Student Football and the Queen’s Park Shield

Heriot-Watt University Football Club participates in both student competition and local football.  Many members regard competition against other institutions as the fundamental activity of the club.

As of this season, HWUFC enters no fewer than seven men’s teams and one women’s team into BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Men’s football competitions. Three play within the Scottish Conference structure (the four ‘A’ divisions shown on the BUCS website) and the other four within the more local competition offered within the South-East Division of Scottish Student Sport (the three ‘B’ divisions). The teams and their BUCS divisions are:

First Team: Scottish 1A
Second Team: Scottish 3A
Third Team: Scottish 4A
Fourth Team: Scottish 5B
Fifth Team: Scottish 6B
Sixth Team: Scottish 7B
Seventh Team: Scottish 7B

The Women’s Team plays in Scottish 3A Division of the Women’s leagues within BUCS.

As well as Scottish Conference leagues, there is also a national cup competition, the BUCS Trophy, for which the First Teams of institutions compete. In Scotland, there is also competition for a trophy known as the Queen’s Park Shield (see below).

The Watt’s Second and Third Teams play in a knock-out cup competition called the BUCS Scottish Conference Cup and the four teams in the ‘B’ divisions compete in the Conference Plate. This produces some rather uneven competition, with teams from Division 7B taking on sides from Division 5B. This could pitch our Seventh Team against the likes of Queen Margaret University or Edinburgh College Firsts, but it does at least offer a cup competition and something different from the regular league games.

The Queen’s Park Shield is the historic trophy formerly presented to the winners of the Scottish Universities’ Men’s Championship each year (the competition which now constitutes Division 1A of the Scottish Conference), but since the University of Stirling gained membership of the BUCS Premier North League, the Queen’s Park Shield is played as a knock-out cup competition for Scottish University sides. The Shield is a unique artefact, depicting Hampden Park as it was at the time of the Shield’s manufacture in the early years of last century.