British Universities American Football League

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British Universities American Football League
Buafl logo.png
BUAFL logo
Sport American football
Founded 2007
No. of teams 83 (2016-17 season)
Country  United Kingdom
Most recent
champion(s)
Birmingham Lions

The British Universities American Football League (BUAFL), is an American football league contested by university teams in the United Kingdom as part of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) organisation. The league was formed by the British American Football Association (BAFA), the national governing body of American football in the UK, in 2007 as the successor to the British Collegiate American Football League, after BAFA withdrew its recognition of the British Student American Football Association which ran that league.[1][2] The BUAFL has been credited with reviving interest in American Football in the UK.[3]

From 2008, the BUAFL was officially associated with the National Football League (NFL), through its partner organisation NFL UK.[4] In 2012, BUAFL's league and teams were absorbed into BUCS after American football became an official BUCS sport.[5] Over the period 2007 to 2014, the BUAFL grew from 42 teams and 2,460 participants to 75 teams and over 4,100 people involved.[6]

The reigning national champions are the Birmingham Lions (11-0), who secured the championship by defeating the Stirling Clansmen 19-13.[7]

League structure[edit]

Over the course of the regular season, each team in the Premier and Tier 1 plays between eight regular season games. Each team plays everyone in their division twice; once home and once away. For the 2016/17 season, Tier 2 is broken down into six conferences, five of seven teams and one (South East) of eight; teams in Tier 2 play a six-game season (seven in the South East division), playing each other only once.[8]

Current Structure[edit]

The latest structure for the BUAFL system was announced by BUCS on 26 August 2016. It consists of two Premier divisions, six regional Tier 1 divisions and six regional Tier 2 divisions.[8] This differs from the standard BUCS structure of five geographical regions below Premier level.[9]

Premier Divisions[edit]

North South
  • Derby Braves
  • Durham Saints
  • Loughborough Students
  • Nottingham Trent Renegades
  • Stirling Clansmen
  • Bath Killer Bees
  • Birmingham Lions
  • Hertfordshire Hurricanes
  • Kingston Cougars
  • Swansea Titans

Tier 1 Divisions[edit]

North North West Midlands
  • Glasgow Tigers
  • Hull Sharks
  • Newcastle Raiders
  • Northumbria Mustangs
  • Sunderland Spartans
  • Leeds Beckett Carnegie
  • Manchester Tyrants
  • Sheffield Sabres
  • Sheffield Hallam Warriors
  • UCLan Rams
  • Liverpool John Moore Fury
  • Nottingham
  • Staffordshire Stallions
  • Warwick Wolves
  • Worcester Royals
South South East South West
  • Brighton Tsunami
  • Portsmouth Destroyers
  • Reading Knights
  • Surrey Stingers
  • Sussex Saxons
  • Cambridge Pythons
  • East Anglia PIrates
  • Imperial Immortals
  • Kent Falcons 1st
  • Royal Holloway Bears
  • Cardiff Cobras
  • Exeter Demons
  • Oxford Lancers
  • Southampton Solent
  • UWE Bullets

Tier 2 Divisions[edit]

Borders North Midlands
  • Edinburgh Predators
  • Edinburgh Napier Knights
  • Lancaster Bombers
  • Teesside Cougars
  • West of Scotland Pyros
  • York Centurions
  • Heriot-Watt
  • Bangor MudDogs
  • Bradford Bears
  • Keele Crusaders
  • Leeds Celtics
  • Edge Hill Vikings
  • Liverpool Raptors
  • Chester Romans
  • Coventry Jets
  • DMU Falcons
  • Huddersfield Hawks
  • Leicester Longhorns
  • Lincoln Colonials
  • Manchester Met Eagles
  • Northampton Nemesis
South South West South East
  • Brunel Burners
  • BNU Buccaneers
  • Chichesters Spitfires
  • City College Sentinels
  • King's College Regents
  • Southampton Stags
  • UCLU Emperors
  • Aberystwyth Tarranau
  • Bath Spa Bulldogs
  • Bournemouth Bobcats
  • Bristol Barracuda
  • Gloucester Gladiators
  • Oxford Brookes Panthers
  • Plymouth Blitz
  • Anglia Ruskin Rhinos
  • Canterbury Chargers
  • East London Titans
  • Essex Blades
  • Greenwich Mariners
  • LSBU Spartans
  • Queen Mary Vipers
  • Westminster Dragons

Earlier structures[edit]

