Board Notes – 4/18/16

At the request of our members the TRU Board will be releasing their monthly board call minutes and notes. View all of the archived minutes or read on for the most recent notes:

  • Follow Ups from last call
    • Operating Procedures
    • Summit
      • Location/Host Team: Allen, hosted by Griffins
        • Tate: Wendy and Phil did a huge amount of work last year, if any want to step up and help, I’m sure they’d welcome the help.
        • Sharpley: Are you looking to host another admin course?
        • Young/Tate: Yes.
        • Tate: We have a huge demand for admin courses, so we may double up on it this year. We also probably won’t host a Coaching L200 as everyone is certified. We will have a Coaching L300 and referee courses as well.
        • Young: Rugby Texas is also hosting their own Summit in July and they’ll be hosting a Coaching L200. So we’re covered there.
        • Parker: So we are settled on Allen?
        • Young: Yes, Alliance did initially express interest, but haven’t had much followup. It’s a HUGE undertaking and I feel comfortable that the Griffins can handle again.
        • Parker: I was also talking to Yeoman about hosting with HYRA.
        • Yeoman: Originally HYRA was going to offer their Lost Afternoon Luncheon and some of the Eagles were going to be here. But it doesn’t look the Eagles will be spending a large amount of time so that didn’t help the cause.
        • Collins: Question from Yeoman, why did they want to choose the end of July?
        • Yeoman: When the opportunity to meet the team and meet the coach went away, it seems that the suggestion to move the Summit doesn’t have much merit.
        • Tate: I’m all about broadening the scope in any way that drives attendance, but that may be something to keep in mind for next year. We’ve already posted the date and have some processes moving forward. We hadn’t thought of combining with the Lost Afternoon, but that could be something in the future.
        • Yeoman: The Lost Afternoon is very flexible and is usually hosted around a major International event.
      • Hall of Fame: Posted: http://texasrugbyunion.com/2016/04/04/announcing-the-tru-hall-of-fame/
        • And we already have 16 nominees!
          • Tate: Since we have nominees, we need to move forward with finalizing a HOF committee, I’d think you would want to be interested in that?
          • Corrigan: Yes, I definitely want to be involved.
          • Tate: Any objections from the Board? None. APPROVED.
    • RRRC Championships Location
      • Turner and Tate have recused themselves due to Tulsa and Austin bids respectively.
      • 2/11: Request for Bids was posted, applications due by 3/10.
        • 3/11: Woodlands submitted the only bid but recommended their turf fields. As most of the Board has been at the turf fields, we felt that the minimum qualifications for field size could not be met and the safety of the surrounding curb and lights splitting the two fields was just too dangerous.
          • 3/21: Wendy worked with Sarah Gruba extensively to look at alternative layouts, maybe using the grass fields, etc but in the end the cost of renting the facilities was too much.
            • NOTE: The TRU does not currently cover the costs of renting facilities, this would fall to the hosting club.
          • 3/22: Wendy also engaged, Alan, RRRC Chair as the RRRC would need to also agree to the location. Alan reached out to Erik Geib, USA Rugby Club Rugby Manager and he agreed that while the fields are World Rugby certified, the proximity of the light poles and surrounding curb is a major safety issue.
          • 3/31: Corrigan also attempted to work with HARC and the Woodlands to find an alternative venue but they weren’t successful.
          • 3/31: Alan also reached out to Jen Gray, USA Rugby Director of Operations who confirmed that all National Championship Matches must take place on pitches that meet the minimum dimensions of 94 meters (103 yds) in length, 68 meters in width (74 yds), and a minimum in- goal length of 6 meters (6.5 yds). There is some discretion allowed for the field dimensions but not for the 5 meter safety perimeter around the field. “The light poles, regardless of the amount padding, would never satisfy this safety requirement.”
          • NOTE: The dialogue above took place on email and digital votes were cast to deny the Woodlands bid and open to the entire TRU.
            • Corrigan: If the pitch is not proper, we must move to one that is.
