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British universities & Colleges Sport

REG 10 Fixture Administration, Forfeitures (Walkovers) and Playing Under Protest

REG 10.1 Athletic Unions (or equivalent bodies) shall be responsible for the arrangement of BUCS fixtures, as displayed on BUCScore.

REG 10.2 Start time 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, without the written consent of both institutions. Similarly no league match should be scheduled to finish at such a time that an away team would unnecessarily arrive back at their institution after midnight. In cases of dispute, whether a start time is acceptable will be determined by the BUCS office. Start times of knockout matches should broadly adhere to the same principles although it is recognised that travel distances may require overnight accommodation. The BUCS office reserves the right to determine as they see fit the times for any Finals hosted by the BUCS office. Please note REG 10.2.4 for National League, Premier League, Championship and Vase start times.

REG 10.2.1 The time stated on BUCScore will be the match time, unless specified otherwise in the sport specific regulations, or the fixture notes.

REG 10.2.2 Late arrival 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 12.5/REG 12.6. The venue of the rearranged match will be determined in line with REG 12.4, unless an alternative is agreed between the teams concerned. Where the lateness was caused by the team, or one its members, that team shall concede a walkover.

REG 10.2.3 No shows If a team does not show for a fixture on the date stated on BUCScore without notifying their opposition in writing, they will concede a walkover.

REG 10.2.4 National League, Premier League, Championship and Vase start times No National League, Premier League, Championship or Vase fixture may start before 11:00 or after 20:00 without the written consent of both institutions.

REG 10.3 Double headers BUCS will not recognise any matches played as double headers (1 match cannot produce the result for 2 league fixtures or a league and knockout fixture). 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 office 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 will not be permitted. The last fixture of any league or knockout competition may not be played as a double header.

REG 10.4 Playing colours Each institution is responsible for informing its opponent of the colours of its playing kit. Should there be a clash of colours, it is the responsibility of the home team to change its colours. For matches organised by BUCS and played at a neutral venue (e.g. Championship Finals), the first named team will be asked to change colours by the BUCS office in the event of a colour clash.

REG 10.5 Notification of fixture It is the responsibility of the home team to contact the visiting team 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). For National and Premier leagues, home teams should provide their opposition with match information in writing at least 7 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 10.5.1 In the case of all knockout 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 10.5 will apply.

REG 10.6 The venues and start times of all home matches should be inputted onto BUCScore no later than 1 October annually.

REG 10.6.1 Any amendments to start time, kit colours and/or date MUST be agreed with the opposition in writing (email). Once agreed, Athletic Union (or equivalent) representatives MUST update BUCScore immediately.

REG 10.6.2 Amendments to venue that do not cause unreasonable impact upon travel arrangements and are communicated more than 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) before the fixture do not need to be agreed but must be communicated in writing (email) to the appropriate person before updating BUCScore.

REG 10.6.3 In the case of knockout 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 BUCScore at least 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) before the fixture (regardless of the level of the competition.

REG 10.7 All matches must be played on the fixture date as set by BUCS, unless agreed in writing by both institutions to move the fixture to an alternative date. All fixtures must be played before the relevant league deadline date as identified in Appendix 2 (‘BUCS Leagues and Knockouts – Dates and Deadlines’).

REG 10.7.1 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 10.7. Electing to do so must be communicated to the BUCS office in writing 20 working days prior to fixture start for leagues or 10 working days prior to the knockout round. At this time all proposed fixtures, dates and venues must also be supplied to the BUCS office to enable amendments to BUCScore. If a majority decision cannot be reached fixtures will be weekly, as scheduled by the BUCS office. The deadlines for league and knockout round completion still apply. (Note REG 10.11.6)

REG 10.7.1.1 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 10.11.7.1.1) or face conceding walkovers for any fixtures not fulfilled.

REG 10.8 Dates by which league fixtures must be completed These are detailed in Appendix 2 (‘BUCS Leagues and Knockouts – Dates and Deadlines’). Please note REG 11.3.2 for result entry and amendment processes and deadlines.

REG 10.8.1 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 10.9 At National and Premier league level, ALL fixtures must be fulfilled. Any team failing to complete all of their National or Premier league programme, including Championship (or Vase) knockout round fixtures, will be subject to disciplinary action.

REG 10.10 Teams from the same institution in the same league Where 2 teams from the same institution are in the same league, fixtures will not be scheduled for the last week of competition. Institutions are also forbidden to reschedule fixtures between teams from their own institution to be the last league fixture for either of their teams. Should this happen the result will be voided and no points will be awarded to either team.

