Varsity match

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A varsity match is a sporting fixture between two university teams, particularly Oxford and Cambridge.[1] 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.[2] However, it is predated by the University Match in Cricket between Oxford and Cambridge, which was first played in 1827.[3]

Varsity in England[edit]

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[4] and the first "Varsity Match" (in Rugby Union) in 1872.[5] Unusually for British university sporting events, both of these are shown on broadcast television.[6][7] 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.[8] 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".[9][10]

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.[11]

Interregional rivalries[edit]

Regional rivalries[edit]

East[edit]

London[edit]

Midlands[edit]

North East[edit]

North West[edit]

South East[edit]

South West[edit]

Yorkshire and the Humber[edit]

Varsity in Ireland[edit]

Varsity in Scotland[edit]

Varsity in Wales[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Varsity". Oxford Living Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  2. ^ "World's oldest varsity match returns to Scotland". The Herald (Glasgow). 19 May 2015.
  3. ^ "OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE PLAY THEIR FIRST CRICKET MATCH: 4 JUNE 1827". The History Channel. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  4. ^ "The Boat Race Basics". The Boat Race Company Ltd. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  5. ^ "About – The Varsity Match". The Varsity Match. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  6. ^ "BBC One – The Boat Race". BBC. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  7. ^ "varsity match returns TO TRADITIONAL HOME ON THE BBC". Oxford University Rugby Football Club. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  8. ^ Richard Garner (12 June 2008). "Why Bath vs Loughborough is the real varsity match". The Independent.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Simon Carey (21 November 2015). "Clash of the Titans – Durham vs Loughborough Varsity Preview". Palatinate.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b "UEL Sports Challenge Cup". UEL Students' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
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  65. ^ http://thehullfire.com/news/hull-in-new-varsity-with-lincoln
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  67. ^ http://www.leedsvarsity.com/
  68. ^ http://sheffieldvarsity.com
  69. ^ http://www.ucd.ie/news/2013/03MAR13/190313-UCD-wins-three-of-four-Irish-Colours-Boat-Races-and-takes-Gannon-Cup-for-sixth-year-in-a-row.html
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  73. ^ http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/sports-union/news-events/varsity-win