||$6.1M||AUS|
|Memorial University of Newfoundland||Sea-Hawks||St. John's||NL||1925||Public||18,172||$93M||AUS|
|Mount Allison University||Mounties||Sackville||NB||1839||Public||2260||$141.1M||AUS|
|Université de Moncton||Aigles Bleu||Moncton||NB||1864||Public||4187||—||AUS|
|University of New Brunswick||Reds||Fredericton||NB||1785||Public||9000||—||AUS|
|University of Prince Edward Island||Panthers||Charlottetown||PEI||1969||Public||4000||—||AUS|
|Saint Mary's University||Huskies||Halifax||NS||1802||Public||7040||$16.9M||AUS|
|St. Francis Xavier University||X-Men, X-Women||Antigonish||NS||1853||Public||5150||$59.4M||AUS|
|St. Thomas University||Tommies||Fredericton||NB||1910||Public||2633||—||AUS|
|University of British Columbia||Thunderbirds||Vancouver||BC||1908||Public||43,579||$1.16B||CW|
|Trinity Western University||Spartans||Langley||BC||1962||Private-Christian||2,700||—||CW|
|University of Victoria||Vikes||Victoria||BC||1903||Public||19,500||$348M||CW|
|University of the Fraser Valley||Cascades||Abbotsford||BC||1974||Public||21,500||—||CW|
|University of Northern British Columbia||Timberwolves||Prince George||BC||1990||Public||4,183||—||CW|
|Thompson Rivers University||WolfPack||Kamloops||BC||1970||Public||13,072||—||CW|
|University of British Columbia Okanagan||Heat||Kelowna||BC||2005||Public||6,015||—||CW|
|University of Alberta||Golden Bears, Pandas||Edmonton||AB||1908||Public||36,435||$1.0B||CW|
|University of Calgary||Dinos||Calgary||AB||1966||Public||28,196||$568M||CW|
|Mount Royal University||Cougars||Calgary||AB||1910||Public||14,175||—||CW|
|University of Saskatchewan||Huskies||Saskatoon||SK||1907||Public||19,082||$247M||CW|
|University of Lethbridge||Pronghorns||Lethbridge||AB||1967||Public||8,765||$24.5M||CW|
|University of Regina||Rams, Cougars||Regina||SK||1911||Public||12,800||$25.9M||CW|
|University of Winnipeg||Wesmen||Winnipeg||MB||1871||Public||9,219||—||CW|
|University of Manitoba||Bisons||Winnipeg||MB||1877||Public||27,599||$424M||CW|
|University of Ottawa||Gee-Gees||Ottawa||ON||1848||Public||35,548||$201M||OUA|
|University of Toronto||Varsity Blues||Toronto||ON||1827||Public||56,383||$1.66B||OUA|
|Queen's University||Golden Gaels||Kingston||ON||1841||Public||20,566||$722M||OUA|
|Algoma University||Thunderbirds||Sault Ste. Marie||ON||1964||Public||1427||—||OUA|
|Royal Military College of Canada||Paladins||Kingston||ON||1876||Public||900||OUA|
|Nipissing University||Lakers||North Bay||ON||1909||Public||6300||$11M||OUA|
|Ontario Tech University||Ridgebacks||Oshawa||ON||2003||Public||10000||—||OUA|
|University of Western Ontario||Mustangs||London||ON||1878||Public||30,000||$685M||OUA|
|University of Windsor||Lancers||Windsor||ON||1857||Public||13,496||$70M||OUA|
|University of Guelph||Gryphons||Guelph||ON||1964||Public||19,408||$264M||OUA|
|University of Waterloo||Warriors||Waterloo||ON||1957||Public||27,978||$282M||OUA|
|Wilfrid Laurier University||Golden Hawks||Waterloo||ON||1911||Public||12,394||—||OUA|
|Brock University||Badgers||St. Catharines||ON||1964||Public||17,000||$74M||OUA|
|Lakehead University||Thunderwolves||Thunder Bay||ON||1946||Public||8050||$32.1M||OUA|
|Université Laval||Rouge-et-Or||Quebec City||QC||1663||Public||37,591||$105.3M||RSEQ|
|Université du Québec à Montréal||Citadins||Montreal||QC||1969||Public||39,235||—||RSEQ|
|McGill University||Redbirds, Martlets||Montreal||QC||1821||Public||32,514||$1.32B||RSEQ|
|Université de Montréal||Carabins||Montreal||QC||1878||Public||55,540||$276M||RSEQ|
|Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières||Patriotes||Trois-Rivières||QC||1969||Public||10,000||—||RSEQ|
|Université de Sherbrooke||Vert-et-Or||Sherbrooke||QC||1954||Public||35,000||—||RSEQ|
As of the 2019–2020 U Sports season, 48 of the 56 member institutions have both men's and women's basketball teams. In sports with heavy university participation, like basketball, some of the conferences have had divisions. The OUA previously had four divisions from 2014–15 to 2016–17, but reduced them back to two for the 2017–18 season.With the addition of Ontario Tech for the 2019–20 season, OUA moved to three six-team divisions. Canada West had two divisions, but reverted to a one conference format for the 2016–17 season with 17 teams. The AUS conference has eight teams while the RSEQ conference has five.
