Senior hockey leagues operate under the jurisdiction of Hockey Canada or USA Hockey. They are not affiliated in any way with professional hockey leagues. Many former professional players play Senior hockey after their pro careers are over. The top Senior AAA teams in Canada compete annually for the Allan Cup.
From the beginning of the 1900s until the 1970s, Senior hockey was immensely popular across Canada, particularly in rural towns. At a time when most households didn't have a television and few hockey games were broadcast, local arenas were filled to capacity to watch the local team take on a rival.
The popularity of Senior hockey declined in the 1980s and 1990s. A number of long-running leagues and teams vanished. Today, many players choose to play organized recreational hockey, sometimes referred to as "commercial hockey." The popularity of the National Hockey League and Junior hockey has also supplanted Senior hockey in many towns across Canada.