REG 8 Team Championships (Leagues and Knockouts) | Published 1 September

Please note: REG 8 applies to the Team Championships conducted as part of the National, Premier and Conference League/Knockout programme.

REG 8.1 The BUCS Executive reserves the right to make final decisions on the structures of all competitions, based on the geographical location of the teams eligible to compete at that level and the number of entries received.

REG 8.2 Competition requirements Should a team be unable to meet the requirements of competition, resulting in hindering the completion of required fixtures, they may be automatically withdrawn and/or restricted from entering future competitions.

REG 8.2.1 A withdrawal or restriction may be reconsidered if an alternative arrangement can be made, which is acceptable to other affected teams, and is agreed in good time.

REG 8.2.2 Competition requirements under REG 8.2 relates to facilities/hosting, essential travel, officials requirements, and any other requirements considered pertinent to the completion of fixtures.

REG 8.3 Leagues

REG 8.3.1 Team eligibility per Tier Unless stated otherwise in the relevant BUCS sport specific regulations, the following allowance of teams per Playing Entity, per gender, of a particular sport are permitted:

REG 8.3.1.1 Premier Tier – the maximum number of teams in the tier will be that of the number of levels available. So, for example:

- If there is a National league, North/South 1 leagues and North/South 2 leagues in the Premier Tier, then a Playing Entity may have a maximum of three teams in the Tier
- If there is a National league and North/South leagues in the Premier Tier, then a Playing Entity may have a maximum of two teams in the Tier
- If there are North/South 1 and North/South 2 leagues in the Premier Tier, then a Playing Entity may have a maximum of two teams in the Tier
- If there is only a National league OR North/South leagues, then a Playing Entity may have a maximum of one team in the Tier

However, with the above limits, Playing Entities are restricted to having only one team in the top level league, and a maximum of two teams in any lower level Premier Tier league. So, for example, in Men's Rugby Union, it would possible for a Playing Entity to have:

- One team in the National league, one in North 1, and one in North 2, or;
- One team in the National league, two in North 1, and no team in North 2, or;
- No team in the National league, two in North 1, and one in North 2, or;
- No team in the National league, one in North 1, and two in North 2.

REG 8.3.1.2 Tier 1 and below (except for the lowest tier) – maximum of two teams per tier, regardless of playing conference.

REG 8.3.1.3 Lowest Tier – maximum of three teams or 50% of the total teams in a league per institution, whichever is fewer, regardless of playing conference.

REG 8.3.1.3.1 The lowest tier restriction outlined in REG 8.3.1.3 is applicable at the point of league finalisation. Should teams withdraw after league finalisation, any teams remaining in the competition which are now in breach of REG 8.3.1.3 shall be permitted to remain for that season only.

REG 8.3.1.3.2 Where a Playing Entity has entered more teams than REG 8.3.1.3 would allow to be accepted in to the competition, they can make a request for an exemption to the regulation to the BUCS Executive. Any request would need to be supported by the other Playing Entities in the league(s) affected, and, if approved by the BUCS Executive, the team would not: be entered in to the respective knockout competition; be eligible for promotion; or be able to earn any BUCS Points based on their final league position.

REG 8.3.2 League sizes Unless stated otherwise in the relevant BUCS sport specific regulations or Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’), the following league size restrictions shall apply:

REG 8.3.2.1 For leagues above the lowest tier, the league size will typically be six teams.

REG 8.3.2.2 The minimum number of teams in any league will be four.

REG 8.3.2.3 The maximum number of teams in any one lowest tier league can be 10. If entries increase to the point that there are more than 10 teams to fit in a bottom Tier league, the league will be split. The existing league will maintain six teams and the remaining teams will either:

  • Where the maximum number of leagues in that tier has not been met, form an additional league in that tier alongside the existing league, or;
  • Form a new lower tier league (up to a maximum of 10). For example, in a Conference which only goes as low as Tier 1, where there would be 11 teams in Tier 1, the top six teams will remain in Tier 1A, and the remaining teams will form Tier 2A.

