REG 12 Playing Under Protest | Published 3 September 2021

Please note: Regulations for the 2021-22 season are subject to change in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

REG 12 applies to the Team Championships conducted as part of the National, Premier and Conference League/Knockout programme.

REG 12.1 If a team feels, upon arrival or during a fixture, that the conditions do not adhere to those outlined in the BUCS rules and regulations, they should complete a ‘BUCS Playing Under Protest Form’ (Appendix 8) as soon as the grievance is noted. All teams are advised to carry with them at least two hard copies of the form so that they are adequately prepared for any such scenario. If a team does not have a BUCS Playing Under Protest Form with them, any equivalent paperwork used/produced must meet the requirements of REG 12.3.

REG 12.1.1 If a team travels to, begins or continues a fixture with knowledge of conditions that amount to a breach of regulations but fails to complete a Playing Under Protest form they are deemed to have accepted the conditions of play and can therefore not later ‘play under protest’ regarding them, nor submit a match appeal (REG 15) based on those grounds.

REG 12.2 Providing a team gives advanced warning to the official in charge, a team is permitted to stop play at an appropriate time (natural break in play) to complete a Playing Under Protest form during a fixture. This must be completed in a reasonable timeframe so as not to impact upon completion of the fixture (for example facility booking restrictions).

REG 12.3 The following essential information must be captured on a Playing Under Protest form:

  • Fixture information (Name of institution/Playing Entity ‘Playing Under Protest’, Sport, league/knockout competition name, date and time of fixture, venue, home team name, away team name)
  • The specific grievance(s) and, where known, the correlating regulation(s) alleged to have been contravened
  • Name and signature of the captain of the team raising the grievance(s), as well as the time of signing
  • Any opposition response to the grievance(s) (Optional)
  • Name and signature of the opposition captain, as well as the time of signing (They cannot refuse to sign the form, note REG 12.3.2)

REG 12.3.1 A Playing Under Protest Form that does not meet the requirements of REG 12.3 will be rejected by BUCS as being incomplete and therefore insufficient to support any subsequent match appeal.

REG 12.3.2 If an opposition captain refuses to sign a Playing Under Protest form, the team wishing to submit the Playing Under Protest form should inform their Athletic Union (or equivalent) of the refusal immediately. The Athletic Union (or equivalent) should then inform both the opposition Athletic Union (or equivalent) and the BUCS Executive 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.

REG Refusal to sign may result in a charge of misconduct being raised against the institution/Playing Entity and appropriate disciplinary action taken in accordance with REG 5.

REG 12.4 Teams are advised to also gather evidence to support any grievances raised on a Playing Under Protest form, for example time and date stamped photographs or videos, or written statements from match officials.

REG 12.5 If later, more issues arise, that were not apparent at the time the Playing Under Protest form was initially completed, either a new form should be completed, or, the issues should be added to the existing form with the time they are raised noted next to the Captains’ initials against these.

REG 12.6 The completion of a Playing Under Protest Form allows an institution the right to appeal at the conclusion of the fixture if they feel that the grievances noted had a direct impact on the result and presented an unfair advantage to a team. It does not guarantee the outcome of any subsequent appeal. Information regarding how to submit a match appeal can be found in REG 15.

REG 12.7 If information comes to light after a fixture has been completed, that amounts to a breach of regulations, then a match appeal can be submitted without a Playing Under Protest form. Information regarding how to submit a match appeal can be found in REG 15.

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