Bingham Cup 2020
The Bingham Cup 2020 is set for this August in Ottawa, Canada and is considered one of the largest 15-a-side rugby tournaments in the world. For the first time, Japan will be looking to send a team to this global all-inclusive rugby tournament which is held every two years.
Bingham Cup postponed to 2022
UPDATE: The organisers of the Bingham Cup made the decision to postpone the tournament to 2022 due to COVID-19. They posted:
“We were looking forward and were so excited to host you all for the Bingham Cup 2020 this August. However, due to the unfolding of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the impacts it is having around the world, your Bingham Cup Ottawa 2020 Organizing Committee as well as the IGR Trustees have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone this year’s Bingham Cup Ottawa and reschedule the tournament for August 2022. You will find more detail, including reasoning and refunds, by reading the March 28 press release.
Each and every one of us in the community is having to deal with different types of grief because of this pandemic. We know you are hurting – we are too. We must all do our part in order to get past this safely and, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for understanding that this is the best way forward. In the meantime, hang tight, stay home, stay safe and check in on your community and loved ones. We will see each other soon.”
Bingham Cup 2020
Bingham Cup 2020 is celebrating its 10th edition in 2020. The International Gay Rugby (IGR) helps organise the tournament and this year it will be hosted by the Ottawa Wolves. The IGR also confirmed, “This will be the first Bingham Cup to be played in Canada and the Ottawa Wolves are preparing to host upwards of 70 teams from all five continents of the world in the nation’s capital.”
IGR Chair, Ben Owen, said: “The international gay rugby community is extremely excited that the Bingham Cup will be held in Canada for the first time – a country with a growing rugby community and a proud reputation of openness towards the LGBT+ community.”
The full name of the tournament is the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament (Bingham Cup) and it is a “biennial world championships of gay and inclusive rugby.”
74 teams from 20 countries participated in the previous Bingham Cup, held in Amsterdam in June 2018.
In 2020, 83 clubs (148 rugby teams) from 20 countries are expected.
There are also Wheelchair Rugby Exhibition Games planned. More can be seen on the tournament events page.
Asian involvement at the Bingham Cup
The tournament has never been staged in Asia. Japan, however, is looking to send rugby teams to compete at the Bingham Cup for the first time in 2020. The Asahi Shimbun reported that “gay rugby players and others in Japan are now working toward competing in the 10th tournament.”
Last year, in Japan, the International Inclusive Challenge: Japan RWC 2019 was staged. It was the “first openly gay rugby ever to be held in Japan”. Rugby teams from Tokyo and Osaka also became associate members of IGR in 2019.
According to the article from Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese rugby player claimed it was difficult to gain sympathy for sexual minorities at work and other places in Japan. One Japanese player told the news outlet “I have always tried to fit in with the people around,” the player said. “But when I play rugby, I don’t need to do that. I feel self-confident by playing rugby.”
IGR has exchanged a memorandum on eradicating discrimination with the Japan Rugby Football Union.
Who was Mark Bingham?
The tournament is named after Mark Bingham, a member of the San Francisco Fog team who died on United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. He was hailed as a hero and credited as one of the passengers who took on the terrorists on-board, preventing the aircraft from reaching the intended target and thus saving more lives.
World Rugby made a documentary about Mark’s life and involvement in rugby which was released in 2019. You can watch Legacy: The Mark Bingham Story documentary online for free.
According to IGR, “The Bingham Cup is held in honour of Mark’s memory and challenges stereotypes and perceptions of the LGBT+ community.”
- Venue: Ottawa, Canada
- Date: 12-16 August 2022 (updated)
Bingham Cup information
- 2018 World champions: Sydney Convicts.
Bingham Cup host cities
- 2002: San Francisco, CA, USA
- 2004: London, England
- 2006: New York City, NY, USA
- 2008: Dublin, Ireland
- 2010: Minneapolis, MN, USA
- 2012: Manchester, England
- 2014: Sydney, Australia
- 2016: Nashville, TN, USA
- 2018: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- 2022: Ottawa, Canada (updated)
Read about other global rugby tournaments
- Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens 2020 postponed to October.
- Manchester will host the 2021 Youth Touch World Cup.
- The Asian Touch Cup 2020 will be held in China.
- Details confirmed for the 2021 RWC in NZ.
- HK and Japan may enter the ITF Tag Confed Cup 2020.