REG 8.3.2.3.1 Where creation of a new lower tier is required, teams previously entered will be ranked based on their league finishing position in the previous season, with the higher ranked teams maintaining their place and the lower ranked teams joining any new teams in the new lower tier.

REG 8.3.3 New teams All new teams will be placed in the lowest tier.

REG 8.3.3.1 Although, as per REG 8.3.3, new teams should expect to be entered in to the lowest tier of the competition structure, as an organisation BUCS acknowledges the potential safety issues when severe performance imbalances occur and cause potential risks to the safety of players. Therefore new teams within recognised ‘collision sports’ (American Football, Rugby League and Rugby Union) can apply to BUCS for special dispensation to enter the competition structure at a higher level league by submitting a written case evidencing the reasons why the request should be considered. Upon request, the set of criteria upon which the written request should be based will be provided by BUCS. All requests must be received prior to the annual league entry deadline each year.

REG 8.3.4 Withdrawal of teams Institutions wishing to withdraw a team once team entries for the season are closed are required to e-mail appsupport@bucs.org.uk with this request, as well as where applicable contacting all other teams in the league and any knockout opposition, to inform them of this withdrawal.

REG 8.3.4.1 If one third or more of scheduled fixtures, as they were originally scheduled by the BUCS office, have passed, a team will not be permitted to withdraw from the competition. Any subsequent fixtures will be deemed as walkovers and the results logged prior to their withdrawal will remain. Please note the penalties incurred for multiple walkovers, dependent on tier of competition in REG 13.7.5.1 – REG 13.7.5.4.

REG 8.3.4.1.1 An exception to this is when, as per REG 9.2.4, a league or knockout competition has been agreed to be hosted in a central venue round robin format. In this case, a team can withdraw at any time prior to 10 working days before the first agreed fixture date for the competition. Once this deadline passes, teams cannot withdraw.

REG 8.3.4.2 Withdrawal without completing fixtures Teams withdrawing having not completed any fixtures in a season will be removed from the competition structure and treated as a new team (note REG 8.3.3) should they wish to re-enter in future seasons.

REG 8.3.4.3 Withdrawal having completed at least 1 fixture Teams withdrawing having completed at least 1 fixture in a season will be relegated to the tier below should they wish to re-enter the following season. If they do not re-enter the following season, then at any future point they wish to re-enter they will be treated as a new team (note REG 8.3.3).

REG 8.3.5 All Premier Tier leagues (National, North 1/South 1, North 2/South 2, North/South) must comply with all regulations relating to Premier leagues, regardless of the number of leagues within the respective Premier Tier (e.g. National and North/South), unless specified otherwise.

REG 8.3.6 League points

REG 8.3.6.1 Unless stated otherwise in the relevant BUCS sport specific regulations, three points will be awarded for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss.

REG 8.3.6.2 Unless stated otherwise in the relevant BUCS sport specific regulations, where a walkover has been awarded/conceded (REG 13), three points shall be given to the non-offending team and three points deducted from the offending team.

REG 8.3.6.3 No points will be awarded to either team in the case of a void fixture.

REG 8.3.7 Calculating final league positions Final league positions will be primarily based on league points accumulated. However, should there be any ties on points within a league, they shall be split by the following sequential systems (unless sport specific regulations state differently);

REG 8.3.7.1 A team tied on points in a league who has voluntarily conceded walkovers shall automatically be placed below other tied teams who have conceded fewer voluntary walkovers.

REG 8.3.7.2 Walkovers deemed involuntary may be disregarded in the above calculations on a case by case basis.

REG 8.3.7.3 Tie between two teams

REG 8.3.7.3.1 The result between the teams will be the determining factor in placing one team above the other. Where fixtures are played on a ‘home’ and ‘away’ basis, the aggregate score of the two (or more) matches will determine the higher placed team.

