On 6th December, Korfball teams from the across the Midlands will be heading to Birmingham to compete in the hotly anticipated West Midlands preliminary stage of this year’s BUCS Championships.
Teams from the Universities of Keele, Nottingham and Birmingham will be fighting it out for qualification to the Midlands regional stage.
Keele are one of the most recent additions to the university korfball community and bring with them a fresh enthusiasm and determination. Only forming midway through last year and competing at their first tournament with only 6 players, Keele have doubled their membership since then and will be bringing the full complement of 12 to Birmingham. Bringing just one team will undoubtedly give them an advantage in terms of togetherness and team spirit. Having not competed in BUCS before they will be something of an unknown quantity – Birmingham and Nottingham, discount them at your peril!
One of the stalwarts of university Korfball, Nottingham has always been a force to be reckoned with and will no doubt return with high ambitions. Their second team met Birmingham in the first league game of the new season, with Birmingham recording a narrow victory. However, both teams will have developed since then and this should not be taken as any indication of future results.
As returning champions, Birmingham will be sure to be right in the mix come finals day. They have retained the core of last year’s winning squad including Danique Fintelman. Their chances will be boosted by the return of player-coach Andy Bovey and a strong intake of pre-university players. However, the losses of inspirational first team captain Steve Carter and Vicki Gee (now playing for Leeds City) will be keenly felt.
Birmingham’s second team produced a strong showing to secure third place at last years club championships and will be looking to build on that this year with many players having developed greatly over the season. Strength in depth will be provided by the third team – stiff opposition for anyone, packed with a mix of experienced heads and fresh talent.
On Saturday the 22nd November, Lancaster plays host to the BUCS North Preliminary round. This sees five teams from two universities, three from Manchester and two from Lancaster, compete to make it into the regional round of the competition. This event, the first of its kind in the North, is the start of a new look Korfball journey for both clubs as they hope to bring back those all-important BUCS points to the north-west.
Last year saw Manchester do well in the competition finishing an impressive 10th at Nationals. Their first team also saw success in the Central England Regional League 2 coming fourth overall. However, after the loss of a number of key players from their first team, Manchester have found the going tougher this year. Currently without a win in CERL2 they’ll be looking towards prelims as a chance to kick-start their season back to winning ways.
Aside from their first team, Manchester will also be entering both a second and third team into the competition. Both teams currently play in the North West League, with Manchester 2 competing in the top half of the league, whilst Manchester 3 (although without a win currently) continue to put in promising performances on a weekly basis.
Lancaster had a mixed bag of results last year. Whilst “team almost” ended up coming 15th at Nationals last year after missing out on the top 8 on goal difference, the first team saw success in the league. Winning every game in the North West League they then went on to secure their promotion to CERL2 with a good performance in the playoffs. This season, Lancaster 1 are currently holding their own in the big leagues, currently sitting third in CERL2.
Lancaster will also be sending their second team out to play on Saturday. Lancaster 2 impressed last year, winning the bottom half of the North West League and coming 8th in Club Championships. This year’s squad, whilst initially struggling for goals, seem to have found their shooting form putting 8 past Hawks 2 (but unfortunately also letting in 13).
The healthy rivalry between the two clubs will only be fuelled by recent results. Lancaster 1 recently demolished Manchester 1 23-6 in CERL 2 and Manchester will be looking to have their revenge. Conversely, a few weeks ago Manchester 2 came out 4-0 victors over Lancaster 2 and the Lancastrians will be hoping to rectify this, whilst Manchester 3 only lost by a single goal last time they played Lancaster 2.
In conclusion, Saturday’s event will showcase korfing talent from both Manchester and Lancaster Universities. Providing a competitive learning experience for all players, it’s important to stress that this is not all fun and games. Only four teams can progress to regional’s, with one having to settle for entry into the National Plate. It’s all to play for!
