Starting in the 2014–15 season, men’s and women’s hockey and basketball will see changes to their national tournaments, Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced on March 27.
“These are exciting times for our organization,” said Pierre Lafontaine, chief executive officer of CIS. “We truly believe these changes will help us take university sport in Canada to the next level and offer our student-athletes and coaches the best platforms to showcase their outstanding talent.”
When it comes time to compete for the men’s and women’s hockey national titles in 2015, eight teams will square off instead of the current six. The format of the tournaments will also change from a pool-play to single elimination composed of quarter-finals, semifinals and final.
For the first time since 2004, the men’s tournament will feature a bronze medal game and the women’s will feature a consolation round to determine the fifth place finisher. Both tournaments will continue to take place over four days.
In the 2015 women’s hockey championship, the four regional champions — Canada West, Ontario University Athletics, Réseau du Sport étudiant du Québec, Atlantic University Sport — and the event host will receive a berth into the tournament along with one spot delegated to the OUA. There will also be one wildcard and another additional berth — which is yet to be determined.
On the men’s side, the four regional champions — Canada West, OUA West, OUA East, AUS — and the host team all enter the tournament along with one assigned berth each to Canada West, OUA and AUS.
The new tournament formats will be assessed after two years.
The basketball tournament formats will remain the same but will now be played over four days instead of three. Quarter-final play will now take place on a Thursday and the first round of consolations will begin on Friday. The change allows more flexibility for the scheduling of Saturday’s semifinals.
The four tournaments will be staged simultaneously from March 12–15 in 2015, allowing for a Super Championship Weekend. Fans will be able to take in over 20 hours of university sport over a two-day period through CIS’ broadcasting partners — Sportsnet and Radio-Canada.
Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor