U Sports

Last updated

U Sports
U Sports Logo.svg
Formation1961
Legal statusAssociation
Headquarters Richmond Hill, Ontario
Region served
Canada
Membership
56 schools
CEO
Graham Brown
Main organ
Executive Committee
Website usports.ca
Formerly called
  • Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (1961–1978)
  • Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (1978–2001)
  • Canadian Interuniversity Sport (2001–2016)

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.

Contents

Its name until October 20, 2016, was Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS; French: Sport interuniversitaire canadien, SIC). [1] 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. [2] [3] 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. [2] 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." [1] 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.

Sanctioned sports

Source: [4]

2016 rebrand

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. [5]

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". [6]

Athletic funding

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. [7]

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, [8] 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. [9]

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.

Championships

Source: [10]

Fall sports

Week 1 is the 9th Saturday following Labour Day Monday

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Winter sports

Week 1 is the 25th Saturday following Labour Day Monday

Week 1

  • U Sports men's swimming championship
  • U Sports women's swimming championship
  • U Sports men's wrestling championship
  • U Sports women's wrestling championship

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Members

There are 56 member universities in U Sports. [11] 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.

InstitutionNicknameCityProvinceFoundedAffiliationEnrollmentEndowmentMembership
Acadia University Axemen, Axewomen Wolfville NS 1838Public4650$40M AUS
Cape Breton University Capers Sydney NS 2005Public3500$6.1M AUS
Dalhousie University Tigers Halifax NS 1818Public18,940$478M AUS
Memorial University of Newfoundland Sea-Hawks St. John's NL 1925Public18,172$93M AUS
Mount Allison University Mounties Sackville NB 1839Public2260$141.1M AUS
Université de Moncton Aigles Bleu Moncton NB 1864Public4187 AUS
University of New Brunswick Reds Fredericton NB 1785Public9000 AUS
University of Prince Edward Island Panthers Charlottetown PEI 1969Public4000 AUS
Saint Mary's University Huskies Halifax NS 1802Public7040$16.9M AUS
St. Francis Xavier University X-Men, X-Women Antigonish NS 1853Public5150$59.4M AUS
St. Thomas University Tommies Fredericton NB 1910Public2633 AUS
University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Vancouver BC 1908Public43,579$1.16B CW
Trinity Western University Spartans Langley BC 1962Private-Christian2,700 CW
University of Victoria Vikes Victoria BC 1903Public19,500$348M CW
University of the Fraser Valley Cascades Abbotsford BC 1974Public21,500 CW
University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves Prince George BC 1990Public4,183 CW
Thompson Rivers University WolfPack Kamloops BC 1970Public13,072 CW
University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat Kelowna BC 2005Public6,015 CW
University of Alberta Golden Bears, Pandas Edmonton AB 1908Public36,435$1.0B CW
University of Calgary Dinos Calgary AB 1966Public28,196$568M CW
MacEwan University Griffins Edmonton AB 1971Public13,889 CW
Mount Royal University Cougars Calgary AB 1910Public14,175 CW
University of Saskatchewan Huskies Saskatoon SK 1907Public19,082$247M CW
University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Lethbridge AB 1967Public8,765$24.5M CW
Brandon University Bobcats Brandon MB 1890Public3383 CW
University of Regina Rams, Cougars Regina SK 1911Public12,800$25.9M CW
University of Winnipeg Wesmen Winnipeg MB 1871Public9,219 CW
University of Manitoba Bisons Winnipeg MB 1877Public27,599$424M CW
Carleton University Ravens Ottawa ON 1942Public25,262$190M OUA
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees Ottawa ON 1848Public35,548$201M OUA
University of Toronto Varsity Blues Toronto ON 1827Public56,383 [12] $1.66B OUA
Ryerson University Rams Toronto ON 1948Public24,000$118M OUA
Queen's University Golden Gaels Kingston ON 1841Public20,566$722M OUA
York University Lions Toronto ON 1959Public42,400$373M OUA
Laurentian University Voyageurs Sudbury ON 1960Public7758$36M OUA
Algoma University Thunderbirds Sault Ste. Marie ON 1964Public1427 OUA
Royal Military College of Canada Paladins Kingston ON 1876Public900 [13] [lower-alpha 1] OUA
Trent University Excalibur Peterborough ON 1964Public7160$43M OUA
Nipissing University Lakers North Bay ON 1909Public6300$11M OUA
Ontario Tech University Ridgebacks Oshawa ON 2003Public10000 OUA
University of Western Ontario Mustangs London ON 1878Public30,000$685M OUA
University of Windsor Lancers Windsor ON 1857Public13,496$70M OUA
McMaster University Marauders Hamilton ON 1887Public25,688$553M OUA
University of Guelph Gryphons Guelph ON 1964Public19,408$264M OUA
University of Waterloo Warriors Waterloo ON 1957Public27,978$282M OUA
Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks Waterloo ON 1911Public12,394 OUA
Brock University Badgers St. Catharines ON 1964Public17,000 [14] $74M OUA
Lakehead University Thunderwolves Thunder Bay ON 1946Public8050$32.1M OUA
Concordia University Stingers Montreal QC 1896Public38,809$54.4M RSEQ
Université Laval Rouge-et-Or Quebec City QC 1663Public37,591$105.3M RSEQ
Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins Montreal QC 1969Public39,235 RSEQ
McGill University Redbirds, Martlets Montreal QC 1821Public32,514$1.32B RSEQ
Bishop's University Gaiters Lennoxville QC 1843Public2800 RSEQ [lower-alpha 2]
Université de Montréal Carabins Montreal QC 1878Public55,540$276M RSEQ
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes Trois-Rivières QC 1969Public10,000 RSEQ
Université de Sherbrooke Vert-et-Or Sherbrooke QC 1954Public35,000 RSEQ
Notes
  1. Federal ethics rules prohibit RMC from maintaining an endowment.
  2. As of 2017, Bishop's plays football in AUS.