Saturday 22nd November will see the christening of BUCS korfball at Cambridge University’s new Sports Center. Yet it’s not only the sparkling floors and spacious changing rooms to look forward to, as the South Midlands region has some great korfball talent to showcase, old and new. Cambridge University 1st and 2nd teams will be facing Bedfordshire and newcomers de Montfort.
With only three members of the 1st team left in Cambridge, it was an uneasy start for the University this year, but acquiring some great basketball talent and a Dutchman, Cambridge have produced a fresh new team that have been smashing the local Cambridgeshire league. Captain Ollie Bell is back and better than ever, while Bart Kramer holds the other division, a native Dutch borrowed from SDO/Verzuimvitaal for the year.
Cambridge are looking forward to sharing some of their success next week with their second team, who are looking forward to their first BUCS tournament. Ed Holt’s squad of eager new korfball talent may still be getting to grips with the rules and tactics, but there’s no doubt they have buckets of energy and enthusiasm and some good shots on them!
The young, hungry, inspirational Bedfordshire Bulls are returning for their second ever korfball tournament, however, this year with the aim of BUCS gold. With limited training time and a lack of korfball knowledge, the Bulls are going to rely on their athleticism and basketball fundamentals to bring success. With a returning core of players who clinched a 5th place finish at Club Championships last year and expert coaching from Josh Rowe, the team have some great potential for next week. Leading the pack is captain and top scorer Stan Dunn off the back of his under21 Europeans who is hoping to lead the team to victory. The key acquisition of Helen Johnson will also add strength and experience to their already athletic squad of girls.
DMU Korfball are entering their inaugural BUCS competition as a brand new club officially affiliated with the DMU Student Union. With a few seasoned players but a mostly new squad it’s an exciting time for DMU korfball and an incredible opportunity to be part of a university tournament. Having already played a number of games in a local league the future is looking bright for the new DMU team with rapidly improving new players and teamwork. This is the first big step in the DMU teams inaugural season.
Regardless, the youthful nature of both competitor Universities is definitely causing some distress within the Cambridge team, who are finding it difficult to weigh up their opponents and fully analyse the competition. It’s also been rumoured that rival sibling of Bedfordshire’s coach, Isabel Rowe will be providing support and coaching for the Cambridge teams this Saturday, adding another level of competition to Saturday’s games.
All we can say for sure is that the South Midlands Prelims are shaping up to be one exciting and unpredictable day of University Korfball.
The BSKA are pleased to announce the appointment of Dave Buckland and Joe Stirling as Great Britain Student Korfball Squad coaches for the 2014/5 season.
Dave and Joe both coach regularly in the England Korfball League at Bec Korfball Club and Norwich Knights Korfball Club respectively. Both coached their teams to play off finals last year, with Bec finishing close runners up and Knights finishing in 4th place.
BSKA Chairman Rob Bloomer said “we are very pleased to announce this coaching team of Joe and Dave, supported by squad manager Matt, prior to the build up of the GB Student Programme this year. This is part of the ongoing process of developing British Student Korfball at the elite level. Dave brings with him a wealth of international experience and Joe is a very exciting prospect and up and coming coach in the high levels of English korfball. I have no doubt their mix of experience, ideas and approaches will be very effective as we aim for medals on the world stage in April 2015.”
The team will lead the Great Britain squad through trials and training with the end goal of the proposed University World Cup in the UK in April 2015. Trials will be announced shortly by Squad Manager Matt Lunn, and are intended to start before Christmas, with the last part of trials taking place on the Senior Inter Area weekend in February 2015.
Matt, BSKS Squad manager says “Eligibility rules will be based this year on FISU regulations as the University World Cup will take place using these rules. Rules will be finalised and released but in the interim we’d like players to start expressing interest in being part of the trials process. At the moment, if you consider yourself to be a British student in Higher Education and want to be involved, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age, contact details, University being attended and any other details you feel may be relevant.”
BSKA Chairman Rob Bloomer releases an open statement…
I hope that for all of you the season is going well so far, those of you that have taken part in a preliminary qualifying round of BUCS have enjoyed the experience and those of you still waiting to go are excited to get started! Thank you to all those helping to run our new and massively increased BUCS competition structure this year alongside building your own clubs.
