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Thread: Could I play college hockey?

  1. #1
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    Could I play college hockey?

    Hey,

    first of all, here's some info on me: I'm 20 years old, live and play hockey in Switzerland and I currently play in the "3rd league", which is right under the NLA and NLB. In other words, I play at the highest amateur level in the country, above this level, it becomes pro.

    I'd like to know if I could play college hockey. I'm currently doing my bachelor in a Swiss university and if all goes well, I'll get my degree in the summer of 2012 (getting your bachelor here takes 3 years). Could I, once I get my degree, play college hockey? Studying and playing high level hockey at the same time is one of my dreams.

    I've been searching around the web and I noticed that most schools if not all want players for a 4 year period, for obvious reasons. Is this accurate? Because in my case, I would have already gotten my bachelor and would be doing master, which usually takes 2 years (I'd have to, of course, find a school that offers the master I want and the level of play most suited). Would this be a problem? I'll be 22 by that time, don't know if that's already too old to start playing college hockey. I looked up the rosters of various DI and DIII teams and some players are 25, 26, 27 years old. Any reason why?

    I also read somewhere that the whole "amateur" thing is something the NCAA takes a very close look at. I'm gonna be getting some money this year for playing hockey, it's not much, but it's still money, could this be a problem?

    Concerning my level of play, don't really know what to say. If I could, in these two years, manage to get into the NLB, it would be great but going to university on the side will make it very difficult. I don't know if a DIII school would be more suitable for me in this case. My goal is to play DI hockey though.

    A buddy of mine told me that US colleges like having international players on their roster, I don't know the exact reason but is this true? could this actually help me?

    As for the part where I have to contact these teams, I haven't got a clue who to contact, when to contact them,...

    My biggest issue, if I may say, is whether or not playing college is a possibility for me or if it's totally impossible.

    For now, this is all I can think of. Any help here would be great, I'm a bit lost.

    thanks a lot
    Last edited by koh19; 07-12-2010 at 07:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Puck Swami's Avatar
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    Please contact College Hockey Inc. to obtain information or advice about career choices for prospective student athletes, need and selection of family advisors, or with any other questions you may have.

    College Hockey, Inc.
    One Gateway Center
    Suite 451
    Newton, MA 02458 USA
    Tel. (617) 340-6570
    Fax (617) 340-6574
    email:
    [email protected]

  3. #3
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    I believe this is their website.

    https://www.playcollegehockey.com/landing/index
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  4. #4
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    My understanding is that for Division 1 college hockey, you have a four year "window" of eligibility that ends at age 25. So, for example, if you started college prior to your 23rd birthday, you'd have two years of eligibility left. I suggest that you check out the NCAA Clearinghouse that must "certify" you academically before any D1 school can offer you a scholarship. For DIII, my understanding is that you can play at any age, but still only have four years of eligibility. Recently there have been instances in football where a fifty-something guy tried out and made a DIII football roster.

    If you have any more specific questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. I spent over a decade as the Director of Player Development for the Compuware Tier II Junior "A" team and we sent dozens of players off to play college hockeys as well as the NHL.

  5. #5
    Lt. J. Isaac Powers, Starfleet
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    Quote Originally Posted by koh19 View Post
    I also read somewhere that the whole "amateur" thing is something the NCAA takes a very close look at. I'm gonna be getting some money this year for playing hockey, it's not much, but it's still money, could this be a problem?
    From my understanding, yes. If you get any sort of pay check for playing hockey, even if it's just a stipend, the NCAA will likely consider you a professional.

    That said, I'm not privy to the intricate details of that determination, so don't take my word for it. But if you're serious about college hockey, don't take a paycheck, no matter how small.


    Powers &8^]

  6. #6
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    Quote Originally Posted by LtPowers View Post
    From my understanding, yes. If you get any sort of pay check for playing hockey, even if it's just a stipend, the NCAA will likely consider you a professional.

