The Varsity Matches
The Varsity Matches epitomise the historic rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge. The annual battle between the two sides has expanded since the inaugural match held at Oxford in 1890 to become the pinnacle of the two side's hockey calendars. Since its beginnings as one match between the Men's Blues sides, it has since developed to see Oxford's 7 (very soon to be 8!) sides take on their Cambridge counterparts over two different events, with selection for every side highly competitive.
The 2s/3s/4s Varsity, better knows as BDotY, takes place in late February and the venue alternates between Iffley Road, Oxford and Wilberforce Road, Cambridge. In 2021 it will be held in Cambridge.
The Blues compete at a neutral ground which, following 11 changes, has since 2003 been Southgate Hockey Centre, North London. The event is traditionally held two weeks after BDotY, typically on the second Sunday of March.
For more information on the Varsity Matches please click here.
In 2020, at the 120th University Matches, the Cambridge Men's Blues won 5-0 to Oxford and the Cambridge Women's Blues prevented their Oxford rivals from claiming a fifth consecutive victory to draw 3-3 and go on to win in shuffles.
At BDotY, Oxford came out victorious. Despite valorous chat from the 'Yes-mads', the Radicals defeated their competition, once again, in nailbiting shuffles. With a result of 0-0 in regular time, the Sporadics also saw themselves to victory in shuffles while a hairraising goal from a formidable Oxford forward secured the Infrequents a 1-0 triumph. The Mavericks were unfortunate and, despite some excellent shuffles, after a 1-1 result in regular time, they were ultimately beaten. The Wanderers served an undeniably strong performance against Oxford's Occasionals and saw themselves to success for the first time since 2015.
What is a 'Blue'?
The accolade of a Blue is awarded according to strict criteria to sportspeople at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge for competition at the highest level. Its prestige means the status of "Blue" is fiercely guarded and a close watch is kept by the Blues Committee who are empowered to grant both "Blues" and "Half Blues". At Oxford, a "Half Blue" was first awarded for Hockey in 1900 and a "Full Blue" in 1926. The current rules (2020) state that the starting XI for both the Men's and Women's Blues teams in the University Match are each automatically granted a "Full Blue", with Captains able to award up to a further five at their discretion and that of the Blues Committee.