This short letter is to inform you that, in the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of the British Student Korfball Association, which will take place in March 2015, I will not be looking to continue as chairperson of the BSKA. I know also, although I will not speak for any individuals, that several other members of the executive will also be relinquishing their positions. For me personally there are several reasons behind this:
1) two years ago at the AGM, we introduced the ability for non students to be involved in the executive committee, as long as when a person was first elected to the executive they were a current student. I believe this should go a little further and that a person should only be able to do this for two years. Much like the sabbatical officers at your student union, this is for two reasons- to make sure a membership organisation stays relevant to it’s membership and to ensure that one person or groups views do not control what has to be an ever evolving organisation;
2) I am proud that our executive have made some huge changes, with your help and on your behalf. With the effort that the executive has put into the substantial changes taking place it is easy to believe what we have built is perfect!! With that in mind it will be the perfect time to step away and let fresh eyes take on the task, and make changes to further benefit the BSKA’s membership;
3) At last year’s AGM I think we got the election process very wrong. I think (mistakenly) some of the committee did not make it clear that we did not intend to be re-elected to the executive. Certainly I wasn’t planning on being here again! I want to make sure that right from now everyone that may yet choose to run for a position doesn’t feel under pressure because of returning candidates- we need you to take charge!
So what do we need from people looking to be the executive committee of the BSKA next year? Well it’s pretty simple at the most basic level. We need people who are passionate about developing student korfball in the UK. We now have a competition structure that allows us to grow exponentially, so the focus can become about tinkering with the competition format and refining it, while developing existing clubs and introducing new clubs into the format. One thing is for certain, student korfball has to keep growing to maintain it’s level of importance within BUCS, which clubs unanimously told us was important to them. With this as an objective, in all fairness it’s worth saying that this should absolutely be the BSKA’s goal anyway- delivering growth in student korfball to raise the student experience, develop more and more leaders from University Korfball Clubs and provide volunteers that go on to help run our local community clubs as coaches, committee members, referees and players.
In the two years that I’ve been privileged to look after the BSKA Executive, we have:
1) Fundamentally changed the BUCS Competition format, raising student participation in BUCS by over 100%
2) Turned the BSKA into an organisation that turns over 500% more resource than in 2013, explicitly to develop the student korfball experience- we remain a non profit organisation.
3) Massively boosted the activity levels of the British Student Korfball Squad, hopefully culminating in a University World Cup being hosted by the BSKA and EKA next April (2015)
4) The website and media presence you are reading this letter on!
So what will you do? I guess most importantly we should talk about what support you will have in doing it. Firstly this year we are working with Norfolk Knowledge, a volunteer business consultancy of retired business professionals, to help make our financial controls strong, transparent and safe. With an increase in funds, comes an increase in the executive’s responsibility to make good and proper use of that money, and we will have all processes in place before the new executive continue the association’s work. We also hope to leave you with great relationships with The Home Nations NGBs, as we recognise that all of our goals are ultimately aligned- just with our own ways of getting there! Most importantly, when you (yes you!) become an exec member, the current executive will not just disappear- we’ll be there to advise you when requested, although we won’t be stepping in all the time- it’ll be your association!
I hope you will join me in congratulating everyone in student korfball for taking a brave and massive step forward in the development of student korfball during this season, and urge you while you are running your club, attending a preliminary, planning to host a tournament, or even just at one of your socials or committee meetings, to consider very seriously how you would make this association better, and then come and do it!
Elections will be publicised heavily in the New Year, but start thinking about it now!
On the 29th November 2014, as the days gets shorter and jumpers get thicker, teams from across the South West and Wales will converge on The Merchants Academy in Bristol to fight for the right to compete at the BUCS Regional Tournament in January.
