Torneo de la URBA

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Torneo de la URBA
Sport Rugby union
Formerly known as River Plate Rugby Championship
Inaugural season 1899; 115 years ago (1899)
Number of teams 24 (Grupo I)
Region Buenos Aires Province (URBA)
Current champion Universitario (BA) (2013)
Most titles CA San Isidro (33 titles)
Website urba.org.ar
Broadcast partner ESPN, DirecTV
Related competition Nacional de Clubes

The Torneo de la Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires, or simply Torneo de la URBA, is an Argentine rugby union competition held in Buenos Aires. Created on 10 April 1899,[1] it is the oldest rugby competition in South America and one of the oldest club competitions in the world.

History[edit]

The precursor of both the Argentine Rugby Union and today's Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires, "River Plate Rugby Championship" was founded in Buenos Aires on 10 April 1899 by four clubs: Buenos Aires FC, Belgrano AC and Lomas from Buenos Aires, and Rosario AC from Rosario, Santa Fe. The first president of the body was Leslie Corry Smith.[1]

That same year, the RPRU organised the first edition of the Buenos Aires' inter-club competition, which inaugural winner team was Lomas. In 1995 the Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires was created, as a result of a reorganization of the UAR. Since then, the championship renamed "Torneo de la URBA".[2]

Today the URBA is Argentina's most powerful provincial union and the Torneo de la URBA the strongest club competition in the country, with 82 clubs playing in 4 divisions.

Formula[edit]

The Torneo de la URBA is open to all clubs from the Buenos Aires Province. As a founding member of the RPRU, Atlético del Rosario was also authorised to participate, even though the club is from the city of Rosario in Santa Fe Province (while the other clubs from that city take part in the Torneo del Litoral organised by the Rosario and Santa Fe unions).

The tournament is one of the country's two main club competitions; the other being the tournament dedicated to the clubs from the provinces (i.e. not from Buenos Aires): the Torneo del Interior.

The URBA tournament's formula has changed many times since 1899. The most recent inception is 82 clubs playing in 4 divisions: 24 clubs in the first division, 24 in the second, 16 in the third and 18 in the fourth division.

First division[edit]

The first division (officially called "Torneo de la URBA – Grupo I") involves 24 clubs divided into 2 zones of 12 teams. Each team play against its 11 opponents in the zone only once (either home or away). At the end of the first phase the best 14 clubs (7 and 6 clubs per zone) qualify to the "Top 14" phase of the competition, while the other 10 clubs meet the 14 best-qualified clubs of the second division in a promotion/relegation competition.

The Top 14 phase takes place over 13 weeks, with every club playing each of their opponents only once (either home or away). At the end of this phase, the first 4 clubs qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament, with the first ranked team meeting the fourth and the second meeting the third. Both semi-finals take place on the same weekend on neutral ground. The final usually takes place a week later and the winner of this game is crowned "Campeón de la URBA".

Both the URBA winner and runner-up qualify for the Nacional de Clubes semi-finals, where they meet the winner and runner-up of the Torneo del Interior. The winner of that competition is declared Argentine champion.

Other divisions[edit]

The lower divisions of the URBA tournament follow a similar system with 2 phases. The best ranked teams from the first phase entering a promotion competition, and the lowest ranked teams entering a salvation competition.

Champions[edit]

First Division (Grupo I)[edit]

The tournament was created in 1899 as "River Plate Rugby Championship", using this name until 1908, when it changed to "The River Plate Rugby Union". In 1931 the name was translated into Spanish "Unión de Rugby del Río de la Plata", that remained until 1951 when the union took the definitive "Unión Argentina de Rugby".[1]

In 1995 the Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires (abbreviated: "URBA") was created as a body independent of the UAR. The URBA took charge of the organization of the tournament, which adopted the name "Torneo de la URBA" that has remained up to the present times.

Club Atlético San Isidro has won the most titles with 33 championships, followed by its arch-rival San Isidro Club with 25 titles. The complete list of champions is detailed below:[2] [3]

