TRU Board Notes – 8/21/2017

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

  • Roll Call (8:05pm)
    • Young
    • Yeoman
    • Tate
    • Turner
    • Parker
    • Dodge
    • Tomsak
    • Green
  • TOLA 7s Dispute
    • Dodge: At the final TOLA event at Shreveport, the Dallas Reds were awarded the overall TOLA title and the Huns were runner ups. The Huns have complained about that and have complained about my awarding of discrepancy points. I went back and reviewed all of the tournament results and I did find a few errors but not any that would have benefited the Huns. At the end of the day they ended up with 29 points while the Reds got 31. The Huns have appealed the final standings and their argument is that they should have been awarded discretionary points (as so awarded by the TOLA Chairman if deemed necessary). I only awarded two discretionary points throughout the TOLA competition, the San Antonio Riveters and the San Antonio Armadillos. I would ask that the TRU Board decline this appeal so we can post the final TOLA standings. [Dodge also submitted lots of documentation via email to the TRU Board]
    • Tate: [Read aloud the established TOLA point system]. In reading the Huns appeal, one request was that they should receive a discretionary point for having multiple teams at a tournament. There was also a misunderstanding by the Huns that multiple sides points would be aggregated?
    • Dodge: Yes, the misunderstanding was first and was compounded because the Huns erroneously announced they were in the lead after Cherrybone 7s.
    • Tate: So the only discretionary points were awarded to two women’s teams?
    • Dodge: Yes.
    • Turner: What does the TOLA Champion receive?
    • Tate: A trophy and the 2017 TOLA Championship title.
    • Tomsak: I was at Shreveport 7s tournament and witnessed Dodge organizing all of the teams for pictures with our sponsors and such. There was some verbal discourse from the runner ups that interrupted the TOLA 7s ceremony and that was really disappointing.
    • Parker: I move to deny the Austin Huns appeal.
    • Turner: Second.
    • Tate: Any objections?
      • Tomsak: I abstain as it was my tournament.
      • Dodge: I abstain as well.
        • Tate: The TRU Board has denied the appeal and the decision of the TOLA Chairman is affirmed. Dallas Reds are the Champions and the Austin Huns are the runner ups.
  • Follow Ups from last call
    • Grants
      • 7s
        • Tate: We approved travel grants based on our standard formula.
    • Nominations
      • President: Kirk Tate
      • Vice President: Drew Tomsak
      • Congress: Dave Yeoman
        • Tate: We did not have any opposing nominations and so at this point we are all elected unopposed. It is something I want to put on the agenda for the AGM this Sunday. I want to raise the point that is this a vote of apathy?? I’d rather not only hear from people when they are mad.
        • Turner: What do you mean that you want this on the agenda?
        • Tate: I mean that I am going to discuss with the membership the fact that we didn’t have any other nominations. I would simply like to encourage them to nominate others if they want to be involved in administrations. I will not be reopening nominations but want to raise the lack of participation to be discussed with the members.
    • AGM
      • Agenda
      • RSVPs: 30
        • Tate: Again this will be a topic at the AGM; is this format not useful and should we look at making a change? Per the bylaws we are obligated to hold AGMs. In this modern age of conference call, streaming, social media…do we need to make a change? Reps need to reach out to their constituents and get their thoughts as well.
        • Tomsak: I totally agree, I think it could be done via conference call or something much easier.
        • Turner: I definitely agree and would like to see that the Winter AGM goes away. If the summer AGM isn’t with the Summit than I maybe we go another direction.
        • Tate: My fear is that clubs will see an attempt to do away with these meetings as an attempt to hide what we’re doing. If they get that into their heads than we have a major issue. Wendy, if we need to do a poll after the AGM, we should do that.
        • Young: Yes, we can do that.
        • Tomsak: I don’t see why we couldn’t do a poll right now?
        • Tate: Sure.
        • Parker: For the winter meeting, what was the attendance?
        • Tate: I want to say 8-10 clubs and it was a bit embarrassing as we had the USA Rugby CEO in the room.
        • Tomsak: The biggest thing is the travel burden on the clubs, the TRU Board and the TRU Administrator.
        • Tate: Yes, the sad thing is that it is a drive up and drive down kind of meeting.
    • Summit
      • Lonestar Conference Donation
        • Tate: LSC is providing bodies for the practical courses that are required for the Coaching and Referee courses.
        • Young: First off, Shayne hasn’t asked for anything. Since they are helping with a major portion of the Summit I’d like to ask for a monetary support.
        • Tate: How does everyone feel about a $500 donation?
        • Tomsak: I second.
          • Tate: Any objections? None. APPROVED.
            • Tate: Wendy, can you make sure that Pfleger pays that out before Aug 31?
            • Young: Yes.
      • Breakout sessions?
        • Tate: As a different aspect than the administrative course from USA Rugby we’ve had the idea of having breakout sessions. These would be administratively focused and include speakers that would sit on a panel or present that are experienced in these areas.
