Frequently asked questions for the 2020-21 season are below.

Leagues and Competitions 2020-21 questions

What is the process for 2020-21 Team Entries?

BUCS team entries opened on 5 June and closed on 16 October 2020. The 2020-21 season is planned to commence in January 2021. See here for more information.

If you would like to enter a team past the entry window deadline, Institutional Administrators should contact the Competitions Teams to see if this is viable. 

Why is there no promotion or relegation in 2020-21?

There won’t be any promotion or relegation at the end of the 2020-21 season. Instead we will be using the finishing positions (i.e promotion and relegation) from the end of the 2019-20 season, to determine what leagues teams play in for 2021-22.

There was a reduction in team entries post the final team entry window  meaning that the existing competition programmes and structures changed quite significantly for the upcoming 2020-21 season.  

Promotion and relegation are mechanisms to move teams between tiers to provide the most appropriate level of competition each season. With a significant reduction in team entries, teams have found  themselves pulled up into higher tiers this year. Utilising the 2019-20 standings as a blueprint for 2021-22 provides the best method to continue the existing programme; which has been shaped by promotion and relegation over many seasons. Our decision to not apply promotion and relegation based on the 2020-21 season is due to how different leagues now look, and the condensed nature of the season that could increase the likelihood of relegation for teams (with a reduced number of spare weeks in the calendar the rearrangement of any missed fixtures would be much more difficult than in normal seasons).

There were a number of institutions unable to enter the same number of teams this year (of which your institution may or may not be one), and difficult choices have been made around which entries are made and which are not. It is our aim to support those institutions with a pathway to returning to ‘normality’ in 2021-22. A number of clubs will have spent years developing their programmes, and so we feel it is our responsibility to support our members in the best way we can, for the long-term health of HE sport.

It will be an understandable frustration for a number of teams that finishing top of their league in the coming year will not see them move up a tier for 2021-22. For teams that are not able to enter the 2020-21 season due to events outside of their control, eliminating promotion and relegation will allow them to return in a more positive 2021-22 season, at the tier that is most appropriate for them. The alternatives which were considered were; to allow them to enter at the bottom of the system, to allow them to re-enter and have larger leagues in 2021-22, or to allow them to re-enter and not honour promotion and relegation in those leagues. All of these options presented more disruption and potentially more confusion in both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

If my institution can’t enter a team in 2020-21, will they have to start in the bottom tier in 2021-22?

One of the reasons we agreed to suspend promotion and relegation in 2020-21 is to support those clubs and teams who, through no fault of their own, will not be able to enter for the coming season.

If your institution maintained its annual affiliation (its membership to BUCS) in 2020-21, any teams not entered next season will be able to return at the same tier in 2021-22.

How will the 2021-22 leagues be created?

As 2020-21 will be an 'extraordinary’ season, the 2021-22 league structure will be based on the outcome of the 2019-20 season – with promotion and relegation applied according to this document – for teams in institutions who affiliate to BUCS in 2020-21.

Any institution who is not a member of BUCS for the 2020-21 season will be treated as a new member for the 2021-22 season and their teams will enter the league structure at the bottom.

How are BUCS going to reward and recognise league winners in 2020-21?

Reward and recognition tools used by BUCS include medals, trophies, league plaques, national rankings, and social media coverage.Our aim is to still provide competitive opportunities and ensure we recognise achievement as best we can. We believe there is actually an opportunity to use the 2020-21 extraordinary season to look at ways to celebrate achievement better and improve the reward and recognition teams receive.

We will award league winner plaques to all teams that win their respective league in 2020-21.

Will BUCS Points by awarded in 2020-21?

Aligned with feedback from the membership, the Executive have taken the decision that BUCS Points will not be awarded in any leagues and knockouts or individual events in 2020-21. However, medals will still be awarded in individual events as in previous seasons, and league winners’ plaques awarded in all leagues that reach a conclusion.

What Rules and Regulations will be in place?

