We’re past the point of no return in the 2018/19 season and so it’s time to start talking about who’s ready to book their place in the postseason!
If the powers that be at BUCS were to call an end to the season this very day? Let’s take a look at who’d be in or out when it comes to the postseason culls in each tier.
Disclaimer and proviso: These are the seedings and fixtures as best as DC can figure them. THEY ARE NOT OFFICIAL IN ANY WAY AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS SUCH. No seedings, fixtures, dates, venues, or methods of determining any of the following should be considered ‘confirmed’ until released by BUCS or its partners.
We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up.
- Division Two has the smallest number of teams headed to a potential postseason, by proportion to the number of teams involved at least, with 16 berths for the 41 teams that began the season in that tier to compete for – eight for the three northern conferences (2A Borders, 2A North and 2A Midlands), eight for the three southern (2A South, 2A South East, 2A South West).
- Playoffs are regional, and result in TWO champions – the Challenge Cup Winners North, and Challenge Cup Winners South.
- This year it appears as though BUCS points are determined by placement of teams within their respective conference – 20 pts for 1st place, 16 for 2nd, descending. We’re assuming postseason fixtures will also contribute some bonus BUCS points, but will seek confirmation.
- Promotion is determined beforehand, with conferences winners from each of the six conferences switching place with the six fifth-place finishers from the respective Division One conference above them.
The eight playoff berths for each region (north/south) are determined and seeded as follows.
- Teams placed first in each conference are seeded #1, #2, #3.
- Teams placed second in each conference are seeded #4, #5, #6.
- The two third-place teams with the best record from across the three conferences are seeded #7, #8.
Due to the uneven length of seasons across the difference conferences, this year Average BUCS Points (ABP) will be the primary determining factor in breaking ties in Division Two (AMF 15.3.1). It’s unclear whether this will be used within conferences, or just to seed teams from separate conferences with different season lengths (we’re going to assume the latter for now).
- Teams that have conceded walkovers will always be placed below those of equal points that have not. (BUCS REG 11.9.1)
- Head to head record. Where this is split, the aggregate score will determine the higher placed team. (BUCS REG 184.108.40.206)
- Average Points Conceded (APC) based on fixtures played (walkover wins are discounted) (BUCS AMF 15.2.2).
- Points difference (BUCS REG 220.127.116.11.1)
- Points scored (BUCS REG 18.104.22.168.2)
- Coin Toss (BUCS REG 22.214.171.124.5)
Bearing all this in mind…
The teams currently sat in playoff berths in the Division Two northern conferences are as follows:
#1 – Edinburgh Predators (1st, 2.0 ABP, 1.5 APC)
#2 – Leeds Gryphons (1st, 2.0 ABP, 2.0 APC)
#3 – Staffordshire Stallions* (1st, 1.5 ABP, 3.25 APC)
#4 – Liverpool Raptors (2nd, 1.5 ABP, 6.75 APC, +70 PD)
#5 – MMU Eagles* (2nd, 1.5 ABP, 6.75 APC, +28 PD)
#6 – York Centurions (2nd, 1.5 ABP, 7.75 APC)
#7 – DMU Falcons* (3rd, 1.5 ABP, 8.25 APC)
#8 – Edge Hill Vikings** (3rd, 1.33 ABP, 18.33 APC)
* N.B. The 1A Midlands is a bit confusing at the moment. I’m putting the Stallions in 1st, based on having the lowest APC of the three teams tied at 3-1. However, the MMU Eagles hold the head-to-head over the Stallions, but the DMU Falcons hold the head-to-head over the Eagles, with the Stallions and Falcons yet to meet. Hopefully, the result of their fixture this weekend will clear things up.
** The Vikings currently edge out the HWU Wolverines, despite having less BUCS points, due to their higher Average BUCS Points won – the new format for determining ‘best performers’ for this tier this season.
Locked into Playoffs:
- Edinburgh Predators*
* Conference Champion
Out of the race:
- YSJ Jaguars
- UWS Pyros
- Keele Crusaders
- Chester Legion
The teams currently sat in playoff berths in the Division Two southern conferences are as follows:
#1 -Essex Blades (1st, 2.0 ABP, 2.0 APC, +113 PD)
#2 – Bournemouth Bobcats (1st, 2.0 ABP, 2.0 APC, +58 PD)
#3 – KCL Regents (1st, 1.6 ABP, 3.25 APC)
#4 – Worcester Royals (2nd, 2.0 ABP, 11.75 APC)
#5 – Chichester Spitfires (2nd, 1.6 ABP, 5.25 APC)
#6 – Cambridge Pythons (2nd, 1.0 ABP, 13.5 APC)
#7 -Bristol Barracuda (3rd, 1.6 ABP, 17.5 APC)
#8 – Royal Holloway Bears* (3rd, 1.5 ABP, 10 APC)
* N.B. The 2A South currently has three teams at three wins. Though the Bears currently have the worst APC, they have the head-to-head over both the UCL Emperors and Sussex Saxons.