REG 8.3.7.3.2 Where the result between the two teams does not determine a winner, if the tie on points has been effected by any walkovers conceded to them or any void fixtures, all the relevant results against the team(s) which conceded the walkover(s) or the team(s) involved in the void fixtures (i.e. all the results between the teams tied on points and the team(s) conceding the walkover(s)/void match(es)) will be removed from the results table and the recalculated goal/set/point/rubber (dependent on the sport) difference shall be used to determine the higher placed team as follows:

REG 8.3.7.3.2.1 Goal/Set/Point/Rubber difference as applicable to each sport (Games in Golf).

REG 8.3.7.3.2.2 The higher number of Goals/Sets/Points/Rubber scored (Games in Golf).

REG 8.3.7.3.2.3 In the sports of Badminton, Squash, Table Tennis and Tennis, where the higher placed team cannot be determined by REG 8.3.7.3.1 – REG 8.3.7.3.2.2 above, then the team with the higher ‘Games’ difference (not Rubbers/Matches) or equivalent shall be deemed the higher placed team. As per sport specific regulations for Badminton, Squash, Table Tennis and Tennis, institutions will be responsible for supplying full records of all matches in these sports on official scorecards, if requested by the BUCS Executive.

REG 8.3.7.3.2.4 In the sport of Volleyball, where the higher placed team cannot be determined by REG 8.3.7.3.1 – REG 8.3.7.3.2.2 above, then the team with the higher ‘Points’ difference shall be deemed the higher placed team. If this still does not determine the higher placed team, then the team with the higher ‘Points’ scored shall be deemed the higher placed team. As per sport specific regulations for Volleyball, institutions will be responsible for supplying full records of all matches on official score sheets, if requested by the BUCS Executive.

REG 8.3.7.3.2.5 If the higher placed team cannot be determined from the system above, then this shall be determined by the toss of a coin by the BUCS Executive.

REG 8.3.7.4 Tie between three or more teams

REG 8.3.7.4.1 Where three or more teams are tied on points, a table shall be formed to calculate the higher placed team from the results between the relevant teams.

REG 8.3.7.4.2 Goal/Set/Point/Rubber difference as applicable to each sport (Games in Golf) in the mini league.

REG 8.3.7.4.3 The higher number of Goals/Sets/Points/Rubber scored (Games in Golf) in the mini league.

REG 8.3.7.4.4 In the sports of Badminton, Squash, Table Tennis and Tennis, where the higher placed team cannot be determined by REG 8.3.4.7.1 – REG 8.3.7.4.3 above, then the team with the higher ‘Games’ difference (not Rubbers/Matches) or equivalent in the mini league shall be deemed the higher placed team. As per sport specific regulations for Badminton, Squash, Table Tennis and Tennis, institutions will be responsible for supplying full records of all matches in these sports on official scorecards, if requested by the BUCS Executive.

REG 8.3.7.4.5 In the sport of Volleyball, where the higher placed team cannot be determined by REG 8.3.4.7.1 – REG 8.3.7.4.3 above, then the team with the higher ‘Points’ difference shall be deemed the higher placed team. If this still does not determine the higher placed team, then the team with the higher ‘Points’ scored shall be deemed the higher placed team. As per sport specific regulations for Volleyball, institutions will be responsible for supplying full records of all matches on official score sheets, if requested by the BUCS Executive.

REG 8.3.7.4.6 If the higher placed team cannot be determined from the system above, then this shall be determined by the toss of a coin by the BUCS Executive.

REG 8.3.8 Promotion and relegation

REG 8.3.8.1 Promotion and relegation details can be found in Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’). However, promotion and relegation of a team can be impacted upon by concession of walkovers (note REG 13) and team eligibility per tier (note REG 8.3.1), therefore, to establish if a team is eligible for promotion or relegation, consideration must be given to these regulations.

