The annual White Rose Varsity tournament between York and Hull has been cancelled.
After the 2013 instalment of the competition in February was marred by a string of organisational errors, both universities agreed that there was no future for a tournament that was never fully embraced by York students.
York Sport President Cassandra Brown made the announcement today, saying, “It’s been around for the last three years, with York hosting two of the tournaments and Hull hosting one. Following discussions with club presidents and representatives at Hull, reflecting on concerns around last years tournament as well as the strain many clubs felt it placed them under, both parties have decided to put an end to the White Rose Varsity and explore new and exiting opportunities independently of each other.
“It is no secret that York Sport Union members were becoming frustrated with the spirit and quality of competition at Varsity, but now the event is off the timetable, there’s room for other fresh opportunities to complement sport.”
The Varsity tournament originally had city rivals York St John as the opposition for the Black and Gold, but Hull took their place in 2011 in a bid to make the tournament more competitive. York still won the first two encounters with a reasonable degree of comfort, before Hull hosted the competition for the first time this year.
The Humberside university took the bragging rights for the first time thanks to a delayed victory in the Clay Pigeon Shooting, but the day was most notable for a series of problems that left York’s teams unhappy with the organisation.
Varsity had also encountered problems with participation over the years. Its placement in the middle of spring term meant that clubs were often stretched to the limit as they approached the end of the BUCS and local league seasons, leaving many to field understrength teams or withdraw completely.
Brown added that York would be exploring new options to replace Varsity: “I’m confident that Varsity’s end means a beginning for something new and exciting in its place… I’m currently looking into various options and will be holding a ‘presidents council’ in term one to explore ideas and see what’s best for our clubs.”