            • Parker: Recommended opening bids to entire TRU.
            • Tate: Agreed, let’s open the bids to the entire union.
              • Yeoman: So if the TRU says the field is not safe for NCS matches, does that mean that league matches are unsafe as well?
                • Tate: That’s  good point.
                • Corrigan: The main point is that the field is under the requirements as far as size. Changing the layout, etc added a burden or costs that no one wanted to take on.
                • Tate: If we did widen the fields, that would make them unsafe as well, they don’t allow for the 5m of proximity.
          • 4/1: Bidding was opened to all TRU Clubs and were due 4/15.
            • Bids (listed in order of submission):
              • Little Rock
                • Great complex and LR offered $800 to help offset referee costs, etc. But feel at this moment that the distance for at least half of the teams is too much for such short notice.
              • Austin Huns
                • 2 quality fields, parking (with overflow parking) and central for most teams.
              • Oklahoma Women
                • Again, great facility with lights, a clubhouse and adequate fields. One concern about the second field that didn’t quite allow for the full pitch requirements. Distance was a concern as well.
                  • Parker: I did some followup with Holly and they were able to make the 2nd field the full size. But it came down to distance.
              • Tulsa
                • Distance was a main concern.
              • McAllen
                • Distance and lack of backup facilities (weather, etc).
              • Grand Prairie
                  • Helped us out in a pinch last year due to the heavy rain and we really appreciated that. No backup pitch available and only one pitch available.
              • Tomsak: If more teams had referees in the outlying areas, like Little Rock or McAllen that would help their bids out. Since they aren’t, we would have to pull referees from the Austin, DFW and Houston areas. That cost is astronomical as we would have to bring in referees, ARs, etc.
              • Tate: Looking at our panel of referees, the majority of the higher referees do come from the Central area.
              • Butch: Yes, the majority of our higher panel referees would be coming from the Central and note that we had already appointed referees, so we knew the distances in regards to the bids that these referees would need to travel.
          • 4/15: Sub-committee of Nick James, Luke Turner (recused himself due to Tulsa bid and replaced by, Drew Tomsak, Otis Parker and Wendy Young discussed via email the bids and recommend:
            • Tomsak: We’ve had a long exchange of emails over the last few days, we reviewed cost for teams, cost for referees, T5.5 streaming and administration and feel that Austin would be the best. Austin also was one of the only bids to not have a team competing and we felt it was important not to overburden a host. There were more reasons than that but the main was what I mentioned above.
            • Tate: For the sake of the minutes, Nick, do you concur with that conclusion?
            • James: Yes, I concur.
            • Parker: I concur.
            • Tate: The sub-committee is recommending that the bid go to the Austin Huns. Do we have a motion from the Board (minus Luke and Tate) to vote on this?
            • Corrigan: Motion to vote.
            • Parker: Second.
            • Tate: Discussion?
              • Tate: I want to be really transparent about this entire process and I am glad that Sharpley and Yeoman were able to attend the call as well.
              • Tomsak: I do want to mention that I was the most excited about the Little Rock bid, but the referee expense and the overall team travel was drastic compared to Austin
              • Young: I would agree, they have an amazing facility but the notice to the teams was too little.
              • Parker: For me, I ranked the bids 1-5 and then looked at distance for teams, referees, and administration. Then made my decision.
              • Tate: For future reference, if we start this process earlier and prioritize the quality of the facility and the event over the historical rotation…that will give newer members and remote or far north clubs a realistic shot of getting one of these events.
              • Corrigan: I concur with that, start earlier and focus on quality. The rotation isn’t as important as it used to be.
              • Tate: I also wanted to mention that any decisions regarding the RRRC Championships are done in conjunction of the RRRC Conference Committee.
                • Collins: Might I suggest a point system that would be available for everyone to see? Made up before the bids come in? Then when the bids come in, the committee can start ranking them, etc?
                  • Tate: Yes, that’s a good idea and an interesting one.
