Update from BUCS CEO Vince Mayne | Updated 13 March 2020 at 10:00am

Following the latest announcement from the UK Government changing the phase of infection control to ‘Delay’, we have reviewed our guidance.

We will continue to review the situation and communication from NGBs. Nevertheless, we plan to maintain delivery wherever possible. At present, this includes the vast majority of league and knockout fixtures, BUCS Big Wednesday, the Business Opportunities Forum and other future events.

However, we have been contacted by a few partner organisations and venues who have taken the decision to suspend or postpone activity. This has impacted a small number of BUCS programmes and events. There is further detail in relation to this below.

General guidance

We will deal with all cases in relation to event entries and the fulfilment of fixtures on an individual basis at this stage.

In relation to league and knockout fixtures, in particular, we are sensitive to the impact of institutional restrictions on the ability of their teams to fulfil their fixtures. Therefore, if members take the decision to not fulfil fixtures (home or away), all opposition should be contacted and the request for rearrangements or voids made. Any appeals against this will go through our normal regulatory process. The BUCS Executive will continue to review the impact on leagues and knockouts and plan for a number of possible scenarios over the coming weeks.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the BUCS office if you have any queries surrounding this, as we are on hand to support all members during this difficult time.

Specific guidance

Over the next few days, we will liaise with all institutions involved in any impacted programmes and events, to ensure everyone is fully updated. In the interim, please see below a brief summary in relation to each programme/event currently affected:

American Football

At 2pm today, the British American Football Association communicated their decision to suspend all American Football related activity for the foreseeable future. This means that the remaining BUCS American Football fixtures, including the Big Wednesday finals, are postponed until further notice.

Football and Futsal

At 1.30pm today BUCS were made aware of the decisions taken today by the SFA and FAW to suspend all grassroots football and futsal. With regards Scottish institutions, our guidance is to follow Home Nation NGB advice and suspend all Tier 1 and below matches due to be held in Scotland.

With regards to Welsh Institutions, we are currently attempting to liaise with the FAW around how this will impact our cross-border competition. We will ensure that all institutions are updated once we know more.

Rugby

At 2.30pm today BUCS were made aware that Scottish Rugby have issued a statement suspending all domestic rugby from 6pm on Sunday 15 March. We have not been made aware of any similar information from other Home Nation NGBs. At this time we would advise Scottish teams that they should follow the guidance of Scottish Rugby and postpone any fixtures they have scheduled in Scotland. We are currently attempting to liaise with Scottish Rugby around how this will impact our cross-border competition. We will ensure that all institutions are updated once we know more.

Snowsports – Main Event

At 1pm today BUCS were contacted by the Andorran ski resort due to host Main Event to inform us that the resort will be closed until further notice. This, unfortunately, means that BUCS Main Event will be cancelled. All institutions entered into the event will be contacted over the next few days.

Windsurfing

The Student Windsurfing Association, who run BUCS Windsurfing, have earlier today contacted the BUCS office confirming the event will be cancelled. All institutions entered into the event will be contacted over the next few days.

We will continue to monitor our other events and their viability to continue based on a range of factors including government advice, entry numbers, availability of officials and the potential risk at our events.

As a part of this, we are aware of varying approaches within the membership to international and national travel restrictions and to individual university regulations regarding student attendance and contact. Therefore, we would be grateful if members could share with us their current institutional stance on the situation, as this will help significantly in informing our decision making. This can be done via this online form. We will be keeping this form live for the next few weeks, so if circumstances change we ask that we are updated as appropriate.

We will continue to monitor the situation daily throughout the coming weeks and will provide further updates to members. This is a difficult situation for everyone, and we hope that by good communication and collaboration we can chart a successful path through a shifting and variable landscape and would like to thank members for their support in this to date.

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