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Western Collegiate Hockey Association facts for kids

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Sioux vs Pioneers
The University of North Dakota playing hockey against the University of Denver

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is a group of colleges and universities, spanning a wide area of the Midwestern and Western United States, who play NCAA Division I hockey against one another every season. The champions are automatically invited to the NCAA Division I men's and women's hockey tournaments.

In all, 13 schools are members of the WCHA. Seven of these have men's and women's teams that both play in the conference. Five do not have a women's team at all. One school has its women's team only in the WCHA, with its men's team in another conference.

The current members are listed below. Unless otherwise noted, these schools have both men's and women's teams in the conference.

  • University of Alaska Anchorage (men only)
  • Bemidji State University
  • Colorado College (men only)
  • University of Denver (men only)
  • Michigan Technological University (men only)
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha (men only)
  • University of North Dakota
  • Ohio State University (women only; men play in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association)
  • St. Cloud State University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

The membership of the men's side of the WCHA will change greatly in July 2013:

  • Minnesota and WIsconsin, both members of the Big Ten Conference, will leave because that conference will start a men's hockey league. Since the Big Ten is not starting a women's hockey league, the women's teams will stay in the WCHA. Another Big Ten member, Ohio State, will also keep its women's team in the WCHA.
  • Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota–Duluth, Nebraska–Omaha, North Dakota and St. Cloud State will leave to form the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Colorado College, Denver, and Nebraska–Omaha do not have women's teams; the others have women's teams that will stay in the WCHA.
  • Five schools, none of which have women's teams, will join from other conferences:
    • University of Alaska Fairbanks ("Alaska")
    • Bowling Green State University ("Bowling Green")
    • Ferris State University
    • Lake Superior State University
    • Northern Michigan University

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