The men's ice hockey team at UMBC competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Men's Division 2. Men’s ACHA D2 boasts over 180 teams separated into four regions; Northeast, Southeast, Central and West. There are also individual conferences within the regions and UMBC participates in the Mid Atlantic Collegiate Hockey (MACH) conference.
All ACHA D2 teams are assigned to a specific region for ranking purposes and UMBC participates in the Southeast. There are four ranking periods each season and 15 teams get ranked per region per ranking period. The rankings are determined by a committee assigned to each region. Each committee is made up of coaches, conference commissioners and independent voters with knowledge of the regional teams. After the fourth and final ranking period, the top two teams in each region get automatic bids to The Nationals Tournament, while teams ranked three through ten go to a Regional tournament to determine the two other teams that will move on to The National Tournament. At the Regional tournament, the teams are seeded by rank (highest vs lowest, 2nd highest vs 2nd lowest, etc.) and four games will take place on day 1. The four winning teams will reseed and play on day 2 with the two winning teams advancing to The Nationals. The Nationals Tournament is a five day event with sixteen teams split into four pools. Each pool has one team from each region. During pool play (days 1-3), teams will play the three other teams in their pool and the team with the most points will win the pool and advance to the Frozen Four. Day 4 will consist of the Frozen Four with the two winning teams playing for the National Championship on day 5.
About the MACH
The MACH is comprised of 10 teams from the Mid Atlantic region spanning six states; Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. There is a North division and a South division in the MACH, each comprised of five teams. Each team is required to play the other four teams in their division twice for conference standings. Intra-division play is encouraged but not required as it does not affect conference standings. The top four teams, in each division, at the end of the regular season will participate in the MACH playoffs. Through the first two days, there will be inter-division games to determine one MACH North and one MACH South champion. On the third day, those two champions will play each other for the MACH Championship.
The History of the ACHA
The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) began as a men's collegiate hockey organization and was established on April 20, 1991. Fifteen charter members met during the Chicago Showcase in Skokie, IL at the North Shore Hilton. These member teams had been playing college hockey for many years but wished to legitimize its play by standardizing some of its procedures.
The members that created the organization were: Tom Keegan (ACHA), Al Murdoch (Iowa State), Joe Battista (Penn State), Jim Gilmore (Ohio), Ernie Ferrari (Stanford), Howard Jenks (California-Berkeley), Jeff Aikens (North Dakota State), Don Spencer (West Virginia), Jim Barry (Navy), Scott Fuller (Navy), Leo Golembiewski (Arizona), Ron Starr (Depaul), Cary Adams (PCHA), Jim Warden (PCHA), and Jack White (UCLA).
The inaugural year of the ACHA was the 1991-1992 season. The goal of the organization was to create an impartial governing body to monitor national tournaments, player eligibility, and general oversight. From those humble beginnings, the ACHA now currently boasts five divisions (Men's Division 1, 2, and 3; Women's Division 1 and 2) with over 431 teams from across the nation representing 49 different states (all but Hawaii!).
Since 1999, all ACHA teams are members of USA Hockey and the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).
The current function of the ACHA is to support quality, unity and regulation of intercollegiate hockey programs in the United States. In order to do this, the ACHA has developed Organizational By-Laws and a Policies and Procedures Manual to provide the policy foundation for the organization as it works to fulfill its purpose. These documents are reviewed yearly at the ACHA's annual meeting.
The ACHA's policies cover team and player eligibility, rules of play, ranking procedures, national tournament procedures, and other administrative issues.
The ACHA holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the annual convention of the American Hockey Coaches Association, in the month of April or May in Naples, Florida.
The American Collegiate Hockey Association is a chartered non-profit corporation. It is classified as a 501(c)(3)
organization with the Internal Revenue Service.
Much of this information came from the ACHA Policy Manual.
ACHA Mission & Purpose
(from the ACHA Policies and Procedures Manual)
I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of the Association is to be an organization of collegiate affiliated programs, which provides structure, regulates operations, and promotes quality in collegiate ice hockey. The activities of the Association shall be limited at all times to those specified in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
II. MISSION STATEMENT
The ACHA's primary mission is to support the growth of collegiate hockey programs nationwide. The ACHA identifies standards, which serve to unite and regulate teams at the collegiate level. The ACHA shall emphasize academic performance, institutional sanction, eligibility criteria, standards of play, and opportunities for national competition. The ACHA promotes all aspects of collegiate hockey stressing the personal development of individual athletes as well as national recognition for member organizations.
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