Basketball

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. [15] With the addition of Ontario Tech for the 2019–20 season, OUA moved to three six-team divisions. [16] Canada West had two divisions, but reverted to a one conference format for the 2016–17 season with 17 teams. [17] 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:

Football

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.

Men's ice hockey

35 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019–20 Men's Ice Hockey season.

Women's ice hockey

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. [18] [19]

Men's soccer

48 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019 Men's soccer season.

Women's soccer

53 of the 56 member schools participated in the 2019 Women's soccer season.

Men's volleyball

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. [20] [21] 12 teams compete in Canada West and another 13 compete in the OUA, which is split between an East and a West division.

Women's volleyball

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.

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 "Introducing U Sports" (Press release). U Sports. October 20, 2016. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  2. 1 2 Knowles 2000, p. 72.
  3. History of CIS Archived January 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. CIS English Archived March 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . English.cis-sic.ca (July 15, 2013). Retrieved on July 24, 2013.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. CIS English Archived September 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . English.cis-sic.ca. Retrieved on July 24, 2013.
  8. Lancer Sports News. University of Windsor (website). "Lancer Football Introduces Touchdown Club" Archived February 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine accessed April 9, 2007
  9. CBC News. Laval's team was profiled during their training camp in Florida. Broadcast before Vanier Cup 2006.
  10. U Sports Championship Calendar
  11. https://usports.ca/hq/member-universities
  12. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 2, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. Profile of Royal Military College of Canada – Ontario, Universities in Canada Archived September 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine . Canadian-universities.net. Retrieved on July 24, 2013.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. 2017–18 OUA Men’s Basketball Schedule Released
  16. "Ontario Tech Ridgebacks Looking to Shake Up OUA in Inaugural Season". College Court Report Canada. August 14, 2019.
  17. Canada West approves basketball format change beginning with 2016–17 season
  18. "New sport applications approved for TWU, MacEwan, UFV". Canada West. May 9, 2019.
  19. "Bishop's Gaiters women's hockey join RSEQ and U SPORTS for 2020–21". U Sports. January 16, 2020.
  20. "Dalhousie and UNB men's volleyball teams to compete in two-team AUS league for 2017–18 transitional season". AUS. July 25, 2017.
  21. "Men's volleyball Tigers set for RSEQ housewarming party". The Chronicle Herald. November 1, 2018.

Related Research Articles

Vanier Cup

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.

UBC Thunderbirds

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.

Queens Golden Gaels

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.

Guelph Gryphons

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.

David Johnston University Cup

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.

Dalhousie Tigers

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.

UNB Reds Football club

The UNB Reds are the athletic teams that represent the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Carleton Ravens

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.

Lakehead Thunderwolves

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.

Windsor Lancers

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.

UQTR Patriotes Canadian university sports team

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 Governing body for university sport in Ontario

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).

Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec

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.

2011–12 Canadian Interuniversity Sport womens ice hockey season

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 mens ice hockey

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.

Northern 8

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 womens volleyball

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 mens volleyball

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.