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British universities & Colleges Sport



 FOO i In the event that these regulations contradict the BUCS general regulations these sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

FOO ii In the event that these regulations contradict those of the national or international governing body these sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

FOO ii.i The Association Football Championship shall be conducted in accordance with the FIFA Laws of the Game.


FOO iii The minimum number of players required for the game to start will be 7.


FOO 1 Affiliations: All institutions must submit their governing body affiliation number to BUCS by the deadline stated in the BUCS affiliation document. Failure to do so will lead to sanctions as outlined in the BUCS affiliation document and possibly further disciplinary action.


FOO 2 Competition Structure


FOO 2.1 12 teams, selected on merit from the previous season’s competition, will compete in the BUCS Premier Leagues. Only first teams may compete in the Premier Leagues. All other teams will compete in the Conference Leagues.


FOO 2.2 Premier League teams will be entered into the Championship and this will be played after the league season has ended. All Tier 1 teams will be entered into the Trophy which will run throughout the season. All teams in Tier 2 and below will automatically be entered into the regional Conference Cup or Plate that is played throughout the season.


FOO 3 Premier Leagues


FOO 3.1 Playing facilities should be of an appropriate quality for Premier League matches and should comply with National Governing Body regulations for matches of this standard.


FOO 3.2 Pitches should, as a minimum, be roped off to prevent spectator encroachment. This can be down one length of the pitch provided all spectators watch the match from this side. In this instance all team substitutes and team officials must be on the opposite side to the spectators.


FOO 3.3 A Referee and two Assistant Referees shall be provided for all Men’s and Women’s Premier League matches.


FOO 3.4 Matches should be played on grass or a FIFA approved artificial surface. It is the duty of the home team when confirming the fixture to advise the away team on any footwear restrictions and the type of surface to be used.


FOO 4 Regulations


FOO 4.1 Match Officials: Match Officials should be provided as per REG 11 and Appendix 2, or FOO 3.3 for Premier Leagues.


FOO 4.1.1 It is the responsibility of the home team to appoint appropriate match officials for League, Championship, Trophy and Conference Cup matches (including Conference Cup final).


FOO 4.1.2 Assistant referees shall report to the referee prior to commencement of the match and will be provided with standard flags by the home team.


FOO 4.2 Duration of Play: The game shall consist of two halves of 45 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half time. In all matches the half time interval will not exceed 15 minutes.


FOO 4.3 Tie on Points in a League: In the event of a tie on points for the leadership of a league the procedure shall be as detailed in REG 9.9

FOO 4.4 Promotion / Relegation: The winner of each league will be automatically promoted. The exception being tier 1 where a promotion play off may be required. The bottom team in each league will be relegated. Only the respective bottom 3 teams in each league may be relegated. League variations are specified in the football league caveats on the BUCS website.


FOO 4.5 Suspensions: No player, club or team official may participate in any BUCS football fixture whilst serving a suspension imposed by any Association, if that ban applies to the type of football being played. E.g. A player serving a mid-week football ban will not be eligible for BUCS fixtures. A player serving a weekend ban will be eligible, if the BUCS fixture takes place mid-week. Any BUCS fixtures not played under this regulation do NOT count towards the number of matches the ban is imposed for.


FOO 4.5.1: In Scotland, no player, club or team official may participate in any student football fixture while serving a ban from a recognised football association or affiliate body (to include student, amateur, junior or senior football). Any bans issued by SSS will be enforced in student football only, although SSS retain the right to pass any serious misconduct cases to the relevant association or affiliate body. 

FOO 4.6 Behaviour of Teams: The BUCS football code of conduct must be adhered to in all BUCS football league, knockout and representative fixtures. The code of conduct can be found on the football pages of the BUCS website.


FOO 4.7 Matchday Requirements: The home team is responsible for providing a set of corner flags, and pegs for securing goal nets. Failure to do so may render the team liable to a fine and in the event of the match not being played due to lack of corner flags or pegs, the home team will be deemed to have not fulfilled the fixture.


FOO 4.8 Championship Semi-Finals & Finals: BUCS will appoint neutral match officials for the Championship Semi-Finals (Please refer to Generic Regulation 18.10.4). Both Championship Finals will be played at a neutral venue organised by BUCS. BUCS will appoint all match officials for these fixtures.


FOO 4.9 Tie in All Knockout Rounds Including Semi-Final and Final: REG 13.2 shall apply. If at the end of the normal playing period of extra time (15 minutes each way), the teams are still tying the winner shall be decided by the taking of kicks from the penalty spot as per The Laws of the Game.


FOO 4.10 Substitutes: For Tier 1 and above (including Championship and Trophy) a maximum of three substitutions will be allowed from a maximum of five named substitutes. For Tier 2 and below (including Conference Cup and below) a maximum of five substitutions will be allowed from a maximum of five named substitutes.  Players who have been substituted will not be permitted to return to the match i.e. rolling substitutions are not permitted. 


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