Please note: REG 9 applies to the Team Championships conducted as part of the National, Premier and Conference League/Knockout programme.

REG 9.1 Athletic Unions (or equivalent bodies as per REG 2.3) shall be responsible for the arrangement of BUCS fixtures, as displayed on BUCS Play.

REG 9.2 Fixture dates

REG 9.2.1 League matches All league matches must take place on the fixture date as set by BUCS, unless agreed by both institutions/Playing Entities to move the fixture to an alternative date in writing (once agreed, BUCS Play must be updated immediately) or by way of an accepted fixture change request on BUCS Play.

REG 9.2.1.1 Teams from the same institution/Playing Entity in the same league Where two teams from the same institution/Playing Entity are in the same league, BUCS will not schedule a fixture between the two teams for the last week of competition. Institutions/Playing Entities are also forbidden to reschedule fixtures between their own teams to be the last league fixture for either of their teams. Should an institution/Playing Entity be found to have done so, the result will be voided, and no points will be awarded to either team.

REG 9.2.1.2 All fixtures must take place by the relevant league deadline date as identified in Appendix 2 (‘BUCS Leagues and Knockouts – Dates and Deadlines’). Please note REG 13 for result entry and amendment processes and deadlines.

REG 9.2.1.3 Matches not completed by the date stated in Appendix 2 (‘BUCS Leagues and Knockouts – Dates and Deadlines’) shall be declared void with no points being awarded to either side, unless a walkover is claimed or conceded by the relevant deadline.

REG 9.2.1.4 All Premier Tier league fixtures must be fulfilled. Any team failing to complete their Premier Tier programme may be subject to disciplinary action.

REG 9.2.2 Knockout competition matches All knockout competition matches must take place on the date as set by BUCS. Unless REG 14 applies, only in exceptional circumstances and with written agreement of both institutions and written approval from the BUCS Executive may knockout competition matches take place on an alternative date. Once agreed and approved, BUCS Play must be updated immediately.

REG 9.2.2.1 The BUCS Executive can change the date of a fixture, should the need arise, in order to fulfil media requirements in the Men’s Rugby Union Championship.

REG 9.2.2.2 All fixtures in a round must be completed no later than the Sunday (or the Wednesday in the case of knockout competitions scheduled on weekends) before the following round.

REG 9.2.2.2.1 In the event of a fixture not being played before the Monday (or the Wednesday in the case of knockout competitions scheduled on weekends) prior to the following knockout round, the BUCS Executive will toss a coin to decide the outcome of a fixture.

REG 9.2.2.1.1.1 An exception to this would be if written agreement is sought from the next round opposition (or potential opposition) to play the fixture closer to the next round. If this written agreement is sought, it should be sent to the BUCS Executive as part of the request for approval of a change of date.

REG 9.2.3 Playoff matches All playoff matches must take place on the date as set by BUCS, unless agreed in writing by both institutions/Playing Entities, and approved in writing by the BUCS Executive, to move the fixture to an alternative date. Once agreed and approved, BUCS Play must be updated immediately.

REG 9.2.3.1 All fixtures must take place by the relevant playoff deadline date as identified in Appendix 2 (‘BUCS Leagues and Knockouts – Dates and Deadlines’). Please note REG 13.6 for result entry and amendment processes and deadlines.

REG 9.2.3.2 Matches not completed by the relevant playoff deadline date stated in Appendix 2 (‘BUCS Leagues and Knockouts – Dates and Deadlines’) shall be declared void with no points being awarded to either side, unless a walkover is claimed or conceded by the relevant deadline.

REG 9.2.4 Elective central venue formats (round robins) If a majority decision between all affected teams within a competition is reached, a league or knockout competition may be completed in a central venue round robin format on a date(s) determined by the teams rather than in accordance with REG 9.2.1/REG 9.2.2. Electing to do so must be communicated to the BUCS Executive in writing 20 working days prior to the first league fixtures, or 10 working days prior to the first knockout competition fixtures, as originally scheduled by BUCS. At this time all proposed fixtures, dates and venues must also be supplied to the BUCS Executive to enable amendments to be made on BUCS Play. If a majority decision cannot be reached fixtures will be weekly, as scheduled by the BUCS Executive. The deadlines for league and knockout round completion still apply.

REG 9.2.4.1 Should a majority decision be reached that a competition will be played in a round robin format and as a result a team is not able to fulfil their fixtures on the chosen date(s), they can seek written agreement from the other teams to play them separately to the round robin date(s). If they are not able to source such agreement, then they should either withdraw (note REG 8.3.4) or face conceding walkovers for any fixtures not fulfilled (note REG 13.7.5.5).

REG 9.3 Venues and timings

REG 9.3.1 It is the responsibility of the host institution to provide the correct conditions and time availability for a match (as laid down in the relevant BUCS sport specific regulations, or where there is no BUCS regulation, in the appropriate rules of the International/National Governing Body of the sport concerned (as identified in the sport specific regulations)) to take place. This includes facilities (including appropriate changing rooms), equipment, first aid cover and playing time. This is especially prevalent in matches where extra time may be required.

