The coaches of the Varsity Cup teams announced Tuesday that all eight of the existing participants of the Varsity Cup have agreed to extend their post-season participation for an additional two seasons through the 2013-14 and 2014-2015 academic calendar.
"We have experienced a real breath of fresh air in our interactions with the other schools in the Varsity Cup," said Mike Flanagan, head coach of the US Naval Academy rugby program. "It's been wonderful working with like-minded individuals to build a post season framework that advances collegiate rugby while sensitively taking into account the needs of participant teams from every standpoint. We just couldn't be more pleased with our involvement and are happy to sign up for two more years after this season."
The mission of the Varsity Cup is to provide the participating teams with a superior platform for showcasing the highest level of rugby in America and to produce a commercially attractive national championship that serves the interests of players and fans alike. The Varsity Cup is a fifteen-per-side single elimination postseason tournament played in the late spring.
The extension also confirms that the competition will retain its existing competition window beginning in mid-April and extending through the first weekend of May.
The Varsity Cup teams are also currently in conversations regarding expanding the number of teams in the competition for the upcoming 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
Team representatives have also expressed the view that it is very important to keep the competition window within four weeks and to not unnecessarily affect student-athlete academics, especially with respect to the timing of final exams. It may not be possible to construct a window during which no team has final exams, but the participants have committed to attempt to minimize any conflict for as many teams as possible.
The 2013 Varsity Cup championship postseason begins April 20th as all eight teams, previously seeded by the Varsity Cup coaches, meet in the West and East Super-Regional Quarterfinals.
In the West Super-Regional UCLA hosts Utah, Air Force and 2012 National Collegiate Champion BYU on the picturesque North Athletic Field on UCLA’s campus. Action starts at 2pm PT with Utah taking on the Cadets of the AFA, followed by the Bruins looking to upset BYU on their home turf at 4pm PT.
In the East Super-Regional Navy will set to host Dartmouth, Notre Dame and California inside the newly renovated and state of the art Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. Matches start with California looking to take Notre Dame Fighting Irish to task at 1.30pm ET while host Navy will take on Dartmouth at 3.30pm ET.
The winners of each quarterfinal match will then travel to the higher seeded team’s home field for the Varsity Cup semifinals on April 27th.
The inaugural Varsity Cup Collegiate Rugby Championship concludes with the the semifinals winners meeting inside BYU’s beautiful South Field Stadium in Provo, UT on May 4th at 1pm MT.