NCAA Rules and Your Amateur Status

First of all you need to understand that NCAA rules will only allow amateur athletes to compete, not professionals. However, your perception of a professional athlete might be different than the NCAA.

There are many ways in which a hockey player can risk losing their amateurism, such as receiving money to play their sport, but the biggest question for families is that of Major Junior and Agents. If you have a specific question please contact us or post your question and we will research the answer for you.

Your amateur status will determine if you are eligible to compete in the NCAA. NCAA rules give the Eligibility Center the authority to closely monitor prospective student-athletes when certifying their amateur status.

Major Junior:

The NCAA considers Major Junior hockey in Canada to be a professional league, so they view going to camp as a tryout for a professional team. You can still remain eligible for competition in the NCAA and tryout for a Major Junior team provided the following:

  • You only go to one expenses-paid training camp per team. This includes rookie camps. So if you go to rookie camp, you cannot go to the main camp.
  • The tryout must last for no more than 48 hours and any payment or compensation was not above actual and necessary expenses.
  • Your tryout was self-financed which can last any length of time. However, be careful and be sure to save receipts and don’t even accept a roll of tape.

 Nobody said it is an easy decision to participate in a Major Junior opportunity or not. It becomes even more difficult when dealing with coaches, agents, general managers, and parents. Do your homework and find the right fit for you.

It is possible to restore your eligibility through an appeal process. Every situation is different, but if you participate in a Major Junior hockey game you will lose at least one year of eligibility for athletics competition in hockey.


In hockey there is a fine line that many people walk when it comes to the use of

Agents, Family Advisers, and Recruiting Services.

There is some gray area in each case, but the agreement to be represented by an Agent will negatively affect the player’s amateur status.

It is wise to not enter any agreements with an Agent until you have decided not to pursue college hockey.

 Return from Amateur Status to NCAA Rules
Return to Your College Hockey Home

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