REG 10.11 Forfeited matches (Walkovers) Walkovers conceded in leagues and knockout competitions will be tallied as a teams’ Season Total regardless of which competition they were conceded in. Meaning for example, if a team concedes a fixture in the Premier League and in the Championship, they will be regarded as having conceded 2 walkovers. Consequently, penalties would be applied as appropriate to conceding 2 walkovers plus those applicable to the specific competitions.

REG 10.11.1 An institution claiming a walkover must notify the opposition of this, in writing (email), including stating the reason and regulation(s) under which the walkover is being claimed, before the walkover is inputted onto BUCScore.

REG 10.11.2 An institution has 24 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) following notification of a walkover being claimed/conceded to appeal against that walkover, or to apply to have the walkover deemed involuntary; refer REG 10.11.8.1.

REG 10.11.3 Leagues walkovers

Note: where teams function in Premier B and Trophy or Tier 1 and Championship, the combination of the relevant competitions will apply.

Unless indicated otherwise in sport specific regulations or Appendix 10 ('BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information'), the following penalties shall apply:

  1 walkover 2 walkovers 3 or more walkovers
National and Premier leagues Loss of 3 league points and half overall BUCS Points attained through final league position.* If finish bottom of league table then ineligible to take part in playoff, i.e. automatically relegated. Further loss of 3 league points and all overall BUCS points attained through final league position. Automatically relegated following season regardless of final league position. Not eligible to progress to knockout competition. In addition to those listed to the left; loss of 3 league points per occurrence and having conceded 3 walkovers*, an automatic £250 fine, increased by an additional £100 per subsequent concession.
Tier 1 Loss of 3 league points and half overall BUCS Points attained through final league position. Further loss of 3 league points and all overall BUCS points attained through final league position. Ineligible for progression to or automatic withdrawal from the knockout competition through an involuntary walkover. In addition to those listed to the left, loss of 3 league points per occurrence and having conceded 3 walkovers*, an automatic £100 fine, increased by an additional £50 per subsequent concession. Not eligible for promotion.
Tier 2 and below Loss of 3 league points and half overall BUCS Points attained through final league position. Further loss of 3 league points and all overall BUCS points attained through final league position. In addition to those listed to the left, loss of 3 league points per occurrence and having conceded 3 walkovers*, an automatic £50 fine, increased by an additional £50 per subsequent concession. Not eligible for promotion. Ineligible for progression to or automatic withdrawal from the knockout competition through an involuntary walkover.

* See REG 10.11.5 Season total

REG 10.11.4 Knockout walkovers

Note: where teams function in Premier B and Trophy or Tier 1 and Championship, the combination of the relevant competitions will apply.

Unless indicated otherwise in sport specific regulations or Appendix 10 ('BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information'), the following penalties shall apply:

  1 walkover
Championship and Vase Incurs an automatic £750 fine and loss of all BUCS Points allocated to the knockout competition*
Trophy Incurs an automatic £750 fine for Semi-Final and Final rounds, £300 for all other rounds, and loss of all BUCS Points allocated to the knockout competition*
Conference Cup/ Plate/Bowl Incurs an automatic £300 fine for Semi-Final and Final rounds and loss of all BUCS Points allocated to the knockout competition*

* See REG 10.11.5 Season total

REG 10.11.5 Season total (in addition to those detailed for specific competitions above)

  1 walkover 2 walkovers 3 walkovers 4 or more walkovers
National and Premier leagues/ Championship If finish bottom of final league table not eligible to take part in playoff, i.e. automatically relegated. Automatically relegated following season regardless of final league position. Automatic £250 fine with additional £100 per subsequent concession. In addition to those above, loss of 3 league points per occurrence and having conceded 3 walkovers* an automatic £250 fine, increased by an additional £100 per subsequent concession.
Tier 1/Trophy N/A N/A Automatic £100 fine with additional £50 per subsequent concession. Not eligible for promotion. N/A
Tier 2 and below/Conference Cup/Plate/Bowl N/A N/A Automatic £50 fine with additional £50 per subsequent concession. Not eligible for promotion. N/A

 

REG 10.11.6 Elective central venue format (round robin) walkovers Any team deemed to have conceded walkovers will be subject to the same penalties as outlined in REG 10.11.3 – REG 10.11.5. There will be no exceptions for walkovers conceded in a round robin format.

