The relationship between British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) and BAFA sits at the very heart of ensuring the development of Higher Education American Football within the UK
Senior representatives from both organisations have been working closely over the last few months to review the existing partnership and agree the best way to work together moving forwards, to grow and develop the sport.
To ensure the best possible delivery of service, it has been agreed that for the 2019-20 season, BUCS will administrate the affiliation process for all student-athletes participating in the BUCS American Football competition structure. This will simply mean that institutions will be able to access their BAFA membership affiliation via BUCS.
All the affiliation income received will be purposefully utilised to resource the development of the student game, and BUCS and BAFA will share the responsibility of allocating funds to the numerous projects and programmes delivered to develop University American Football.
On the relationship between BUCS and BAFA Jonathan Rooney, BUCS American Football Advisory Group Chair, commented:
“I am glad we have reached a point where we can start to make visible changes for BUCS American Football teams. The league from top to bottom is in a better place than ever before. We still face challenges and now we feel we have the ability to make quick and effective changes that are measurable and clear to see.”
One identifiable benefit of this process will be the ability for BUCS and BAFA to work strategically to look at bringing back the GB Students programme, in time for the World University Championships in Hungary next summer.
On this point Nichole McCulloch, Chair of the British American Football Association, added:
“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with BUCS to ensure the best level of administration and development for our student-athletes. This is another positive step forward for BAFA on our journey to become a modern, fit-for-purpose National Governing Body, and we welcome this opportunity to enable the sustainable return of the GB Students programme.”
The agreement will be reviewed by all stakeholders at the end of the 2019-20 season.
How will it work?
The change in process is relatively simple, rather than students or institutions being invoiced by BAFA for their annual affiliation. BUCS will now issue institutions with all the relevant membership package information and, following the first two rounds of the BUCS American Football Season, will use the player roster information on BUCS Play to accurately calculate each institution’s annual BAFA affiliation fee.
Institutions will then be invoiced directly by BUCS and given a 28-day payment period. BUCS will then repeat this process once the league season deadline has passed, so any additional players recruited during the season can be accounted for.
Please note that there will be no change to the affiliation fee; both organisations have agreed that this should remain at £20 per player. Coaching staff will continue to purchase membership through BAFA’s registration system as per the current process.