This year the Blues awarded to the men and women of both Universities will be awarded on the basis of the same criteria. In December 2019, Olivia Lee-Smith, Oxford Women's Blues Captain for this season, successfully made the case to the Blues committee to bring their Blues requirements to equal with the men.
Previously, the men from both Universities have been allocated Blues purely on Varsity performance. Full Blues for the starting XI with a further 5 available for the substitutes at the Captain's discretion. In the past, the two women's teams have required certain performance metrics based on BUCS, the University competition played on Wednesdays, and number of appearances. Both Univesities have now successfully brought the women's requirements in line with the men to accurately reflect the remarkably similar standards across the clubs.
The Varsity match committee has no say in the Blues discussion, but we are delighted to see the performances of all teams now being equally recognised.
In other University hockey news, the BUCS system has seen a change. Previously, there was a 6-team league structure from top to bottom. At the top were north and south premier, below which the leagues steadily divided up into regions. There is now a 9-team national division at the top, and the north/south split occurs below that. Oxford's Womens Blues are in the national division, while Oxford's men and both Cambridge sides are in the respective south divisions, one below the national league.