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British universities & Colleges Sport

REG 14 Appeals, Disputes and Disciplinary Procedures

Please note: INSTITUTIONS ARE REMINDED THAT ONLY WHERE A REGULATION HAS BEEN BREACHED SHOULD AN APPEAL BE MADE.

Disclosure: To aid transparency, upon the conclusion of initial, full and final appeal hearings, BUCS will publish the findings and penalties imposed on its website. The report will not carry the names of any BUCS member institutions or individuals.

REG 14.1 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 14.2 Appeals deemed to be frivolous or not containing adequate information to enable a fair ruling may be rejected, incur fees in addition to the standard lodging fee, and may result in further disciplinary action.

REG 14.3 Playing under protest Institutions are reminded that they have the right to play matches under protest as detailed in REG 10.13.

REG 14.3.1 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 immediately. The Athletic Union should then inform BUCS of the refusal, and BUCS will log this. Playing Under Protest Form claims can still be reviewed 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 14.4 Appeals relating to playing order/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 Athletic Union in the first instance.

REG 14.5 Appeals relating to contravention of eligibility or team selection regulations Appeals regarding eligibility or team selection require the naming of specific players and the reason(s) for questioning their legitimacy as a minimum. 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 14.6 Appeals relating to 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 14.7 Appeals relating to match officials 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 14.8 Initial appeal process Should a dispute occur the following procedure will operate:

REG 14.8.1 Validity The reason for the dispute shall be reviewed by the recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative. This representative shall be personally responsible for checking the validity of the claim.

REG 14.8.2 Submission If satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe a regulation breach has taken place, the recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative shall lodge an initial appeal via BUCScore.

REG 14.8.3 Supporting evidence The initial appeal must be accompanied by a valid Playing Under Protest Form (Appendix 8), if applicable, and/or any relevant evidence, all of which should be uploaded via BUCScore.

REG 14.8.4 Submission deadline The initial appeal must be submitted by 17:00 on the next working day following the disputed match.

REG 14.8.4.1 Deadline where affecting knockout fixtures Where the dispute affects a knockout fixture, at any stage, the initial appeal will must be submitted by 15:00 on the next working day following the disputed match.

REG 14.8.4.2 Extension to the appeal deadline An extension may be requested to the BUCS office via e-mail to appeals@bucs.org.uk (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 14.8.4.2.1 Should any extension be granted, the BUCS office will confirm this via e-mail to both the institution looking at appealing and the opposition institution.

REG 14.8.5 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(s) deemed to be at fault, dependent on the outcome. A payment request for the fee will be issued on BUCScore to the relevant institution(s) following the appeal decision being confirmed.

REG 14.8.6 Should BUCScore not allow the submission of an appeal and/or any supporting evidence, then the relevant pro forma (Appendix 12) and/or evidence should be sent via e-mail to both the recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative of the respondent institution and the BUCS office (appeals@bucs.org.uk), in accordance with the deadline of REG 14.8.4.

REG 14.8.7 Response deadline Once an initial appeal has been submitted, the recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative of the respondent institution shall have 24 hours to complete an initial appeal response and submit any supporting evidence, via BUCScore.

REG 14.8.7.1 Deadline where affecting knockout fixtures Where the dispute affects a knockout fixture, at any stage, the initial appeal response must be submitted by 12:00 on the next working day following the submission of the initial appeal.

REG 14.8.7.2 Extension to the appeal deadline An extension may be requested to the BUCS office via e-mail (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 14.8.7.2.1 Should any extension be granted, the BUCS office will confirm this via e-mail to both the institution considering submitting an appeal and the opposition institution.

REG 14.8.7.3 Should BUCScore not allow the submission of an appeal response and/or any supporting evidence, then the relevant pro forma (Appendix 12) and/or evidence should be sent via e-mail to both the recognised Athletic Union (or equivalent) representative of the institution that submitted the appeal and the BUCS office (appeals@bucs.org.uk), in accordance with the deadline of REG 14.8.7.

REG 14.8.7.4 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 14.8.8 Decision A decision based on the 2 institutions’ 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 14.8.8.1 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 16:00 on Friday for a knockout fixture scheduled for the following week, or no later than 16:00 on Wednesday for a knockout fixture scheduled for the following weekend. Should any extension(s) have been granted, these deadlines may be subject to change.

REG 14.8.9 Should institutions resolve a lodged initial appeal independently (without requiring a ruling from BUCS), prior to the relevant deadline detailed in REG 14.8.8, institutions must inform the BUCS office immediately of the outcome. The appeal may then be withdrawn.

REG 14.8.10 Should either institution wish to appeal the decision of the BUCS office they are required to move this matter forward to a full appeal according to REG 14.9.