Season Champion/s
1899 Lomas
1900 Buenos Aires FC [a]
1901 Buenos Aires FC
1902 Buenos Aires FC
1903 Buenos Aires FC
1904 Buenos Aires FC
1905 Atlético del Rosario
1906 Atlético del Rosario
1907 Belgrano AC
1908 Buenos Aires FC
1909 Buenos Aires FC
1910 Belgrano AC
1911 Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA)
1912 Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA)
1913 Lomas
1914 Belgrano AC
1915 Buenos Aires FC
1916
(Not held)
1917 CA San Isidro
1918 CA San Isidro
1919
(Not held)
1920 CA San Isidro
1921 CA San IsidroBelgrano AC [b]
1922 CA San Isidro
1923 CA San Isidro
1924 CA San Isidro
1925 CA San Isidro
1926 CA San Isidro
1927 CA San Isidro
1928 CA San Isidro
1929 CA San Isidro
1930 CA San Isidro
1931 Universitario (BA)
1932 Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA)
1933 CA San Isidro
1934 CA San Isidro
1935 Atlético del Rosario
1936 Belgrano AC
1937 Old Georgian
1938 Old Georgian
1939 Old GeorgianGimnasia y Esgrima (BA)
1940 Belgrano ACOlivos [b]
1941 San Isidro Club
1942 Universitario (BA)
1943 CA San Isidro
1944 Universitario (BA)
1945 Universitario (BA)
1946 Pucará
1947 Universitario (BA)
1948 San Isidro Club
1949 CA San IsidroUniversitario (BA) [b]
1950 Universitario (BA)Pucará [b]
1951 Universitario (BA)
1952 Universitario (BA)
1953 Obras
1954 CA San Isidro
1955 CA San Isidro
1956 CA San Isidro
1957 CA San Isidro
1958 Buenos Aires CRC [c]
1959 Buenos Aires CRC [c]
1960 CA San Isidro
1961 CA San Isidro
1962 CA San Isidro
1963 Belgrano AC
1964 CA San Isidro
1965 Universitario (BA)
1966 Belgrano AC
1967 Belgrano AC
1968 Belgrano ACUniversitario (BA) [b]
1969 Universitario (BA)
1970 Universitario (BA)San Isidro Club [b]
1971 San Isidro Club
1972 San Isidro Club
1973 San Isidro Club
1974 CA San Isidro
1975 CA San Isidro
1976 CA San Isidro
1977 San Isidro Club
1978 San Isidro Club
1979 San Isidro Club
1980 San Isidro Club
1981 CA San Isidro
1982 CA San Isidro
1983 CA San Isidro
1984 CA San Isidro
1985 CA San Isidro
1986 San Isidro ClubBanco Nación [b]
1987 San Isidro Club
1988 San Isidro Club
1989 AlumniBanco Nación [b]
1990 Alumni
1991 Alumni
1992 Alumni
1993 San Isidro Club
1994 San Isidro Club
1995 La Plata
1996 HindúAtlético del Rosario
1997 San Isidro Club

Finals details[edit]

Up until 1997 a league system was used, if two or more clubs finished with the same number of points they would share the title. This happened several time, including in 1939 when a record 3 clubs had to share the URBA title. To remedy this, a play-off system leading to a grand final was instaured in 1998. This new system has been in used since then, except in 2001.

Below is the list of the Torneo de la URBA finals since 1998:

Season Champion Runner-up Score
1998 Hindú San Isidro Club 38–12
1999 San Isidro Club Atlético del Rosario 14–9
2000 Atlético del Rosario CA San Isidro 35–32
2001
(Not held)
2002 San Isidro Club Regatas 16–10
2003 San Isidro Club CA San Isidro 20–9
2004 San Isidro Club Alumni 36–16
2005 CA San Isidro San Isidro Club 18–17
2006 Hindú Alumni 20–5
2007 Hindú Alumni 9–6
2008 Hindú Newman 22–10
2009 Hindú CA San Isidro 31–22
2010 San Isidro Club La Plata 30–22
2011 San Isidro Club Alumni 14–11
2012 Hindú La Plata 15–9
2013 Universitario (BA) Hindú 11–9

Titles by club[edit]

Team Titles Years won
CA San Isidro 33 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1928, 1930, 1933, 1934, 1943, 1949, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1982, 1985, 2005
San Isidro Club 25 1939, 1941, 1948, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011
Universitario (BA) 14 1931, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1970, 2013
Belgrano AC 10 1907, 1910, 1914, 1921, 1936, 1940, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968
Buenos Aires FC [a] 8 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1908, 1909, 1915
Hindú 7 1996, 1998, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012
Alumni 5 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2001
Atlético del Rosario 5 1905, 1906, 1935, 1996, 2000
Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA) 4 1911, 1912, 1932, 1939
Old Georgian 3 1937, 1938, 1939
Lomas 2 1899, 1913
Pucará 2 1946, 1950
Buenos Aires CRC [c] 2 1958, 1959
Banco Nación 2 1986, 1989
Olivos 1 1940
Obras Sanitarias 1 1953
La Plata 1 1995

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Buenos Aires F.C. was an institution with rugby union as its exclusive sport by those years. It would merge to Buenos Aires Cricket Club in 1951.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Title shared.
  3. ^ a b c The rugby section of the Buenos Aires Cricket Club was former Buenos Aires F.C. team that had merged to the institution in 1951.

References[edit]

External links[edit]