The Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) governed amateur hockey in Northern Ontario, Its jurisdiction included Ontario roughly north of a line just south of North Bay and west of a line west of Pembroke. In the west it extended to Sault Ste. Marie.
Until the 1960's the NOHA also included northwest Quebec - the area around Rouyn & Noranda. This was a geographical convenience, as the area was far from the rest of Quebec. In the 60's the area did join up with the Quebec Amateur Hockey Association.
The NOHA was only semi-independent from the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). The OHA did exercise some control over the NOHA. For about a decade, the NOHA senior champion had to play the OHA intermediate champion in the Allan Cup playoffs. Until the 1950's. the NOHA junior titleholder had to play its OHA counterpart.
Below is taken from NOHA website history page
Organized amateur hockey came into existence for the North Country on October 8th, 1919, when at the annual meeting of the Timiskaming Senior Hockey League in Cobalt, to which delegates had been invited from towns between Cochrane and Sudbury, a resolution was passed favouring the formation of a Northern Ontario Hockey Association.
The climatic conditions gave the North a splendid opportunity to develop this favourite winter sport to the fullest extent and, although individual efforts had been made by various towns to form a league to take in several clubs, no real organization existed prior to the season of 1919-1920. Angus D. Campbell, Mining Engineer of the O’Brien Mine in Cobalt, was the founder of the NOHA. While a student at Varsity, and later, in the Cobalt Mines Hockey League, he not only proved himself a star player, but an exponent of clean sport.
His efforts to organize hockey in the North were realized when the NOHA was formed at a meeting held for the purpose of electing officers and discussing rating of the NOHA for the season of 1919-1920. The delegates present at the meeting when the NOHA was formed were W. Widdifield and G.S. Lowe, Timmins; J.R. Dier and W. Dixon, New Liskeard; N.F. Smith and N.B. Strong, Haileybury; T. Shaw and H.G. Kennedy, Cobalt; W. Sullivan, North Bay; and J.P. Mader, representing both Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. J.R. Dier was made Vice-President and H.P. Charlton, Secretary-Treasurer. G.S. Lowe, Timmins, M.G. Hansman, New Liskeard; N.F. Smith, Haileybury; W. Beaton, North Bay; J.P Mader, Sudbury and W. Widdifield, Porcupine, formed the first Executive.
On November 18th, 1919, the NOHA became affiliated with the Ontario Hockey Association. Under the terms of affiliation the NOHA adopted the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association residence rule, which was October 1st previous to the playing season; also, all playing members of the NOHA were to hold registration cards issued by the Ontario Branch of the AAU of C. Exclusive jurisdiction was given to the NOHA covering the territory from Cochrane to North Bay and west as far as Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the OHA to recognize the authority of the NOHA to regulate and govern hockey in the district mentioned. The NOHA champions, under these terms, were allowed to playoff at the end of each season at Toronto with the winners of the OHA Intermediate and Junior series. However, at the annual meeting of the OHA held in Toronto on December 6th, 1919, it was decided to allow the winners of the Intermediate series, through a play-off with the Senior OHA champions, to compete for the cup that is emblematic of the world’s amateur championship.
Some teams that played in the Northern Ontario region prior to 1919:
- 1911-12: Nipissing Mines, Sturgeon Falls HC
- 1912-13: Sturgeon Falls HC, North Bay Seniors, Nipissing Mines, Sudbury Wolves, Haileybury Rexalls
- 1913-14: North Bay Seniors, North Bay Trappers, Sudbury Wolves, Haileybury Rexalls
- 1914-15: Haileubury Rexalls, Bruce Mines Stars, Nipissing Mines, Canadian Soo
- 1915-16: Hamilton Rowing Club, New Liskeard Pioneers, Haileybury Rexalls