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; 119 years ago (1899)
Number of teams 24 (Grupo I)
Region Buenos Aires Province (URBA)
Current champion Belgrano A.C. (2016)
Most titles CA San Isidro (33 titles)
Website urba.org.ar
Broadcast partner ESPN, DirecTV
Related competition Nacional de Clubes

The Torneo de la URBA (named Top 12) is an Argentine rugby union club competition organised by the Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires ("Buenos Aires Rugby Union"). It is the top division of the Argentine rugby league system. Created on 10 April 1899 by the Argentine Rugby Union,[1] the Top 12 is the oldest rugby competition in South America and one of the oldest club competitions in the world.

As a founding member of the Argentine Rugby Union (originally "River Plate Rugby Union" – RPRU), Atlético del Rosario is a current member of the URBA, 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 governing bodies).

Top 12 is one of the country's two main club competitions, along with Torneo del Interior, where clubs from the rest of the Provinces of Argentina take part. The championship runs from April to November.[2][3]

History[edit]

The River Plate Rugby Championship (today Argentine Rugby Union) was established in Buenos Aires on 10 April 1899, being its founding members: Buenos Aires F.C., Belgrano A.C. and Lomas A.C. from Buenos Aires, and Rosario A.C. 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. The RPRC name was used 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" (UAR).[1]

As a result of a reorganization of the UAR in 1995, the Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires was created to take over the tournament, being named "Torneo de la URBA".[4] From then on, the UAR focused only on national teams while the URBA took over club competitions.

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 times, including in 1939 when a record 3 clubs had to share the title. To remedy this, a play-off system leading to a grand final was instaured in 1998. This new system has been in use since then, except in 2001.[5][6]

In 1998, the URBA introduced the playoff system, with a final match in a neutral venue to determine a unique champion of the season.[7] New changes to the rules were added in 2008, when the fourteen best placed teams at the end of the regular season were elegible to play a second stage, named "Top 14".[8] Every club played each other only once in a single-robin championship (either home or away). At the end of this phase, the first 4 clubs qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament, with the first ranked team meeting the fourth and the second meeting the third. Both semi-finals took place on the same weekend on neutral ground (usually the Club Atlético San Isidro stadium). The winner was crowned URBA champion. This system has remained (with minor changes) since then. The rest of the clubs played in a promotion and relegation competition named "Torneo Reubicación".

Both the URBA winner and runner-up qualified for the Nacional de Clubes semi-finals, where they met the winner and runner-up of Torneo del Interior.[9] The winner of that competition was declared Argentine champion.

In 2016, the URBA introduced changes in the tournament's format for the 2017 season, with the "Top 14" being reduced to 12 teams (therefore renamed "Top 12") and becoming an independent championship, with all of the teams playing each other in a double round-robin tournament (home and away games).[10]

As a result of those changes, the Buenos Aires league system was divided into six tiers.[11] The new format also stated that the four best placed teams at the end of the season, would play the semifinals while the two worst placed would be relegated to the second division.[7]

Clubs[edit]

Current (2017)[edit]

Club Estab. Stadium Titles
Alumi 1951 Tortuguitas 5
Atlético del Rosario 1867 Rosario 5
Belgrano 1896 Belgrano 11
CA San Isidro 1902 San Isidro 33
CUBA 1918 Villa de Mayo 14
Hindú 1919 Don Torcuato 10
La Plata 1934 La Plata 1
Newman 1979 Benavídez 0
Pucará 1943 Burzaco 2
Regatas (BV) 1895 Bella Vista 0
San Isidro Club 1935 Boulogne 25
San Luis 1961 La Plata 0

Former clubs[edit]

Club Period Stadium Titles
Flores 1899 Flores Old Ground 0
Old Georgian 1936–1997 Quilmes 3


Champions[edit]

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:[4][12]

Season Champion/s Runner-up Score
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 A.C.
1908 Buenos Aires FC
1909 Buenos Aires FC
1910 Belgrano A.C.
1911 Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA)
1912 Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA)
1913 Lomas
1914 Belgrano A.C.
1915 Buenos Aires FC
1916
(No tournament held)
1917 CA San Isidro
1918 CA San Isidro
1919
(No tournament held)
1920 CA San Isidro
1921 CA San IsidroBelgrano A.C. [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 A.C.
1937 Old Georgian
1938 Old Georgian
1939 Old GeorgianGimnasia y Esgrima (BA)
1940 Belgrano A.C.Olivos [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 A.C.
1964 CA San Isidro
1965 Universitario (BA)
1966 Belgrano A.C.
1967 Belgrano A.C.
1968 Belgrano A.C.Universitario (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
1998 Hindú San Isidro Club 38–12 [d]
1999 San Isidro Club Atlético del Rosario 14–9
2000 Atlético del Rosario CA San Isidro 35–32
2001 Alumni
(No final held)[e]
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
2014 Hindú Universitario (BA) 29–17
2015 Hindú Universitario (BA) 24–0
2016 Belgrano A.C. Hindú 25–10
2017 Hindú Alumni 27–20

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 A.C. 11 1907, 1910, 1914, 1921, 1936, 1940, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 2016
Hindú 10 1996, 1998, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017
Buenos Aires F.C. [a] 8 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1908, 1909, 1915
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

Broadcasters Rights[edit]

The exclusive rights of Torneo de la URBA are broadcast live on ESPN Extra Saturday at 13:15 and are broadcast delayed on ESPN 2 at 17:30. In the Scrum are broadcast highlights of match Saturday at 23:00 (local time of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), 22:00 (local time of Chile) and 21:00 (local time of Peru).

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.
  4. ^ Since this year, a final match in a neutral venue is played to determine a unique champion of the season.
  5. ^ Alumni crowned champion during the regular season, more precisely in the 11th. fixture when the team defeated CA San Isidro by 16-13.

References[edit]

External links[edit]