The Top Canadian University and College Baseball Programs From 2015 to 2019

The University and College Baseball landscape in Canada is pretty complicated with large differences in season timing, institutional support, and varsity status depending mostly on geography. Although there have been some shifts in the landscape since it was written, A Beginner’s Guide to University Baseball In Canada written by George Rigakos of Carleton University, is very helpful in explaining the lay of the land.

A comprehensive list that ranks baseball programs across multiple levels for US University and College Baseball can be found at Massey Ratings. Unfortunately that sort of comparison has never really existed for Canadian programs.

The closest thing to a head to head comparison for Canadian programs would be Testing an RPI Ranking System for Canadian University Baseball also written by Rigakos, this time with Mitchell Thompson. Unfortunately, as Rigakos and Thompson pointed out in the article, RPI has it’s limitations, and their comparison only includes University teams in Eastern Canada.

With all of the dislocation going on south of the border, including cancelled seasons and extra years of eligibility for varsity athletes, I believe many Canadian baseball players have begun to question whether the US College route is the right choice for them right now. Given that backdrop, I decided to take a crack at a more comprehensive ranking of Canadian programs and starting researching it a few months ago. With the CCBC schedule starting in Alberta and BC tomorrow, I thought it would be a good time to share my findings.

Here is how I came up with the rankings:

  1. The list includes most (but not all) teams associated Canadian Universities and Colleges regardless of the league they play in
    • 5 years of data was required but an exception was made for Fraser Valley given their recent success
  2. Games against any University or College program in North America are included in the data
  3. Programs are ranked for their results from 2015 through 2019
    • 2020 was a write-off and several programs may not play in 2021 either
  4. The Overall Rankings are based on a formula that combines:
    • Weighted Strength of Schedule (WSOS)
      • Calculated by the weighted average strength of the leagues each of their opponents play in, ranked as follows:
        1. NCAA Division 1
        2. NCAA Division 2 and NAIA
        3. NCAA Division 3 and US Junior Colleges (all divisions)
        4. OUA
        5. CCBC, OCAA, and the former CCBA Northern Division
        6. ACBA (former CCBA Atlantic Division) and RSEQ
    • Average Number of Games Played
    • Win / Loss Percentage

The data was gathered through information that is publicly available on team and league websites. Gathering all of this data from many different sources took a lot of time but is only as accurate as the source information that is found on those websites. I certainly don’t think that this is a perfect formula to evaluate Canadian baseball programs, but I think it is a good approximation. It certainly incorporates more programs than any I have seen elsewhere and also attempts to make a comparison across the various leagues. Frankly I was surprised by some of the results that came from this analysis.

I have no doubt that there will be many situations where someone says, “That’s wrong. Program A is definitely better than Program B.” What I would say to that is, perhaps that is true in a head to head matchup this season, but that was never really what I was trying to compare. I am trying to provide a more holistic comparison over several years that hopefully helps some Canadian high school players and their families make more informed decisions.

With all that said, here is the list:

TeamAssociation Overall RankWSOS RankAVG # of Games RankWin % Rank
University of British Columbia NAIA11119
McGill UniversityIND21553
PBA / Lethbridge CollegeCCBC35215
St. Clair CollegeOCAA41672
Laurier UniversityOUA51384
Brock UniversityOUA64175
Thompson Rivers UniversityCCBC713323
Western UniversityOUA83198
Humber CollegeOCAA91697
Okanagan CollegeCCBC1020614
University of GuelphOUA1161911
University of TorontoOUA12111218
Holland CollegeACBA1329301
University of Fraser ValleyCCBC14201213
Douglas CollegeNWAC1521033
Vancouver Island UniversityCCBC1611432
Carleton UniversityOUA17161320
Fanshawe CollegeOCAA18201917
Durham CollegeOCAA19281416
Concordia UniversityIND20201321
University of New BrunswickACBA21301910
Queen’s UniversityOUA2261926
University of WaterlooOUA2361728
McMaster UniversityOUA2563030
Ryerson UniversityOUA2662731
John AbbottRSEQ2730359
Acadia UniversityACBA29301922
University of CalgaryCCBC30201034
Universite de MontrealIND30273225
Saint Marys UniversityACBA32302724
Seneca CollegeOCAA33201935
Dalhousie UniversityACBA34303328
George Brown CollegeOCAA36202737
University of OttawaOUA37163238
St. Francis Xavier UniversityACBA38303436
Canadian University and College Baseball Program Rankings for 2015 Through 2019

I hope you find this list helpful.

In subsequent posts, I hope to provide some more details regarding the various leagues/divisions noted above and also some of the specific programs as well.