The U Sports men's and women's basketball teams are organized in the following way:
27 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019 U Sports football season. As of the 2017–18 academic year, the two U Sports members in Sherbrooke compete in separate leagues in football only. Bishop's football moved from RSEQ to AUS, and Sherbrooke remains in RSEQ football.
35 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019–20 Men's Ice Hockey season.
34 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019–20 Women's Ice Hockey season. The Bishop's Gaiters will join the RSEQ and start play in 2020–21 and the Trinity Western Spartans and MacEwan Griffins will join Canada West.
48 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019 Men's soccer season.
53 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019 Women's soccer season.
30 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019–20 Men's volleyball season. After Memorial disbanded their team following the 2016–17 season, two teams competed in the AUS with three competing in the RSEQ, before Dalhousie and UNB moved to the RSEQ with the AUS dropping men's volleyball as a varsity sport.12 teams compete in Canada West and another 13 compete in the OUA, which is split between an East and a West division.
39 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019–20 Women's volleyball season. Six teams compete in the AUS and six in the RSEQ. Another 14 compete in the OUA, split between an East and a West division, and the Canada West conference has 13 women's volleyball teams.
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The Vanier Cup is the championship of Canadian university football. It is organized by U Sports football and is currently played between the winners of the Uteck Bowl and the Mitchell Bowl. It is named after Georges Vanier, the former Governor General of Canada and was first awarded in 1965 to the winner of an invitational event contested between two teams that were selected by a panel. In 1967, the trophy was declared the official "CIAU National Football Championship" and a playoff system was instituted. From its creation until 1982, it was known as the Canadian College Bowl. The game typically occurs in late November, although it is occasionally played in December.
The UBC Thunderbirds are the athletic teams that represent the University of British Columbia in the University Endowment Lands just outside the city limits of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In Canadian intercollegiate competition, the Thunderbirds are the most successful athletic program both regionally in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association, and nationally in U Sports.
The Queen's Golden Gaels are the athletic teams that represent Queen's University at Kingston in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Team colours are blue, red, and gold. Its main home is Richardson Memorial Stadium on West Campus.
The Guelph Gryphons are the athletic teams that represent the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The university's varsity teams compete in the Ontario University Athletics conference of the U Sports and, where applicable, in the west division. The university teams are often referred to as the Gryphs, which is short for the school's mascot, Gryph, the gryphon.
The David Johnston University Cup is a national collegiate sports award, presented annually to the champion of a season-ending tournament played by U Sports men's ice hockey teams in Canada. The UNB Reds are the current champions for the 2018–2019 season. The Alberta Golden Bears have won the most championships with 16.
The Dalhousie Tigers are the men's and women's athletic teams that represent Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Tigers field 14 varsity teams with seven men's teams and seven women's teams that primarily compete in the Atlantic University Sport conference of U Sports. The university also offers numerous intramural and club sports that are available to students, staff, alumni, and Dalpex members.
The UNB Reds are the athletic teams that represent the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
The Carleton Ravens are the athletic teams that represent Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. The most notable sports team for Carleton is the men's basketball team. In men's basketball, the Ravens have won 15 of the last 18 national men's championships, which is more than any top division college in Canada or the United States. The Ravens went on an 87-game winning streak from 2003 to 2006. They also had a 54-game home winning streak. The Ravens finished 2nd in the World University Basketball Championships in 2004.