        • Young: I am absolutely swamped right now and feel like it is a very worthy cause but can’t take this on right now.
        • Tate: I’m also not going to have the bandwidth for this. Is there anyone on the board that would like to take that on? Hearing none…I move that we defer that until next year. Any objections? None…
      • Guest Speaker?
        • Tate: Wendy, you had mentioned you were going to reach out to the Houston Strikers, did you hear from them?
        • Young: Yes. They are interested.
        • Tate: Great, could we have them speak at the end of the Summit and then also at the HOF as the keynote speaker?
        • Young: Yes, I think that is a really good idea.
        • Tate: Let’s see if they will go for that. If anyone else has any ideas or a great person in mind, please get that to us ASAP.
      • Attendees
        • L200 (Sat) – 12
        • L300 – 5
        • Referee L1 – 1
        • Referee CMO – 2
        • Strength and Conditioning – 4
        • L200 (Sun) – 0
          • Tate: Attendance for the coaching courses on Saturday are doing well. The referee courses are dismal. We’re not going to have referees if we don’t get people signed up. We’ve got to get bodies to these courses and the clubs have to provide bodies. We’ve really got 8-9 days to get people signed up to these referee courses, mainly the L1. We have lots of clubs in the Houston area and lots of new clubs.
          • Green: Yes, North and South referee coverage is very light and we need all the referees we can get.
          • Young: So do we need to reimburse people for the course? What can we do to get people signed up?
          • Green: I don’t know that that is the answer. I look at clubs social media and websites and no one is pushing these courses. It appears to be only Wendy and I. I’ve sent our promotional flyers and we will continue to do that but if the clubs aren’t going to push it…we are just wasting our time. We have this discussion every year but it’s not being addressed.
          • Turner: If we’re using players as our pool of potential referees; players have to choose to play or referee?
          • Tate: That may be in true in Tulsa but down here we aren’t playing yet. The weather has a bit to do with that.
          • Young: What if we make it a competition? Something like have the most active referees on your roster and you get your CIPP clubs back?
          • Turner: Are we going to tie a number of refereed matches to that?
          • Young: Yes, sorry…it would be active referees and we may need to define that.
          • Tate: I’m open to this idea. Active does need to be defined and we don’t want players to choose between playing and refereeing. I have San Marcos players that did youth, college, women’s and 7s games and still played every Saturday. They made several hundred dollars each. If we can get a few of these working games that will help ease the burden.
          • Turner: Using Tulsa as an example again, if we were to CIPP the most active referees etc, they would be driving quite far.
          • Tate: That may be specific to Tulsa but not something we need to focus on. Lots of clubs could provide referees and it wouldn’t cause issues as far as mileage. What is an amount that we feel would be reasonable for a referee recruitment budget? $1k, $3k or $5?
          • Tomsak: $1500 is the first number that popped in my head.
          • Young: I don’t have a vote but think we need to go big. $3k would be the min in my book.
          • Tate: I’m inclined to agree, if we approve a budget and we form a sub-committee to help drive this initiative. As volunteers we don’t have a plethora of time and we’re already extended but the one thing we have is a big pool of apathetic people and we have money. I’d be willing to go $3,000.
          • Green: Here are a couple of additional ideas
            • 1. USA Rugby’s training department are trying to get whole teams certified. They fly in a instructor and train the entire team. USA Rugby would offer us a discount for this option.
            • 2. My new role includes referee training and development. I will be traveling around the TRU and doing trainings. We’ve never done that before and we should take advantage of this.
          • Tate: So on the USAR option of certifying the entire club, what is the costs and the breakpoints on cost?
          • Green: They are a bit vague, but if you had 30+ doing the course it would be half the price. If they could do a clinic on Sat and one on Sun, it could be even cheaper. I think the biggest piece is the marketing, making clubs aware.
          • Tate: We can do the marketing, we can use some of Wendy’s time. That is an easy way to use some of the budget.
            • Tate: I’d like to make a motion that we put aside a $1500 recruitment budget for marketing and scholarships for the September 9 referee Level one at the Summit.
            • Parker: Second.
            • Tate: Any further discussion? None. APPROVED.
    • HOF
      • RSVPs: 28
        • DUE BY AUG 31!
      • Hotel Block
        • DUE BY AUG 31!
  • Forfeit Policy
    • Turner: I’ve reviewed and I think it needs more teeth.
    • Tate: Ok, I need a commitment from everyone to take a close look and respond with their thoughts by email by Monday. We need to approve it or come up with concrete changes so we can get this knocked out. We’ll want to run this by the RRRC as a courtesy and we need to get it in place and published before we start Cup matches (October).
  • TRU U23 Development and All Star Program
    • Email vote approved $1700 grant (8/8/2017)
  • MD4/WD3 Regulations
    • Tate: This is a proposal and there is still some discussion on the Championship weekend.
    • Young: Can we make it for the women’s D3 as well? So these guidelines cover both competitions?
    • Tate: I’m glad you brought that up, the women have historically run their own competition and I didn’t want to step on your toes. Are you comfortable using these regulations?
