The annual sporting bloodbath against our inferior Pompey rivals is less than two weeks away. After last year’s events which can only be described as a shambles, this time it’s […]

The annual sporting bloodbath against our inferior Pompey rivals is less than two weeks away. After last year’s events which can only be described as a shambles, this time it’s back in term time and on home turf. This year, both sides have got their acts together and created a list of rules so things don’t head south.

Varsity 2014

This is the rulebook for the event of Varsity, the multi-sport competition that takes place annually between the University of Southampton and the University of Portsmouth.

Creation of a Varsity Committee

This rulebook creates a ‘Varsity Committee’ who are tasked with deciding the way in which each Varsity is run, some of the responsibilities are listed below:

• Deciding the date of the event;

• The teams/sports involved;

• The point scoring system for each sport;

• The process of withdrawing teams;

• Deciding who is participating in the event;

• The process of signing off/ confirming results.

The committee will consist of three members from each of the Athletic Union Committees: The Vice-Presidents with the responsibility of Sport, the Athletic Union Chairs and one other member of the respective University’s AU committees sit on the committee. This committee will approve and update the rulebook each year. Any changes to the rules set-out below will have to be agreed by ALL of the committee. Anything that is decided by the committee is to be documented in an ‘action and decision log’ updated by the host University and signed by both Universities VP Sports at the subsequent meeting, held before the varsity event. Any decisions have to be agreed to by at least two members from each University, otherwise it cannot formally count as a decision. The committee should meet a minimum of 3 occasions, at the host University, before Varsity.

Purpose of the Varsity Committee and Varsity Rulebook

The committee is in place to ensure that operational tasks of staging a Varsity are undertaken. It is also their job to improve and update Varsity each year so that both sets of students are happy with the event. The rulebook guides how these decisions are made, by outlining the processes that are required from both parties each year and formalizing the way in which the event is organized, delivered and changed – so that there is a clear authority on Varsity issues. It seeks to give every Varsity Committee the framework they to need to construct an event which is specific to their year, without having to constantly agree to the way in which the event is run.

Varsity Rules

The following rules outline the procedures that must be adhered to when organising and deciding the result of Varsity.

1. Date

• The annual Varsity Tournament between the University of Southampton and the University of Portsmouth will take place in term two of the academic year.

• This date has to be on a weekend that is followed by a week of timetabled lectures for both institutes. This has to be agreed at least 3 months before proposed date.

• The committee will need to agree on this date before it is given to student media.

• The committee can also agree to set the dates for future years, using the constraints outlined above. If this is to be changed by future committees, every member will have to agree to this.

• This date is the culmination of the competition as a whole, no events can take place after this date. This day is commonly referred to as Varsity, as most, but not all, of the competition takes place on this day.

2. Host

• The two parties will take it in turns to host the event, alternating between one another each year. This process will commence from 2014, where the University of Southampton will host the cup.

3. Venue

• The host University’s Athletic Union Committee will decide the venue.

• If the venue that is put forward by the host University causes a reduction in the teams that can compete, by more than 10% (from the year before), then this will need to be agreed by the committee.

• If the committee cannot agree on a reduction of more than 10%, then an alternative venue will need to be found by the host, or the non-host will be given the opportunity to ‘host’ – if this were to happen, they would still be entitled to host again next year if they so wished, or the committee could decide to restart the alternating schedule.

4. Cost

• The host University will take on the cost of staging the event.

• The non-host University will take on the cost of transport for their own athletes.

• Any entry costs for the event, that affects students from both Universities, will need to be agreed by committee. Other than that, it would be up to the respective AU’s to charge an amount to their own students that they see fit.

5. Who competes? When do they compete?

• The committee shall agree a list of teams, 3 months in advance of the Varsity Cup.

• Any sports events that take place before the main day of competition have to be agreed to by both parties before the event takes place – if it is to be included in the score.

• If an event goes ahead without being agreed to by the committee, it will NOT count to the Varsity score.

• All events that take place before the actual date of the Varsity Cup (that have been agreed to by the committee) will be added to the Varsity score before the day begins.