              • Young: Yes, I think we will go to announcing the bids process at least 120 days out. I also want to note that I’ve spoken with several of the far north teams and they do feel that the process isn’t quite as fair as it could be. They are part of the union and want to be allowed to host events, etc.
              • Tomsak: I move that we vote on the RRRC Championships at the Austin Huns facility.
              • Parker: Second.
      • Tentative schedule
        • Wendy is working with Alan and T5.5 to confirm a schedule.
      • Trophies, balls, etc
        • Wendy will order once location is finalized. We may be able to buy (at cost) some brand new balls from Rugby Texas as they over ordered, Wendy is working Dave McPhail on that.
          • Tomsak: Can you get me the prices for the balls? I’d like to see if we could get sponsors on them.
          • Young: I was looking at buying some extra balls from RT and I don’t know if we could add them later?
          • Tomsak: Maybe something to look at for the future.
          • Young: Yes, definitely. A great idea.
      • CMS
        • Parker: Are we using any special rosters, etc?
        • Young: Yes, we will be using CMS this year. So I’ll create a competition and once we know the teams they can enter their rosters, etc.
        • Sharpley: Yes, all of the NCS will be going through CMS this year.
          • Corrigan: Wendy, can you post about the book check, IDs, etc on the site?
          • Young: Do we need to post or should I send a notice directly to the Clubs? Like a congratulations and here is what you should expect at Championships (essentially a checklist).
          • Tate: Yes, but could you post that we need CMS to be completely updated including scores, subs, etc. This helps with eligibility and standings, overall.
      • T5.5 Streaming
        • Young: I’m working with T5.5 to get a firm quote now that we have a location. Note that they will live streaming Field 1 but Field 2 will be delayed (posted to Youtube that night).
  • RRRC 7s host bids
    • Young: We’ve received none, they are due by 4/30!
  • 2/27 Woodlands III vs Corpus – Woodlands FORFEIT
    • Young: This issue was referred to us by the RRRC and the below information was provided by Travis Hughes:
      • Eric De Loss from the Woodlands emailed Tom Taft from Corpus Christi on February 18th asking if they would agree to reschedule their match from 2/27 to 3/5.
      • On February 28th Tom Taft replied that Corpus would have several players unavailable to play on 3/5 and that they wanted to keep the match date on 2/27.
      • On February 24th Eric De Loss responded to Tom Taft indicating that WRFC would have to cancel the match with Corpus Christi on 2/27.
      • On February 24th Louis Gaitan from Corpus Christi also contacted Eric De Loss via text to confirm if the game would be played or not. Eric indicated it would be canceled.
        • Tate: A reminder that the TRU cannot access competition sanctions like taking CMS points, etc. But we are able to sanction monetarily if we choose. I would suggest that we do that based on that we have another potential forfeit from the Woodlands from Kingwood. Kingwood claims that they have played an ineligible player (again). The RRRC is reviewing this issue as well. I would recommend to the Board that we defer a decision at this point until we see what happens with the second potential forfeit.
          • Corrigan: Wouldn’t we want to treat these as two separate incidents?
          • Tate: Yes, but remember that we probated their fine the first time when they played an ineligible player. In this instance, if the Board decided to follow that precedence again, I would be against it as we already know there is a third issue in the pipeline.
          • Parker: I believe that Kingwood has rescinded their complaint. I don’t think it matters one way or another, there is evidence of wrongdoing.
          • Tate: The RRRC conference has already ruled the 2/27 match a forfeit. Our operating procedures recommend that we issue a written warning first. Then we it moves to monetary fines. Does anyone have an objection to this course of action? No objections. APPROVED. Tate will send a notice to Woodlands.
            • Tate: We will wait to see what happens with the Kingwood match.
  • 4/16 Grand Prairie vs Reds III Field issue
    • Tate: John Kurlyas from Grand Prairie let us know of an issue with the Dallas Reds not wanting to follow the current posted Field Policy in the Operating Procedures. They attempted to work with their coach to have their players on the opposite side of the spectators but met resistance. They enlisted the help of the referee and the team did move as requested. John did ask for clarification on several issues though.
