REG 15 Match Appeals | Updated 8 October

REG 15 applies to the Team Championships conducted as part of the National, Premier and Conference League/Knockout programme.

To aid transparency, upon the conclusion of initial, full and final appeal hearings, BUCS will publish on its website a summary of the case, including the findings and penalties imposed. Published cases will not carry the names of any institution/Playing Entity or individuals involved.


REG 15.1 There are two circumstances in which an institution/Playing Entity may submit a match appeal:

  • Standard match appeals: Appeals against the results of fixtures based on alleged breaches of regulations.
  • Walkover appeals: Appeals against claims of walkovers based on a perceived lack of grounds for a walkover, or the view that the walkover should be reversed for a breach of regulation(s) by the opposition.

REG 15.1.1 If a fixture does not take place and no walkover has been claimed then an appeal cannot be submitted. In such a circumstance, the regulations for fixture rearrangement, requesting of a void, or claiming of a walkover should be followed. If in following these processes, a walkover is claimed, then an appeal can be submitted against this walkover claim (or alternatively a walkover can be requested to be considered as involuntary, see REG 13.7.1).

REG 15.1.2 Institutions/Playing Entities are reminded that only where it is alleged that a regulation has been breached should a match appeal be lodged. Institutions/Playing Entities should also be aware of their right to Play Under Protest (REG 12) and the requirement to do so in order to appeal against conditions that amount to a breach of regulations that they had knowledge of either before, or during, a fixture.

REG 15.2 Appeals relating to individual eligibility Appeals submitted regarding individual eligibility require the naming of specific individuals and the reason(s) for questioning their eligibility as a minimum. Such matters should first be directed to the opposition Athletic Union (or equivalent) to afford them the opportunity to resolve the issue without formal appeal. Appeals lodged without such attempts being made may be rejected (lodging fee payable).

REG 15.3 Appeals relating to match officials Such matters should first be directed to the opposition Athletic Union (or equivalent) to afford them the opportunity to resolve the issue without formal appeal. Appeals lodged without such attempts being made may be rejected (lodging fee payable).

REG 15.4 Appeals relating to playing order/ranking Appeals submitted regarding playing order or ranking must adhere to ‘Playing Under Protest’ requirements (REG 12). An institution/Playing Entity may not appeal having discovered retrospectively that an opposition played out of order when lists are available online in advance of a fixture. Such matters should first be directed to the opposition Athletic Union (or equivalent) to afford them the opportunity to resolve the issue without formal appeal. Appeals lodged without such attempts being made may be rejected (lodging fee payable).

REG 15.5 Appeals relating to team selection Appeals submitted regarding team selection require the naming of specific individuals and the reason(s) for questioning their legitimacy as a minimum. Such matters should first be directed to the opposition Athletic Union (or equivalent) to afford them the opportunity to resolve the issue without formal appeal. Appeals lodged without such attempts being made may be rejected (lodging fee payable).

REG 15.6 Institutions/Playing Entities lodging an appeal (Appellants) and those responding to the appeal (Respondents) are responsible for ensuring that their submissions are comprehensive and concise, and that there is validity to any claims, before they make their submission. Appeals deemed to be frivolous or not containing adequate information to enable a fair ruling may be rejected, incur fees in addition to the standard lodging fee, and may result in further disciplinary action.

REG 15.7 Decisions will be based purely on submissions within the permissible parameters and established precedence. Additional information will be requested by the BUCS Executive if the BUCS Appeals Panel/BUCS Disciplinary Panel deem this necessary and appropriate.

REG 15.8 Initial appeal process

REG 15.8.1 Submission The recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative of the institution/Playing Entity wishing to appeal, shall lodge an initial appeal via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk, in accordance with the deadline of REG 15.8.2. The appeal must be submitted on a BUCS Initial Appeal Pro Forma (Appendix 12) and be accompanied by a valid Playing Under Protest Form (Appendix 8), if applicable, and/or any supporting evidence.

REG 15.8.1.1 Should any/all supporting evidence be too large to send in one e-mail, then it will be permissible to send multiple e-mails to discipline@bucs.org.uk, as long as these are all sent in accordance with the deadline of REG 15.8.2.

REG 15.8.1.2 Institutions/Playing Entities should contact the BUCS Executive by telephone to ensure that any submissions have been received.

REG 15.8.2 Submission deadline The initial appeal must be submitted by 17:00 on the next working day following the disputed match.

