RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 8/14/2017

The Red River Competitions Committee will now be releasing their monthly committee call minutes and notes. View all of the archived RRRC minutes** or read on for the most recent:

  1. Roll call
    1. Keuppens
    2. Kolberg
    3. Young
    4. Kurylas
    5. Butch
    6. Tate
    7. Turner
    8. Watson
    9. Hughes
    10. Green
      1. Regrets
        1. Gross
        2. Sharpley
        3. Iker
        4. Corrigan
  2. Approval of the Agenda
    1. Kolberg: Motion to approve
    2. Hughes: Second
    3. Tate: Any objections? None. APPROVED.
  3. Approval of the minutes from the June 12 call
    1. Digitally approved and posted to TRU website: http://www.texasrugbyunion.com/2017/07/19/rrrc-competitions-committee-notes-7102017/
      1. Tate: Going forward (at least until we have elections) Wendy will email a link to all the minutes to the committee for corrections and such. Then we will approve digitally and have them posted to the website.
  4. Schedules 2017-18 season
    1. Tate: The big agenda item tonight is the league schedules for all of the divisions. Travis has worked really hard on putting it all in one place so we have a central repository. As always we put together a best effort and teams can make changes as they need to after the final draft is sent out. We did work with TRRA this year to move some matches to Sundays, those were local derby matches or matches that were under 1-2 hours to help with travel. This makes a big difference for Saturday matches where we can move 5-6 matches to a Sunday so we can help with our referee resources. This will also help train our referees and they can have a dedicated coach on hand.
    2. Hughes: We have ten teams that have more than one side playing so I tried to line up teams that have multiple sides. We attempted to try to have those sides all at one venue if we could. It’s not perfect by any means but we tried to line up as many as we could.
    3. Tate: I agree, a lot of time the problem wasn’t with players being available on Saturday but it was that the second or third team didn’t have all of the support staff available. Especially if one of the games was away, support staff is limited. Ok, let’s talk about the actual schedule, thoughts, comments and concerns?
    4. Kolberg: Travis, great job! We could keep tweaking this thing for the next three months and still not make everyone happy. We should send it out and make sure the teams know they can make changes as long as they follow the correct processes. What is that formal process?
      1. Tate: First there is a 14 day viewing window once we share it with the teams. Then once it is considered “finalized” the teams follow the normal process. Once the teams make an agreement, they use the change form on the website and Wendy will complete and notify Travis (master schedule) and Scott (referee allocation). The 14 day change fee does still apply so teams want to make changes with that in mind.
    5. Kolberg: Great, I think we go ahead and send it out.
    6. Hughes: Assuming we approve this tonight, I’d recommend that each divisional rep sends it out to their clubs and that 2 week window begins. Is that what we prefer?
    7. Tate: I think we can do two things, one Wendy can send it out to all of the TRU Contacts via the normal channels. If the divisional reps will also poke their members and get it to their members than when the two weeks is over no one has an excuse to say no one told me. Personally I say we don’t put it on the website until the two weeks has passed.
    8. Kurylas: Ok, so all clubs will get to see the entire schedule? That way they can see that everyone got a piece of the Sunday pie.
    9. Tate: Yes, they will be able to see the entire document.
    10. Turner: I haven’t been following the D4 much but there has been some concern expressed to me that it might be different than the normal RRRC schedule?
    11. Tate: I haven’t had that discussion with anyone but those are probably the easiest matches to move around. If we’re moving games to the fall that is the easiest time to move to because there is no HS and most of the club season hasn’t started yet. That is exactly what these two weeks are for and if those D4 clubs want to move things around, they can contact their divisional rep.
    12. Hughes: The other thing we should point out was that we placed the TRU D4 Championship the weekend before the RRRC. That is a built-in makeup weekend so it shouldn’t be a big issue.
    13. Kurylas: A good thing too would be to include the D4 men and D3 women.
    14. Young: I went ahead and made that change for the women, that will be good to help with referee resources as well.
    15. Tate: The D4 also ends in early April, maybe we make the Championship earlier even. We can leave that up to the teams to discuss.
    16. Green: I appreciate all the effort of moving games from Saturday to Sunday. It’s going to give us a really good opportunity to train up new referees and raise the level of existing referees.
    17. Kurylas: I motion we send this copy of the schedule to the teams.
    18. Kolberg: Second.
    19. Tate: Any objections? None. APPROVED.
      1. Tate: Ok, we will send this to all of the clubs and give them a 2 week window to review and request changes with their divisional reps. After that they will need to follow the match change process. Huge thanks to Travis, John, Jeff and Wendy on getting these schedules in place.
