A varsity match is a sporting fixture between two university teams, particularly Oxford and Cambridge. The Scottish Varsity rugby match between the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh at Murrayfield stadium is claimed to be the oldest recurring varsity match in the world, having been played since the 1860s. However, it is predated by the University Match in Cricket between Oxford and Cambridge, which was first played in 1827.
Varsity in England
The country's longest-running series of varsity matches is played between the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, dating back, in addition to the 1827 University Match in Cricket mentioned above, to the first "Boat Race" in 1829 and the first "Varsity Match" (in Rugby Union) in 1872. Unusually for British university sporting events, both of these are shown on broadcast television. Unlike many more recent varsity competitions, the Oxford–Cambridge matches stand alone rather than being part of a wider multi-sport varsity competition.
British newspaper The Independent proposed in 2008 that Bath vs Loughborough was "the real varsity match" on the basis that these were the top two teams (at that time) in British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) competitions. Since 2015, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), the successor to BUSA, has organised fixtures between Loughborough and Durham (the top two universities since 2011/12) to occur on the same day, in what has been termed the "BUCS Varsity".
A number of city and regional sporting rivalries exist between universities, which are also dubbed varsity matches. The Roses Tournament between the universities of York and Lancaster is one of the oldest and largest of these, dating back to 1965. It is frequently referred to as the largest inter-university sports tournament in Europe.
- Anglia Ruskin University vs University of East London
- Challenge Cup
- Bath Spa University vs University of Winchester
- Bradford University vs King's College London
- TheTolstoy Cup
- Camborne School of Mines vs Royal School of Mines
- The Bottle Match
- University of Cambridge vs University of Oxford – every sporting fixture between these two universities can be referred to as a varsity match; the most notable are:
- Durham University vs Loughborough University
- Durham University vs University of York
- College Varsity – between Durham colleges and York Colleges, started 2014 as a replacement for the White Rose Varsity
- James – Collingwood tournament annually between James College, York and Collingwood College, Durham since 2009.
- Josephine Butler – Langwith varsity: Annual home-and-away (York in the autumn, Durham in the summer) tournaments between Josephine Butler College, Durham and Langwith College, York held since 2013.
- Lancaster University vs University of York
- The Roses Tournament
- University of Leeds vs University of Liverpool vs University of Manchester
- The Christie Cup
- Leeds Beckett University vs Manchester Metropolitan University
- Battle of the North
- University of Sunderland vs York St John University
- Brunel University vs St Mary's University, Twickenham
- West London Varsity – Rugby, Football, Basketball, Netball and Cricket.
- City, University of London vs Kingston University London
- University of East London vs Middlesex University
- Goldsmiths, University of London vs University of the Arts London
- The Arts Cup – Basketball, Football, Hockey, Netball and Rugby
- Imperial College London vs Imperial College School of Medicine
- VarsityFest – Rugby, Hockey, Netball, Football, Lacrosse, Basketball, Tennis
- King's College London vs King's College London School of Medicine
- King's College London vs University College London
- University of London Colleges and Imperial College School of Medicine
- Queen Mary, University of London vs Queen Mary, University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
- University of West London vs University of Westminster
- West London Varsity
- Aston University vs Birmingham City University
- University of Birmingham vs University of Birmingham Medics
- Brum Rugby Varsity
- University of Birmingham vs University of Warwick
- Coventry University vs University of Warwick
- Derby University vs University of Northampton
- De Montfort University vs University of Leicester
- Keele University vs Staffordshire University
- Varsity (from 2001)
- Loughborough University vs University of Nottingham
- IMS Varsity – between intramural sports teams
- University of Nottingham vs Nottingham Trent University
- Durham University vs Newcastle University
- The Boat Race of the North – Rowing
- Newcastle University vs Northumbria University
- The Stan Calvert Cup
- University of Sunderland vs University of Teesside
- University of Central Lancashire vs Edge Hill University
- University of Chester vs Salford University
- University of Liverpool vs Liverpool John Moores University
- Liverpool Varsity
- University of Manchester vs Manchester Metropolitan University
- University of Manchester vs University of Salford
- University of Bedfordshire vs University of Hertfordshire
- University of Bournemouth vs Southampton Solent University
- University of Brighton vs University of Sussex
- Buckinghamshire New University vs University of Roehampton
- Canterbury Christ Church University vs University of Kent
- Canterbury Varsity
- University of Kingston vs University of Surrey
- Varsity (2010 to 2016, replaced by Kingston vs City and Surrey vs Royal Holloway)
- Oxford Brookes University vs University of Reading
- University of Portsmouth vs University of Southampton
- Varsity Cup
- Royal Holloway, University of London vs University of Surrey
- University of Bath vs University of Exeter
- Rugby Varsity
- University of Bristol vs University of West England
- University of Plymouth vs University of St Mark & St John
- University of Worcester vs University of Gloucestershire
Yorkshire and the Humber
- University of Bradford vs University of Huddersfield
- University of Hull vs University of Teesside vs York St. John University
- The Tri-Varsity (ended 2008)
- University of Hull vs University of Lincoln
- The Humber Games – inaugurated in 2014 after Hull's annual series with York ended in acrimony in 2013.