REG 8.3.8.2 Elective non-promotion A team finishing in a position which results in automatic promotion for the following season may not elect to avoid promotion. Only instances of exceptional circumstance would be granted consideration by the BUCS Executive. A team finishing in a position at the conclusion of a league which results in them being required to participate in playoffs may elect to opt out of participation (and therefore promotion) as per REG 8.3.8.5.1.

REG 8.3.8.3 Elective relegation A team which has not finished in a position which results in automatic relegation for the following season can request elective relegation to the BUCS Executive. Any request will be required to provide a justification for the request which shall be considered by the BUCS Executive on a case by case basis and approval is not guaranteed. Special consideration will be given in instances where health and safety may be of concern; e.g. Rugby Union.

REG 8.3.8.3.1 BUCS reserves the right to take any incidences of elective relegation deemed as an attempt to manipulate league position to the BUCS Disciplinary Panel for review and possible disciplinary action.

REG 8.3.8.3.2 Requests for elective relegation received by the BUCS Executive after leagues and fixtures have been published will incur an administration fee (equivalent to the original team entry fee).

REG 8.3.8.4 Promotion to/between Premier Tier leagues

REG 8.3.8.4.1 Should the winner of a league not be eligible for promotion, then the team finishing in 2nd position will take their place if they are eligible for promotion. If both the 1st and 2nd place teams are not eligible, no team from that league will be eligible for promotion.

REG 8.3.8.4.2 If the league winning team is eligible for promotion but chooses to opt out of participating in the promotion playoffs, the opportunity to compete in the playoffs will be offered to the 2nd place team (if they are eligible). If both the 1st and 2nd place teams opt out of participating in the promotion playoffs, no team from that league will be eligible for promotion.

REG 8.3.8.4.3 If the Playing Entity a team belongs to has the maximum number of teams allowed under REG 8.3.1.1 in the level and/or Tier above their current one, then that team shall not be eligible for promotion unless a team of theirs in the level directly above them is due to take part in a playoff/be automatically relegated.

REG 8.3.8.4.4 Should any team(s) other than the lowest finishing team in a league be automatically relegated (for example because they have conceded two or more walkovers) then the lowest finishing team may not be required to take part in a playoff/be automatically relegated. This scenario may also impact promotion from the league(s) below.

REG 8.3.8.5 Playoffs Should playoffs for promotion and/or relegation be required as part of a competition structure, the following shall apply:

REG 8.3.8.5.1 Teams who at the conclusion of their league may be eligible to participate in playoffs may elect to opt out of any possible involvement. The deadline for communicating to the BUCS Executive the decision to opt out shall be 48 hours after the league deadline date as stated in Appendix 2 (‘BUCS Leagues and Knockouts – Dates and Deadlines’). Any teams who do not opt out by the required deadline shall be subject to honouring all scheduled fixtures.

REG 8.3.8.5.2 Playoff fixtures that no longer have a bearing on determining promotion and/or relegation (dead rubbers) do not need to be completed but desire to withdraw from said fixtures must be communicated to the BUCS Executive and the affected team(s) as soon as possible in advance of the fixture. Sanctions for conceding may not apply in such instances, if reasonable notice is given. REG 9.7 still applies in that affected teams may claim any costs incurred from the opposition.

REG 8.3.8.5.3 All playoff fixtures must be played in accordance with the requirements of the level of competition to which teams are seeking promotion, for example National league general and sport specific regulations.

REG 8.3.8.5.4 If four teams are involved, teams shall be drawn at random into a Semi-Final and Final ‘knockout’ format, the eventual winner being promoted for the following season. No draws are permitted and so sport specific knockout regulations should be applied to determine match winners as required.

