Saturday, March 29, 2014

University Cup Format To Change

Earlier this week the CIS officially announced a number of changes to four winter championships, including men's hockey. Beginning next season the University Cup will be an eight team, single elimination tournament spread out over four days. The bronze medal game will also be re-introduced for the first time since being played at both the 2003 and 2004 tournaments in Fredericton. With two more berths in play the breakdown for the next two years will be as follows - OUA (3), AUS (2), CW (2), and the host team. Since the tournament will be held in Halifax the next two years (hosted by St. FX next year and Saint Mary's the year after) the AUS will have 3 teams represented each year. The format will be re-evaluated after two years.

- Along with this change, the CIS also announced the creation of a "Super Championship Weeekend" in which the men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's hockey championships, will all take place between March 12th-15th. This will allow Sportsnet and Radio-Canada to broadcast over 20 hours of university action over two days - semi-final Saturday and Championship Sunday.

- Obviously, this announcement has garnered plenty of opinion. Chris Cochrane of the Halifax Chronicle Herald says the format changes are a step in the right direction, but the real priority for the CIS needs to be to effectively promote the events. Glenn MacDonald, also of the Chronicle Herald, talks to a couple AUS coaches who have a mixed opinion on the change to a single elimination tournament. Meanwhile, Neate Sager of Yahoo Sports says the case for the unique format of the University Cup remains strong while also discussing the pros and cons of the changes.