Locked into Playoffs:
- Bournemouth Bobcats
Out of the race:
- Oxford Lancers
- Gloucestershire Gladiators
- Bath Spa Bulldogs
- BNU Buccaneers
Most regulations determining qualification for the postseason in Division One are the same as in Division Two.
The key differences are
- Average BUCS points has no impact (due to equal season lengths across all conferences) so total BUCS points takes priority.
- Sixteen teams, eight from each regional group of three conferences, qualify for the postseason. Playoffs are regional, building up to a National Final – the National Trophy.
- BUCS points are awarded for final position in conference, with 1st place worth 30, descending from there.
- Teams complete for promotion to the premiership via the postseason. The two regional champions will receive promotion to the top tier.
Based on these factors,
The teams currently sat in playoff berths in the Division One northern conferences are as follows:
#1 – Sheffield Hallam Warriors (1st, 5-0, 11.8 APC)
#2 -Loughborough Students (1st, 4-1, 7.8 APC)
#3 – Northumbria Mustangs (1st, 4-1, 11.2 APC)
#4 – Coventry Jets (2nd, 4-2, 13.67 APC)
#5 – Sheffield Sabres (2nd, 4-2, 16.17 APC)
#6 – Newcastle Raiders (2nd, 3-0, 9.0 APC)
#7 – NTU Renegades (3rd, 4-2, 18.0 APC)
#8 – UCLan Rams (3rd, 3-2, 26.8 APC)
- Currently, best as I can tell no teams are locked into postseason action.
Out of the race:
- LJMU Fury
- Leicester Longhorns
The teams currently sat in playoff berths in the Division One southern conferences are as follows:
#1 – Brunel Burners (1st, 6-0, 1.83 APC)
#2 – Kent Falcons (1st, 5-1, 10 APC)
#3 – Southampton Stags (1st, 3-0, 20.0 APC)
#4 – QMBL Vipers (2nd, 4-1, 16.6 APC)
#5 – Brighton Panthers (2nd. 3-2, 11.8 APC)
#6 – Cardiff Cobras (2nd, 3-2, 23.8 APC)
#7 – UEA Pirates (3rd, 3-1, 7.25 APC)
#8 – Exeter Demons (3rd 3-2, 20.6)
- Brunel Burners*
Out of the race:
- Best as I can tell, no teams are currently completely out of the postseason race in the south… yet.
The 18/19 Premiership playoffs sees eight of the ten teams secure berths to the postseason, with only fifth-place finishers not seeing at least one game of postseason Uniball, and instead automatically relegated.
Seeding is determined by placement of each team in their respective conference.
- Teams placed first in each conference are seeded #1 and #2.
- Teams placed second in each conference are seeded #3 and #4.
- Teams in third place in each conference are seeded #5 and #6
- And teams placed fourth are seeded #7 and #8.
The tiebreakers noted above for the other tiers will determine seedings (with the same exceptions as for D1, where total BUCS points supersede Average BUCS points) between inter-conference opposition.
The first round of postseason balling always featuring inter-conference fixtures (i.e. North vs South)
Therefore, as things currently stand the playoff seedings would look as follows:
A: North #1 vs South #4
Nottingham (1st, 6-0, 3.83 APC) vs Birmingham Lions (4th, 2-3, 24.8 APC)
B: South #1 vs North #4
UWE Bullets (1st, 5-1, 13.33 APC) vs Durham Saints* (4th, 2-3, 11.6 APC)
C: North #2 vs South #3
Leeds Beckett Carnegie (2nd, 3-1, 13.5 APC) vs Hertfordshire Hurricanes (3rd, 2-3, 19.0 APC)
D: South #2 vs North #3
Swansea Titans (2nd, 4-0, 10.5 APC) vs Stirling Clansmen* (3rd, 2-3, 18.2)
*Though our tables currently have Saints in third, Clansmen in fourth due to points conceded, the Stirling Clansmen currently hold the head to head tiebreaker over the Saints.
- Leeds Beckett Carnegie
- Durham Saints
- UWE Bullets
- Swansea Titans
Out of the race:
- No teams are currently out of the race, though both the Derby Braves and Portsmouth Destroyers will need to win out, by significant enough margins, and for other results to go their way in order to remain top tier programmes.
Disclaimer and proviso: These are the seedings and fixtures as best as DC can figure them. THEY ARE NOT OFFICIAL IN ANY WAY AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS SUCH. No seedings, fixtures, dates, venues, or methods of determining any of the above should be considered ‘confirmed’ until released by BUCS or its partners.
Spot any mistakes or have any queries? Just shout!
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