REG 8.3.8.5.5 If three teams are involved, they shall be placed in a round robin format, each team having one ‘home’ and one ‘away’ fixture. The winner(s) being the best performing team(s) in the mini league produced from these results, who will then be promoted for the following season. All fixtures should be played only to the end of ‘normal time’, with draws being permitted. However, at the conclusion of each fixture, specific tiebreaker penalties shall be undertaken in the following sports in case these should be required to break any ties in the mini league:

  • Football (Penalty shootout as per FIFA LAW 10.3)
  • Futsal (Penalty shootout as per FUT 5.1)
  • Hockey (Penalty strokes as per HOC 4)
  • Water Polo (Penalty shootout as per FINA WP 11.3)

Please note: For these sports, the score at the end of normal time is what should be put on BUCS Play. The result of the tiebreaker penalties is not utilised, other than to assist with determining the winner(s) as part of the process outlined in REG 8.3.8.5.5.1. As such, the tiebreaker penalties information should be e-mailed by the home institution to info@bucs.org.uk and the away institution in case this should be required.

REG 8.3.8.5.5.1 Process for separating tied teams REG 8.3.7.1, REG 8.3.7.2 and REG 8.3.7.4 (and subsections) will be followed. In the sports of Football, Futsal, Hockey and Water Polo, if a tie still exists after REG 8.3.7.4.3, then the tiebreaker penalty results will be used before progressing to REG 8.3.7.4.6, see REG 8.3.8.5.5.2.

REG 8.3.8.5.5.2 In the sports of Football, Futsal, Hockey and Water Polo, if a tie still exists after REG 8.3.7.4.3, then the tiebreaker penalty results will be used as follows:

    • Tiebreaker penalties head-to-head
    • Tiebreaker penalties goal difference
    • Tiebreaker penalties goals conceded
    • If teams are still tied at this point, then REG 8.3.7.4.6 shall be applied

REG 8.3.8.5.6 If two teams are involved, they shall be scheduled one ‘home’ and one ‘away’ fixture, the winner on aggregate being promoted for the following season. Both fixtures should be played only to the end of ‘normal time’, with draws being permitted. However, if at the conclusion of the second match teams are tied on aggregate, then sport specific tiebreaker methods should be used as follows. Therefore, the institution hosting the second scheduled fixture should incorporate in their fixture planning for tiebreaker requirements as applicable to that sport, e.g. extra court booking, advising officials of extra time etc.:

  • Badminton (Application of BAD 8.4 to aggregate result)
  • Basketball (Application of BAS 9.1.1, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Fencing (Application of FEN 11.1 to aggregate result)
  • Football (Application of FOO 4.1, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Futsal (Application of FUT 5.1, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Golf (Application of GOL 15.5, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Hockey (Application of HOC 4, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Lacrosse (Application of LAC 5, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Netball (Application of NET 3.1, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Rugby League (Application of RUL 10.2, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Rugby Union (Application of RUU 5, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Table Tennis (Application of REG 8.3.7, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Tennis (Application of TEN 9.5, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Volleyball (Application of REG 8.3.7, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)
  • Water Polo (Application of FINA WP 11.3, should the aggregate result of the two normal time matches be tied)

REG 8.4 Knockout competitions

REG 8.4.1 Alongside the annual league programmes (and as part of the same entry for each team), BUCS will offer knockout competitions, where entry levels permit.

REG 8.4.1.1 Teams from BUCS member institutions in Northern Ireland wishing to be considered for inclusion in a BUCS Championship knockout competition must submit a written request to the BUCS Executive at the time team entries are submitted for the following season.

REG 8.4.2 The format of all knockout competition draws, and the dates of the various rounds will be determined by the BUCS Executive.

REG 8.4.3 The qualification criteria for all knockout competitions is contained in Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout information’).

REG 8.4.3.1 When there is the requirement to establish the next best first team or best performing team across multiple leagues the following processes will be used:

REG 8.4.3.1.1 Where the leagues involved are all the same size/the same number of fixtures were scheduled, league points attained will be compared. If this does not determine an individual team the appropriate performance indicator(s) to the sport will be used.

