December 6, 2013
CUBA after 43 years
On Saturday, a mostly young CUBA team beat Hindú 11-9 in the Buenos Aires Rugby Union (URBA) final playoff with a last-minute penalty and in spite of this being their first title in 43 years, they remain third with 14 titles in the all-time title table behind CASI and SIC. Although this column has always been against playoffs between the leading teams of the championship, which in this case was only won by Hindú just, it might be more in order this time as there was hardly any difference between the teams.
The URBA is planning to reorganize next season’s club championships with several changes making for a slightly shorter season, while the national championships, with more teams, will be longer. But they will still have title playoffs between leading clubs which may be highly exciting for a lot of people, but can often be unfair in not crowning the best team of the season. Anything can happen in one match — injuries, suspension, bad luck — which would not reflect fully what happened during the season.
CUBA is one club which will not accept any player who has played professionally abroad and only if they are truly amateur. They will also not accept females as full members, but only as provisional members with no voting rights as long as they are relations of members or married to them. But if they divorce, they can no longer enter the club unless the ex-husband gives special permission which is cancelled if they then marry a non-member.
Yet women and girls (some 3,000) do practice sports (not rugby) at the club which also has hockey teams and swimming and tennis teams. But females can not enter the club’s building in town which also has no facilities (bathrooms, etc.) for women. These rules are perhaps somewhat outdated, but every club can decide its own rules, although there are some countries where this kind of discrimination is not allowed.
Field hockey, meanwhile, will have its end of season playoffs over the next two weekends (or three if necessary) at the Ciudad de Buenos Aires Club. In this sport, GEBA women and Banco Provincia men won their respective first division titles by wide points margins and should by all rights be champions, so it would be a pity and unfair they do not prove their superiority by winning the playoffs.
These will be immediately followed by the final stages of the national championships for men and women on the weekends of November 14 and 21 in Rosario and Mendoza respectively. Although no Buenos Aires women’s team will take part and some men’s teams have entered.