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British universities & Colleges Sport

REG 16 - Disputes & Appeals

REG 16.1   UNIVERSITY CLUB AND ATHLETIC UNION OFFICIALS ARE REMINDED THAT ONLY WHERE A REGULATION HAS BEEN BREACHED SHOULD AN APPEAL BE MADE. Appellants and Respondents are responsible for ensuring their submissions are comprehensive and concise before lodging. Decisions will be based purely on submissions within the appropriate parameters and established precedence. Additional information will be requested by BUCS if required.


REG 16.2   Playing under protest: Institutions are reminded that they have the right to play matches under protest as detailed in REG 12.11.


REG 16.2.1   If an opposition institution refuses to sign a playing under protest form, the team wishing to submit the playing under protest form should inform their Athletic Union of the refusal. The Athletic Union will inform BUCS of any refusals to sign playing under protest forms, and BUCS will log this. Playing under protest claims can still be processed if a refusal to sign the form has been logged appropriately at the time. Teams that regularly refuse to sign playing under protest forms will be subject to disciplinary action.


REG 16.2.2   Appeals relating to Playing Order and Ranking: Appeals regarding playing order or ranking must adhere to playing under protest requirements. A team may not appeal having discovered retrospectively that an opposition played out of order when lists are available online, in advance, or during a fixture. Appeals regarding playing order or ranking cannot be lodged without consultation with the opposition in the first instance.


REG 16.3   Appeals relating to Officials Qualifications and Team Sheets: Such disputes must first be directed to the appropriate opposition Athletic Union representative to afford them the opportunity to resolve the issue without formal appeal. Appeals lodged without such attempts being made may be rejected (lodging fee payable).


REG 16.4   Appeals deemed to be frivolous or not containing adequate information to enable a fair ruling may be rejected, and incur fees in addition to the standard lodging fee and may result in further disciplinary action.


REG 16.5   Initial Appeals Process: Should a dispute occur the following procedure will operate:


Please Note: Members are advised the initial appeals process is now integrated into the BUCScore administrators platform.


REG 16.5.1 Validity: The reason for the dispute shall be submitted via the recognised Athletic Union / Sports Office representative. This representative shall be personally responsible for checking the validity of the claim.


REG 16.5.2 Submission: If satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe a regulation breach has taken place he/ she shall lodge an initial appeal via the BUCScore administrator system.


REG 16.5.3 Supporting evidence: The initial appeal must be accompanied by a valid playing under protest form (Appendix 5), if applicable, and any relevant evidence and sent (via BUCScore) directly to the recognised Athletic Union / Sports Office representative of the respondent institution.


REG 16.5.4 Submission deadline: The initial appeal must be submitted by 5pm on the next working day following the disputed match.


REG Deadline where affecting knockout fixtures: Where the dispute affects a knockout fixture, at any stage, the initial appeal will must be submitted by 3pm on the next working day following the disputed match.


REG Extension to the appeal deadline: An extension may be requested to the BUCS office (before the deadline has passed) if there are reasonable grounds, such as trying to reach an amicable conclusion without formal appeal, awaiting requested information, etc.

REG 16.5.5 Lodging fee: Lodging an initial appeal shall incur a £50 lodging fee. This shall be payable by the institution lodging the initial appeal, or by the institution deemed to be at fault, dependent on the outcome.


REG 16.5.6 Response deadline: Once an initial appeal has been submitted, the respondent institution shall have 24 hours to complete an initial appeal response and present any supporting information to the BUCS office, via BUCScore. All information for the initial appeal and response must be sent (normally via BUCScore) in its entirety by the recognised Athletic Union / Sports Office representative of the respondent institution.


REG Deadline where affecting knockout fixtures: Where the dispute affects a knockout fixture, at any stage, the initial appeal response must be submitted by 12 midday on the day following the submission of the initial appeal.


REG Failure to respond: Failure to respond in the time specified will lead to a decision being reached based on the facts presented. Should a reply not be received in the time specified the institution concerned may not subsequently appeal the decision reached.


REG 16.5.7 Decision: A decision based on the parties submissions, information from any other relevant bodies, and on established precedents shall be made. This decision will be communicated in writing to both institutions within 7 working days of the initial appeal being submitted.


REG Decision where affecting knockout fixtures: In the event that the outcome of an appeal would affect a knockout fixture, BUCS will rule on the appeal and inform both parties no later than 1600hrs on Friday.


REG Should institutions resolve a lodged initial appeal independently (without requiring a ruling from BUCS), prior to the deadline detailed in REG 16.5.7, institutions must inform the BUCS office immediately of the outcome. The appeal may then be withdrawn.

REG 16.6
   Should either side wish to appeal the decision of the BUCS office they are required to move this matter forward to a full appeal according to REG 16.7. To do this they are required to email a full appeal pro-forma to within 24 hours of receiving the initial appeal decision. There will be a £200 lodging fee payable on submission of the full appeal. Please note full conditions of a full appeal are outlined in Reg 16.7 below.


REG 16.7 Full Appeal Conditions:
Institutions wishing to query an initial appeal decision formally by way of a full appeal must note the following: Initial appeal decisions are based on the submissions received within the permissible parameters. Therefore, information not presented at an initial appeal will not be admissible in the full appeals process unless it can be shown that;
a) There has been a clear substantiated misinterpretation of BUCS Regulations, or
b) Proven falsification of submission by either party during initial appeal that impacted upon the decision, or
c) Errors in process that impacted upon the decision.
If the aforementioned condition(s) are not present a full appeal will be rejected due to insufficient grounds. 


REG 16.7.1 In circumstances where it is deemed appropriate BUCS may reactivate the initial appeals process to negate the need for a full appeal. This will be at the discretion of the BUCS office and primarily used to seek further clarification from concerned parties in order to expedite a decision.


