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

Cricket 2020-21 questions

How were the leagues created?

As the 2019-20 cricket season was unable to take place, finishing positions (i.e. promotion and relegation) from the end of the 2018-19 season were used to determine what leagues teams would play in, however some changes were then required based on entry levels and responding to challenges created by COVID-19, such as the removal of most cross-border competition and reducing expected levels of travel. 

What rules and regulations will be in place?

All leagues and knockout competitions will be subject to any NGB, UK Government, devolved administration or local authority legislation, guidance and/or protocols in relation to COVID-19 in place at the time. Such legislation, guidance and/or protocols may change during the competition. These shall supersede any BUCS General or Sport Specific Regulations. 

The cricket specific regulations for the 2020-21 season can be found here, along with a document outlining any changes made since the 2018-19 season including any temporary changes in response to COVID-19. All the general regulations can be found here, along with a document highlighting all temporary changes in response to COVID-19 in one place. 

However, it is not possible for the BUCS Executive to predict or account for all the ways in which COVID-19 may impact the 2020-21 season. We have addressed some of the potential issues that may occur through additional regulations and amendments to existing regulations (both general and sport specific), but it is possible that further changes will be required during the season. If further regulation changes are required, they will be communicated to all institutions/Playing Entities with teams entered. 

Why is there no promotion or relegation?

The 2020-21 cricket season is an ‘extraordinary season’ and so there will be no promotion or relegation at the conclusion of competition. Instead, we will be using final leagues standings, and any resultant promotions and relegations, from the 2018-19 season, to determine what leagues teams play in for 2021-22. 

Promotion and relegation are mechanisms to move teams between tiers to provide the most appropriate level of competition each season. Utilising the 2018-19 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 the leagues now look compared to a normal season. The standard competitions structures have been changed for 2020-21 based on entry levels and responding to challenges created by COVID-19, such as the removal of most cross-border competition and reducing expected levels of travel. This has also resulted in some teams being pulled up or down a tier for this year. 

There were several 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. Several 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. 

For those teams that have been entered, it is possible that current circumstances related to COVID-19 could affect their ability to fulfil fixtures which would have increased the likelihood of relegation for teams through no fault of their own. 

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 these options presented more disruption and potentially more confusion in both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. 

How are BUCS going to reward and recognise league and knockout competition winners?

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 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. 

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

 

Term Three Opt-in Competition 2020-21

What is the process for 2020-21 Term Three Opt-in Competition Team Entries?

All entries must be submitted via BUCS Play by 23:59 on Thursday 1 April. 

What programmes are open for team entries in Term Three?

We are only offering competition in outdoor sports, as well as netball and tennis, but these will be required to be played on outdoor courts. Entry sets were opened for the following programmes: 

  • baseball & softball
  • football
  • gaelic football
  • golf
  • hockey
  • lacrosse
  • netball
  • rugby league
  • rugby union
  • tennis
  • ultimate

How will leagues be built for Term Three?

Upon the closing of entries, the Competitions team will assess the viability of each programme and build as many informal league offers as possible, with teams placed in leagues broadly aligned to the typical Conference structure for that sport. Leagues will likely vary in size with a minimum of three required for a viable league. We will endeavour to place teams in performance appropriate groups. We will not be offering any Premier Tier leagues so please consider this when entering teams. These leagues, if they can go ahead, will be published on BUCS Play on Friday 9 April. 

When can we play fixtures in Term Three?

All informal league offers will be subject to any NGB, UK Government, devolved administration or local authority legislation, guidance and/or protocols in relation to COVID-19 in place at the time. If guidance allows, fixtures can be played on any day during the following window: 

Monday 12 April – Sunday 27 June 

All fixtures will be set on a specific date that falls before this window. Institution Administrators (IAs) will need to raise Fixture Change Requests (FCR) through BUCS Play to move these to newly agreed dates. 

What rules and regulations will be in place?

All informal league offers will be subject to any NGB, UK Government, devolved administration or local authority legislation, guidance and/or protocols in relation to COVID-19 in place at the time. Such legislation, guidance and/or protocols may change during the competition. These shall supersede any BUCS General or Sport Specific Regulations. 

The Term Three Opt-in Competition regulations can be found here.  

Will BUCS Points be awarded?

The Term Three Opt-in Competition is an informal league offer with no associated BUCS Points.

Will league winners receive plaques?

The Term Three Opt-in Competition is an informal league offer with no league winners plaques. 

 

Events 2020-21 season questions

Are events happening?

Yes - some in-person events have happened in Term One and we now intend to run further events in Term Three as the lockdowns ease, and guidance allows us to do so. These events will be considered based on whether they are feasible, safe to deliver and there is demand. Please see individual sport pages for more information.  

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 different home nation restrictions affect the status of an event?

Each event, regardless of home nation 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 different travel restrictions in each home nation, 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 home nations.  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 be 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), scheduled to be held in August 2021 in Chengdu, China, have been postponed until 2022. More information is available directly from FISU on their website.

The European University Games (EUG), postponed from 2020, have been postponed again and will not take place in July 2021. Further information is available on the EUSA Website.

 

Leagues and Knockout Competitions 2021-22

What is the process for 2021-22 Team Entries?

The timeline for the team entry process is currently under review. As soon as this has been finalised this will be communicated out to all members, and this section of the FAQs will be updated. 

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

If your institution maintained its annual affiliation (its membership to BUCS) in 2020-21, any teams from 2019-20 (or 2018-19 in the case of Cricket) not entered in 2020-21 will be placed into their previous positions before promotion and relegation is applied. More information on this process can be found in the ‘How will the 2021-22 league be created’ section of these FAQs. 

If your institution did not maintain their annual affiliation for 2020-21, including if they cancelled their membership and then reapplied during the season, then their teams shall be placed in the lowest tier of each structure for 2021-22. 

How will the 2021-22 leagues be created?

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. As there was no Cricket season in 2019-20, these league structures will be based on the outcomes of the 2018-19 season. 

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. 

What rules and regulations will be in place?

We are currently undertaking out annual review of the BUCS General and Sport Specific Regulations. As with previous seasons, any changes planned for the 2021-22 season will be communicated to institutions. 

However, it is currently too early to know what impact COVID-19 may have on the 2021-22 season. 

All leagues and knockout competitions will be subject to any NGB, UK Government, devolved administration or local authority legislation, guidance and/or protocols in relation to COVID-19 which may be in place at the time. These shall supersede any BUCS General or Sport Specific Regulations. 

BUCS will also consider if any temporary changes to our general and sport specific regulations are needed in response to any new or lasting impacts of COVID-19. 

 

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

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