The Lakehead Thunderwolves are the U Sports varsity athletic teams that represent Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
The Ryerson Rams are the varsity athletic teams that represent Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ryerson operates 11 men's and women's varsity teams that compete provincially as part of Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and nationally as part of U Sports.
The Windsor Lancers are the varsity athletic teams that represent the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The school's varsity program supports 9 different sports. Their mascot is a lancer and the team's colours are blue and gold. The varsity teams compete in the Ontario University Athletics provincial conference and the national U Sports organization. The school joined the Ontario-Quebec Athletic Association in 1952.
The UQTR Patriotes are the athletic teams that represent the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada. The university features teams in swimming, golf, hockey, soccer, cross-country, volleyball and cheerleading. Notably, the men's ice hockey team has won four University Cup national championships since the program was first established in 1969. The men's soccer team has won one national championship, coming in 2019.
Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is a regional membership association for Canadian universities which assists in co-ordinating competition between their university level athletic programs and providing contact information, schedules, results, and releases about those programs and events to the public and the media. This is similar to what would be called a college athletic conference in the United States. OUA, which covers Ontario, is one of four such bodies that are members of the country's governing body for university athletics, U Sports. The other three regional associations coordinating university-level sports in Canada are Atlantic University Sport (AUS), the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CW), and Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).
The Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec is the current name for the organisation formerly known as the Quebec Student Sports Federation (QSSF) in English. RSEQ is the governing body of primary and secondary school, collegiate and university sport in Quebec. It also serves as a regional membership association for Canadian universities which assists in co-ordinating competition between their university level athletic programs and providing contact information, schedules, results, and releases about those programs and events to the public and the media. This is similar to what would be called a "college athletic conference" in the United States.
The 2011–12 Canadian Interuniversity Sport women's ice hockey season represented a season of play in Canadian Interuniversity Sport women's ice hockey. The Calgary Dinos women's ice hockey program claimed their first CIS national title.
U Sports men's ice hockey is the highest level of play of men's ice hockey at the university level under the auspices of U Sports, Canada's governing body for university sports. As these players compete at the university level, they are obligated to follow the rule of standard eligibility of five years.
The Northern Football Series was a proposed sub-conference and competition for Canadian university football teams which was submitted to all Canadian university football schools on January 5, 2015. It would potentially involve the top two teams from the CWUAA, which covers Western Canada, four teams from the Ontario University Athletics (OUA), and the top two teams from the Quebec Student Sport Federation (RSEQ). A team from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) could qualify in the second year of operation.
The 2017 U Sports football season began on August 25 with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men visiting the Saint Mary's Huskies in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the Montreal Carabins visiting the Concordia Stingers in Montreal, Quebec. The season concluded on November 25 with the 53rd Vanier Cup championship at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario. This season saw the first conference shift since 2001 with the Bishop's Gaiters moving from the Quebec Student Sport Federation to the Atlantic University Sport conference. 27 university teams in Canada participated in the newly re-branded U Sports football, the highest level of amateur Canadian football. The Western Mustangs defeated the Laval Rouge et Or, 39-17, to win their first Vanier Cup since 1994.
U Sports women's volleyball is the highest level of amateur play of indoor volleyball in Canada and operates under the auspices of U Sports. Forty teams from Canadian universities are divided into four athletic conferences, drawing from the four regional associations of U Sports: Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CW), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), and Atlantic University Sport (AUS). Following intra-conference playoffs, eight teams are selected to play in a national tournament to compete for the U Sports women's volleyball championship.
U Sports men's volleyball is the highest level of amateur play of men's indoor volleyball in Canada and operates under the auspices of U Sports. Thirty-one teams from Canadian universities are divided into three athletic conferences, drawing from the three of the four regional associations of U Sports: Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CW), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), and Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ). The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) formerly featured men's volleyball as a U Sports championship sport, but it was removed following the 2017–18 season. The 31 participating teams compete in a regular season and following intra-conference playoffs, eight teams are selected to play in a national tournament to compete for the U Sports men's volleyball championship.