REG 16.8 Disciplinary Panel: The full appeals process will be overseen by the BUCS Sport Governance, Competitions and Compliance Manager and the Disciplinary Panel, which shall be comprised of:
            - Chair(s) of Disciplinary Panel 
            - 2 Student Members (SDP), subject to them not being from the same playing
            conference as either team involved in the dispute.

REG 16.9. The Disciplinary Panel will convene in a timeframe appropriate to the dispute, with regard to impact on future fixtures and the ability of parties to provide written evidence or representation at the hearing.


REG 16.9.1 Respondent institutions must submit a written response and/or (preferably) attend the hearing in person. Where circumstances dictate conference calls may be utilised.


REG 16.9.2 Institutions who do not adhere to REG 16.9.1 will automatically have the full appeal decision ruled against them, forfeit any fees and lose the right to a final appeal.


REG 16.10 Full appeal decisions: Decisions reached by the Disciplinary Panel shall be communicated in person immediately to each Athletic Union / Sports Office concerned and are binding. Only the decisions of the Panel shall be minuted, and not any discussion.


REG 16.10.1 The Disciplinary Panel will have the discretion to award costs against the appealing institution and may levy a fine should the full appeal be found not to have grounds.


REG 16.11 Final Appeal: Institutions who wish to appeal against decisions made by the Disciplinary Panel at a full hearing may submit a final appeal which will be heard by the Disciplinary Panel. The same conditions which apply to full appeals under REG 16.7, will also be applied to final appeals. 


REG 16.12 Final Appeals will be subject to the following process:


REG 16.12.1 Submission: A final appeal pro forma, can be requested from the BUCS office and must be submitted setting out on what grounds the institution wish to appeal. The final appeal pro forma must be emailed to within 24 hours of the full appeal decision being communicated.


REG   Institutions failing to submit a final appeal pro forma, or notifying the BUCS office of the intention to do so, within the timeframe stated in REG 16.12.1 will lose the right to a final appeal.


REG 16.12.2 Lodging Fee:  A £500 lodging fee must be received by the BUCS office prior to the Disciplinary Panel convening. The fee will only be returned if the panel uphold the final appeal by the institution.


REG 16.12.3   The final appeal disciplinary panel shall be comprised of:
- Chair of BUCS (His/her nominated alternative – CEO, BUCS Board Member or elected representative)
- 2 Student Members (SDP) who must differ from those from the full appeal disciplinary panel, and must not be from the same playing conference as the institutions involved.

REG   The Chair of the full appeal disciplinary panel will either attend in person, or submit a written explanation of any rulings from the full appeal.

REG 16.12.4
Following fulfilment of REG 16.12.1 & REG 16.12.2, the panel will convene in a timeframe appropriate to the dispute. Regard shall be had to the impact on future fixtures and the ability of parties to provide written evidence or representation at the hearing. The panel will not convene later than a date which will impair the institution or its members ability to participate in the appropriate BUCS activity.


REG 16.12.5   At the final appeal hearing, witnesses will be called as required and in the case of appeals against verdict, the same principles of full appeal conditions apply (REG 16.7).


REG 16.12.6   The final appeal disciplinary panel, should it see fit, can increase the punishment awarded by the full appeal disciplinary panel.


REG 16.12.7   The final appeal disciplinary panel will have the discretion of awarding costs against the appealing institution.


REG 16.12.8 Arbitration: Should the institution reject the decision reached by the final appeal disciplinary panel then they will have recourse to take their case to the independent Sports Disputes Resolution Panel.


REG Where the appeal relates to football or futsal, the institution shall have recourse to take their appeal to the FA, before the Independent Sports Disputes Resolution Panel. An appeal taken to the FA will be final and binding and will follow the procedure outlined in the Regulations for Football Association Appeals in The FA Handbook subject to a submission for arbitration under FA Rule K.


REG If the appeal relates to teams competing in an exclusively Scottish League or knockout competition REG will not apply.


DISCLOSURE : To aid transparency, upon the conclusion of full and final appeal hearings, BUCS will publish the findings and penalties imposed on its website. The report will not carry any institutional name.


REG 16.13 Intentional Breach of Eligibility: Where an institution has intentionally contravened eligibility regulations (as determined by the disciplinary panel) the relevant team(s) shall be removed from the competition and subject to further disciplinary action as the panel determines. An “unintentional” breach of these regulations (as determined by the disciplinary panel) will result in the team(s) being deducted three points and three points being awarded to the opposition (for each match in violation of regulations).


REG 16.14 Breach of Rules Brought by the BUCS Office Against an Institution: A charge should normally be brought against the infringing institution within ten working days of receiving the necessary information relating to the breaking of a rule. The appeals process detailed above shall apply.


REG 16.15 Disciplinary Procedures for Individual and Tournament Based Events: Should a dispute or disciplinary matter occur at a BUCS tournament/event/championship the following shall occur:


REG 16.15.1   The reason for the dispute / disciplinary matter shall be brought to the attention of the Tournament Director or BUCS representative within 30 minutes of the incident.

REG 16.15.2
   A neutral technical committee of shall comprised. Details of who will sit on this technical panel are contained within the sport specific regulations, for each sport.


REG 16.15.3   This committee shall have the authority to rule on matters relating specifically to the event in question, and also to forward any recommendations to BUCS disciplinary panel for further consideration if necessary.


REG 16.15.4   Should the Technical Committee refer a matter to the disciplinary panel the full appeals process REG 16 shall be followed.


REG 16.15.5   Should the appellant wish to dispute the outcome of the neutral committee convened at the event, then they can refer the matter to the disciplinary panel following REG 16.



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