We are working through our regulations applying the principle of looking to relax or remove any elements which could limit the chances of fixtures being able to go ahead in this extraordinary season. For Premier Tier competition, we will look to balance easing regulations to facilitate competition with maintaining regulations that ensure a consistent level of student experience.

A full set of general and sport specific regulations will be published in line with the release of fixtures. However, we cannot predict or account for all of the ways in which COVID-19 may impact the season and so whilst we will aim to have addressed as many potential issues as possible, it is likely that further changes may be required.

Additionally, each fixture will be subject to any NGB, UK government, devolved administration or local authority rules, regulations and guidance in relation to COVID-19 in place at the time. Such rules, regulations and guidance may change during the competition. These shall supersede any BUCS General or Sport Specific Regulations.

Events 2020-21 season questions

Are events happening?

Yes – some in-person events have happened in term 1 and we intend to run further events across terms 2 and 3 where they are feasible, safe to deliver and there is demand. Please see individual sport pages for more information. We will publish a full event calendar for terms 2 and 3 the week beginning 11 January 2021.

Why are some events cancelled and not others?

Some events are less viable than others due to their nature, their size, their time of year or their practical feasibility. We have tried where possible to postpone events to later in the year however this has not been possible for all events.

How can I keep up to date regarding the status of events?

There is up to date information on the sport and event pages of the website. Students who enter an event on BUCS Play and institution administrators will receive direct email communications with key updates.

When will events open and close for entry?

Please see specific event information for details of event opening and closing dates. Events will likely open and close earlier than usual.

What if the situation worsens from entry opening to event date?

The event could be cancelled or postponed but we will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible.

Will I be charged if the event is cancelled due to Covid19?

No. If the event is completely cancelled, and no alternative is offered you will not be charged your entry fee.

How will the tiering system affect the status of an event?

Each event, regardless of the tier in which the event is located, will be reviewed individually, and the BUCS Executive will assess whether the event is feasible and safe to run in line with advice set by Home Nations and the relevant sport National Governing Body (NGB).

How will the tiering system affect my ability to travel to an event?

All events will be reviewed on an individual basis in line with specific sport NGB guidance regarding travel into and out of different tiers.  Please also consider any university specific policies around travel.

What happens if we go into another national lockdown?

Each situation will be reviewed individually, and the BUCS Executive will assess whether the event is feasible and safe to run. However, in the case of national lockdown it is anticipated the event would be cancelled.

Have you considered virtual events?

Yes. We have recently launched BUCS Challenges - please see the BUCSPlay app for more information.

Will BUCS Points by awarded in 2020-21?

Aligned with feedback from the membership, the Executive have taken the decision that BUCS Points will not be awarded in any leagues and knockouts or individual events in 2020-21. However, medals will still be awarded in individual events as in previous seasons, and league winners’ plaques awarded in all leagues that reach a conclusion.

What about LUSL?

League and Knockout

After consultation with institutions and the management group, the decision was made to postpone the start of the LUSL league and knockout activity until term 2. The team entry window opened and ran alongside the BUCS team entry process. 

If you would like to enter a team past the entry window deadline, please contact the regional competitions coordinator. 

Events and Additional Activity

We will look to keep all LUSL Members actively engaged throughout the upcoming season and are exploring a variety of options to provide as much additional activity as possible. All events will be evaluated to ensure that they are safe, feasible and have demand from the students.

International Competition 2020-21 questions

What is happening with international events?

The Winter World University Games (WUGs) scheduled for Lucerne in January 2021 have been postponed to 11-21 December 2021. Further information is available on the FISU website.

The Summer World University Games (WUGs) still plan to be held in August 2021 in Chengdu, China. BUCS is working with our partner organisations in preparation for attendance at these Games. Further information is available on the Summer WUGs pages.

The European University Games (EUG) scheduled for Belgrade in July 2020 have been postponed until July 2021. Further information is available on the EUSA Games pages. Qualification for the rearranged Games will come through performance in the 2020-21 season. Qualification details are available here.

 

Can't find the answer to your question? Get in touch via [email protected].

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