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British universities & Colleges Sport

REG 14 - National & Premier Leagues Offered & Promotion / Relegation all competition

 NOTE: All of Regulation 14 is written as ‘unless otherwise stated in Sports Specific Regulations’.

REG 14.1 Promotion and relegation of a team can be impacted upon by concession of walkovers throughout a season regardless of the tier of competition in which a team functions. Therefore, to establish if a team is eligible for promotion or relegation, consideration must be given to the Regulation 12.9 – ‘Forfeited Fixtures/Walkovers’. 

REG 14.2 Promotion to Premier or National Leagues:
Only 1st teams are eligible to participate in Premier or National Leagues and can therefore take part in the required promotion/relegation process as determined by each sport. Any exceptions are noted in Sports Specific Regulations.            


REG 14.2.1 Where a sport has a National League, 2nd teams will be eligible for the Premier League of that sport.


REG 14.3 Play Offs: Should play-offs for promotion to a Premier or National League be required, the highest finishing first team(s) placed second or better from the relevant league shall take part in a play-off with the lowest finishing Premier or National League team.


REG 14.3.1 All play-off fixtures must be played to a conclusion as per sports specific knock out guidelines, regardless of whether they are completed in a round robin format or not i.e. no draws are permitted. Within reason, fixture requirements can be altered if agreed by teams to better incorporate additional time required to establish a clear winner. 


REG All play-off fixtures must be played in accordance with the requirements of the tier of competition to which teams are seeking promotion, i.e. premier league sports specific regulations.


REG 14.3.2 If 4 teams are involved, teams shall be drawn at random into a semi-final/final ‘knock out’ format. The eventual winner being placed in the Premier League the following season.


REG 14.3.3 If 3 teams are involved, they shall be placed in a round robin format, one home and one away per team. The winner being the best performing team who is then placed in the Premier or National League the following season.  Tie breakers penalties should be played at the end of each playoff fixture in football, futsal, hockey, lacrosse and water polo.


REG 14.3.4 If two teams are involved, they shall be scheduled one home and one away fixture. The best performing team being placed in the Premier or National League the following season. Tie breakers penalties should be played at the end of the final playoff fixture in football, futsal, hockey, lacrosse and water polo.


REG 14.4 Should a team(s) other than the lowest finishing team in a Premier or National League be relegated then the lowest finishing team may not be required to take part in a play-off or be relegated. This scenario may also impact on promotion from other tiers. (Note REG 12.9).


REG 14.5 Teams may elect to opt out of participating in play-offs by adhering to the guidelines published with play-off information, or face a £500 fine and further disciplinary action.


REG 14.5.1 Play-off fixtures that no longer have a bearing on determining promotion/relegation (dead rubbers) do not need to be completed but desire to withdraw from said fixtures must be communicated to the BUCS office and affected teams as soon as possible in advance of the fixture. Publicised sanctions for conceding or late withdrawal may not apply in such instances, if reasonable notice is given. REG 12.10 still applies in that affected teams may claim costs incurred from opposition.


REG 14.6     Leagues notes contain relevant promotion/relegation details.


REG 14.6.1 Elective Relegation: In all tiers of competition, institutions electing to relegate teams for whatever reason (having completed some fixtures) will be required to withdraw the relevant team(s) and re-enter the competition structure into the appropriate tier or (where leagues are full) be waitlisted to re-enter in the lowest tier. Special consideration will be given in instances where health and safety may be of concern; e.g. Rugby Union. Notification of elective relegation received by the BUCS office post release of fixtures will incur an additional charge equivalent to the original team entry fee (original team entry fee non-refundable) and be subject to the guidelines adopted when requesting late team entries. BUCS reserves the right to take any incidences of team withdrawal/relegation which is deemed as an attempt to manipulate league position to the BUCS Disciplinary Panel for review and possible disciplinary action.

REG 14.6.2 Withdrawal Without Completing Fixtures: Teams withdrawing having not completed any fixtures in a season will be relegated to the lowest applicable tier of competition should they wish to re-enter in future seasons. Please also note REG


REG 14.6.3 Elective Non-Promotion: Elective non-promotion is not permitted. An institutions’ team obtaining a position at the conclusion of relevant competition which entitles said team to be promoted the following season may not elect to avoid promotion. Only instances of exceptional circumstance would be granted further consideration by the BUCS office.


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