Preview: BUCS National Championships 2014

The BSKA and UEAKC are ramping up preparations for this year’s BUCS National Championships, returning to the UEA Sportspark on Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of March 2014. Last year’s event was noted for its high level of organisation, quality and great facilities, creating a spectacle to market the sport at the student level.  to check out the final of the 2013 Championships, click here

National Championships returns to UEA Norwich this season on the 8th and 9th of March 2014
National Championships return to UEA Norwich this season on the 8th and 9th of March 2014

So the big question is- what is in store this year? Firstly the exit of a number of senior international players from the student game has seen competition take on a much more balanced look, so who takes home gold is anyone’s guess, which is a great situation for student korfball. Despite this there have been superb individual performances so far this season from a number of players, including the returning Alex Bell of Southampton University, newcomer and younger brother Ollie Bell driving Cambridge University up the rankings and Lizzie McCloud of Nottingham University in the absence of the outgoing Joe Bedford and Ben King.

All time most successful club, Sheffield University failed to qualify for National Championships this March
All time most successful club, Sheffield University failed to qualify for National Championships this March

We have also seen that qualifiers were exactly that, with surprise omissions occurring as Sheffield University failed to qualify for Nationals, despite being the most successful team in the history of the event, with five BUCS Gold Medal finishes. Regular attendees Reading also failed to qualify from the Southern Competition. This undoubtedly pushes the competitive level of the event further and further.

The BSKA has this year agreed with the England Korfball Referees Committee to include a number high level referees from outside of the home area to complement the local refereeing contingent. This will mean that the highest playing standards will be set for players by the event itself, in addition to the inherent competition between Universities. In addition, the media presence at the event is hoped to be ever bigger, as one of the great things about bringing people together is the amount of publicity the BSKA can try and bring to the sport during and after the event.

Pools will be drawn for the event in mid-February, with the event taking the format of four team pools, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals, and placing games for all teams to assign rankings 1-16, with the top 8 placed teams securing BUCS points for their University. The top prize is 50 BUCS points. Following Regional Qualifiers, the teams that are entered for the National Championships event are:

North:

Seeded

UEA (1), Nottingham (2), Sheffield Hallam (3), Edinburgh (4)

Unseeded

Lancaster, Leeds, Manchester, St Andrews 

South:

Seeded

Birmingham (1), Southampton (2), Cambridge (3), Cardiff (4)

Unseeded

Kent, Bristol, Exeter, Oxford

 

The teams that did not qualify for BUCS National Championships are:

Sheffield, Keele, Leeds Met, Reading, Essex, Gloucester.

These teams will be fighting the top 2nd and 3rd teams in the country for the Club Championships victory in Cardiff the following weekend, on the 15th March.

The BSKA would like to again extend its thanks to the Korfstore for sponsorship of National Championships 2013, supplying match balls for the event and a pair of Asics Crossovers for the event raffle.

korfstore

As always the BSKA is happy to receive offers to discuss sponsorship, from clubs, associations and companies. Please email studentkorfball@gmail.com for more information or to speak to a member of the executive.