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British universities & Colleges Sport

REG 5 Team Championships (Leagues/Knockouts)

Please note: REG 5 applies to the Team Championships conducted as part of the National, Premier and Conference League/Knockout programme.

REG 5.1 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the requirements of competition, resulting in hindering the completion of required fixtures, they may be automatically withdrawn and/or restricted from entering from the current and future seasons.

REG 5.1.1 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 5.1.2 Competition requirements under REG 5.1 relates to facilities/hosting, essential travel, officials requirements, etc. and any other requirement considered pertinent to the completion of fixtures.

REG 5.2 The BUCS office 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.

REG 5.3 Leagues

REG 5.3.1 Team eligibility per Tier Unless stated otherwise in the sport specific regulations, the following allowance of teams per institution, per tier, per gender, of a particular sport are permitted:

REG 5.3.1.1 National League, Premier League and Championship – 1 team per institution unless separate campuses of an institution have previously elected to be regarded as standalone BUCS Playing Entities.

REG 5.3.1.2 Tier 1 and below (with the exception of the lowest tier) – maximum of 2 teams per institution, regardless of playing conference, unless separate campuses of an institution have previously elected to be regarded as standalone BUCS Playing Entities.

REG 5.3.1.3 Lowest Tier – maximum of 3 teams or 50% of the total teams in a league per institution, whichever is fewer. This applies regardless of playing conference, unless separate campuses of an institution have previously elected to be regarded as standalone BUCS Playing Entities.

REG 5.3.1.3.1 The lowest tier restriction outlined in REG 5.3.1.3 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 5.3.1.3 shall be permitted to remain for that season only.

REG 5.3.2 League sizes The maximum number of teams in any 1 Lowest Tier league can be 10. If entries increase to the point that there are more than 10 teams to fit in the bottom Tier league, the league will be split. The existing league will maintain 6 teams and the remaining teams will 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 6 teams will remain in Tier 1A, and the remaining teams will form Tier 2A. This does not apply to American Football, Cricket (both Indoor and Outdoor), Equestrian, Gaelic Football, Korfball, Swimming (Team) or Ultimate. The minimum number of teams in any league will be 4.

REG 5.3.3 New teams Should sufficient new entries be received to require the creation of an additional tier of competition, a random draw shall be conducted by the BUCS office to establish into which tier of competition (previous or new lowest) teams will be placed. All new teams will be placed in the lowest tier.

REG 5.3.4 All Premier Tier leagues (National/North A/South A/North B/South B/premier North/Premier South) must comply with all regulations relating to Premier leagues, regardless of the number of leagues within this Premier Tier (e.g. National and North A/South A), unless specified otherwise. This includes any sanctions, and/or fines regarding walkovers in REG 10.

REG 5.4 Knockout Competitions

REG 5.4.1 Alongside the annual league programmes (and as part of the same entry for each team), BUCS will offer knockout competitions, where entry levels permit, in each sport, as follows:

REG 5.4.1.1 Championship

REG 5.4.1.1.1 The Championship in each sport shall consist of a maximum of 16 first teams, drawn from the relevant National and/or Premier Leagues, exceptions to this regulation will be noted in Appendix 10 ('Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information') for each league.

REG 5.4.1.1.2 When establishing the next best first team or best performing team the following process will be used:
- A mini league table consisting of the relevant teams’ performance against the top 3 teams of each 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 4 teams per league compared, then top 5 teams and so on until a clear ‘best performer’ is determined.
- This process shall also be used in relation to other regulations where a best performing team must be determined.

REG 5.4.1.1.2.1 An exception to the application of REG 5.4.1.1.2 will be if teams involved in calculations to establish the best performer from opposing leagues have completed the same number of league fixtures. The performance from those league fixtures will supersede the need to create a mini league, initially using league points attained. If this does not determine an individual team the appropriate performance indicator to the sport will be used.

REG 5.4.1.1.2.2 In Women’s Table Tennis, qualifiers will be determined from the 5 Conference Tier 1 leagues.

REG 5.4.1.1.2.3 In Golf, the Scottish Conference Tier 1 league shall be offered 4 qualifying places, with all other qualifiers coming from the Premier North and Premier South leagues.

REG 5.4.1.1.3 The venues of matches in the Last 16, Quarter-Final and Semi-Final stages shall be those of the first named (home) team.

REG 5.4.1.1.4 Championship Finals shall be hosted at an appropriate venue determined by the BUCS office or an appointed Third Party. The BUCS office (or appointed Third Party) shall be responsible for the appointment of officials and other logistics, including costs, for Championship Finals.