    That said, I'm not privy to the intricate details of that determination, so don't take my word for it. But if you're serious about college hockey, don't take a paycheck, no matter how small.


    Powers &8^]
    And even that may not be enough. I'm not up on current rules, but I know that at some times in the past, the NCAA considered you to be a professional if you simply played in a league that had professionals even if you didn't accept any money yourself. Rules gurus?
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  7. #7
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    I'm not an expert by any means, so by all means consult with someone with greater knowledge if you are truly interested.

    But my best guess is that if you take any money for playing a sport (even a mere stipend), that counts as being a professional in the NCAA's eyes.

    And Lynah's right, often times simply playing in a league with others that take money can be enough to deem you a professional.

    There's no general age restriction to college sports. If you enter college as a 30-year old freshman, and otherwise qualify to play, you can go for it (this is how Chris Weinke, among others, got to play major college football after first trying his hand in minor league baseball - he entered Florida State as like a 27-year old freshman). But the NCAA has some rules about playing in "organized" leagues beyond a certain age which could restrict or limit your eligibility.

    As far as the 5-year window thing, I've never understood exactly how it works for people such as yourself. Generally speaking, once you enter college you have 5 academic years in which to play 4 seasons. But for someone such as yourself who went to school in another country, I have absolutely no idea if your 3 years in a Switzerland school would count or not.

    Either way though, my guess is you'd be ineligible for being a professional or simply being tainted by playing in a professional league since you've said you either have or will be accepting a stipend. But that's simply my best guess; again, consult with an actual expert in that area if you want to be 100% sure.

    Even if you can't play NCAA hockey, many schools have club teams for which you might be eligible - their requirements are noramlly looser than NCAA sanctioned teams. And almost all areas with ice rinks have adult recreational leagues you could play in while going to school (though probably not at the level of play you're looking for).
    Last edited by unofan; 07-13-2010 at 12:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Puck Swami's Avatar
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    The NCAA Clearinghouse can determine your eligibility - the bigger question in my mind is what hockey level will best suit your goals and abilities.

    Gabriel Dejardins has done some interesting work some years ago looking at high level league equivalencies here but it doesn't quite reach to your level...

    https://www.hockeyanalytics.com/Resea...ivalencies.pdf

    What this data means in the the Swiss Elite league is better than the NCAA D-I, but not by a huge margin...Extrapolate that down to your level, and it likely means NCAA D-I will prehaps be a step up for you in league quality, but D-III may not be....

  9. #9
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    [QUOTE=koh19;4817716]Hey,

    As for the part where I have to contact these teams, I haven't got a clue who to contact, when to contact them,...



    You can contact hockeydud................

  10. #10
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Swami View Post
    The NCAA Clearinghouse can determine your eligibility - the bigger question in my mind is what hockey level will best suit your goals and abilities.

    Gabriel Dejardins has done some interesting work some years ago looking at high level league equivalencies here but it doesn't quite reach to your level...

    https://www.hockeyanalytics.com/Resea...ivalencies.pdf

    What this data means in the the Swiss Elite league is better than the NCAA D-I, but not by a huge margin...Extrapolate that down to your level, and it likely means NCAA D-I will prehaps be a step up for you in league quality, but D-III may not be....

    Here is the NCAA site you are looking for:

    https://web1.ncaa.org/eligibilitycenter/common

    It can answer all your questions and you can register, submit your information and find out if you are eligible or not. Transcripts and test scores and TOEFL or similar English equivalency testing. $$ earned do not necessarily make you ineligible if they are for "actual and real expenses".

    Fill it out, what do you have to lose. I believe you would complete the International Prospective Student Athlete Section.

  11. #11
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    you could always play in maine. i've heard rules dont apply up there
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  12. #12
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    Re: Could I play college hockey?

    Just cuz Maine had (4) goalies on a full ride and well over (20) total is no reason to pick on the Main-ee-aker's!!!!! It's hard to keep track counting moose "up thar"!

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