SOME sporting disciplines are dying a natural death, at least at regional tertiary institutional level.
Rugby, cricket, golf, hockey as well as volleyball have been excluded from the 2016 edition of the Confederation of Universities and College Sports Association (CUSCA) Africa Region Five Games owing to little or no interest from participating countries.
The games slated for Bulawayo in August will have nine countries on show. These are Zimbabwe (the hosts), Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia. Lesotho have not confirmed participation.
The exclusion of the five sporting codes is because most of the CUSCA Games member countries do not have teams in the disciplines.
President of the Zimbabwe Tertiary Institution Sports Union Martin Zibwi explained the criteria used to determine if a sporting code makes it for the August event.
a�?For a sporting code to be considered for the games, four or more countries must commit to bring their teams. Fewer countries registered teams for sporting codes like rugby and cricket and as a result we had to exclude those from the August Games,a�? said Zibwi.
Countries will compete in football, basketball, netball, table tennis, chess, athletics, karate, volleyball and tennis.
The exclusion of rugby, cricket, golf and hockey paints a gloomy picture for the future of the sporting codes in Southern Africa. Volleyballa��s popularity is relatively low too.
On the international stage Zimbabwe and South Africa are the only two countries that have competitive teams that take part in International Cricket Council (ICC) administered tournaments like the World Cup, One Day Internationals (ODIs), T20 and Test Cricket matches.
On the rugby front the two countries together with Namibia have meaningful teams that compete in Sevens rugby tournaments.
South Africa is the sole African representative in the 15s format of the Rugby World Cup.
It is a similar story in hockey with Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia being the only countries that have teams competing in international tourneys such as the Hockey Under-21 Junior World Cup set for Santiago, Chile later this year.