Founded in 1977, by John Forrest, Al Tomalty, and Ken White, the CBHA’s first Men’s National Championship was an open event held in Ottawa in 1978, with 16 competing teams from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta. The York Canadians, from Toronto, defeated Ottawa Globe Trophy 11 to 2 to capture the inaugural title. This event has continued annually since then, with the top teams from each province qualifying through their respective provincial championships.
Over the years, storied franchises have arisen, and many outstanding athletes have left their mark on the history of the sport, including NHL’ers Dino Ciccarelli, Lou Franceschetti and Glen Metropolit who have their names engraved on the National trophy. A detailed list of medal winning teams can be found under the Canadian Cup section of this website, and a list of the game’s greatest players in the Awards section.
In order to promote inter-provincial play at the less competitive levels, the CBHA began hosting Men’s Eastern & Western Canada ‘B’ Championships in 1989, and expanded to ‘C’ Championships in 2000, and ‘D’ Championships in 2013. These annual events are designed to gather the provinces into two separate regional competitions, with the winners being promoted to the next higher level of play in the following year.
The first Women’s Nationals were held in 1987 in Calgary, with the Canadiana Cougars, of Toronto, needing double overtime to win the championship 4 to 3 over St. John’s NTV, from Newfoundland. Manitoba and BC were the other participating provinces. The women’s game has grown steadily since that time, and featured many ice hockey Olympians at the elite level over the years. Since 2003, each year has focused on Participation for the women’s program, and the Nationals have offered ‘B’ level and 'C' level championships as well.
In 1999, Toronto hosted the CBHA’s inaugural Junior Nationals (under 19’s) with the Vaughan Capitals, of Ontario, claiming gold with an 8 to 0 win over the BC Allstars, and Belleville (ON) defeating Alberta for the bronze medal. The junior programs across Canada are extremely popular for the 16 to 18 year old age groups, and falls under the auspices of the numerous minor ball hockey programs in the CBHA, which offer house leagues for children as young as five. Youth Regional Championships commenced in 2003, with events in Eastern and Western Canada for under-16’s, under-13’s, and under-10’s. Details can be found in the Youth Cups section of this website.