More information on British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS)

This page is for Keele Athletic Union members to help keep you up to date with what is happening with University sport for the 2020-21 season. 

After consultation with University Heads of Sport and relevant student officers from across the country BUCS has now started to outline its position for next season. The latest statement can be found here: https://www.bucs.org.uk/latest-news.html 

However, we have summarised the information and produced an FAQ’s for you here: 

  • The BUCS leagues for 2020/21 will not begin until January 2021 (so no BUCS fixtures in Semester One) and will run until April 2021. 

  • 2020/21 is effectively a ‘bridging season’ which whilst being points based, will have no impact upon future league standings with no subsequent promotions or relegations taking place 

  • As a result, the conclusion of the 2019/20 season will not affect league standings but will be reflected instead in the structure of the 2021/22 season 

  • The full calendar of 2020/21 BUCS Events will be available to Clubs by Friday 28th August 2020 

  • BUCS have been further developing the BUCS Play App to resolve the issues experienced during its launch in the 2019/20 season 

Given the circumstances many Universities are operating under this year, many may not be in a position to commit to playing in BUCS leagues but may decide that more localised competition may be a safer way of operating which may in turn dilute the traditional leagues.  Once we have established the position, we and others can operate in we will be better placed to inform you of the best options for your sport. 

We know that this will have an impact on you as a club and we are committed as a Students’ Union to work with you and the relevant stakeholders to ensure we provide the best possible experience we can.  

We will be working closely in partnership with Keele Sport in the coming weeks/months to scope out the best approach for what Semester One sport could look like because of these changes. This will also involve ensuring we work in line with Government, NGB (National Governing Body) and University guidance. 


+ When/how can AU groups host training sessions/fitness sessions outdoors on-campus?

The current plan is to get sports clubs training as soon as possible, subject to University & Government regulations. You will need to have met with one of the AU team and have fully read your sports’ full NGB guidelines and provided a COVID Risk Assessment that has been signed off by a staff member. Once all the documents have been approved, your club can book a training session through the AU. For members to attend a session all team members must also book in advance, individually, online. More infomation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pkVmiz-QS8 Once you get to the Sports Centre, you’ll need to enter with your Keele card via Reception even if you’re planning on playing outdoors. You must have a coach / instructor / responsible person monitoring the session, ensuring social distancing and ensuring the session is COVID secure, in line with National Governing Body guidance. Please also ensure that you end your sessions on time, as we need to make sure there is enough time to clean the space ahead of the next session. We know this seems a lot, but Keele University and Keele SU have a duty to keep you safe, but still wants to give the opportunity to have a good student experience.

+ How will we recruit and involve new members in our clubs in 2020/21?

We will be honest; the start of the new academic year will look quite different to what you have previously experienced. We are still keen for you to engage new members to grow your clubs so that students feel part of the Keele community. We are currently working on different Welcome Fair/Sport Sign Up options, both traditional and new to try and provide the best platforms possible for you to recruit new members. It may be a possibility that club activity needs to be staggered and we cannot allow large groups to gather, so we would need to work through possibilities around taster sessions neared to the time. Socials may need to remain virtual along with any meetings you need to have with your members. KeeleSU will be here to support you through this and help ensure you run in a way that ensures your members are safe.

+ Can I submit a new team into BUCS for the 2020/21 season?

For the next season the AU will only submit teams that were submitted into BUCS last season. So, we will not enter any new teams into the next season. If, however, you wish to remove a team you need to let us know before the 16 October 2020. Any teams not entered next season will be able to return at the same tier in 2021-22. If your club paid for additional teams to be entered, then please chat to the AU about future arrangements. Again these leagues may look very different from what your used to having restrictions in place so we will keep you as updated as possible prior to the deadline to help you make the right decision

+ Will the AU Membership and Club Membership fees still apply?

At the moment we will be still looking for students to buy membership to the AU and their respective clubs. The AU membership covers insurance, staff support, BUCS entry costs, events, and transport. We know that some of this activity will not be available to you until January 2021 but with the season being extended into the summer, we will still be offering the same level of service. The AU membership fee will remain at £35. In terms of club memberships, clubs have the freedom to decide what level of membership fee they charge. We would advise that clubs plan and budget for both competitive and participation events and that they are aware of the extended season.

+ How do we go about securing coaches/officials for next season?

We would recommend sharing this information and being transparent with coaches/officials you wish to use next academic year. If social distancing measures still apply it could be that you are limited to numbers of people in a training session at once, therefore if you have a coach on site it would mean one less student being able to train. At this moment in time it will be the club's decision about if they wish to have a coach or not whilst the season is paused in the first semester, for any advice please email the AU.

+ How will the AU Christmas Ball and Varsity be affected?

We will be working with the University and our local stakeholders to see what will be possible given the current circumstances. Both these events will depend on government social distancing guidelines, numbers allowed to participate and NGB/University advice at the time.

If you have any questions about anything from the above statement or indeed our plans for the coming months, please contact us via su.athleticunion@keele.ac.uk