REG 15.8.2.1 Deadline where affecting knockout competition or playoff fixtures Where the dispute affects a knockout competition or playoff fixture, at any stage, the initial appeal must be submitted by 15:00 on the next working day following the disputed match.

REG 15.8.2.2 Extension to the appeal deadline An extension may be requested via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk (before the deadline has passed) if there are reasonable grounds, such as trying to reach an amicable conclusion without formal appeal, awaiting requested information, etc.

REG 15.8.2.2.1 Should any extension be granted, BUCS will confirm this via e-mail to both the institution/Playing Entity looking at appealing and the opposition institution/Playing Entity.

REG 15.8.3 Lodging fee Lodging an initial appeal shall incur a £50 lodging fee. This shall be payable by the institution/Playing Entity lodging the initial appeal, or by the institution(s)/Playing Entity(ies) deemed to be at fault, dependent on the outcome. A payment request for the fee will be issued by BUCS following the appeal decision being confirmed.

REG 15.8.4 BUCS shall forward the Initial Appeal Pro Forma and any supporting evidence, as received, to the respondent institution/Playing Entity.

REG 15.8.5 Response Once an initial appeal has been forwarded by BUCS, the recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative of the respondent institution/Playing Entity, shall have the opportunity to respond via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk, in accordance with the deadline of REG 15.8.6. The response must be submitted on a BUCS Initial Appeal Response Pro Forma (Appendix 12) and be accompanied by any supporting evidence.

REG 15.8.5.1 Should any/all supporting evidence be too large to send in one e-mail, then it will be permissible to send multiple e-mails to discipline@bucs.org.uk, as long as these are all sent in accordance with the deadline of REG 15.8.6.

REG 15.8.5.2 Institutions/Playing Entities should contact the BUCS Executive by telephone to ensure that any submissions have been received.

REG 15.8.5.3 Failure to respond in the time specified will lead to a decision being reached based on the facts presented and mean that said institution/Playing Entity may not subsequently appeal the decision reached.

REG 15.8.6 Response deadline Once an initial appeal has been forwarded by BUCS, the recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative of the respondent institution/Playing Entity shall have 24 hours to submit their response and any supporting evidence.

REG 15.8.6.1 Deadline where affecting knockout competition or playoff fixtures Where the dispute affects a knockout competition or playoff fixture, at any stage, the initial appeal response must be submitted within 24 hours of, or, by 12:00 on the next working day following, whichever is the earliest, the initial appeal being forwarded by BUCS. (I.e. Submission may be required prior to 12:00 the next working day if the initial appeal was submitted prior to 12:00 the previous working day).

REG 15.8.6.2 Extension to the response deadline An extension may be requested via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk (before the deadline has passed) if there are reasonable grounds, such as trying to reach an amicable conclusion without formal appeal, awaiting requested information, etc.

REG 15.8.6.2.1 Should any extension be granted, BUCS will confirm this via e-mail to both the institution/Playing Entity who has requested the extension and the institution/Playing Entity which submitted the appeal.

REG 15.8.7 BUCS shall forward the Initial Appeal Response Pro Forma and any supporting evidence, as received, to the appellant institution/Playing Entity.

REG 15.8.8 Should institutions/Playing Entities resolve a lodged initial appeal independently (without requiring a ruling from the BUCS Appeals Panel), prior to the relevant deadline detailed in REG 15.8.9, they must inform the BUCS Executive of the outcome immediately via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk. The appeal will then be recognised as withdrawn and no lodging fee will be charged.

REG 15.8.9 Decision A decision based on the submissions of both institutions/Playing Entities, information from any other relevant bodies, and on established precedents shall be made by the BUCS Appeals Panel. This decision will be communicated in writing to both institutions/Playing Entities within seven working days of the initial appeal response being submitted.

REG 15.8.9.1 Decision where affecting knockout competition or playoff fixtures In the event that the outcome of an appeal would affect a knockout competition or playoff fixture, at any stage, the BUCS Appeals Panel will rule on the appeal and inform both parties of the decision no later than 16:00 on Friday for a knockout competition/playoff fixture scheduled for the following week, or no later than 16:00 on Wednesday for a knockout competition/playoff fixture scheduled for the following weekend. Should any extension(s) have been granted, these deadlines may be subject to change.

REG 15.8.10 Should either institution/Playing Entity wish to appeal the decision of the BUCS Appeals Panel they are required to move this matter forward to a full appeal in accordance with REG 15.9.