The first two full seasons of BUCS American Football preserved the single tier, eight conference structure inherited from BUAFL. In 2014-15, this was changed to a two tier system with the formation of two Premier divisions (North and South), each of five teams. The eight regional conferences, slightly reorganised (in particular, the small Scottish conference became the more balanced Borders conference, including teams from northern England) to contain 8 or 9 teams each, became the second tier. At the same time the Championship was reduced to the top two teams from each Premier division and the Challenge trophy was replaced with cup competitions for North and South Tier 1 divisional winners, with the winners being promoted to the appropriate Premier division.[9]

For the 2015-16 season, the league was split in three tiers. The premier remsined organised into North and South, although the top four (of five) in each division now entered the Championship playoff, with the fifth being relegated. The second tier contained 6 geographic division, three Northern (Scottish North, Northern and Midlands) and three Southern (Western, South and Southeastern). The Trophy playoffs took the top two from each division plus the top two remaining teams with the best record from the northern and southern regions, the playoffs were structured with a "northern semifinal" and a "southern semifinal", with the semifinal winners promoted to the respective Premier division regardless of the result in the final. The third tier was organized into 8 divisions, four Northern (Scottish North, Northern, Midlands and North Midlands) and four Southern (Western, South, Southeastern and London).[9][10] The major change for the 2016-17 season was the reduction to six divisions (and a consequent increase in the number of teams per division) in the third tier (Tier 2), although not fully matching the geographical regions in the second tier (Tier 1).[8]

2015-16 Final Standings[edit]

Championship qualification is shaded in green, and relegation is shaded in red; position in the Championship bracket is based on final positions in the two divisions. League position is based on number of points scored, with 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss

Premier North[11]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Stirling Clansmen 8 0 0 1.000 268 88 16
Durham Saints 5 2 0 0.714 189 132 10[12]
Derby Braves 4 4 0 .500 144 163 8
Loughborough Students 2 6 0 .250 104 160 10
Hallam Warriors 0 7 0 0.000 62 224 0[12]
Premier South[13]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Birmingham Lions 8 0 0 1.000 232 45 16
Hertfordshire Hurricanes 5 3 0 0.625 190 109 10
Kingston Cougars 4 4 0 0.500 102 134 8
Bath Killer Bees 3 5 0 0.375 143 163 6
Imperial Immortals 0 8 0 0.000 46 262 0

2014-15 Final Standings[edit]

Championship qualification is shaded in green, and relegation is shaded in red; position in the Championship bracket is based on final positions in the two divisions. League position is based on number of points scored, with 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss

Premier North[14]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Durham Saints 7 1 0 0.875 233 119 14
Stirling Clansmen 6 2 0 0.750 271 68 12
Loughborough Students 5 3 0 .625 178 150 10
Derby Braves 1 7 0 .125 68 211 2
Sheffield Sabres 1 7 0 .125 60 262 0[15]
Premier South[16]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Birmingham Lions 7 1 0 0.875 259 30 14
Hertfordshire Hurricanes 7 1 0 0.875 275 56 14
Bath Killer Bees 4 4 0 0.500 140 170 8
Imperial Immortals 2 6 0 0.250 50 133 2[17]
Brighton Tsunami 0 8 0 0.000 15 350 0

2013-14 Final Standings[edit]

Championship qualification is shaded in green, and Plate qualification is shaded in orange. Seeding is based on number of points scored, with 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss

