The Rawson Cup is the prize in an annual sporting contest between the male students of St Paul’s, St John’s, St Andrew’s and Wesley colleges. The Rawson and Rosebowl (intercoll women’s) competitions are both run under the auspices of Sydney University Sport and Fitness. Details of each competition, including the current program and results, are to be found on the SUSF website.
St Paul’s College were the first winners of the Rawson Cup, in 1906. However, throughout most of its early history the intercollegiate competition was won by St Andrew’s College. (see Origins and Results.) The larger student numbers at Andrew’s gave it a natural (though not necessarily overwhelming) advantage as long as it remained a men-only college – to 2001.
Possession of the Cup has been shared over the years mainly by Paul’s and Andrew’s. But in the years before World War Two, Paul’s won only seven times and Andrew’s 22, and while there has been overall equality since then, Andrew’s has enjoyed two periods of sustained dominance, the 1990s and the period since 2010.
Swimming was added to the competition in 1947, Basketball in 1975 (Shooting being abandoned in the same year) and Soccer in 1993. To begin with the award of the Cup was on a first-place basis, with second place being counted (from 1922) in the case of two colleges winning the same number of events. The present 5:3:1:0 scoring system was introduced in 1948, but the “challenge cup” principle was preserved. That is, the winner from the previous year keeps the Cup when the scores are tied.
For more on the history of the competition, see G. Sherington and S. Georgakis, Sydney University Sport 1852-2007: More than a Club (2008). For a detailed account of placings in all intercoll sports since 1892, see Ian Jack’s history of St Andrew’s College, The Andrew’s Book(latest edition 2013), pp. 116-22.