REG 5.4.1.2 Vase

REG 5.4.1.2.1 All Vase fixtures must comply with all regulations relating to Championship matches, unless specified otherwise. This includes any sanctions, and/or fines regarding walkovers in REG 10.

REG 5.4.1.2.2 The Vase will be played in Rugby Union only.

REG 5.4.1.2.3 Teams in the Men’s Vase will be all teams in the North A and South A leagues.

REG 5.4.1.2.4 Teams in the Women’s Vase will be 5th and 6th placed teams in the Premier North and Premier South leagues.

REG 5.4.1.2.5 Vase Finals shall be hosted at an appropriate venue determined by the BUCS office. The BUCS office shall be responsible for the appointment of officials and other logistics, including costs, for Vase Finals.

REG 5.4.1.3 Trophy

REG 5.4.1.3.1 Where possible, the first round matches shall be regionalised North and South.

REG 5.4.1.3.2 Trophy Finals shall be hosted at an appropriate venue determined by the BUCS office. The BUCS office shall be responsible for the appointment of officials and other logistics, including costs, for Trophy Finals.

REG 5.4.1.4 Conference Cup, Plate and Bowl

REG 5.4.1.4.1 The Conference Cup knockout will be randomly drawn from all teams from Tier 2 and below.

REG 5.4.1.4.2 The Conference Plate will vary in the tier from which teams are drawn. Teams may be drawn from as high as Tier 4.

REG 5.4.1.4.3 The Conference Bowl (Football, Netball and Rugby Union only) will vary in the tier from which teams are drawn. Teams may be drawn from as high as Tier 6.

REG 5.4.1.4.4 The Conference Cup, Plate and Bowl draws shall be made prior to the season by the BUCS office.

REG 5.4.1.4.5 The Finals of the Conference Cup/Plate/Bowl shall be at the venue of the first named team unless otherwise instructed by the BUCS office or agreed by the respective Conference in advance (see REG 5.4.1.4.5.1).

REG 5.4.1.4.5.1 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 office 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. Should unanimous agreement not be reached by the 31 October deadline, the first named team shall host each final.

REG 5.4.1.4.6 In the case of Conference Cup, Plate or Bowl matches clashing with a scheduled Conference league fixture, the cup 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 5.4.1.4.7 All Conference Bowl fixtures must comply with all regulations relating to Conference Plate matches, unless specified otherwise. This includes any sanctions, and/or fines regarding walkovers in REG 10.

REG 5.4.1.4.8 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 4. Should teams withdraw after fixtures are published, the competition shall be permitted to continue for the remaining teams for that season only. This regulation does not apply to American Football, Cricket (both Indoor and Outdoor), Equestrian, Gaelic Football, Korfball, Swimming (Team) or Ultimate.

REG 5.4.2 The qualification criteria for the relevant knockout competition(s) is contained in Appendix 10 ('Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information').

REG 5.4.3 The knockout competition draws shall be made based on the tiers that the teams are competing in. In most cases all National and Premier League teams will compete in the Championship, all Tier 1 teams will compete in the Trophy, and all Tier 2 and below teams will compete in more regionalised Conference Cups/Plates/Bowls. Whilst the Trophy and Conference Cups/Plates/Bowls are run as part of an integrated league and cup programme, the Championship takes place following completion of the league programme and takes into account final league position. Exceptions to this include American Football, Golf, Squash, and Women's Table Tennis, whose Trophy (and in the case of American Football, Conference Cups) draws also take place following completion of the league programme.

REG 5.4.4 The format of the draws and the dates of the various rounds will be determined by the BUCS office.

REG 5.4.5 All BUCS knockout round matches must take place on the date set by the BUCS office. Only in exceptional circumstances and with written permission from the BUCS office may knockout round matches take place on an alternative date.

REG 5.4.5.1 The BUCS office 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 5.4.6 In the event that a knockout final is postponed due to bad weather, the deadline for completing the fixture will be the playoff deadline as stated in Appendix 2 ('BUCS Leagues and Knockouts - Dates and Deadlines').

REG 5.4.7 All BUCS knockout round matches must be played to a conclusion.

REG 5.4.7.1 If the teams are tied on match score at the end of ‘normal time’ of a knockout round match, then the appropriate tiebreaker method (E.g. extra time) as laid down in the sports 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.

REG 5.4.7.2 When booking your facility allow enough additional time to cater for any sports specific extra time requirements.

REG 5.4.8 Northern Ireland Universities Sports Committee Teams from member institutions in Northern Ireland wishing to be considered for inclusion in a BUCS Championship knockout competition must submit a written request via NIUSC to the BUCS office at the time team entries are submitted for the following season.

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