Saltire (Scottish)[18]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Stirling Clansmen 8 0 0 1.000 622 13 16
Glasgow Tigers 5 3 0 .625 176 264 10
Edinburgh Predators 4 4 0 .500 130 201 8
Edinburgh Napier Knights 3 5 0 .375 125 244 6
UWS Pyros 0 8 0 .000 42 373 0
Big North Western (BNWC)[19]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Sheffield Sabres 7 1 0 .875 197 61 14
Derby Braves 7 1 0 .875 320 42 14
Hallam Warriors 7 1 0 .875 274 96 14
LJMU Fury 6 2 0 .750 246 129 12
UCLan Rams 5 3 0 .625 254 90 10
Bangor MudDogs 3 5 0 .375 140 208 6
MMU Eagles 3 5 0 .375 121 193 6
Lancaster Bombers 3 5 0 .375 174 294 6
Staffordshire Stallions 2 6 0 .250 140 229 4
Manchester Tyrants 0 7 0 .000 61 200 0
Keele Crusaders 0 7 0 .000 6 386 0
North Eastern (NEC)[20]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Durham Saints 7 0 0 1.000 316 41 14
Sunderland Spartans 7 1 0 .875 229 115 14
Leeds Carnegie 6 2 0 .750 135 59 12
Hull Sharks 6 2 0 .750 155 87 12
Newcastle Raiders 5 3 0 .625 140 134 10
York Centurions 4 4 0 .500 140 215 8
Northumbria Mustangs 3 5 0 .375 104 114 6
Huddersfield Hawks 2 5 0 .286 146 144 4
Leeds Celtics 2 6 0 .250 100 162 4
Bradford Bears 1 7 0 .125 42 187 2
Teesside Cougars 0 8 0 .000 69 312 0
Midlands Athletics (MAC)[21]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Birmingham Lions 8 0 0 1.000 206 21 16
Loughborough Students 7 1 0 .875 340 76 14
NTU Renegades 6 2 0 .750 214 117 12
Nottingham 4 4 0 .500 122 99 8
Warwick Wolves 4 4 0 .500 193 145 8
Coventry Jets 3 4 0 .429 149 190 6
DMU Falcons 3 5 0 .375 87 176 6
Worcester Royals 3 5 0 .375 77 213 6
Lincoln Colonials 3 4 0 .429 52 113 6
Wolverhampton Wildcats 1 6 0 .143 58 153 2
South Western Athletics (SWAC)[22]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Bath Killer Bees 7 0 0 1.000 253 47 14
UWE Bullets 6 1 0 .857 211 65 12
Swansea Titans 6 1 0 .857 288 88 12
Exeter Demons 4 3 0 .571 198 175 8
Gloucester Gladiators 3 4 0 .429 63 97 6
Cardiff Cobras 2 3 0 .400 81 86 4
Plymouth Blitz 1 3 0 .250 56 141 2
Tarannau Aberystwyth 1 5 0 .166 88 127 2
Bristol Barracuda 1 6 0 .143 89 210 2
Bath Spa Bulldogs 0 5 0 .000 13 322 0
Oyster Card (London)[23]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Imperial Immortals 8 0 0 1.000 145 36 16
Kingston Cougars 7 1 0 .875 186 21 14
Royal Holloway Bears 6 2 0 .750 228 82 12
Brunel Burners 5 3 0 .625 224 80 10
King's College Regents 4 4 0 .500 87 141 8
Greenwich Mariners 3 5 0 .375 97 172 6
Westminster Dragons 1 6 0 .143 60 142 2
London City Sentinels 0 8 0 .000 24 320 0
LSBU Spartans 1 6 0 .143 38 106 -2**
South Coast (SCC)[24]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Brighton Tsunami 8 0 0 1.000 236 40 16
Southampton Stags 7 1 0 .875 236 48 14
Portsmouth Destroyers 6 2 0 .750 197 47 12
Surrey Stingers 5 3 0 .625 82 106 10
OBU Panthers 4 4 0 .500 96 103 8
Reading Knights 2 5 0 .286 86 155 4
Solent Redhawks 2 6 0 .250 209 217 4
Sussex Saxons 1 6 0 .143 102 218 2
Oxford Lancers 0 8 0 .000 31 294 0
South Central (SCC)[25]
Team W L T PCT PF PA Pts
Hertfordshire Hurricanes 8 0 0 1.000 384 6 16
Cambridge Pythons 7 1 0 .875 243 67 14
Kent Falcons 5 2 0 .714 122 65 10
UEA Pirates 5 3 0 .625 142 65 10
Northampton Nemesis 4 3 0 .571 129 158 8
BNU Buccaneers 3 5 0 .375 67 143 6
Canterbury Chargers 1 6 0 .143 46 180 2
Anglia Ruskin Rhinos 1 7 0 .125 42 224 2
Essex Blades 0 7 0 .000 13 270 0

National Championship Games[edit]

Season Winning team Losing team notes
2007-2008 Southampton Stags 54 Staffordshire Stallions 20
2008-2009 Birmingham Lions 42 Newcastle Raiders 2
2009-2010 Birmingham Lions 27 Loughborough Aces 16
2010-2011 Portsmouth Destroyers 20 Birmingham Lions 19
2011-2012 Hertfordshire Hurricanes 37 Birmingham Lions 19
2012-2013[26] Birmingham Lions 17 Hertfordshire Hurricanes 13
2013-2014[27] Stirling Clansmen 20 Birmingham Lions 15
2014-2015[28] Stirling Clansmen 46 Hertfordshire Hurricanes 6
2015-2016[29] Birmingham Lions 19 Stirling Clansmen 13
2016-2017 Stirling Clansmen 10 Durham Saints 7 MVP: SC QB Andres Donat

Challenge Trophy/Divisional Cups/National Trophy[edit]

The Challenge Trophy was replaced by the two Divisional Cups for the transitional 2014-15 season, which were replaced in turn by the National Trophy from 2015-16.

