BUTC 2023 Review [16/Mar/23]

Birmingham A (Megan Costall, John Wong, Zinan Ni) won BUTC 2023, 2-1 in a shoot off after the final ended 12-12. They beat Oxford A (Callum Henfrey, Ecaterina Pogorenii, Yang Pei). Birmingham opened up a 1 disc lead at half way, Oxford equalised in the final pass, but then Birmingham won the shoot off. Sheffield A (Kian Eshraghi-Yazdi, Sum Hin Moses Cheung, Jack Wells) beat Warwick A (Hannah Burnage, Wills Chiu, Chris Woodgate) 14-13 in the bronze medal match.

In total 21 different universities were represented, with one club, Lincoln, making their first ever appearance at a BUTC.

Sum Hin Moses Cheung (Sheffield) scored a magnificent 291 to break the tournament and All Unis record for the Bray I. Cheung's score is the first time the 290 mark has been broken. Imogen Newby (Surrey) was the top lady qualifier on 276. Wills Chiu (Warwick) and Jack Wells (Sheffield) both scored 283.

The format of the knock-out matches was same as it has been since 2007, with the teams of three each shooting four ends of two arrows each at 60mm discs.

With several late withdrawals and the waiting list exhausted, there were three gaps in the field meaning that the top three in Bray I would secure a bye to the Round of 16. As it worked out, three teams went clear at the top of the Bray I ranking round field. There were only three points between Warwick A on 812 and Sheffield A and Oxford both on 809, Sheffield taking second on golds. SSS winners Dundee A led the rest of the field on 779, with BUTTS duo Birmingham A and Loughborough A 5th and 6th on 766 and 765. Hosts Leeds A were 7th on 752, with Nottingham B comfortably outqualifying their own A team, in 8th one point behind Leeds. Liverpool A and Durham A made it 4 NEUAL clubs in the top 10, on 744 and 739, with Nottingham Trent A on 734. The top 16 was completed by York A, debutantes Lincoln A, SEAL winners Surrey A, Warwick's B team and Nottingham's A team.

In the first half of the Round of 32, top seeds Warwick A got a bye to the last 16. Their opponents were determined by the 16th seeds against 17th, the match that was by far the highest scoring fixture in the round. Nottingham A put any qualification wobbles behind them and scored 15, with Leeds B racking up 9 in response - enough to win several of the other matches. Making their debut amongst the discs, 13th seeds Lincoln A managed to squeeze through against Bristol A 6-5. They booked a match against 4th seeds Dundee, who eased past Keele B 11 discs to 4. Birmingham A and York A both scored 10 to make the second round. Birmingham beat Newcastle A 10-4, whilst York had to work a bit harder in a 10-7 win over fellow NEUAL club Sheffield B. Liverpool A beat De Montfort A 8-2, whilst there was a 7-2 win for Nottingham B - who joined their own A team in round 2 - over Reading A.

In the second half of the last 32, second and third seeds Sheffield A and Oxford A got a bye. In a north east derby, Durham A eased aside Newcastle B 10-4. Newcastle B exactly matched their A team's result from the previous pass. Loughborough A started their run with a relatively comfortable win over Dundee B, 12 hits to 2. Nottingham Trent A made it 3 Nottingham-based teams in the last 16 with an 8-2 win over Keele A. SEAL winners Surrey edged out league-mates Queen Mary A 6-3. Warwick B edged out Exeter A 7-6, ending SWWU interest early. Hosts Leeds A beat Durham B 9-5 to set up a last 16 meeting with Durham A. Remarkably, for the first time since the very first BUTC in 2003, all 16 of the top 16 got through to the round of 16.