REG 9.3.2 Access to facilities should be free of charge to student-athletes from opposition teams. Where charges exist, they are the responsibility of the first named (home) institution/Playing Entity as part of its hosting obligations, unless stipulated in the sport specific regulations or agreed previously by the institutions/Playing Entities involved.

REG 9.3.2 Institutions/Playing Entities are responsible for conducting a health and safety risk assessment where they are host institution of a fixture. This should be made available, upon request, to the opposition institution/Playing Entity and/or the BUCS Executive.

REG 9.3.3 Playing surfaces All matches should be played on surfaces which meet the requirements of the relevant BUCS sport specific regulations, or where there is no BUCS regulation, in the appropriate rules of the International/National Governing Body of the sport concerned (as identified in the sport specific regulations).

REG 9.3.3.1 Artificial pitches International/National Governing Body approved (certified) artificial pitches are permitted for use in all tiers of competition.

REG 9.3.3.1.1 If an artificial pitch is to be used with certainty, the first named (home) institution/Playing Entity must communicate this and any restrictions on footwear, and other equipment, when confirming the fixture details with the opposition institution/Playing Entity and all match officials (notice required is dependent on tier of competition and can be found in REG 9.5).

REG 9.3.3.1.2 If a fixture is scheduled to take place on a grass pitch BUT an International/National Governing Body approved (certified) artificial surface is available as an alternative should the grass pitch be deemed unplayable; the following shall apply:

REG 9.3.3.1.2.1 The first named (home) institution/Playing Entity must inform the opposition institution/Playing Entity and all match officials when confirming the fixture in writing that an artificial pitch is available as an alternative, so that should the grass pitch be deemed unplayable on the day, the fixture will be moved to this artificial surface. The opposition institution/Playing Entity and all match officials must be informed at this time of any restrictions on footwear, and other equipment, applicable to the artificial surface.

REG 9.3.3.1.2.2 Should the grass pitch THEN be deemed as unplayable in advance of the fixture date the first named (home) institution/Playing Entity must confirm in writing to the opposition institution/Playing Entity and all match officials that the match will be played on an artificial pitch. In these circumstances, once the fixture is confirmed as taking place on the artificial pitch it cannot be moved back to a grass pitch.

REG 9.3.4 Duration of matches The duration of all matches shall be as laid down in the relevant BUCS sport specific regulations, or where there is no BUCS regulation, in the appropriate rules of the International/National Governing Body of the sport concerned (as identified in the sport specific regulations) for senior matches. For knockout competition matches, because a result must be obtained on the day of the fixture, attention must be paid to REG 8.4.4 when booking facility time.

REG 9.3.4.1 In normal circumstances, all matches should be completed as per REG 9.3.4 (note REG 9.3.4.2). However, in exceptional circumstances, and where the correct playing conditions have been satisfied, the duration of a match may be reduced with the written consent of both teams and the agreement of the match official(s) where appropriate.

REG 9.3.4.1.1 Once agreement has been reached, and regardless of start time, the result from this fixture will stand and cannot be appealed.

REG 9.3.4.1.2 If agreement cannot be reached, and the duration of a match is reduced, the match should take place following the completion of a ‘Playing Under Protest’ form (note REG 12).

REG 9.3.4.2 Results from matches abandoned by the match official(s) before the completion of 75% of normal time as per REG 9.3.4 will not stand unless alternative provision is made under the sport specific regulations.

REG 9.3.4.3 The BUCS Executive reserves the right to adjust as they see fit the duration of any matches hosted by BUCS.

REG 9.3.5 Start times No league or knockout match may start before 13:00 on a weekday (except for Cricket, Golf and Tennis; for those exceptions please see the relevant sport specific regulations) or 10:00 on a weekend, or after 20:00 without the written consent of both institutions/Playing Entities. The BUCS Executive reserves the right to determine as they see fit the times for any Finals hosted by BUCS. Please note REG 9.3.5.1 for Premier Tier, Championship and Vase start times.

REG 9.3.5.1 Premier Tier, Championship and Vase start times No Premier Tier, Championship or Vase fixture may start before 11:00 or after 20:00 without the written consent of both institutions/Playing Entities.

REG 9.3.5.2 The time stated on BUCS Play will be the match time, unless specified otherwise in the sport specific regulations, or the fixture notes.

REG 9.3.6 The start times and venues of all matches should be input on BUCS Play by the first named (home) institution/Playing Entity no less than 14 days before they are scheduled to take place.

REG 9.3.6.1 Institutions/Playing Entities are encouraged to add start times and venues on BUCS Play further in advance of fixtures, preferably as soon as they are considered confirmed. Should circumstances change more than 14 days before a fixture is scheduled to take place, then the opposition must accept any change to the time or venue requested via BUCS Play.

REG 9.3.6.2 Any amendment to a start time within 14 days of a fixture MUST be agreed by both institutions/Playing Entities in writing (once agreed, BUCS Play must be updated immediately) or by way of an accepted fixture change request on BUCS Play.

