The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) began as a men's collegiate hockey organization and was established on April 20, 1991. Fifteen charter members met during the Chicago Showcase in Skokie, IL at the North Shore Hilton. These member teams had been playing college hockey for many years but wished to legitimize its play by standardizing some of its procedures.
The inaugural year of the ACHA was the 1991-1992 season. The goal of the organization was to create an impartial governing body to monitor national tournaments, player eligibility, and general oversight.
From those humble beginnings, the ACHA now currently boasts five divisions (Men's Division 1, 2, and 3; Women's Division 1 and 2) with over 431 teams from across the nation representing 49 different states (all but Hawaii).
Since 1999, all ACHA teams are members of USA Hockey and the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).