|Affiliation||Amateur Athletic Union|
The United Hockey Union (UHU), founded in 2012, is a group of ice hockey leagues in North America. The UHU is overseen and insured by the Amateur Athletic Union. Neither body is recognized by USA Hockey, Hockey Canada, or the International Ice Hockey Federation.
In 2011, the AAU expressed interest in sanctioning junior ice hockey leagues. Until this time, USA Hockey was the only governing body of ice hockey in the United States and is still the only organization recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
In the summer of 2011, the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) defected from USA Hockey to join the AAU. As a test case, their 2011-12 season went without a hitch. In 2012, they were joined by the Northern States Junior Hockey League (NSHL) and the Midwest Junior Hockey League (MWJHL). At this point, their partnership, under AAU supervision, was named the United Hockey Union.
The UHU finished off the 2012-13 hockey season with the first-ever UHU National Junior Hockey Championship. The UHU Championship went to the WSHL's Idaho Jr. Steelheads in its inaugural run, with the Steelheads going undefeated in a six-team tournament held in Las Vegas, Nevada in April 2013.
In May 2014, the UHU added a fourth league, the Canadian International Hockey League (CIHL). In July 2014, the Canadian Independent Junior Hockey League (CIJHL) of British Columbia applied for AAU sanctioning as well, but despite the sanctioning, the league shuttered its doors in September without playing a single game.
On September 10, 2014, the NSHL left the AAU umbrella. On November 10, the CIHL also left the AAU umbrella over insurance and expansion disagreements. In turn, half the CIHL broke away and formed the World United Hockey League as UHU members. In March 2015, the MWJHL announced it was joining the United States Premier Hockey League (a USA Hockey-sanctioned league) as part of its new Midwest Division starting in the 2015-16 season.
In 2015, the AAU announced that WSHL had been promoted to "Tier II" and that it was adding a "Tier III" prospect league for WSHL development teams called the Western Prospects League. Despite using the USA Hockey sanctioning terms of Tier II and III, the UHU-sanctioned leagues continued to operate under pay-to-play terms (called tuition) similar to USA Hockey Tier III or Hockey Canada Junior A guidelines.
In 2016, the UHU added two new junior hockey leagues; the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League and the National College Prospects Hockey League, The CPJHL planned to have no more than 12 teams centered around Barrie, Ontario, for the 2016-17 season and would start the season with eight teams. The NCPHL began its season with six teams. With the launch of these two leagues and several WSHL teams' affiliating with the NCPHL, it appeared the Western Prospects League had been dissolved.
On September 5, 2016, the UHU announced they would be launching a free-to-play Tier I league for the 2017-18 season. The new league was to consist of six founding teams affiliated with the current Tier II and Tier III leagues. On September 12, the new league was announced as the Central One Hockey League (C1HL) and composed of six WSHL organizations: the Colorado Jr. Eagles, Casper Coyotes, El Paso Rhinos, Ogden Mustangs, Oklahoma City Blazers, and the Springfield Express, although Ogden was later removed. However, sometime in early 2017, the C1HL website was taken down, replaced near the end of the year, and removed again in March 2018. Some teams have since mentioned that the launch of the C1HL had been postponed to the 2018-19 season. The UHU has also announced plans to launch a western Canada-based Tier II league in 2018, called the Western Provinces Hockey Association, that began play as the Provinces Division of the WSHL in 2018-19.
|League||Level||Joined||Teams||Most recent champion|
|Western States Hockey League||Tier II Junior||2012||23||El Paso Rhinos|
|Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League||Tier III Junior||2016||7||Essa Stallions|