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British universities & Colleges Sport

REG 13 Playoffs, Promotion and Relegation

Please note: All of REG 13 is written as ‘unless otherwise stated in sport specific regulations’.

REG 13.1 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 REG 10.11.

REG 13.2 Promotion and relegation details can be found in Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’).

REG 13.2.1 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. (Note REG 10.11.7.1).

REG 13.2.2 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. (Note REG 10.11.7.1).

REG 13.2.3 Elective non-promotion Elective non-promotion is not permitted. A team obtaining a position at the conclusion of a 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. (Note REG 13.5.1)

REG 13.3 Promotion to National or Premier leagues

REG 13.3.1 Where there is more than 1 level in the Premier Tier, e.g. North/South A beneath a National league or a North/South B below a North/South A league, 2nd teams will be eligible for promotion to the level below the top league(s) (and 3rd teams to a 3rd level should this exist) and can therefore take part in the required promotion/relegation process as determined by each sport. Irrespective of this, only 1 team from each institution is allowed at each level in the Premier Tier. As a result, any team who has a higher level team in the league directly above theirs will not be eligible for promotion (except for if said team is due to be automatically relegated based on their final league position).

REG 13.3.2 Where there is only 1 level in the Premier Tier, only league winning 1st teams will be eligible for promotion from Tier 1 and can therefore take part in the required promotion/relegation process as determined by each sport.

REG 13.3.2.1 Should the winner of a Tier 1 league be a 2nd team, the 1st team finishing in 2nd position will be eligible for promotion. If both the 1st and 2nd place teams in a Tier 1 league are 2nd teams, no team from that league will be eligible for promotion.

REG 13.3.2.2 If the league winning team is eligible for promotion and declines, the opportunity to compete in the playoffs will be offered to the 2nd place team (if they are eligible).

REG 13.4 Should any team(s) other than the lowest finishing team in a National or Premier league be relegated then the lowest finishing team may not be required to take part in a playoff or be relegated. This scenario may also impact on promotion from other tiers. (Note REG 10.11).

REG 13.5 Playoffs Should playoffs for promotion to a National or Premier league be required, the eligible team(s) (note REG 13.3) from the relevant league(s) shall take part in a playoff with the lowest finishing National or Premier league team.

REG 13.5.1 Teams may elect to opt out of participating in playoffs by adhering to the guidelines published with playoff information, or face a £500 fine and further disciplinary action.

REG 13.5.2 All playoff fixtures must be played in accordance with the requirements of the tier of competition to which teams are seeking promotion, i.e. National or Premier league general and sport specific regulations.

REG 13.5.3 If 4 teams are involved, teams shall be drawn at random into a Semi-Final and Final ‘knockout’ format, the eventual winner being placed in the National or Premier league the following season. No draws are permitted and so sport specific knockout regulations should be applied to determine match winners as required.

REG 13.5.3.1 Should a team withdraw from the Semi-Final stage, the draw and format will remain unchanged with their opposition receiving a BYE.

REG 13.5.4 If 3 teams are involved, they shall be placed in a round robin format, 1 ‘home’ and 1 ‘away’ per team. The winner(s) being the best performing team(s) in the mini-league produced from these results, who will then be placed in the National or Premier league 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 BUCScore. 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 13.5.4.1. 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 13.5.4.1 Process for separating tied teams REG 11.9, REG 11.9.1, REG 11.9.2 and REG 11.9.4 will be followed. In the sports of Football, Futsal, Hockey and Water Polo, if a tie still exists after REG 11.9.4.3, then the tiebreaker penalty results will be used before progressing to REG 11.9.4.6, see REG 13.5.4.2.

REG 13.5.4.2 In the sports of Football, Futsal, Hockey and Water Polo, if a tie still exists after REG 11.9.4.3, 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 11.9.4.6 shall be applied

REG 13.5.4.3 Should a team withdraw after the playoff fixtures are released, then the format for the remaining 2 teams may be changed to that of REG 13.5.5.

REG 13.5.5 If 2 teams are involved, they shall be scheduled 1 ‘home’ and 1 ‘away’ fixture, the winner on aggregate being placed in the National or Premier league 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 8.2.1, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Fencing (Application of FEN 17 to aggregate result)
- Football (Application of FOO 4.1, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Futsal (Application of FUT 5.1, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Golf (Application of GOL 15.5, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Hockey (Application of HOC 4, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Lacrosse (Application of LAC 5, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Netball (Application of NET 3.1, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Rugby League (Application of RUL 10.2, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Rugby Union (Application of RUU 5, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Table Tennis (Application of REG 11.9, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Tennis (Application of TEN 9.5, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Volleyball (Application of REG 11.9, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)
- Water Polo (Application of FINA WP 11.3, should the aggregate result of the 2 normal time matches be tied)

REG 13.5.6 Playoff 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. Sanctions for conceding or late withdrawal may not apply in such instances, if reasonable notice is given. REG 10.12 still applies in that affected teams may claim costs incurred from opposition.

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