The annual University Sport South Africa (USSA) tournament starts on Monday in Potchefstroom.
In a nutshell, here’s everything you need to know: The USSA tournament will be held for a 48th time and is one of four senior national competitions on the South Africa netball calendar along with the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League, the national championships and the Varsity Netball Series.
In total 33 teams will participate in five leagues. The Universities of the Free State (Kovsies), Pretoria (Tuks) and Johannesburg (UJ), the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and the Stellenbosch (Maties) and North West University (Pukke) make out the six teams in the Super league.
There are six participants in the Premier league and the top two teams have the chance to get promoted to the Super league as they play the two bottom teams in the Super league.
Further there are nine teams in Section B and 12 in Section C.
The first tournament was held in Cape Town in 1967 where Tuks walked away with the honours. Since 1970 the event was held on an annual basis, with the only exception in 2010 due to the Soccer World Cup that clashed with the winter student holidays.
Tuks won the first four events and will be aiming for the fourth consecutive in 2017.
With 20 titles they’ve been the most successful team, followed by the Maties with 13 championship wins, Kovsies (11), Pukke (2) and UJ (1).
It will be the sixth occasion that Potch play hosts, the last being in 2011 when the Kovsies were the victors. It was their sixth win in eight years,
Since then Tuks dominated affairs, claiming four out of the last five crowns. Thy last missed out on a spot in the final in 2009 in Johannesburg when they shared third spot with Maties.
The Stellenbosch students hold the record for the most consecutive tournament wins; five between 1974 and 1978. However they last tasted success in 1995 in Bloemfontein.
(Photo: Tuks winning the 2016 USSA tournament. Photo Credit: USSA) USSA Netball #USSANetball #USSA2017