The Universities Pool Council (UPC) promotes the sport of pool at Higher Education institutions in the United Kingdom and exists for the benefit of players at this level. We are recognised both by the English Pool Association (EPA) and by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) as the governing body for university pool.
Our aim is to provide each and every student in Britain with the opportunity to represent their university at pool across a range of disciplines. We stage team and individual tournaments around the country in both nine-ball and eight-ball pool. The season culminates with the prestigious Student Home Internationals (incorporating the BUCS-UPC Home Nations) in which representative teams from the constituent countries compete against each other to be crowned Student Home Internationals Champions.
However, our involvement in student pool does not stop here. We are always keen to welcome new institutions to our competitions, so any individuals who are interested in setting up a team at their institution should contact us if they require guidance or tips.
We also recognise that not all players will be of the standard to play in our events. Therefore we strongly support pool at inter-mural level to cater for players of all abilities, and we are happy to lend our organisational expertise to help clubs develop such competitions. If you would like advice on the running of inter-mural competitions feel free to contact us.
In the 2005-06 season, pool at university level took a huge step forward when the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA), now BUCS, recognised the Universities Pool Council (UPC) Eight-ball Pool Championship, and, from the 2006-07 season, this recognition was broadened further to include the Home Nations following the UPC’s successful submission to the BUSA/BUCS National Committee. Such recognition provides student competitors with not only access to extra funding possibilities but also gives greater recognition for their achievements. Pool at university level continues to progress and following this decision pool is now firmly part of the BUCS family of sports.
The UPC Executive Board consists of:
Executive Chair: Jon Shapland
Deputy Chair: Vacant
Treasurer: Dr. Ben Hubbard
Eight-ball Tournament Director: Dan Turner
Irish Intervarsities Tournament Director: Dr. Iorwerth Griffiths
Communications Officer: Dr. Tom Laycock
Life Member: Tony Perna
Life Member: Dave Graham
All of the board are university educated and, during their studies, had active participation in local university leagues and tournaments, not only in playing but in some cases the very establishment of the pool clubs, tournaments and leagues themselves. Indeed, this shared personal enthusiasm for the sport of pool was integral to the creation of the UPC. The lack of a sufficiently diverse pool tournament calendar for students above the local level, despite there being events for many less popular sports, prompted Dr Iorwerth Griffiths to create the UPC. The UPC now has a strong committee of individuals who all have a shared personal enthusiasm for the sport of pool.
You can read more about UPC activity in our Annual Reports, below:
Now meet the Board…..
Tournament Director: BUCS-UPC Nine-ball Championships and UPC Student Home International Championships
Having not previously played competitively, Jon discovered his passion for cue sports whilst an undergraduate at The University of Nottingham, from which he graduated in 2002 with a BSC (Hons) in Mathematics. Jon helped reform the institution’s then-defunct Snooker Club at the end of his first year and served as the Club’s first Treasurer, but his second year saw him fall in love with the game of eight-ball pool and Jon’s involvement in the game now stretches way beyond UPC. Jon served as a Regional Director of the English Pool Association from 2008 to 2013 inclusive and has been Secretary of Derbyshire CPA, for which he competes at Men’s ‘A’ inter-county level, from its inception in 2004 to the present date. Jon is also a qualified [‘B’-grade] eight-ball referee and has officiated in singles and team matches at the World Championships. Jon previously managed the England Students team for seven years, retiring after the 2011-2012 Student Home International Championships with an almost unblemished record.
Greatest Pool Achievement: Qualifying to go on the IPA Tour with a match to spare.
Dr Ben Hubbard
Ben began playing cue sports in his third year of undergraduate studies and went on to compete in a total of six UPC inter-varsity Eight-ball events and three Nine-ball events. Ben served as Treasurer for the University of Kent’s Snooker & Pool Club on two separate occasions whilst completing an MSc and then a PhD in Statistics. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Ben captained Kent’s Men’s Eight-ball Team Shield-winning side and also represented England Students at the Student Home International Championships, before a swansong bronze medal in the Men’s Eight-ball Team Trophy in 2013-2014. Ben currently plays in the Canterbury pool leagues and has represented Kent at inter-county level.