REG 9.3.6.3 Any amendment to a venue that does not cause unreasonable impact upon travel arrangements and is communicated more than 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) before the fixture is scheduled to take place does not need to be agreed but must be communicated in writing to the opposition institution/Playing Entity before BUCS Play is updated.

REG 9.3.6.4 In the case of knockout competition fixtures released/confirmed at the conclusion of a league, or after the first knockout round matches have taken place, the venue and start time should be on BUCS Play at least 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) before the fixture (regardless of the level of the competition).

REG 9.4 Playing colours Each institution/Playing Entity is responsible for informing its opposition of the colours of its playing kit as part of the notification of fixture process of REG 9.5. Should there be a clash of colours, it is the responsibility of the first named (home) institution/Playing Entity to change its kit. For BUCS hosted fixtures (for example a final taking place at BUCS Big Wednesday), the first named team will be asked to change kit by the BUCS Executive in the event of a colour clash.

REG 9.4.1 Any amendments to kit colours following their initial confirmation MUST be agreed in writing by both institutions/Playing Entities.

REG 9.5 Confirmation of fixture details It is the responsibility of the first named (home) institution/Playing Entity to contact the opposition institution/Playing Entity in writing (email) to confirm the fixture details at least 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) prior to the fixture. At this time an emergency telephone number shall be exchanged together with the intended time of departure of the visiting team. This correspondence should be conducted through the relevant Athletic Union (or equivalent body).

REG 9.5.1 Premier Tier For Premier Tier leagues, the first named (home) institution/Playing Entity should provide the opposition institution/Playing Entity with match information in writing (email) at least seven days (not working days, e.g. weekends and bank holidays are included where applicable) prior to the fixture due to generally increased travel requirements.

REG 9.5.2 In the case of knockout competition fixtures released/confirmed at the conclusion of a league, or after the first knockout round matches have taken place, regardless of the level of competition the 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) requirement of REG 9.5 shall apply.

REG 9.6 Double headers BUCS will not recognise any matches played as double headers (one match cannot produce the result for two league fixtures or a league and knockout competition fixture), with the exception of REG 9.6.1.

REG 9.6.1 Teams in Tier 1 and below may request for a double header to be recognised in exceptional circumstances. Such a request must be submitted and approved by the BUCS Executive in advance of the fixture. Exceptional circumstances may include (but is not exclusive to) bad weather or facility availability due to unusual circumstances. Double headers between teams from the same institution/Playing Entity will not be permitted. The last league fixture for either team may not be played as a double header.

REG 9.7 Late cancellation of matches Where an institution/Playing Entity has to cancel a fixture within 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) of its agreed start time, for reasons other than those outlined in REG 14.1 and REG 14.2, that institution/Playing Entity will be liable for reasonable costs incurred by the opposition institution/Playing Entity (unless a walkover is claimed/conceded and this is deemed as involuntary by the BUCS Executive, note REG 13.7) and for reasonable costs incurred by any match officials. The 48 hour ruling will apply regardless of whether an institution/Playing Entity and/or match official is notified of the cancellation. Costs can be claimed regardless of whether a rearrangement is agreed.

REG 9.7.1 An institution/Playing Entity wishing to reclaim reasonable costs from their opposition should do so by official invoice within 30 days of the date of the scheduled match. Claims may only be made for actual financial costs incurred by the Athletic Union (or equivalent body). Claims may be made for travel expenses, facility hire charges (or cancellation charges as appropriate), match officials’ fees and any other sport specific regulatory requirements that incur specific fixture costs. Proof of costs incurred must accompany the invoice to the offending team/institution.

REG 9.7.2 If an invoice is disputed, the BUCS Executive shall determine whether costs are reasonable and instruct an institution/Playing Entity to pay accordingly, considering any extenuating circumstances. Invoices should be settled within 30 days of receipt. The BUCS Executive reserves the right to levy an administration fee should it be required to intervene. Non-payment of invoices will result in the offending institution being referred to the BUCS Disciplinary Panel.

REG 9.8 Late arrivals Where a team arrives late to a fixture every effort should be made for the fixture to be played in full. If the match cannot be played to a full conclusion, it should be played to 75%. Where the team arrives too late for a minimum of 75% of the fixture to be played, if the lateness of the team was caused through no fault of the team the fixture should be rearranged in line with REG 14.3/REG 14.4/REG 14.5. The venue of the rearranged match will be determined in line with REG 14.2, unless an alternative is agreed between the institutions/Playing Entities concerned. Where the lateness was caused by the team, or one its members, that team shall concede a walkover.

REG 9.9 No shows If a team does not show for a fixture on the date stated on BUCS Play without notifying their opposition in writing, they will concede a walkover.

REG 9.10 Concede one/Fulfil another Teams may not concede a fixture and then reschedule another on to the same date. Fixtures completed in such circumstances may be declared void or awarded as walkovers (REG 13.6). Any perceived extenuating circumstances should be communicated to the BUCS Executive in advance of the occurrence, at which time permission to commence may be granted on a case by case basis.

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