For logistical reasons, the round of 16 was also split into two passes. All 4 matches in the first half were tight affairs. Nottingham A and B could have set up a quarter-final against one another, but both sides suffered narrow defeats. Nottingham A had shot 15 in the first round, but could only muster 8 in round 2, losing 8-11 to top seeds Warwick A, whilst Nottingham B were undone 7-8 by Liverpool A. Birmingham A just had enough to see off York A 10-8. The winner of Lincoln A against Dundee A would qualify for the QFs for the first time. The sides were level after one, two and three ends, before the new minted Scottish league winners finally nudged ahead in the fourth, to take the win 7-6. Lincoln are the 54th different club to take part at BUTC and enjoyed a successful debut, coming within a whisker of the last eight. The second half of the last 16 saw comfortable wins for Oxford A, Loughborough A and Sheffield A as the won 14-6, 14-5 and 12-4 against Surrey A (the last remaining team from SEAL), Nottingham Trent A and Warwick B. The round's remaining match up was an all NEUAL affair between hosts and 7th seeds Leeds A and 10th seeds Durham A. Durham gradually built up a lead and Leeds couldn't find the spark they needed, bowing out 8 hits to 12.

The quarter-final line up in 2023 featured a few different faces to the last few years. Dundee were in the last 8 for the first time, while Liverpool and Durham featured at this stage for the first time in 10 and 15 years respectively. Liverpool A took an early lead against Warwick A, but Warwick fought back to lead themselves. Liverpool would not give in and the 9th seeds pushed the 1st seeds right to the wire before defending champions Warwick snuck through right on the line 12-11. Birmingham A hit their highest total to date with 13 and they had too much for Dundee A who mustered 8 in response. Oxford A beat Loughborough A 13-10 in an all BUTTS quarter-final, with the Dark Blues coming out on top after both teams had scored 14 in the previous round. Loughborough have qualified for at least the last 8 in all of the last 10 BUTCs a record no other team can match. The highest aggregate QF match came from the all NEUAL match up, Durham A v Sheffield A. Both teams hit 12 in the previous round and Durham A did so again, but it wasn't quite enough against Sheffield A who got through to the semis for the second year in a row with 14.

The two semi-finals were Warwick A v Birmingham A and Oxford A v Sheffield A. Warwick A v Birmingham A is a local derby that has been a BUTC semi-final 4 times in the last 6 BUTCs - and a final. The pair clearly know each other well. Warwick might have been top seeds but it was Birmingham who seized the initiative in the match, taking the first pass 4-2. Over the middle two passes Birmingham faded a little, with Warwick chipping into the deficit and then a 3-1 win in pass 3 put them 8-7 up. Stung into action the disc count crept upwards and Birmingham forced a shoot off when the match ended 11-11. Underdogs Birmingham then came through the shoot off, winning 2-1 and denying Warwick a possible hat-trick of titles. In the other semi, Oxford A and Sheffield A. Remarkably these two both racked up the same total in qualifying, having to be split on golds. BUTC 2022 had been a breakthrough event for Sheffield, but a relative disappointment for Oxford. The Dark Blues won the first pass 3-2 and then the second pass by the same scoreline. In the third pass, Oxford's 2 disc lead seem to allow them greater freedom and consecutive ends of 5 saw the Dark Blues race away to a 16-8 win.

The bronze match was a repeat of last year's final. In fact it featured 5 of the 6 participants. Sheffield A started with two ends of 4, Warwick A responding with a 3 and a 5 to leave the match evenly poised at 8-8. Scoring slowed in the second half, but 8-8 became 11-11. In the last end, Sheffield got their noses in front again and sealed a 14-13 won, to get an element of revenge for last year's final. If Sheffield A in 2022 were underdogs, in 2023 they showed they belong at the top table as they picked up medals for the second year in a row. They must be considered serious contenders for the men's team title at BUCS Indoors next weekend. Warwick's reign as champions came to an end - they found themselves unable to convert their 10 zone scoring into hit miss success.

The BUTC 2023 final was between third seeds Oxford A and fifth seeds Birmingham A. Both teams have been in 3 finals over the years, both winning twice. Oxford had finished 43 points ahead in qualifying and had also beaten Birmingham in all their BUTTS league encounters this season. Oxford had 43 hits from only 3 matches (& a bye), whereas Birmingham had scored 44 hits in their 4 regulation matches (excluding their shoot-off). Oxford therefore started as clear favourites. The first end was shared 3-3, but the occasion threatend to get to both teams. The second pass saw Birmingham score 3 again, but still take the lead as Oxford could only manage 2. Oxford stepped up the pace a bit in the third pass but Birmingham kept coming back and managed to draw the pass 4-4. With the lead changing hands with almost every set of 3 arrows, Birmingham now led 10-9 with an end to go. With 2 hits out of 6, had Birmingham left the door ajar? Oxford's reply of 3 meant BUTC 2023's final ended 12-12 and required a shoot off. Birmingham secured two clear hits in an absorbing shoot-off and when Oxford could only get one, Birmingham were the winners. Oxford took home silver, but the Dark Blues must be wondering how this one got away - they shot the highest hit-miss match total in both the last two tournaments. Out of 19 BUTC finals, only two have required shoot-offs and both have been won by Birmingham. As in 2018, Birmingham won shoot-offs in both the semis and final.

