BUCS report - League Meet 2
Since the last BUCS report, two teams have held onto their leads; three have been usurped; three leagues simply didn’t meet; and two were cancelled due to hall booking problems, because, well, of course they were. It’s comforting to know that even with the relative glitz and glamour of the BUCS label, some things will always remain the same in University Dodgeball.
Let’s get into it.
Women's Northern and Midlands League
The women’s leagues continue to be harder to write about thanks to British Dodgeball only hosting Excel spreadsheets for their men’s leagues. Hopefully this is an innocent oversight that will be corrected before anyone accuses them of inadequately supporting their university women (again). No meet happened this time round in either the Women’s Northern or Midlands leagues, meaning that Sheffield 1s and Warwick lead in both respectively. However, looking at Derby’s win in the recent Midlands Open, there’s good reason to be concerned about future Midlands League meets, especially if you play in red.
Women's Southern League
This means only the Women’s Southern League had any movement, though Imperial still managed to hold onto their lead here with two 30-0 wins against City and Essex, one was a no show match, the other just happened to be a 30-0 score line. This not only keeps them ahead on 4 total wins, but also feeds into their huge +70 point difference. Essex dropped from 2nd to 4th place as a result, though still with a game in hand. Imperial and UCL remain the only two teams to have played four fixtures, and therefore unsurprisingly leading the pack pointwise. Those missing matches mean that a lot can still change here, particularly if teams show up.
Men's Premier League
The Men’s Premier League certainly had an interesting set of matches scheduled. Birmingham, Sheffield, Warwick, and Nottingham BoS, the four classic university teams that head up this league, all had matches against each other. And, like the Women’s National Super League at the minute, the results refused to follow any sort of hierarchy, instead creating neat little circles of results, such as: Birmingham lost to Warwick lost to Nottingham lost to Birmingham. Confused? So is everyone. Only Sheffield really came out on top, with no losses and three strong wins against the others, allowing them to hold onto their top spot. They currently have a two-win lead over their nearest competitors (Imperial and Warwick both sitting on three wins total), which means it’s going to be hard work to topple them now.
Men's South Eastern League
The South Eastern league saw a set of fixtures that were, for the most part, pretty decisive scorelines, such as Essex’s 32-0 win against King’s. Previous league leaders Imperial 2s were beaten in a 14-6 rout by UCL 1s, dropping the former down to 4th on the table. UCL and Essex are tied up at the top with 6 wins in 6 matches each, though Essex take the lead for now thanks to their impressive points difference. This means their final meet is especially important, as the two leading, unbeaten teams come head-to-head at last.
Men's Midlands League
Since the last report, the Men’s Midlands league was actually meant to have had two meets. However, in the most dodgeball story to have come out of the BUCS era so far, the 5th of November one had to be postponed last minute due to the hall in Coventry being double-booked. This same incident is to blame for the lack of Women’s Midlands league meet. The third meet for this men’s league (now the second meet – yes I’m already confused) fortunately did go ahead on the 27th of November. That day was full of some heavy scorelines and crushing defeats, with only two close-fought matches throughout the day. Warwick 2s managed to clinch a last-minute win against Nottingham 2s with a 13-11 scoreline, while Coventry and Lincoln tied up at 12-12. Derby took two wins, 26-2 vs Lincoln 2s and 23-5 vs Birmingham 2s, which allowed them to slip into the lead as the only team in this league without any losses or draws. This much to the annoyance of Trent and Warwick 2s, who sit a single point beneath them after their draw against each other in the first meet of the season – both “undefeated” teams, but still tragically just out of reach of that top spot.
Men's Western League
As for the Men’s Western League, it saw the closest matchup happen between Southampton 1s and Winchester, both teams that would fancy themselves potential league winners. The match came down to a scoreline of 13-11, with Southampton winning out in the end. Plymouth had the best day though, beating the previous league leaders Southampton 1s 17-13, and then apparently using Southampton 2s for target practice, with a 32-0 win that will certainly do them favours in the point difference column. This leaves us with a three-way tie for first place, with Plymouth, Southampton, and Winchester all on three wins and a loss. Winchester however managed to steal the spot at the top of the table thanks to a +42 point difference, though the other two are agonisingly close on their heels, with Plymouth at +36 and Southampton at +32.
Men's Northern League
The Men’s Northern League, like the women’s leagues, had no meets this time round.
This means the current leaders of each league are as follows:
Women’s Midlands: Warwick 1s (no meet)
Women’s Northern: Sheffield 1s (no meet)
Women’s Southern: Imperial 1s (retained)
Men’s Premier: Sheffield 1s (retained)
Men’s Midlands: Derby 1s (prev. Nottingham 2s)
Men’s Northern: York 1s (no meet)
Men’s South Eastern: Essex 1s (prev. Imperial 2s)
Men’s Western: Winchester 1s (prev. Southampton 1s)
The Beverz Rating System
Looking at the Beverz Rating system (dodgeball's own ELO ratings) for the above leagues, most of it is unsurprising. However, there is one notable exception. Despite sitting in 2nd place in the league rankings, Plymouth have a higher Beverz rating than Winchester 1s – designating them the stronger team at the moment. This’ll be put to the test when the two teams play each other in the next league meet. It also means that, at the moment, Plymouth are our favourites to win the Men’s Western League. Sorry Winchester!