    • Young: Yes, I think these are good for both competitions. Of course Nick will need to review but she is at the 2017 WRWC.
    • Tate: Hearing no objections, we will let Nick review once she gets back but suspect we will use the same regulations for both groups.
  • TRU Disciplinary Committee – Pryor resigning
    • Tate: Mitch Pryor is stepping down and we thank him for his service over the last 5 or so years. This is a position that the TRU Board appoints. In addition to that, Scot Courtney has said that he will continue in the Chair position if we would like him to continue. I would like to entertain a motion to affirm Scot Courtney as the TRU Disciplinary Chair.
    • Parker: Second.
    • Tate: Any objections? None. APPROVED.
    • Tate: Second, we need to put out a request for persons that would be interested in the position of the Disciplinary Committee. We can post it on the website and mention it at the AGM. Any objections with that course of action? None. APPROVED.
      • Dodge: I would be interested in throwing my hat into the ring for the open position.
  • Women’s All Stars – Nov 18-19, 2017 @ Grand Prairie
    • Tate: We did the All Stars event @ Grand Prairie last year and it was streamed. We have a credit with T5.5 due to the issues at the RRRC Championships.
    • Tomsak: We are wanting to do the TRU Women’s All Stars again in Grand Prairie on November 18-19, 2017. TRU and MARFU are already confirmed and we’ve reached out to Florida and a few other GUs. If we can offer streaming, that is a really good incentive. Shreveport moved their match to Grand Prairie so there will also be a men’s club match.
    • Tate: So are we comfortable using the credit with T5.5 on the Women’s All Star event? No objections. APPROVED.
  • Additional Board Seats
    • Tate: We had a request on the RRRC Competitions Committee that we look at adding Men’s D4 and Women’s D3 seats. This is a bit of a gray area as these are TRU competitions and wouldn’t be represented by the RRRC. How do we get the TRU MD4 and WD3 that aren’t multiple sides representation? Currently our bylaws don’t have specific mention of these divisions; in the past we’ve had the social teams vote in the division above them. But the number of clubs we are talking about is growing and at some point we’re going to have to deal with their representation. We are not going to have a chance for elections or a change to bylaws (long notice and revisions posted) but I’d like to suggest that we offer a position for those divisions that is a non-voting position. They can attend all TRU Board meetings and speak on behalf of those constituents. Then next summer we will either make that an elected position or have those clubs cast votes as the bylaws indicate. In the meantime until we make a bylaw amendment I would suggest that we have someone on the Board that can at least speak for those folks.
      • Tate: Do we want to have a social representative representing the men and women’s TRU divisions? Or do we need two representatives, one from each division?
      • Parker: I think one of each, that way it’s covered.
      • Tomsak: Yes, I would agree that they all have representation. I would urge us to review their registration and # of CIPP’d players.
      • Tate: Ok, what if we wait until closer to their first matches so we can see USA Rugby registration and CIPP’d player #s. Ok, we will discuss this in our September call.
  • RRRC Logo?
    • Young: It’s been brought up a couple times that we don’t have a logo for our Red River Competition.
    • Tate: Right, the RRRC has no budget as they are a sub-committee of USA Rugby and they service the TRU members. I’m comfortable with having a logo designed, it’s not an expensive thing. But I do think it is something that we want to have and TRU should own the intellectual property on it.
    • Young: We got the TRU logo through Rugby Athletic and we own the vector files etc. I think we could work with them again and have something similar to the TRU.
    • Tate: Yes, this is a small ask, let’s get something designed and we can submit it to the RRRC for their review.
  • World Corporate Games (Co-Ed Touch Rugby)
    • Yeoman: After the RBEA Summit that was held recently, I reached out to George Henderson and he let me know that Houston is hosting the World Corporate Games. USA Rugby has worked with this event to include Co-Ed Touch Rugby. We want to highlight rugby locally and then also gain contacts with any rugby people that we’ve lost touch with over the years. Especially those that can weigh their corporation to sponsor a team in the event. To make it work we need 8 teams and not everyone on the field has to be a member of one organization.
  • New Business
    • TRU Team Contacts
      • Parker: I saw on the TRU AGM that we are moving the contacts to Who’s the Ref. I find that the WTR is difficult to navigate.
      • Young: This change is really about protection, currently we are listing out lots of emails and people can be hacked and or sent spam as a result. I’m happy to walk anyone through that is having issues as well.
    • Master MD4/WD3 List
      • Parker: Is there a list we can look at?
      • Tate: Yes, there are lists on the master schedule we sent out.  
    • Red Ball Oxygen – New location in Buda, TX
      • Tomsak: I’ll be down in Austin in a few weeks to celebrate a new location for Red Ball Oxygen. This is an opportunity for clubs to send in reputable leads and Red Ball will give them some incentive. We’re also looking for two sales persons if anyone is looking.
  • Adjourned (9:55pm)
    • Turner: Motion to adjourn.
    • Tomsak: Second.
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