REG 15.9 Full appeal process

REG 15.9.1 Full appeal conditions Institutions/Playing Entities wishing to query an initial appeal decision formally by way of a full appeal must note the following: Initial appeal decisions are based on the submissions received within the permissible parameters. Therefore, information not presented at an initial appeal will not be admissible in the full appeal process unless it can be shown that;

  • There has been a clear substantiated misinterpretation of BUCS Regulations, or;
  • Proven falsification of submission by either party during the initial appeal process that impacted upon the decision, or;
  • Errors in process that impacted upon the decision.

If these condition(s) are not present a full appeal will be rejected due to insufficient grounds.

REG 15.9.2 Submission The recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative of the institution/Playing Entity wishing to appeal, shall lodge an full appeal via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk, in accordance with the deadline of REG 15.9.3. The appeal must be submitted on a BUCS Full Appeal Pro Forma (Appendix 12) and be accompanied by a valid Playing Under Protest Form (Appendix 8), if applicable, and/or any supporting evidence.

REG 15.9.2.1 Should any/all supporting evidence be too large to send in one e-mail, then it will be permissible to send multiple e-mails to discipline@bucs.org.uk, as long as these are all sent in accordance with the deadline of REG 15.9.3.

REG 15.9.2.2 Institutions/Playing Entities should contact the BUCS Executive by telephone to ensure that any submissions have been received.

REG 15.9.3 Submission deadline The full appeal must be submitted within 24 hours (excluding weekends or bank holidays) of receiving the initial appeal decision.

REG 15.9.3.1 Extension to the appeal deadline An extension may be requested via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk (before the deadline has passed) if there are reasonable grounds.

REG 15.9.3.1.1 Should any extension be granted, BUCS will confirm this via e-mail to both the institution/Playing Entity looking at appealing and the opposition institution/Playing Entity.

REG 15.9.4 Lodging fee Lodging a full appeal shall incur a £200 lodging fee. This shall be payable by the institution/Playing Entity lodging the full appeal, unless the BUCS Disciplinary Panel uphold the full appeal. A payment request for the fee will be issued by BUCS following the appeal decision being confirmed.

REG 15.9.5 BUCS shall forward the Full Appeal Pro Forma and any supporting evidence, as received, to the respondent institution/Playing Entity.

REG 15.9.5.1 In circumstances where it is deemed appropriate, BUCS may reactivate the initial appeals process to negate the need for a full appeal. This will be at the discretion of BUCS and primarily used to seek further clarification from concerned parties in order to expedite a decision.

REG 15.9.6 Disciplinary Panel The full appeal process will be overseen by the BUCS Sport Compliance and Governance Manager and the BUCS Disciplinary Panel, which shall be comprised of:

  • BUCS Chair of Disciplinary
  • Two students or sabbatical officers of BUCS member institutions, subject to them not being from the same playing conference as either institution/Playing Entity involved in the dispute

REG 15.9.7 The Disciplinary Panel will convene in a timeframe appropriate to the dispute, with consideration for the ability of all parties to provide written evidence or representation at the hearing and taking into consideration potential impact on future fixtures.

REG 15.9.7.1 Respondent institutions/Playing Entities must submit a written response and/or (preferably) attend the hearing in person. Where circumstances dictate conference calls may be utilised.

REG 15.9.7.2 Institutions/Playing Entities who do not adhere to REG 15.9.7.1 will automatically have the full appeal decision ruled against them, forfeit any fees and lose the right to a final appeal.

REG 15.19.7.3 At the full appeal hearing, witnesses will be called as required.

REG 15.9.8 Decision Decisions reached by the Disciplinary Panel shall be communicated in person immediately to each Athletic Union (or equivalent) concerned and are binding. This decision will also be emailed out to all parties within 72 hours (excluding weekends or bank holidays) of the hearing.

REG 15.9.8.1 The Disciplinary Panel will have the discretion to award costs against the appealing institution/Playing Entity and may levy a fine should the full appeal be found not to have grounds.

REG 15.9.9 Should either institution/Playing Entity wish to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Panel they are required to move this matter forward to a final appeal in accordance with REG 15.10.

REG 15.10 Final appeal process

REG 15.10.1 Full appeal conditions Institutions/Playing Entities wishing to query a full appeal decision formally by way of a final appeal must note the following: Full appeal decisions are based on the submissions received within the permissible parameters. Therefore, information not presented at a full appeal will not be admissible in the final appeal process unless it can be shown that;

  • There has been a clear substantiated misinterpretation of BUCS Regulations, or;
  • Proven falsification of submission by either party during the full appeal process that impacted upon the decision, or;
  • Errors in process that impacted upon the decision.