- University of Hull vs University of York
- University of Leeds vs Leeds Beckett University
- University of Sheffield vs Sheffield Hallam University
- Sheffield Varsity  (1996-Present)
- University of York vs York St. John University
Varsity in Ireland
- University College Dublin v. Trinity College Dublin
Varsity in Scotland
- University of Aberdeen v. Robert Gordon University
- University of Abertay Dundee v. University of Dundee
- The Tay Games Varsity Challenge
- Heriot-Watt University v. University of Edinburgh
- Varsity Quaich - Men’s Football, Men’s and Women’s Hockey, Men’s Rugby and Rowing 
- University of Edinburgh v. University of St Andrews
- University of Edinburgh v. Glasgow University
- The Scottish Boat Race - Rowing
- University of the West of Scotland v. Edinburgh Napier University
- East vs West Varsity - Men's American Football, Mixed Badminton, Men's Basketball, Men's and Women's Hockey, Men's Rugby
- University of the West of Scotland v. Scottish Rural College v. Ayrshire College
- West Coast Varsity
Varsity in Wales
- Cardiff University v. Swansea University
- Aberystwyth University v. Bangor University
- Aberystwyth-Bangor Varsity
- "Varsity". Oxford Living Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "World's oldest varsity match returns to Scotland". The Herald (Glasgow). 19 May 2015.
- "OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE PLAY THEIR FIRST CRICKET MATCH: 4 JUNE 1827". The History Channel. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "The Boat Race Basics". The Boat Race Company Ltd. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "About – The Varsity Match". The Varsity Match. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "BBC One – The Boat Race". BBC. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "varsity match returns TO TRADITIONAL HOME ON THE BBC". Oxford University Rugby Football Club. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- Richard Garner (12 June 2008). "Why Bath vs Loughborough is the real varsity match". The Independent.
- Matt Roberts (25 November 2015). "Durham's #BUCSWednesday breakdown". BUCS.
Durham vs Loughborough on Wednesday 25th November is no ordinary day of University sport. It’s been christened a Varsity and it will have all the hallmarks of one – jam packed, competitive and hectic. However, in truth, it will be so much more than that.
Durham and Loughborough have topped the BUCS Points table every year since 2011/12 and it’s for that reason that the day takes on such significance. It will be a celebration of top-level University sport, crucial in the outcome of this year’s Premiership divisions and a veritable feast of sport for enthusiastic spectators.
- Simon Carey (21 November 2015). "Clash of the Titans – Durham vs Loughborough Varsity Preview". Palatinate.
- Helen Johnson (18 May 2018). "Wars of the roses: How the rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire still exists today". The Yorkshire Post. Johnston Publishing Ltd.
The sporting rivalry between the two counties has even filtered through to University life, with an annual sporting competition called the ‘Roses Tournament’ existing between University of York and Lancaster University. This tournament began in 1965 and has been described numerous times as the largest inter-university sports tournament in Europe.
- "UEL Sports Challenge Cup". UEL Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity: Bath Spa vs Winchester". Bath Spa Students'Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "#BUCSwednesday Focus on Loughborough". BUCS. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- Carey, Simon (7 October 2015). "Want to get involved with sport? You're at the right University". Palatinate. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Durham Varsity". Loughborough Sport. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- Sears, Maddy (30 January 2014). "York College Varsity Announced". Palatinate. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- Pascoe, James (29 October 2013). "New College Varsity". York Vision. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Sport". James College, York. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- Houghton, Kate (24 November 2011). "Collingwood host college from York University". Palatinate. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- Washington, Dave (29 October 2013). "Langwith succumb to Josephine-Butler". York Vision. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Manchester Met students take on The Battle of the North". Manchester Metropolitan University. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Varsity Events". University of Sunderland. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Derby Day". University of Essex Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "West London Varsity". St Mary's University Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity". Kingston University Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity 2015". UELSports. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity challenge: University of the Arts -v-Goldsmiths". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "VarsityFest". Imperial College London. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Macadam Cup 2018". KCL Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "London Varsity Series". londonvarsityseries.org. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Allom Cup". University of London Boat Club. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "What is Merger Cup". QMUL Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "4 years undefeated in West London Varsity over UWL". University of Westminster Basketball. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity 2018". Birmingham City University Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- Kris Burnett (17 January 2017). "Brum Rugby Varsity 2017: Results". The Tab.
- Doug Brown (9 February 2012). "Rowers claim varsity success". Redbrick.
- "Varsity History". University of Warwick Student's Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity". University of Northampton Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Leicester leading Varsity". University of Leicester. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity". Keele Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Intramural Sports Leagues". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- "Mitts Varsity". Nottingham Trent? University Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "EDGE HILL GEARS UP FOR VARSITY 2018". Edge Hill Student's Union. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity's back - and this time it's personal!". Salford Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- Jack Mason (27 May 2016). "Varsity 2016: Chester's time to shine". Chester University. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Varsity 2018: Everything you need to know". University of Liverpool. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Rosie Collington (4 October 2013). "Clash of the campus titans: Varsity for beginners". The Independent.
- "Varsity game heading for Willows". Manchester Evening News. 23 February 2009.
- "Manchester wins Two Cities Boat Race - but only just!". University of Manchester. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Varsity". Hertfordshire Sports Village. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Varsity 2018". Southampton Solent University. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Sussex takes back Varsity trophy from Brighton". 4 April 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Varsity 2018". Buckinghamshire New University. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Canterbury Varsity". Christ Church Students Union and Kent Union. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Varsity 2016". University of Surrey. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Varsity 2018 - Meet the Captains". Oxford Brookes University. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Varsity Cup 2018". University of Portsmouth Students' Union. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "RHUL are competing in Varsity for the first time ever". The Tab Royal Holloway. 4 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
- Wil Jones (26 February 2018). "Rugby Varsity 2018: No love lost as Exeter dump Bath in South West derby". Exeposé.
- "Varsity: History". Varsity Series. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Marjon ladies triumph on first day of Varsity 2018". University of St Mark & St John. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Varsity 2018". University of Worcester Students' Union. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- Farrell, Jake (21 January 2011). "York St. John Sabbatical Officer voices disappointment over Varsity shake-up". Nouse.