      • 1) John had asked if the field policies covered spectators.
        • Tate: Spectators would not include players, coaches, medical personnel, #4, etc.
        • Parker: When I spoke with John last week, his biggest concern wasn’t the definition of a spectator, he just wanted to know where they were allowed to be. I feel that he wanted something written in black and white so that could be referred to.
        • Tate: Let me clarify something, the technical zone for the subs, coach is ideally on the sideline opposite of the spectators. My understanding that there is no limit on where the spectators are as long as they stay out of the playing enclosure and the technical zone. I would assume that our ultimate goal is that we would have so many spectators that they would surround the entire pitch! I’m reluctant to have us include a policy that limits a de facto limit on the size of the spectators.
        • Young: The policy does mention that spectators shouldn’t be on the same side of the players.
        • Tate: Yes, but I could imaging that we may have a situation where fans could be on same sides of the field. I think we may have made assumptions in our policies for how rugby has always been in Texas.
        • Young: In this case, I’m thinking of one specific field that probably shouldn’t have spectators between the fields.
        • Tate: Understood, back to John’s question though, I don’t think we should dictate where spectators are beyond the playing enclosure and the technical zone.
        • Corrigan: Maybe there should be an appendage on the operating procedures as we know that not all fields can have the recommended setup.
        • Young: That is included in the Operating Policies currently.
        • Tate: I think the main concern was just where the spectators can be. We originally went round and round on this issue where players should be etc. Rather than build in a lot of options, ifs, or buts, we put out the regulations where we feel they should be. That way we are all working to meet those regulations and the bar is set high.
        • Corrigan: Have you had a chance to talk with Chris at the Reds?
        • Tate: Not yet.
        • Corrigan: I spoke with him and they felt that they got there early and were all setup and just didn’t want to move.
  • Women’s USA Rugby High Performance Camp
    • Young: Tam Breckenridge has asked Texas to host another HP camp like last year. Working with the women’s clubs to find a location and date. Potentially looking at May 21 and 22, 2016.
      • Sharpley: May I mention that the May 21-22 are the NCS playoffs, so that could conflict with some attendance.
      • Tate: Good catch!
      • Young: Yes, we will probably not choose that date then! I’ll have more updates soon.
  • New Business
    • 4/9 Woodlands III vs Kingwood forfeit
      • Tate: This issue has been referred to the RRRC and we will await to review until they come to a decision.
    • Summer AGM
      • Turner: I know we have the Summit date picked, but what about the Summer AGM?
      • Young: It’s on my list but felt overwhelmed at picking as we have so many events during the summer. 🙂
      • Tate: Yes, it’s a busy time with RRRC 7s, the Summit, etc. I propose we look at last week of July, first weekend of August or between two of the RRRC 7s events.
      • Young: I also wanted to wait a bit as we know there are June Internationals but unsure about July and August as those dates haven’t been released yet.
      • Turner: I’m also concerned about the date as most clubs hold their own AGMs and we need to try and not conflict with those elections, etc. Plus you want to send your new rep, not the old one.
      • Tate: Good thought, maybe we can push it a bit later. Usually we hold in August as we will have our own elections and want to follow the CIPP cycle.
      • Turner: Is there any possible way to combine the Summit with the AGM?
      • Tate: We’ll have to think on that, with the schedule we had last year, no way. But we may have a smaller schedule this year, maybe…
      • Young: Maybe we do AGM on Sunday and hope that they attend the Saturday night banquet so they’ll be staying the night anyways?
      • Tomsak: Yes, I think your participation would go up tremendously.
    • Ruck Science
      • Tomsak: Have we received their payment? I know I sent the one for Red Ball Energy.
      • Tate: I’ll have to check with Dave Pfleger, I’ll let you know.
  • Meeting adjourned at 9:24pm
    • Corrigan: Motion to close.
    • Tomsak: Second.
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