In the 20/21 Academic Year, BUCS Leagues will run from January to March 2021 with a reduced schedule of fixtures to be played. The entries for these leagues have been finalised already, and the entry fees will be paid by clubs in November.
If you want to play a friendly fixture in Term 1, you will need to get this approved before it can go ahead (at home or away). Head to the solution article on competitions to find out how to do this.
So what even is BUCS and LUSL? Great question. BUCS (British Universities and College Sport) is the governing body for university sport and they facilitate hundreds of leagues and national competitions for you to get involved in. This can range from: big one-off events like BUCS Regatta, Individual Championships and Snow & Surf series to the Wednesday and Saturday leagues you've all come to know and love: Come on You Bears. Now LUSL (London University Sports League) is just the smaller regional based format, which hosts a number of leagues for a select range of Sports, predominantly on the weekend.
It's really important that all members of your team have purchased membership for your student group. Not only to ensure you are getting the income you need to put on events, training, coaching etc. but also, so they are covered by insurance (this is a benefit of the Student Opportunities Membership). It’s also completely unfair (and wrong) for your paying members if you have non-paying ‘members’ who are getting on the team each week. We will get in touch with all Captains prior to the season starting, to get this process underway!
Every week, we have the pleasure of hosting numerous fixtures for you guys to represent Royal Holloway and don the infamous Green, White & Purple. To make sure you know all the relevant details, we send out a weekly email with this on, to captains and coaches. Don't forget to check this out as key updates or information are on here for both home and away matches. You don't want to be the Captain that gets their team to a match a month early now do you...
Rules and Regulations
What is fun without a comprehensive set of rules? BUCS outlines key regulations for all activity but also sport-specific. Check these out to get the needed information to help on fixture day and to understand what you might need to do in the event of a rearrangement to completing a playing under protest form. All captains will get a copy of their sport specific regulations and playing under protest forms to take with them to every fixture.
It is the responsibility of the home team to provide correctly qualified officials for any matches. The level of qualification varies sport to sport and league to league, so it's really important you read the BUCS regulations before booking, or this could lead to an opposition playing under protest. BUCS release a document to help you work out which level of officials you need, but if you still have questions, please get in touch! Officials should invoice the club for the hours worked at each match, similar to other financial invoices, and then they should email it over as soon as possible. Please note that referee receipts for cash payments must be in the correct format and signed by the referee on payment. You can download the form here.
Team Sheets & Results
In the past, you may remember you or your team captain completing a paper team sheet at your fixture. This year, these are all moving online, as BUCS bring in a new team management system. This sounds complicated, but as a captain, this means you will select your team online on the BUCS system and this will form your team sheet. All captains will be onboarded to the online system using their university email addresses at the start of the new academic year, and they will then be able to share a link to their team so you can keep all of the relevant players in one place! As this is a brand new system for 2019-20, there will be training and support for all captains before we throw you in to your first fixtures!
So you’ve played (and hopefully won) your match, what next? You need to tell us about your results, so that we can get them logged with BUCS to record your successes in your leagues and cup matches. You need to send them through to the Sports Club Coordinator by submitting them as a ticket under the ‘Results’ category.
You only need to create a team sheet and submit your results for BUCS matches, but if you are a team who competes in LUSL, it’s a good idea to do it for both so you don’t forget!
So there's two parts to every story. So first we have BUCS:
These rearrangements need to be facilitated by our Sports Club Coordinator. Please email or select 'fixture' on the ticket form, to get in touch. We need information as soon as possible to help this happen. Leaving it to the last minute is not only bad admin for your members but also means, it's less likely to happen. Early is key.
In your request include:
detail of fixture, reason for rearrangement and alternative dates both teams are free (check the BUCS website for your fixtures).
We operate on a prefer-to-play basis. Your members pay to play and you guys work incredibly hard to support this, so we want to maximise the opportunities you can represent your club. We avoid walkovers, unless operationally necessarily, and this also provides us with good faith from oppositions to support with rearrangements in the future.
We can't always guarantee a rearrangement, so please be prepared to play the fixture unless we confirm with you it’s been moved. We've seen a few on the day drop-outs in the past and this isn't a good experience for your team or the opposition and also impacts your (and Royal Holloway's) reputation. If on the day of a fixture there is a freak snowstorm or raging thunder and lightning, don’t panic! We spend plenty of time keeping one eye on the weather forecast! We might be in touch via email about postponing your home or away fixtures, but this will depend on your sport and the facilities you need to use.
It's down to you to work with the opposition captain to agree fixtures and rearrangements. All LUSL captains will have access to the BUCS platform where they can drop other captains a message to rearrange. Having troubles getting in contact? Let us know so we can tag in to support.
Rearranging a home match? Don’t forget that you’ll need to check that there is pitch space before you agree to host the match on a new date! Nothing worse than 4 teams all turning up for one pitch space on a Saturday afternoon…. Use this live document to see up to date availability of the fixture slots to see if we can host on the day.