• The Committee will agree to the score, for any events that take place prior to ‘Varsity’, the day before the main varsity event. This score will be signed off by the Vice-Presidents and is NOT subject to change. No retrospective additions to the score can be made for any events that were agreed to, but not included in the signed off score – it is the duty of the committee members of the victorious side to ensure that their points are included.

• Any withdrawals have to be circulated to the committee a full 14 days before the date of the event, otherwise the win will go to the opposing team.

• A team sheet will need to be handed into the committee for each of the teams 1 week before the event, but changed can be made if there have been mitigating circumstances e.g. Injuries and it is agreed to by the committee.

• A player can only play in one team in any one sport e.g. a player cannot play 1XI and 2XI football, but they may be able to play 1XI football and 1XI cricket.

• All competitors must be on a credit rated course at the University they are competing for.

6. Scoring

6a) Set Up

• A ‘win’ is worth 4 points, a ‘draw’ is worth 2 points and a ‘loss’ is worth 0.

• The committee will agree on how each sport is divided and the number of ‘wins’ that are available from that sport e.g. Athletics could be worth a ‘win’ in each event or a ‘win’ for the aggregate score across all Athletic events.

• In the event of a disagreement between the committee about how a sport is broken down, the current way in which said sport contributed to the score should continue.

• There must be one central results desk nominated by the host this shall be their ‘Official Varsity Results Desk’ if required multiple secondary desks are permissible however all information regarding play and results must be passed on to the ‘Official Varsity Results Desk’.

• Officials shall be supplied by the host institution. Officials will be neutral where possible and appropriate.

 6b) Scoring

• Each host team captain shall have a ‘results card’ which shall be presented to the official at the end of the match. The official must fill in the score and sign the card, followed immediately by the captains counter signatures.

• Once the result is signed off as above both captains must bring the ‘results card’ to the central or secondary desk at their location where it shall be signed by a Varsity Committee member from each University.

• Should an unresolvable dispute arise over the score and/or result the officials result/score will stand.

• Captains will have 30 minutes, starting from the end of their fixtures, to report to a results desk should they fail to follow this procedure the win will be awarded to the opposing team.

• Once a result has gone through these procedures, it CANNOT be changed.

6c) Calculating the Overall Score

• After all fixtures are finished, there will be an hour period in which the members of the committee will meet and confirm the result of the day.

• It is during this period that the committee can point to any events that happened ON the day, that have not been counted.

• It is also the time for the committee to look at any clerical errors, which may have affected the score.

• This hour is NOT in place to discuss any issues around scores that have been signed off in the manner outlined above. Decisions that are contested will be decided in this period too.

• The result of Varsity (cumulative scores from all events on and prior to Varsity) that is agreed upon, will be signed off by at least 2 members of the committee for each University. Once this happens and the result is announced, it CANNOT be contested or changed.

• Only fixtures of Athletic Union clubs/ sports societies will contribute to score – Intramural fixtures are apart of a separate event.

7. Rules of each Individual sport

• All sports will be conducted in accordance to rules laid out by their national governing body. If there are any sports that choose to follow different rules, they will need to inform the committee, who must agree to this change.

8. Playing under protest

• If a team believes that another team is infringing upon the rules of Varsity and/or their sport, or that the venue of their fixture is biased, they should complete and submit a playing under protest form to the results desk after their fixture. The form is to be provided by the host University (to both captains).

• If the rule-break is proven to be true, then the team that has broken the rules will forfeit the fixture.

• Without a playing under protest form a complaint cannot be reviewed unless new information has come to light.

• If a match commences the facilities and conditions are taken as being adequate and acceptable unless the official stops play due to conditions altering.


The rules outlined above are agreed to, and will be adhered to by all members of the committee from the date commencing November 24th 2013.


Evan Whyte, Vice-President Sports Development (2013-2014), University of Southampton Students’ Union

Richard Glover, Vice-President Sports (2013-2014), University of Portsmouth Students’ Union