The South West Preliminary event will this year will see teams from Cardiff University, The University of Bristol, The University of Exeter and The University of Gloucestershire compete in a 1 day tournament with the top 4 teams joining Southampton, Oxford and Brighton in the Regional event. The 3 remaining teams will instead progress directly to the National Plate in March.
As we enter a new era of BUCS Korfball competition, expect plenty of new faces to be showing off their skills on court. Bristol will be entering a 3rd team into BUCS for the very first time allowing even more players to experience the excitement of representing their University whilst taking on their local rivals. Bristol finished last season on a high, finishing 6th at BUCS Nationals and 4th at Club Championships, and they have continued that form into the new season winning 5 of their 6 matches to date. Despite the loss of player/coach Jordie Wildin to a year in America, 1st team Captain Essy King has stepped up and is leading the goal scoring charts for the South West league, averaging almost 6 goals a game, but she is being pushed all the way by Lizzie Tighe, who’s in her first year at Bristol and has already found her shooting boots.
Cardiff University is another team who had a brilliant season last year. They went the entire season unbeaten as they dominated the Welsh korfball league from start to finish, whilst at the same time they finished 4th in a very competitive regional league. Despite losing Welsh international James Wilcox to the dreaded graduation, Cardiff still have the high scoring Roddy Slater and England youth international Rebecca Fitch to call upon. So under the guidance of new coach Pat Merton they’ll make a formidable opponent. New recruit Sam Oldershaw’s exciting performances playing for Cardiff 2’s will be a boost to a team hoping to grab a place in the top 4 come the end of the month.
Despite the expectation of Bristol 1 vs. Cardiff 1 being the fixture to watch out for, The University of Exeter will be looking to cause an upset. This young team is only in its 3rd year of competition but has shown an amazing rate of improvement. They qualified for Nationals for the first time last year and will be looking to build on that, so finishing in the top 4 this month is a must! They look odds on to achieve that having already provided a very stern test for Bristol in the league. New arrival from Cambridge Paul Kim is currently leading the scoring, but the goals are coming from all angles in a very balanced looking 1st team.
Gloucester is also new to the korfball scene, as the club was only formed last year. Having lost club founder and Captain Karina Lang, the task has fallen to Tom Bunning to lead his team in their BUCS adventure this year. Despite only discovering korfball 12 months ago, Tom is already competing at a regional level so will be the perfect example for all the new students coming into the sport. Training and competing with the local senior team will provide the new players with an array of talent and experience to learn from, with this tournament providing them with a great opportunity to surprise people with how much they’ve developed and maybe create some shock results.
So with all that talent to look forward to and a seriously strong fight for those all important qualification places, this tournament is not one to be missed!
This Saturday 8th November sees the Southern Preliminary BUCS tournament kicking off at the Jubilee Centre on Southampton Universities Highfield Campus! University teams from Oxford, Brighton and Southampton will be going head-to-head, eagerly battling it out to progress to the regional stage of the competition.
With two Southampton teams entered, there’s no doubt the first team will be looking for the win after last years Bronze placing at Championships. With newly appointed captain Nikesh Patel, and an (as of yet) undefeated record in their local league, Southampton 1 are raring to take on the competition. We cannot, however forget the freshly formed Southampton second team. Although it is not obvious when watching, many of the players have only recently taken up the sport but with the help of their Captain, Joni Potter, they have quickly embraced the game. There is some promising talent within the second team, making them ones to watch!
The University of Oxford is also entering two teams this year. An experienced club, with their second team placing 6th at Cardiff last year and their firsts 13th at Championships, it’s safe to say Oxford will be looking to fight for the trophy this weekend. After a tense match against Southampton 1 in their local league last weekend that saw Southampton come out on top, Oxford 1 will be ready for a rematch!
This weekends preliminaries will be the first competitive gaming experience for the newly formed team from Brighton University, the club having only been started up this year! That does not mean this team should be dismissed as competitors, as recent friendly matches have proved they have some stand out players on their side.
