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Omaha Hosts USA Hockey High School National Championships

Top boys and girls hockey teams from across the country will gather in Omaha, April 15-19, to compete in the USA Hockey High School National Championships. The event is hosted by the Omaha Junior Lancers high school hockey team and sanctioned by USA Hockey, the governing body for all amateur hockey in America. Games will be played at Ralston Arena and Baxter Arena.

The High School National Championships began in 2010 and is hosted each year in a major city across the country. The Omaha Junior Lancers previously hosted the event in 2014. The tournament was originally scheduled for March 18-22 but COVID-19 issues forced the move to mid-April.

Tournament Director Michael Hughes says, “Because the 2020 Nationals tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19 and given Omaha’s central location, we expect a large number of teams who are anxious to resume participation in USA Hockey’s marquee season-ending event. Almost 800 players accompanied by parents, coaches, fans and on-ice officials will impact the local economy during the five-day event.”

The tournament committee is expecting up to 32 boys teams and 8 girls teams. Boys teams are divided into two divisions. Teams with players attending the same school are considered Division I. Teams comprised of players from multiple schools compete in Division II. The girls teams are divided into two groups based on level of play.
Eligible teams are the state champions within their respective affiliates. USA Hockey divides the country into 12 districts, which are further divided into affiliates. Each state within an affiliate has the option of sending its top high school team to the National tournament.

The Omaha Junior Lancers compete in the Midwest High School Hockey League, the premiere high school league in the Midwest affiliate, which governs all hockey in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. The top team from Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas that finish highest in the final regular-season standings qualify for the National tournament in the Division II category. Omaha receives an automatic berth as the host team.