Teams that win the northern division are promoted to Premiership North, teams that win the south division to Premiership South. These teams face off in the Division One National Final normally just before the Premiership Final.

BUAFL Most Valuable Players[edit]

The season MVPs have been given out sporadically at best.

Season Winning team Losing team Notes
2008-2009 Bath Killer Bees 13 Sheffield Hallam Warriors 8
2009-2010 Greenwich Mariners 12 Stirling Clansmen 0
2010-2011 Cardiff Cobras 20 UCH Sharks 0
2011-2012 Sheffield Sabres 25 Bath Killer Bees 8
2012-2013[30] NTU Renegades 42 Southampton Stags 28 MVP: NTU QB Danny Miller
2013-2014[31] Swansea Titans 38 Royal Holloway Bears 12 MVP: ST QB Simon George
2014-15 (North)[32] Sheffield Hallam Warriors 26 Glasgow Tigers 6 Sheffield Hallam promoted to Premier North
2014-15 (South)[33] Kingston Cougars 42 Surrey Stingers 9 Kingston promoted to Premier South
2015-2016[34] Swansea Titans 21 NTU Renegades 16 Swansea promoted to Premier South, NTU promoted to Premier North
2016-2017 Leeds Beckett Carnegie 28 Portsmouth Destroyers 7 MVP: LBC QB Chris Winrow, Carnegie promoted to Premier North, Portsmouth promoted to Premier South
Season League MVP Offensive MVP Defensive MVP
2008-2009 Tristan Varney (Birmingham Lions) Ed Butcher (Southampton Stags)
2009-2010 David Saul (Sheffield Hallam Warriors) Tristan Varney (Birmingham Lions) Ed Butcher (Solent Redhawks)
2010-2011 Adam Hope (Loughborough Aces) Russ Waddell (Bristol Barracuda)
2011-2012 Joe Thompson (Hertfordshire Hurricanes)
2012-2013 Dan Conroy (Birmingham Lions)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BSAFA Operations Suspended". British American Football Association. 25 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "BAFA Launches BUAFL". British American Football Association. 25 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Ben Halls (30 September 2016). "Riding the Second Wave: The Resurrection of the NFL in the UK". VICE Sports. Vice Media. As any wannabe dictator will tell you, revolution simply cannot happen without grassroots action. That is it true in sport, too. For American football, that movement came not from the NFL itself, but was home-grown at British universities. 
  4. ^ "NFL announces partnership with BUAFL". 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-01-08. 
  5. ^ http://www.bucs.org.uk/sport.asp?section=16641tab=1
  6. ^ Zander Swinburne (1 February 2014). "Super Bowl 2014: Move over, Wayne Rooney – gridiron's here". The Independent. The British Universities American Football League (BUAFL) had 42 teams before the first Wembley game in 2007 and 2,460 participants; now 75 universities are registered, with more than 4,100 players, coaches and officials 
  7. ^ "Lions and Titans triumph in Leeds". British American Football. 21 March 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c "#BUCSball Conference Structures Released!". 2016-08-26. Retrieved 2016-09-20. 
  9. ^ a b c "American Football – Moving to three tiers". BUCS. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "BUCS American Football 2015-16". BUCS. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "BUCS American Football 2015-2016 - Premier North". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Sheffield Hallam vs Durham match void
  13. ^ "BUCS American Football 2015-2016 - Premier South". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "BUCS American Football 2014-2015 - Premier North". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  15. ^ Penalised 2 points for conceding walkover vs Durham
  16. ^ "BUCS American Football 2014-2015 - Premier South". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  17. ^ Penalised 2 points for conceding walkover vs Birmingham
  18. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - Scottish". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  19. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - North Western". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  20. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - North Eastern". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  21. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - Midlands". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  22. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - Western". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  23. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - South Eastern B". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  24. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - South". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  25. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - South Eastern A". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  26. ^ "BUCS American Football 2012-2013 - Championship - Men's". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  27. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - Championship - Men's". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  28. ^ "BUCS American Football 2014-2015 - Championship - Mixed". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  29. ^ "BUCS American Football 2015-2016 - Championship - Mixed". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  30. ^ "BUCS American Football 2012-2013 - Trophy - Men's". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  31. ^ "BUCS American Football 2013-2014 - Trophy - Men's". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  32. ^ "BUCS American Football 2014-2015 - North Divisional Cup - Mixed". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  33. ^ "BUCS American Football 2014-2015 - South Divisional Cup - Mixed". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  34. ^ "BUCS American Football 2015-2016 - Trophy - Mixed". BUCS. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 

External links[edit]