Unfortunately, the University of Reading team have had to pull out of the preliminaries and will therefore progress straight to the third tier plate competition. Although disappointing, we look forward to seeing them at the competitions in March.
The day does not end with the matches, as the hosts will be taking all those who dare to experience the night life Southampton has to offer on a ‘Back to School’ social. So whether you’re celebrating, or drowning your sorrows, be sure to get involved!
All there is left to say is the hall is ready, the teams are prepared, the balls are pumped and we are looking forward to welcoming all teams to Southampton this weekend! Good luck!
The Eastern Preliminary encompasses London, Kent and Norwich, traditional powerhouse areas of korfball in the UK, boasting 7 of 8 premier league teams. But how will the University teams in the area fare this season….
the 1st November 2014 sees the new BUCS korfball season kick off in Scotland and the East as the first two Preliminary competitions get underway. This season, the Eastern preliminary will be contested by The University of East Anglia, The University of Kent and the University of Essex.
Essex are relative newcomers to the korfball scene, being set up by Helen Gilmore, who will be featuring for the University of Edinburgh in this season’s BUCS campaign following a decision to take University Korfball to a masters degree level. How Essex will fair in Gilmore’s absence, after she led the club with last year’s captain Jason Williams to compete in their first ever Korfball Southerns Competition last season is yet to be seen, but the building blocks are certainly there. Key to success for the blades will be a trio of returning male players. Big man Vaidas Globis will be taking to the court in a leadership role, looking to use his basketball background to dominate under the post. Club Captain Harry Phillips adds a big physical element to back up Globis in giving Essex the edge in physical battles. The blades don’t just have brawn and and will find goals through high scoring Joel Leung.
The University of Kent is a something of a mystery each year. The potential is huge given the number of local students with a propensity to know what korfball is! Known for a strong korfball heritage and traditionally strong on set pieces, Essex and UEA will need to be wary in the contact area. With a faithful following, this proud club is sure to be going for the win. Both Kent 1 and Kent 2 will gunning for top four places to progress to the next stage, with Kent 1 looking to challenge UEA 1 for the top spot.
UEA korfball come into BUCS 2014 with a truly stellar history. Undeniably a student korfball powerhouse, UEA have been crowned national champions four times since the year 2000, and have featured in a staggering 7 finals in the last fifteen years. Perhaps more importantly for this season, UEA’s second team claimed the last ever Club Championships final in March 2014, showing strength in depth is there for the club looking to get all three teams they have entered through to the second round of BUCS 2014.
UEA’s 1st team retains several players, including Nationals Top Scorer and Northerns MVP Joe Skeet, who started last year’s national championship final and they will no doubt be eager to make up for the agonizing one goal loss in the 2014 final. UEA’s second team will be led by returning captain Callum Harney, looking to build on his team’s successes from last year in the first round. UEA 3 will be full of the new talent emerging at UEA, supported by a number of experienced returning players, and looking to build a core of players for the future of UEAKC. Others will rule UEA 3 out at their peril however as league results have shown a number of players to be free scoring and brimming with confidence, Salman Saleh leading this charge.
Looking at the numbers UEA’s first team are the standout favourites for the win this weekend, but every team, UEA 2 and 3 included will be gunning to take the title of Eastern Champions 2014 from UEA’s finest. The weekend is set to be one of huge individual battles and plenty of upsets are possible!
Michael Garbutt of Edinburgh University writes for studentkorfball.co.uk about the upcoming Scotland preliminary taking place on the 1st November…
Scottish Preliminaries will be a day of firsts. It’s the first of November for one thing. The first bout of Preliminaries in the first year of the new Nationals structure. It will be the first tournament for many new players and, hopefully, the beginning of a road to a future first place in the BUCS championship.
But first of all, the details. Between the hours of 9 and 4 in the revered arena of Westwoods, five teams from two clubs will come together to fight it out for progression to regionals early next year. And while the four successful teams celebrate, should those that don’t make the cut feel disheartened? Unloved? Not at all, for mother BUCS cares for all her children, giving them a special place in Tier 3 of Nationals – the third stage of the championship.