REG 8.4.3.1.2 Where the leagues involved are of differing sizes/differing numbers of fixtures were scheduled, a mini league table consisting of the relevant teams’ results against the top three teams of their respective league will be created for comparison. If this does not produce a single team then the teams that are ‘performance tied’ shall have the top four teams per league compared, then top five teams and so on until a clear ‘best performer’ is determined.

REG 8.4.3.1.3 The processes of REG 8.4.3.1.1 and REG 8.4.3.1.2 shall also be used in relation to other regulations where a best performing team requires establishing.

REG 8.4.4 All BUCS knockout round matches must be played to a conclusion. If the teams are tied on match score at the end of ‘normal time’ of a knockout competition match, then the appropriate tiebreaker method (E.g. extra time) as laid down in the sport specific regulations shall be applied to achieve a winner. Should further rules be required then the appropriate rules of the International Governing Body or National Governing Body of the sport concerned (as identified in the sport specific regulations) shall be used. As such, facilities must be booked for an appropriate length of time to allow for the possibility of a tiebreaker being required at the end of ‘normal time’.

REG 8.4.5 The levels of knockout competitions are as follows:

REG 8.4.5.1 Championship

REG 8.4.5.1.1 Only first teams shall be eligible to compete in a Championship knockout competition.

REG 8.4.5.1.2 The Championship in each sport shall consist of a maximum of 16 teams, drawn from the relevant Premier Tier league(s). Further details and any exceptions to this regulation are in Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’).

REG 8.4.5.1.3 The Championship in each sport shall take place following completion of the league programme, with the draw being based on final league positions.

REG 8.4.1.1.5 The venues of matches in the Last 16, Quarter-Final and Semi-Final stages shall be those of the first named (home) team.

REG 8.4.1.1.6 Championship Finals shall be hosted at an appropriate venue determined by the BUCS Executive or an appointed Third Party. The BUCS Executive (or appointed Third Party) shall be responsible for all hosting requirements (including appointment of officials) which would usually sit with the first named (home) team.

REG 8.4.5.2 Vase

REG 8.4.5.2.1 Vase knockout competitions are only offered in Hockey and Rugby Union. The Vase in each sport shall consist of a maximum of 16 teams, drawn from the relevant Premier Tier league(s). Further details are in Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout information’).

REG 8.4.5.2.2 The Vase in each sport shall take place following completion of the league programme, with the draw being based on final league positions.

REG 8.4.5.2.3 All Vase matches must comply with all regulations relating to Championship matches, unless specified otherwise.

REG 8.4.5.2.4 The venues of matches in the Last 16, Quarter-Final and Semi-Final stages shall be those of the first named (home) team.

REG 8.4.5.2.5 Vase Finals shall be hosted at an appropriate venue determined by the BUCS Executive or an appointed Third Party. The BUCS Executive (or appointed Third Party) shall be responsible for all hosting requirements (including appointment of officials) which would usually sit with the first named (home) team.

REG 8.4.5.3 Trophy

REG 8.4.5.3.1 The Trophy in each sport shall consist of a maximum of 64 teams, drawn from the relevant Tier 1 (and in some cases Premier Tier) league(s). Further details and any exceptions to this regulation are in Appendix 10 (‘Promotion, Relegation and Knockout information’).

REG 8.4.5.3.2 The Trophy in each sport shall take place concurrently with the league programme, with the draw being made prior to the season beginning. Exceptions to this include American Football, Golf and Squash for which Trophy draws shall take place following completion of the league programme.

REG 8.4.5.3.2.1 Where the number of teams eligible for participation in the Trophy is just over a draw size (for example 33 teams), the BUCS Executive reserves the right to run a preliminary round to the main draw, instead of a full additional round to the draw.

REG 8.4.5.3.2.2 Where possible, the first (main) round draw shall be regionalised North and South.

REG 8.4.5.3.3 The venues of matches in the Last 64, Last 32, Last 16, Quarter-Final and Semi-Final stages shall be those of the first named (home) team.