If these condition(s) are not present a final appeal will be rejected due to insufficient grounds.

REG 15.10.2 Submission The recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative of the institution/Playing Entity wishing to appeal, shall lodge a final appeal via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk, in accordance with the deadline of REG 15.10.3. The appeal must be submitted on a BUCS Final Appeal Pro Forma (Appendix 12) and be accompanied by a valid Playing Under Protest Form (Appendix 8), if applicable, and/or any supporting evidence.

REG 15.10.2.1 Should any/all supporting evidence be too large to send in one e-mail, then it will be permissible to send multiple e-mails to discipline@bucs.org.uk, as long as these are all sent in accordance with the deadline of REG 15.10.3.

REG 15.10.2.2 Institutions/Playing Entities should contact the BUCS Executive by telephone to ensure that any submissions have been received.

REG 15.10.3 Submission deadline The final appeal must be submitted within 24 hours (excluding weekends or bank holidays) of the full appeal decision being communicated.

REG 15.10.3.1 Extension to the appeal deadline An extension may be requested via e-mail to discipline@bucs.org.uk (before the deadline has passed) if there are reasonable grounds.

REG 15.10.3.1.1 Should any extension be granted, BUCS will confirm this via e-mail to both the institution/Playing Entity looking at appealing and the opposition institution/Playing Entity.

REG 15.10.4 Lodging fee Lodging a final appeal shall incur a £500 lodging fee. This shall be payable by the institution/Playing Entity lodging the full appeal, unless the BUCS Disciplinary Panel uphold the final appeal. A payment request for the fee will be issued by BUCS following the appeal decision being confirmed.

REG 15.10.5 BUCS shall forward the Final Appeal Pro Forma and any supporting evidence, as received, to the respondent institution/Playing Entity.

REG 15.10.6 Disciplinary Panel The final appeal process will be overseen by the BUCS Sport Compliance and Governance Manager and the BUCS Disciplinary Panel, which shall be comprised of:

  • Chair of BUCS (Or their nominated alternative – CEO, BUCS Board Member or elected representative)
  • Two students or sabbatical officers of BUCS member institutions, who must differ from those from the full appeal disciplinary panel, and subject to them not being from the same playing conference as either institution/Playing Entity involved in the dispute

REG 15.10.6.1 The Chair of the full appeal Disciplinary Panel will either attend in person or submit a written explanation of any rulings from the full appeal.

REG 15.10.7 The Disciplinary Panel will convene in a timeframe appropriate to the dispute, with consideration for the ability of all parties to provide written evidence or representation at the hearing and taking into consideration potential impact on future fixtures.

REG 15.10.7.1 Respondent institutions/Playing Entities must submit a written response and/or (preferably) attend the hearing in person. Where circumstances dictate conference calls may be utilised.

REG 15.10.7.2 Institutions/Playing Entities who do not adhere to REG 15.10.7.1 will automatically have the final appeal decision ruled against them, forfeit any fees and lose the right to a final appeal.

REG 15.10.7.3 At the final appeal hearing, witnesses will be called as required.

REG 15.10.8 Decision Decisions reached by the Disciplinary Panel shall be communicated in person immediately to each Athletic Union (or equivalent) concerned and are binding. This decision will also be emailed out to all parties within 72 hours (excluding weekends or bank holidays) of the hearing.

REG 15.10.8.1 The Disciplinary Panel will have the discretion to award costs against the appealing institution/Playing Entity and may levy a fine should the final appeal be found not to have grounds.

REG 15.10.8.2 The Disciplinary Panel, should it see fit, can increase any sanction(s) awarded by the full appeal Disciplinary Panel.

REG 15.10.9 Arbitration Should an institution/Playing Entity reject the decision reached by the final appeal Disciplinary Panel then they will have recourse to take their case to the independent sport disputes resolution panel (Sport Resolutions).

REG 15.10.9.1 Where the appeal relates to Football or Futsal, the institution shall have recourse to take their appeal to the FA, before the independent sport disputes resolution panel (Sport Resolutions). An appeal taken to the FA will be final and binding and will follow the procedure outlined in the Regulations for Football Association Appeals in The FA Handbook subject to a submission for arbitration under FA Rule K.

REG 15.10.9.1.1 If the appeal relates to teams competing in an exclusively Scottish league or knockout competition REG 15.10.7.1 will not apply.

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