With every team in with a chance of progression you can imagine the anticipative thrill that will run through the spectators’ bodies on that fateful morning as players exhausted, bloodied and pale take to the courts. But once the referee tells them to take off the previous night’s costumes things should calm down a bit.
Carefully selected from the rich pool of Scottish korfball talent, they have been given specialist training to deal with any and all issues that may be actioned by an overzealous scot – accidental caber toss of the post being one such eventuality (a free pass as I’m sure we’re all aware). Focus must be kept on the game, we’re all here to win after all.
That said, this tournament is one that is good natured at its core. As opposing teams take to their divisions the atmosphere is less ‘intimidation by haka’ and more ‘take your partner for the Boston Two Step’. Again, referees have received appropriate training in ceilidh intervention.
And when all’s said and done, games are over and ranking’s finalised, we will return to our usual selves. Hatchets will be buried and ‘Thine Olde Enemi’ shall become the old friend, just in time for a slightly behind schedule Halloween social.
The BSKA Committee have released the following information about the upcoming BUCS season…
Executive Committee Update
Firstly, we are pleased to announce that Heather Stokes will be taking on the role of treasurer. Following opening nominations for a treasurer, the BSKA received no nominations so the executive have made the decision to co-opt Heather, the ex treasurer of UEA Korfball club, to fill the role until the next full elections. With the change in BUCS format this season, and a vast increase in the association’s turnover, it is vitally important to have this executive position filled until elections take place again in March.
This year affiliation will be £50 for returning clubs, £25 for new clubs. Please get in touch if you are unsure how much you will need to pay for affiliation.
Affiliation needs to have been paid and confirmed by us before you can play in your preliminary.
Affiliation can be paid by bank transfer or cheque. Please email email@example.com for bank details or postal address.
Remember, if you don’t pay your affiliation, you will not be playing in preliminaries!
Thank you to everyone that gave us feedback whilst we have been working to restructure our BUCS competitions.
BUCS entry closes NEXT THURSDAY- 17th October 2014!!!
Make sure you have got yourselves entered by Thursday.
You have to enter preliminaries to compete in any of the future competitions this year.
This year there are 3 stages of competition, if you don’t enter at the start, you can’t enter at all.
Entries are made via BUCSscore. To do this contact your AU/student union/BUCS organiser at your university.
Cost per team: £275
This gets you: entry to all BSKA Competitions your team will take part in for the entire year.
Looking at a squad of 12 players, this equates to just £23 for the whole season of BUCS Competition!
There is more information regarding entering BUCS here
Preliminary dates are as follows:
1st November 2014
Westwoods Health Club
Lancaster University Sports Centre
Handsworth Grange School, Sheffield
South Mids: Teams
South West: Teams
South Mids: Info
South West: Info
Cambridge University Sports Centre
Jubilee Sports Centre (University of Southampton)
Merchant’s Academy Sports Centre
Korfball has been allocated more BUCS points in this season’s BUCS points allocation. The table below shows how the BUCS competition group have distributed these points.
Team (Stand Alone Championships)
1st Place – 50 Points
1st Place – 30 Points
1st Place – 20 Points
2nd Place – 35 Points
2nd Place – 21 Points
2nd Place – 14 Points
3rd Place – 24 Points
3rd Place – 14 Points
3rd Place – 10 Points
4th Place – 16 Points
4th Place – 12 Points
4th Place – 7 Points
5th Place – 14 Points
5th Place – 11 Points
5th place – 5 Points
6th Place – 12 Points
6th Place – 9 Points
6th Place – 3 Points
7th Place – 10 Points
7th Place – 7 Points
7th Place – 2 Points
8th Place – 8 Points
8th Place – 5 Points
8th Place – 1 Point
9th-16th Place – 6 Points
Last year, BUCS points were only available for 1st-8th place in the championship competition. Now you can pick up points at all levels, even more reason to enter more than one team!