Greatest pool achievement: qualifying for England Students and the Kent inter-county team, on each occasion having immediately lost both lives in a three-life Swiss system!
Tournament Director: BUCS-UPC Eight-ball Championships
Daniel joined the cue-sports clubs without any prior competitive experience when he arrived at the University of Warwick in 2005-2006 to begin studying for a BSc in Mathematics. During the period from summer 2006 to summer 2014, when he departed with an MSc and an MPhil in Mathematical Biology & Biophysical Chemistry, Daniel competed in every inter-varsity event to have been organised by UPC. Daniel captained Warwick teams to silver medals in the Eight-ball Team Trophy in 2007-2008, gold medals in the Nine-ball Team Trophy in 2008-2009 and silver medals in the Eight-ball Team Championship in 2010-2011, also serving as President of the Pool Club amongst a variety of other roles. Daniel signed off from university pool by representing England Students at the Student Home International Championships in his final season.
Greatest Pool Achievement: Qualifying for the England Students team.
Dr. Iorwerth Griffiths
Irish Intervarsities Tournament Director
UPC Staff Nine-ball Pool Champion
Iorwerth gained a BA (Hons) in Politics at Leicester before completing his MA in Political Theory and Social Criticism at Queen’s University, Belfast. Whilst starting his PhD at Keele, Iorwerth dusted off his pool arm to play in the various local tournaments there, organised by future UPC Director Oliver Dark, with whom he shared many a pool marathon. Having moved back to Ireland, Iorwerth completed his PhD back at Queen’s University, Belfast, representing the institution at pool and snooker. Now living in Wales, he hardly plays any pool due to his work, family, and, ironically, the UPC!
Greatest Pool Achievement: Establishing the UPC!
Dr. Tom Laycock
Tom first played competitively during his second undergraduate year reading Theoretical Physics at the University of St Andrews. The following season saw Tom captain the University to silver medals in the inaugural Eight-ball Team Shield, before qualifying for the Scotland Students team in 2007-2008. After a “year out” Tom returned to academia at The University of Nottingham in 2009-2010 and, a season later, captained the institution to win the Eight-ball Team Championship. The following two years both saw Tom qualify for the England Students team, winning the Student Home International Championships in 2011-2012. Tom was also part of the Men’s Eight-ball Team Championship-winning side in 2012-2013, before graduating with a PhD in Theoretical Physics. Tom presently plays for two local-league teams as well as the Corn Exchange inter-league team.
Greatest pool achievement: qualifying for the men’s singles competition at the eight-ball World Championships in 2012.
UPC Life Member
Dave gained a BSc (Hons) in Management at Queens University, Belfast. He is a keen player at both snooker and pool, winning various titles in 2004, including the UPC Eight-ball Pool Team Championships, the BUSA Snooker Junior Team Championships, and the BUSA Snooker Junior Individual Championships. Currently plays County for Berkshire (when time allows), and has a snooker high break of 104.
Greatest Pool Achievement: Winning three major cuesport championships in the same year (2004) at university level.
UPC Life Member
Tony achieved a BA (Hons) in English Language and Linguistics from Essex University and, whilst there, stood as Pool Club President during the period 2002-2004, collecting the Essex University Team of the Year sports award in 2004. This was partly due to leading the Essex University Pool Club to the runners-up prize at the UPC Eight-ball Pool Championships in 2004. Tony currently plays in local competitions (when time allows).
Greatest Pool Achievement: Member of the Essex team who were runners-up at the UPC Eight-ball Pool Team Championships in 2004.
Also involved with the UPC
Our Team Managers are….
England Students: Adam Sykes, Email him here
Ireland Students: Fearghal Cotter, Email him here
Northern Ireland Students: James O’Hare, Email him here
Scotland Students: Gary Ferguson, Email him here
Wales Students: Jonathan Tyrrell, Email him here
For tournament correspondence (entry details, deadlines, rules and regulations, etc):
For advice on how to organise or improve your own local tournament or league, to discuss potential business partnerships with the UPC, general correspondence or any other matter:
Jon Shapland, email him here
To send us your feedback or suggestions for the UPC website:
To send us detailed feedback or suggestions on any aspect of the UPC, please submit one of the following forms to the corresponding contact above:
To send us your photographs from our events: