REG 5 Misconduct and Bringing BUCS into Disrepute | Published 1 August 2022

Please note: Regulations are currently under review for the 2023-24 season and so those currently published are subject to change.

REG 5.1 Each BUCS member institution/Playing Entity and its clubs shall be responsible for ensuring that its student-athletes, officials and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers conduct themselves in an orderly fashion whilst attending or taking part in BUCS competitions. They shall also be responsible for ensuring that its student-athletes, officials and all persons purporting to be its representatives do not conduct themselves in a way, or print/have published any material, which will bring the company into disrepute, including on social media platforms.

REG 5.1.1 Failure to adhere to this regulation may render the institution/Playing Entity and its club(s) liable to a charge of misconduct for failing to fulfil its said responsibilities and an additional charge of bringing BUCS into disrepute. Examples for which BUCS would deem an institution and its clubs liable to a charge of misconduct and/or bringing BUCS into disrepute are:

  • Violent, threatening, abusive, obscene or provocative, conduct or language;
  • Disregarding requests/instructions of Tournament Directors or appointed officials;
  • Encroachment on the playing area by spectators or unauthorised persons, save for reasons of safety;
  • Throwing missiles, bottles or other potentially harmful or dangerous objects at, onto or adjacent to the playing area;
  • Entering, or attempting to enter the venue of a BUCS competition while in possession of recreational drugs;
  • Entering, or attempting to enter the venue of a BUCS competition while in possession of a flare, smoke bomb or firework.

REG 5.1.2 The consumption of alcohol or recreational drugs (in addition to substances covered under REG 4.5) by competitors will not be tolerated. Competitors at any BUCS event or fixture found to be consuming such substances will be automatically disqualified and may face further disciplinary action under this regulation.

REG 5.1.3 Where the conduct in question is solely that of a supporter or follower who is not a current member (whether player, coach, official, student or other member) of the member institution/Playing Entity, that responsibility shall be absolved if the member institution/Playing Entity can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the BUCS Executive and, if relevant, the BUCS Disciplinary Panel, that it had no reasonable means of controlling or advising on the conduct of the supporter or follower.

REG 5.2 In the case of a member institution/Playing Entity wishing to lodge a complaint against another, charges under REG 5 will be subject to the following process:

REG 5.2.1 A written submission should be made to [email protected]. Complaints of such a nature shall be regarded as FORMAL and must therefore be treated by all parties with the appropriate regard. There shall be no timeframe for BUCS receiving a complaint of this nature. However, dependent on the nature of the complaint, a valid reason for any considerable delay must be provided. If the timeframe is deemed unjustified, the complaint may be dismissed.

REG 5.2.2 BUCS will acknowledge receipt of said complaint in writing by way of e-mail reply within five working days of the complaint being received.

REG 5.2.3 Following acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint, BUCS may seek clarification of details and/or collection of supporting evidence.

REG 5.2.4 BUCS will complete a standardised form summarising the complaint which will be forwarded to the accused institution/Playing Entity, along with any supporting evidence.

REG 5.2.5 The accused institution/Playing Entity shall have five working days from receipt of the complaint to respond to the allegation.

REG An extension to the response deadline may be requested to [email protected] (before the deadline has passed) if there are reasonable grounds, such as completing an internal investigation into the complaint.

REG If the accused institution/Playing Entity fails to respond within the stated timeframe of REG 5.2.5, or any extension to this granted under REG, they shall lose the right to appeal (REG 5.2.9) the decision reached and/or sanctions applied by the Disciplinary Panel.

REG 5.2.6 A Disciplinary Panel shall be convened by the BUCS Executive to hear the charge. The Panel shall be comprised of:

  • BUCS Chair of Disciplinary
  • Two students or sabbatical officers of BUCS member institutions, subject to them not being from the same playing conference as either institution/Playing Entity involved in the dispute

REG 5.2.7 The Disciplinary Panel will convene in a timeframe appropriate to the complaint, with consideration for the ability of all parties to provide representation at the hearing and taking into consideration potential impact on future participation in BUCS competitions.

REG Where the complaint relates to an Individual and Team Championships (Events) sport, an institution/Playing Entity may be prevented from entering further events in the same sport where a charge has been brought and the matter has not been concluded.

REG 5.2.8 The decision(s) reached, and any sanctions applied by the Disciplinary Panel, shall be communicated verbally immediately following the conclusion of the hearing and subsequently emailed out to all parties in a timeframe appropriate to the complaint, taking into consideration potential impact on future participation in BUCS competitions.

REG 5.2.9 Should a complaint be upheld by the Disciplinary Panel, the accused institution/Playing Entity can request a Final Appeal hearing in order to appeal against one or more of the following:

  • The decision(s)
  • The sanction(s)
  • The process

REG 5.2.10 To request a Final Appeal hearing, the accused institution/Playing Entity must lodge a Final Appeal in accordance with the process of REG 15.10.

REG 5.3 BUCS can bring its own charge(s) of misconduct/bringing BUCS into disrepute against a member institution/Playing Entity. This will follow the same process from REG 5.2.4 – REG 5.2.10.

REG 5.4 Publication BUCS reserves the right to publish decision sheets and/or case summaries for Misconduct/Bringing BUCS into Disrepute charge hearings, to aid transparency and understanding of its disciplinary processes and to be used as an educational tool. These may contain, but shall not be limited to, a summary of the charge(s) considered and any response(s) from the institution/Playing Entity charged, a summary of discussions at the hearing, the decision of the panel and any sanctions imposed. Published decisions sheets/case summaries will not carry the names of any institution/Playing Entity or individuals involved and other elements may be removed or redacted as deemed necessary by the BUCS Executive.

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