REG 8.4.5.3.4 Trophy Finals shall be hosted at an appropriate venue determined by the BUCS Executive or an appointed Third Party. The BUCS Executive (or appointed Third Party) shall be responsible for all hosting requirements (including appointment of officials) which would usually sit with the first named (home) team.

REG 8.4.5.3.5 If an institution has rearranged a league match to the date of a scheduled round of Trophy matches, as per Appendix 2 ('BUCS Leagues and Knockouts - Dates and Deadlines’), and this results in a clash for either team involved when the fixtures for that round are confirmed, then the knockout fixture must take precedence and the league fixture must be rearranged by the deadline stated in Appendix 2 ('BUCS Leagues and Knockouts - Dates and Deadlines').

REG 8.4.5.4 Conference Cup, Plate and Bowl

REG 8.4.5.4.1 The Conference Cup(s) in each sport will be randomly drawn from all teams from Tier 2 and below in each Conference.

REG 8.4.5.4.2 The Conference Plate(s) in each sport will vary in the tier from which teams are drawn. Teams may be drawn from as high as Tier 4.

REG 8.4.5.4.3 The Conference Bowl(s) in each sport will vary in the tier from which teams are drawn. Teams may be drawn from as high as Tier 6.

REG 8.4.5.4.4 The Conference Cups/Plates/Bowls in each sport shall take place concurrently with the league programme, with the draw being made prior to the season beginning. An exception to this is American Football, for which Conference Cup draws shall take place following completion of the league programme.

REG 8.4.5.4.4.1 Where the number of teams eligible for participation in a Conference Cup/Plate/Bowl is just over a draw size (for example 65 teams), the BUCS Executive reserves the right to run a preliminary round to the main draw, instead of a full additional round to the draw, or running an additional knockout competition at the level below (for example a Conference Bowl below a Conference Plate).

REG 8.4.5.4.5 The venues of matches in the Last 64, Last 32, Last 16, Quarter-Final and Semi-Final stages shall be those of the first named (home) team.

REG 8.4.5.4.6 The Finals of the Conference Cup/Plate/Bowl shall be at the venue of the first named (home) team unless otherwise instructed by the BUCS Executive or agreed by the respective Conference in advance (see REG 8.4.5.4.6.1).

REG 8.4.5.4.6.1 Should a Conference wish to host all relevant Conference Cup/Plate/Bowl finals at a central venue that Conference must unanimously agree to do so. This agreement will be communicated to the BUCS Executive by the respective Regional Chair(s) no later than 31 October each year. Once agreement is obtained, institutions are bound to attend the finals (if qualifying) at the central venue unless otherwise specified by the Conference as an exception in advance of the scheduled finals.

REG 8.4.5.4.7 If an institution has rearranged a league match to the date of a scheduled round of Conference Cup, Plate or Bowl matches, as per Appendix 2 ('BUCS Leagues and Knockouts - Dates and Deadlines'), and this results in a clash for either team involved when the fixtures for that round are confirmed, then the knockout fixture must take precedence and the league fixture must be rearranged by the deadline stated in Appendix 2 ('BUCS Leagues and Knockouts - Dates and Deadlines').

REG 8.4.5.4.8 All Conference Bowl fixtures must comply with all regulations relating to Conference Plate matches, unless specified otherwise.

REG 8.4.5.4.9 Minimum number of teams required for a Conference Cup/Plate/Bowl The minimum number of teams (at the time of fixtures being published) for which a Conference Cup/Plate/Bowl competition will be formed is four. Should teams withdraw after fixtures are published, the competition shall be permitted to continue for the remaining teams for that season only.

REG 8.5 The use of drones at BUCS hosted league/knockout fixtures (for example a final taking place at BUCS Big Wednesday) is strictly prohibited. The only permissible use of drones will be with the express permission of BUCS for professional companies with appropriate licenses, insurance, risk assessments and in line with all the requirements of the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). The unauthorised use of drones will result in disciplinary action under REG 5, and the relevant authorities being notified e.g. CAA.

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