As always, BUTC could not go ahead with the support of its two key long-term sponsors, Clickers and Beiter, who were once again critical to the success of the day. Clickers supplied some of the bosses, timing equipment, with Beiter supplying the foam inserts and hit/miss apparatus. Thanks are also due to the many people who worked very hard in the months and days leading up to the tournament and across the weekend itself. Particular thanks to Jessica Swinton and Leeds' field crew who stepped up when the BUTC was without a venue and did an excellent job. Thanks also to the judging, IT/scoring, broadcasting/commentary teams and absent friends.

We say goodbye to those little yellow discs for another year. BUTC 2023 has been and gone, back in its proper March-ish slot for the first time in a full 4 years - an Olympic cycle or a student generation, depending on how you look at these things. Could your club help to put together a competition like that? Expressions of interest in hosting BUTC 2024 are welcome at any time - and don't commit you to anything. Not straight away, anyway.

BUTC 2024 will be the 20th running of BUTC - BUTC XX if you like. BUTC is a special event in the student calendar - those cheeky little discs can inspire and infuriate in equal measure. The event has shown remarkable longevity as an independent national student competition and the central organising team plan for BUTC 2024 to be a big celebration of it all.

Quarter Finals

  • Warwick A (1) beat Liverpool A (9)
  • Birmingham A (5) beat Dundee A (4)
  • Oxford A (3) beat Loughborough A (6)
  • Sheffield A (2) beat Durham A (10)

Semi Finals

  • Birmingham A beat Warwick A
  • Oxford A beat Sheffield A

Third/Fourth place play-off

  • Sheffield A beat Warwick A


  • Birmingham A beat Oxford A

News and Editorials 2022/2023

  • BUCS Outdoor 2023 Review [29/Jun/23]
  • TOUCAN cleared for take off [31/May/23]
  • Last day drama as Bristol win SWWU [25/May/23]
  • Nottingham defend E-League title [22/May/23]
  • Leeds new NEUAL champions [12/May/23]
  • Various Varsity Results published [09/May/23]
  • Postal NEUAL & E-League reminder [05/Apr/23]
  • BUCS Indoor 2023 Finals Review [23/Mar/23]
  • BUTC 2023 Review [16/Mar/23]
  • Dundee clean sweep SSS [10/Mar/23]
  • Surrey take SEAL title [07/Mar/23]
  • Qualifying for BUCS [04/Mar/23]
  • Everything everywhere a bit more [24/Feb/23]
  • Everything everywhere all at once [17/Feb/23]
  • BUTTS becomes 2 horse race [09/Feb/23]
  • E-League Results and Reminder [01/Feb/23]
  • BUTC 2023 hosts/date confirmed [30/Jan/23]
  • First regional action of 2023 [25/Jan/23]
  • NEUAL kicks off Unsighted League [13/Jan/23]
  • Third different SWWU match winner [20/Dec/22]
  • Close at top of BUTTS and SEAL [09/Dec/22]
  • November wrap up - rest of it [02/Dec/22]
  • November wrap up - most of it [01/Dec/22]
  • BUTC 2022 Review [25/Nov/22]
  • Postal SWWU and SSS match 2 [16/Nov/22]
  • Summer Rankings and NUTC [11/Nov/22]
  • Dundee off to SSS flyer [01/Nov/22]
  • Countdown to Deadlines [28/Oct/22]
  • BUTC 101 - it's disc o'clock [15/Oct/22]
  • Updating all Clubs [07/Oct/22]
  • What's your favourite season? Awards! [27/Sep/22]

  • Previous seasons' articles:

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