A collection of three Canadian leagues: the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Western Hockey League (WHL). These Junior Hockey leagues are governed by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). Players must be at least 16 years old to play in one of the Major Junior Hockey leagues, however if a player is deemed exceptional by the CHL, he may play at age 15. Each team can only have four 16-year-old players and three players age 20 or over.
Major Junior Hockey is considered a professional sport by the NCAA, so a player participating in even one game in one of these leagues is ineligible to play college hockey in America. However, participation in Major Junior Hockey does not disturb the player's eligibility to play hockey in a Canadian university. The QMJHL, OHL and WHL all have scholarship programs available for players who do not proceed to higher professional levels of hockey and wish to move on to a Canadian university. The leading team in the QMJHL, OHL and WHL compete at the end of each season for the Memorial Cup, the most highly-regarded trophy for Canada's Major Junior Hockey.