REG 10.11.7 To avoid fines listed in REG 10.11, institutions are encouraged to complete the team withdrawal process via BUCScore as well as contacting all other teams in the league, and any knockout opposition if applicable, to inform them of this withdrawal. Please note REG 10.11.7.1.

REG 10.11.7.1 Teams withdrawing from competition If 1 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 10.11.3 – REG 10.11.5.

REG 10.11.7.1.1 An exception to this is when, as per REG 10.7.1, 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 10.11.8 Walkovers – Voluntary and Involuntary A forfeited match will be deemed to have been caused by voluntary or involuntary circumstances. A voluntary walkover is deemed to have occurred when it is believed that reasonable actions undertaken by the team, club or Athletic Union of the offending institution would have prevented the forfeit. An involuntary walkover is deemed to have occurred when it is considered (whether by the BUCS office or the BUCS Disciplinary Panel) that a team has forfeited on a fixture through reasons beyond the reasonable control of that team, club or Athletic Union.

REG 10.11.8.1 In the first instance all walkovers will be deemed voluntary. For a walkover to be considered involuntary, an institution must submit a BUCS Involuntary Walkover Pro Forma (Appendix 9), along with any supporting evidence, to the BUCS office by no later than 24 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) post notification of the walkover being claimed/conceded as per REG 10.11.2.

REG 10.11.8.2 A team deemed to have given an Involuntary Walkovers will, in normal circumstances, be deemed to have conceded the match but in the case of league fixtures will not be deducted 3 points. Further penalties outlined in REG 10.11.3 – REG 10.11.5 may be waived as determined by the BUCS office or the BUCS Disciplinary Panel.

REG 10.11.9 Concede one/Play 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. Any perceived extenuating circumstances should be communicated to the BUCS office in advance of the occurrence, at which time permission to commence may be granted on a case by case basis.

REG 10.12 Late cancellation of matches Where a team 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 12.1, that team will be liable for reasonable costs incurred by its opposition (unless a walkover is claimed/conceded and this is deemed as involuntary by the BUCS office – Refer REG 10.8.8) and for reasonable costs incurred by any match officials. The 48 hour ruling will apply regardless of whether an institution and/or match official is notified of the cancellation. See REG 12.3 for notification requirements. Costs can be claimed regardless of whether a rearrangement is agreed.

REG 10.12.1 Institutions 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 10.12.2 If an invoice is disputed, the BUCS office shall determine whether costs are reasonable and instruct institutions to pay accordingly taking into account any extenuating circumstances. Invoices should be settled within 30 days of receipt. The BUCS office 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 10.13 Playing Under Protest If a team feels, upon arrival or during a fixture, that the conditions do not adhere to those outlined in the BUCS regulations or fixture confirmation, they should complete a BUCS Playing Under Protest Form (Appendix 8) as soon as the grievance is noted. If a team does not have a BUCS Playing Under Protest Form with them, any equivalent paperwork produced must have all applicable information noted.

REG 10.13.1 If a team travels to, begins or continues a fixture with knowledge of a breach of regulations but fails to complete a Playing Under Protest form they are deemed to have accepted the conditions of play and can therefore not play under protest, nor appeal for that reason UNLESS information comes to light after the fixture has been completed. Note REG 10.13.4.

REG 10.13.2 Providing a team gives advanced warning to the official in charge, a team is permitted to stop play at an appropriate time (natural break in play) to complete a Playing Under Protest Form or equivalent during a fixture. This must be completed in a reasonable timeframe so as not to impact upon completion of the fixture (for example facility booking restrictions) and be in accordance with REG 10.13.3.

REG 10.13.3 Essential information Fixture details, the specific grievance(s) and correlating regulation(s) contravened, and time at point of form completion must be clearly stated and the form must be signed by the captain of the aggrieved team. The opposing captain must then countersign this form (they cannot refuse to do so, note REG 14.3.1), also noting the time. Failure to sign may result in a misconduct charge. They then have the opportunity to state their opinion regarding any grievance(s) on the Playing Under Protest Form.

REG 10.13.3.1 A Playing Under Protest Form that does not meet the requirements of REG 10.13.3 will be rejected by the BUCS office as being incomplete and therefore insufficient to support any subsequent appeal.

REG 10.13.4 The completion of a Playing Under Protest Form allows an institution the right to appeal at the conclusion of the fixture if they feel that the grievances noted had a direct impact on the final result and presented an unfair advantage to a team. It does not guarantee the outcome of any subsequent appeal.

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