  5. Sevens Report (Keuppens)
    1. Keuppens: The facility in Minneapolis was outstanding and the weather was great. My personal opinion is that the level of performance was higher than last year. RRRC was a mixed bag as far as results.
      1. Reds: Won Bowl Final
      2. Huns: Placed 16th
      3. ARPTC: Lost in Plate Final
      4. Valkyries: Placed 12th
    2. Keuppens: Looking specifically at the RRRC 7s Series, adding the fourth stop was viewed as favorable. On the men’s side we saw some attrition and most events had 4 teams participate. The women’s side is growing and we’re having more and more teams participate.
    3. Young: Yes, agree with the women’s side, it is growing and we are seeing growth. Fil, TeShay and I spoke early in the summer about the success of TOLA, we had so many men’s teams participate. Perhaps we bring a bit of TOLA in and go Hong Kong style? So all teams play each other in pool play and then they are reseeded after that to make sure the competition is still solid.
    4. Keuppens: Yes, I’m glad you brought that up. Also perhaps we need to look at bringing in outside teams to bolster our competitions.
    5. Tate: So, a couple of things on that. I sat on the last USAR Competitions Meeting and we learned that the USAR Performance Board has been created. The committee that USAR has now created will be looking closely at the pathway from the grassroots into Eagle players. We were told at the last meeting that there is a vision that 7s will be treated differently. They may pull the top teams out and treat it like an elite division. That may mean that our TOLA division becomes our premier and our top 7s teams participate in a National 7s Elite Competition. A lot of talk and buzz but nothing solid for us to act on yet.
    6. Young: On Fil’s point, the women’s sides are asking for us to help try and bolster the competition as well. ARPTC didn’t attend the last tournament because they had clinched the top seed and they went to another tournament that had a bit better competition.
    7. Keuppens: Yes, these top teams are thinking next steps, what happens after they qualify? They need to be ready for the next level. If we can figure out a way to draw some teams down so we can elevate our competition for the next level. The million dollar question is how do we do that? We’ve got some time but we need to do it.
  6. RRRC Elections
    1. Young: Closes Aug 16, we’ve only had one nominee for Women’s D2
    2. Tate: Yes, we need nominees for Men’s D1 and Men’s D2. Reps, please encourage your teams to put names forward so we can get this committee filled. Responsibilities include monthly conference calls with the bulk of the work around competitions and scheduling.
  7. New Business
    1. Referees
      1. Tate: We need people to sign up for referee courses and register as referees for the next CIPP cycle. They then need to get out on the field and start refereeing. The referee society and in particular Scott Green has been working hard to create a referee training program that is the first of it’s kind. This is a pilot program with USA Rugby that is organized and an ongoing referee coaching and training program. Referees are reimbursed for their matches and the goal is to create opportunities for people to get involved earlier. The effort to move matches off Saturday is also to allow current players to continue playing and referee. But none of this works if our clubs don’t put people forward to be certified and do matches.
        1. USA Rugby Referee Level 1 Certification – Saturday, Sep 9
        2. Coaching of Match Officials Level 1 Certification – Saturday, Sep 9
      2. Green: At the last TRRA AGM, the referee members brought me on as a referee recruitment officer. This includes the referee development track. I will spend the next 8-9 months traveling around and developing referees. I’d love it if we could fill up that class on Sep 9!
    2. AGM RSVPs
      1. Tate: AGM is in Ft Worth on August 27 (SUNDAY). Co-hosted with Alliance Rugby at Trinity River Distillery (1734 E El Paso St #130, Fort Worth, TX 76102). We will discuss TRU elections, go over financials, referee resources, welcome the new clubs and review the upcoming season.
        1. Young: RSVPs are due by Aug 21.
        2. Tate: The trick with the RSVPs is that we break for lunch and if you don’t tell us you’re coming, we aren’t getting you food!
    3. TRU Summit
      1. Tate: We also have coaching certification courses coming up at the TRU Summit, Sep 9-10 in Houston; this includes our first ever Strength and Conditioning course.
        1. USA Rugby Coaching L200 Certification – Saturday, Sep 9
        2. USA Rugby Coaching L300 Certification – Saturday AND Sunday, Sep 9-10
        3. Strength and Conditioning Level 1 Certification – Saturday, Sep 9
    4. TRU Hall of Fame
      1. Tate: We are also hosting the 2nd annual TRU HOF on Sep 9. We’ve had several calls already and have the list narrowed down to 12. We have a call on Wednesday to finalize the list down to no more than 10. It was a really great event last year and we honored some of founders. Hotel details will be coming out very soon!
  8. Close of meeting (9:15pm)
    1. Kolberg: Move to adjourn.
    2. Watson: Second.
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