British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) and England Handball have announced a new format for the 2023/2024 season, allowing for more inter-university competition.
Following feedback and discussions with university teams, the new model will see the tournament move away from the single event weekend to a three-phase system, in a return to the models run between 2013 and 2016.
This means teams will initially play in regional groups – South England, North England, Midlands and Scotland – with the winners qualifying for the national finals.
The format will be split into two tiers – Championship and Trophy, with university second teams not eligible to compete in the Championship.
Depending on the number of final entries, game time will be extended and include half times and timeouts where possible.
John Pearce, National Events and Media Manager at England Handball, said: “The feedback from our university members has consistently been that their squads want more inter-university competition, so we’ve made these changes firmly with them in mind.
“It’s brilliant to see handball growing in popularity at universities, and we’re expecting this trend to grow and grow – particularly now that there will be even more matches in our competition.
“University is a brilliant source of talent for handball, and we can’t wait to see what this year’s BUCS Handball competition has in store.”
To enter, teams will need to register with BUCS via their online system. And in a change from last year’s competition, all players will need to be registered with England Handball on the Gameday system, which you can do here.
Registration opens on Tuesday, October 24; and closes on Thursday, November 9, and can be done by visiting our page here.
Here are the dates and confirmed venues for the three competition phases:
Round 1 – Group Qualification – 2nd/3rd November 2023
Venue: Sutton Bonington TBC
Round 2 – Group Qualification – 3rd/4th February 2024
Venue – TBC
Derby Arena – TBC
Round 3 – National Finals – 9th/10th March 2024
National Finals for qualified teams.