REG 14.9 Full appeal process Should either institution wish to appeal the initial appeal decision of the BUCS office they are required to email a full appeal pro forma to appeals@bucs.org.uk within 24 hours (excluding weekends or bank holidays) of receiving the initial appeal decision.

REG 14.9.1 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 14.9.1.1 In circumstances where it is deemed appropriate, the BUCS office 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 14.9.2 Lodging fee Lodging a full appeal shall incur a £200 lodging fee. This shall be payable by the institution lodging the full appeal, unless the Disciplinary Panel uphold the full appeal. Where a lodging fee is incurred, a payment request for the fee will be issued on BUCScore to the relevant institution following the appeal decision being confirmed.

REG 14.9.3 Disciplinary Panel The full appeal process will be overseen by the BUCS Sport Compliance, Governance and Competitions Manager and the Disciplinary Panel, which shall be comprised of:
-    BUCS Chair of Disciplinary
-    2 students or sabbatical officers of BUCS member institutions, subject to them not being from the same playing conference as either team involved in the dispute

REG 14.9.4 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 14.9.4.1 Respondent institutions must submit a written response and/or (preferably) attend the hearing in person. Where circumstances dictate conference calls may be utilised.

REG 14.9.4.2 Institutions who do not adhere to REG 14.9.4.1 will automatically have the full appeal decision ruled against them, forfeit any fees and lose the right to a final appeal.

REG 14.9.5 Decision Decisions reached by the Disciplinary Panel shall be communicated in person immediately to each Athletic Union (or equivalent) concerned and are binding. Only the decisions of the Panel shall be minuted, and not any discussion. This decision will also be communicated in writing to both institutions within 7 working days of the hearing.

REG 14.9.5.1 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 14.9.6 Should either institution wish to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Panel they are required to move this matter forward to a final appeal according to REG 14.10.

REG 14.10 Final appeal process Institutions who wish to appeal against decisions made by the Disciplinary Panel at a full appeal hearing may submit a final appeal which will be heard by the Disciplinary Panel. 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 appeals@bucs.org.uk within 24 hours (excluding weekends or bank holidays) of the full appeal decision being communicated.

REG 14.10.1 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 14.10 will lose the right to a final appeal.

REG 14.10.2 Final appeal conditions The same conditions which apply to full appeals under REG 14.9.1 will also be applied to final appeals.

REG 14.10.3 Lodging fee Lodging a final appeal shall incur a £500 lodging fee. This shall be payable by the institution lodging the final appeal, unless the Disciplinary Panel uphold the final appeal. Where a lodging fee is incurred, a payment request for the fee will be issued on BUCScore to the relevant institution following the appeal decision being confirmed.

REG 14.10.4 Disciplinary Panel The final appeal process will be overseen by the BUCS Sport Compliance, Governance and Competitions Manager and the Disciplinary Panel, which shall be comprised of:
-    Chair of BUCS (Or their nominated alternative – CEO, BUCS Board Member or elected representative)
-    2 students or sabbatical officers of BUCS member institutions, who must differ from those from the full appeal disciplinary panel, and subject to them not being from the same playing conference as either team involved in the dispute

REG 14.10.4.1 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 14.10.5 The Disciplinary 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 14.10.5.1 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 14.9.1).

REG 14.10.6 Decision Decisions reached by the Disciplinary Panel shall be communicated in person immediately to each Athletic Union (or equivalent) concerned and are binding. Only the decisions of the Panel shall be minuted, and not any discussion. This decision will also be communicated in writing within 7 working days of the hearing.

REG 14.10.6.1 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 14.10.6.2 The final appeal Disciplinary Panel, should it see fit, can increase any punishment(s) awarded by the full appeal Disciplinary Panel.

REG 14.10.7 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 sport disputes resolution panel (Sport Resolutions).

REG 14.10.7.1 Where the appeal relates to Football or Futsal, the institution shall have recourse to take their appeal to the FA, before the independent sport disputes resolution panel (Sport Resolutions). 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 14.10.7.1.1 If the appeal relates to teams competing in an exclusively Scottish league or knockout competition REG 14.10.7.1 will not apply.

REG 14.11 Disputes at events Should a dispute or disciplinary matter occur at a BUCS event, the following procedures will apply:
-    If the dispute could affect the continuation of the event/competition, then the procedure outlined in REG 4.6 will apply.
-    If the dispute does not affect the continuation of the event/competition, the initial appeals process in REG 14.8 should be followed and an initial appeal pro forma sent to appeals@bucs.org.uk by 17:00 the next working day following the event.

REG 14.12 Breach of regulations brought by the BUCS office against an institution A charge should normally be brought against the infringing institution within 10 working days of receiving the necessary information relating to the breach of a regulation. The appeals process(es) detailed in REG 14.8 – REG 14.11 shall apply.

REG 14.13 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 3 points and 3 points being awarded to the opposition (for each match in violation of regulations).

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