British University and College Sport (BUCS) have announced that most university sports leagues next season will not commence until January 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement on their Website, BUCS confirmed “the majority of BUCS leagues will take place between January and April 2021.” In explaining their decision, they stated it was “a result of feedback from our members, who want to be able to support students in their preparation for returning to competitive team sport.”
The 2019/20 BUCS Season was postponed indefinitely on the 17th March 2020 with Exeter’s Women’s Lacrosse 1st team’s season halted ahead of their National Final, the Golf club stopped at the semi-final stage and Women’s Football and Men’s Tennis denied the chance to complete their promotion charges.
The season was also called off a day before the Men’s Rugby Team were due to begin their tilt at the BUCS Super Rugby Championship title, but long before the Men’s Cricket Team, tipped for great success, had played their first fixture.
Both the knockout stages of all Term 1 and Term 2 sports, and the entirety of the Cricket season were cancelled after consultation with clubs towards the end of March.
Though there may yet be a resolution for those sides gunning for promotion with “League standings from 2019-20 [being] used” to decide the future of clubs’ places in Leagues, this will not come in until the 2021-22 season, with no relegation or promotion in next year’s League.
It is not yet known if the 2020-21 season will go ahead in full or the number of games be reduced to allow for the necessary fixtures to be completed within term time, with this remaining “under review.”
The statement concluded: ” We would like to thank all members, partners and students for their continued support and understanding during these difficult times. We understand the importance of student sport in shaping the university experience and are looking forward to welcoming competition back when safe to do so. “