June 1, 2020
With no inductions into the CCAA Hall of Fame this year, it is an opportune time to take the nomination and selection criteria to the next level at the national governing body's annual general meeting later this month as each of the five conferences which currently participate in national championships have had the opportunity to recognize their own.
In 2019, the Canada West Hall of Fame was established with nomination and selection criteria that illustrate the inadequacies of the CCAA's processes.
Anyone can submit nominations to the Canada West Hall of Fame as a nomination form exists on their website prior to the annual closing date for nominations. No strings are attached.
In contrast, the CCAA Hall of Fame nomination criteria state that "(nominees) must have a CCAA institution in good standing support their nomination", that "all institutions nominating an inductee(s) must take out a $250 ad in CCAA Hall of Fame souvenir program" and that "all conferences supporting nomination(s) must take out a $250 ad in CCAA Hall of Fame souvenir program".
Currently, 12 institutions from six provinces that participated in at least one CCAA Hockey National Championship are no longer members of the CCAA. Those who meet other eligibility criteria based on their accomplishments at former CCAA member institutions -- including six hockey players with a combination of CCAA individual awards and national titles totalling four as well as three hockey head coaches -- are placed at a distinct disadvantage through none of their actions.
On a related note, none of the 56 inductees in the CCAA Hall of Fame hail from a Saskatchewan or Manitoba post secondary institution even though both provinces competed at nationals in the 20th century as "preference during the selection process shall be given to nominees who have a geographic proximity to the location of the induction banquet. For example, if the induction banquet is being hosted by the RSEQ, a nominee from the RSEQ would have priority over a nominee from other conferences".
Notable differences exist in the coach category between the two halls. Canada West coaches must contribute a minimum of five years with a combination of one or more programs to be eligible while the CCAA limits eligibility to those who have been with one program for a minimum of five years. The number of athletes in their program who were honoured individually and the facilitation of a program's development in such a way that the program became stronger at the national level are two of many factors present in the Canada West selection criteria and absent from the CCAA selection criteria.
The CCAA restricts entry in the builder category to those who have been a CCAA executive committee member, a CCAA national convenor, a CCAA committee chair/member, a CCAA host chair, a CCAA board director, and/or a CCAA employee. Athletic directors who have implemented programs that resulted in multiple CCAA member awards for their institution are on the outside looking in even though they contributed to the CCAA in other capacities for at least five years as they did not hold a combination of the aforementioned positions for at least five years.
On the other hand, the Canada West is open to inducting administrators, officials, supporters, media, university officials and team staff who contributed to the growth of the sport, enhanced the sport experience with their dedication and championed sport as being an integral part of the post-secondary experience for at least five years.
The Canada West Hall of Fame has a team category while the CCAA Hall of Fame does not. A team category fills a void as the ability to recognize teams varies between post-secondary institutions, municipalities and provinces.
A number of CCAA national hockey gold medallists are worthy for induction into the CCAA Hall of Fame as they won international tournaments, triumphed over eventual CIAU (now U Sports) champions, posted perfect seasons and/or successfully defended a CCAA national championship.
If there's no progression, there's regression.