BUCS Undergoes Controversial Format Change - Hoopsfix.com

BUCS Undergoes Controversial Format Change

BUCS Basketball
The 2011/12 BUCS basketball season tips off tomorrow and brings with it an overhaul of the competition structure; a change that has been ill received by a number of teams in the league.

The new structure sees the season broken down into two competitions; the Championship and then the regular season. Previous years have seen teams’ regular season performances determine qualification for the Last 16 (where victory would then see you advance to the Final 8’s), whilst the new format sees qualification for the Last 16 determined by regular season performance in the previous season.

The new rules mean a team could excel in the regular season but due to their performance last year will not get a chance to play in the Final 8’s until the following year-where there is a chance the same team will be fielding a completely different roster. The Last 16 for this year is already set, with games scheduled for the 30th November 2011 (see fixtures here).

Pilots of the new format were run in football and rugby last year, and after a BUCS survey found approximately 70% of institutions wanting it to become the standardised competition structure, it was rolled out across all sports. The new structure will allow the the regular season to extend into March and avoid universities having to cram in missed or postponed fixtures all into February; reducing the pressure on administrators.

However, a number of coaches and players are not happy with the changes, feeling they are not relevant to basketball, and could result in a lack of motivation for final year players in the regular season as well as one year post graduate students.

Head coach of Leeds Met Matt Newby commented:

“I personally feel, if BUCS is about the kids at uni, the student-athlete experience, then it’s the wrong decision. If it’s that one year where the stars are right and the group comes together it might be that it’s a bit harsh they dont have a shot at the national title.”

Newby added that the extension of the regular season in March may see clashes for teams like his own that are linked with National League teams. Some have openly labelled the restructure “insane”, whilst a number have contacted Hoopsfix privately expressing their discontent with the changes.

Brunel University Head coach Pete Deppisch added:

“Let’s say for example a strong team dominates for the season but then everyone graduates, and it happens twice across a couple of leagues, you could then get two terrible teams playing in the Last 16 the following year and an awful team in Sheffield.

“If we lose (in the Last 16), who really wants to play for the rest of the regular season? Guys in their last years will want to study, few will care about the regular season.”

The teams taken through to the last 16 will be the top 5 finishing teams from both the Premier South and Premier North, each of the 5 conference champs (winners of Scotland 1A, North 1A, Midlands 1A, South Eastern 1A and West 1A) and the last spot goes to the top scoring team across all the conferences (which is why Coventry qualified this year/last year).

What do you think about the changes? Smart move or disastrous?


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