UWOR & Uni Open Warm-Up Game Lengths

Following a recent query regarding the game length time for the University Women’s Outdoor Regionals events this weekend, we wanted to clarify that the decision to make the games 40 minutes (+cap) long is not as a result of the Open Warm-Up events being run at the same time. 


Our priority is definitely the Women’s division, as this event is the regional qualifier for the Nationals competition happening in April, whereas the Men’s teams have the BUCS league taking place on Wednesday afternoons. The main reason why the Open event is put on is because generally there is the space available at the venues to hold the extra division, as with such a small number of teams entering the UWOR events there is inevitably spare pitch time. In some instances we do turn Open teams away as there isn’t the space and we definitely do not want to negatively impact the Women’s event. 


To clarify, the game lengths are predominantly defined by two things. Firstly, the number of games played per day, per team. Secondly, the overall playing time over the weekend. The latter has become increasingly important to us over the last few years as we receive fairly consistent feedback from some members of the community who feel that there is too much total play and/or too many games at tournaments.


Of course we also have the constraint of trying to create a format that is reasonably open and fair.  For these UWOR events - to some extent due to the number of entrants - we have formats that require some teams to play 4 games on one or both days.  Including the possible/likely cap, a team with 4 games will be playing 3.5-4 hours.  It is true that in the past we have had university schedules that extended beyond 4 hours of play in a day, but we have gradually been reducing that total in response to feedback from players and our own concerns about player safety. We are well aware that there are teams and players in the university competitions that could handle more playing time; but we also see teams and players that are less well placed to cope.  We are trying to balance the needs of both groups and everyone in between.


Hopefully this provides some clarification for why the game lengths are 40 minutes (+ cap) and how we came to that decision.  However, we are really interested to hear you and your team’s feedback on this subject. We will be opening up a feedback form early next week to collect your thoughts on the subject, particularly following your experiences over the weekend as we want to make sure that we’re getting that balance right! We are always really interested to receive feedback about the optimum compromises that we have to make when creating tournament schedules so please spread the word as it would be great to hear from as many participants as possible.


Please keep an eye out on the Regional Facebook Groups for the feedback survey link and good luck for the weekend!