TRU Board Notes – 9/18/17

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
    • Dodge
    • Tomsak
    • James
    • Tate
    • Yeoman
      • Regrets
        • Parker
        • Turner
  • Followups
    • Forfeit Policy [DRAFT]
      • Dodge: I had put some notes on it, I agree with Luke’s comments that we shouldn’t be donating to one charity or another. I am OK with giving fees to the Texas Rugby Referee Association referee development fund. I also think we should tighten up the part about “notification” and what that really means. Is that an email thirty minutes before kick-off or are we going to be more specific?
      • Tate: Yes, I think there are two situations here, weather or an act of God is one thing. But if we have the “we don’t have enough people”, we want to encourage people to make those decisions sooner than later. So the “notification” provisions should be between Wed noon and Friday evening. Anything outside of that is not enough notification. Otherwise it is too late for anyone to make the right decisions.
      • Dodge: Yes, I do think we need to make those two situations more clear.
      • Tate: We also recognize that smaller clubs may not know until Thursday night but you should know by that night if you’re going to have a team.
      • Young: I think the RRRC has a bit about when notifications have to happen: http://texasrugbyunion.com/2015/09/03/rrrc-competition-guidelines/
      • Tate: Yes and we want to make sure that we aren’t making two policies but perhaps make them match up if we can.
      • Dodge: Ok, what do we think about the fines?
      • Tate: Looking at Luke’s notes, he did want the fines to be more.
      • Dodge: These are pretty hefty fines, a substantial step-up from what we’ve had in the past. I think they will grab our team’s attention. I guess this might not covered if a referee has to fly?
      • Tate: Our referee fees are changing a bit this year, instead of a mileage and a match fee component, it’s a flat fee. So we won’t necessarily know what the “flight cost” is right away but we could get that information.
      • Young: The earlier the referees can know, the better. In reviewing our current Operating Policies and past OPs, we don’t seem to have addressed a timeframe for notification.
      • Dodge: I propose that we put our notification policy together and then if we need to match it to the RRRC or an existing policy we can do that.
      • Tate: I’m leaning towards close of business on Wednesday.
      • Dodge: Yea, then if you’re a coach that doesn’t know by Wednesday, you are rolling the dice and could suffer the consequences. We are only talking about outright forfeits.
      • Tate: Right, we are just talking about outright forfeits where a team is left in a lurch. We also need to be sensitive to the women’s clubs, they’ve sometimes needed to play with twelve players but it is considered a match. Do we want different standards for men and women or division? I think for un-played forfeits I’m comfortable with Wednesday by 5pm.
      • Young: I agree.
      • Tomsak: I move that we vote on that proposal, clubs must notify the opponent, referee and the union by Wednesday at 5pm for non-played forfeits.
        • Dodge: That is for non-weather related, right?
        • Tate: Yes. This is ONLY for non-weather related forfeits. Any objections? None. APPROVED. This will need to be run through the RRRC for approval as well.
      • Dodge: So the monetary amount…
      • Tate: What about this?
        • First offense: $150 plus referee costs; $150 to club, rest goes to TRU (to cover referee fees)
        • Second offense: $300 plus referee costs; $300 to opponent, rest goes to TRU (to cover referee fees)
          • Dodge: I’m fine with this. Move to approve this fine structure.
          • Tate: Second. Any objections? None. APPROVED.
      • Tate: Ok, so now for played forfeits. First, I want to clarify that for Men’s D4 and Women’s D3 playing with borrowed players is not a forfeit. We want to encourage development rugby and so those divisions have an incentive to make matches occur.
        • First offense: Written warning
        • Second offense:
        • Third offense:
          • Tate: I do worry that if we allow 7s to occur, is that enough for a 15s match?
          • Dodge: I agree with that.
          • Young: Especially if we think about sending a referee on a long trip, just for 7s. That is tough.
          • Tate: Right, I think we take that off the table and get a bit more specific. We could go with a minimum of twelve players (can include borrowed players) and that would count as a played forfeit. Then they avoid the fee and a game of rugby was played. The question becomes then, we have twelve players but they do twenty minute halves, is that good enough?
          • Dodge: Given the current referee shortage, what’s worth a referee’s time when they could be doing another match? I’d say playing than less than 12s or 30 min halves would be where I drew the line.
          • Tate: I’m comfortable with that.
          • Young: What if we require the club to cover the played forfeits? We did that for a few clubs last year and that seemed to work well and helped with the referee shortage.
          • Dodge: That could potentially put a burden on the home team.
          • Tate: I’m also a bit worried about safety and liability.
          • Young: We got lucky most of the time and had a certified referee that was also a player. But I totally see what you are saying.
          • Tate: Right, the TRRA can absolutely say they won’t be assigning a referee to a played forfeit. But I don’t think as a union we should have a policy that encourages that. I would say let’s write the policy assuming that we will be having a TRRA referee. If the TRRA decides that they won’t cover it, then the teams can choose how to address it. Make sense?
          • Young: Yes.
          • Dodge: Yes.
          • Tate: I think at least 12 players a side and at least 30 minute halves is reasonable.
          • James: For the women, we may have some 10s in the D3 and possibly D2. D1 is playing full matches. I don’t know that we need different standards for genders.
          • Tate: Ok, what if we did at least 10 players a side and at least 60 minutes of rugby. That could be quarters, halves or thirds if needed with breaks etc.
          • Dodge: I’m fine with that. This may be outside of our purview but if you have more than two forfeits you should probably be relegated.
          • Tate: Yes, that falls under the RRRC and they already include two forfeits is an automatic relegation. Any objections to the motion of redefining a played forfeit to be 10 players a side and at least 60 minutes of rugby?
            • Dodge: This is only for league matches?
            • Tate: No, this is for any matches that are played and a referee will be assigned.
            • Dodge: So this does apply to MD4 and WD3 but they have more leniency before it’s considered a forfeit?
            • Tate: Correct. Any opposition? None. APPROVED.
              • Tate: We will get this to the RRRC for review, they meet the second Monday of each month. Then we can publish to the website and incorporate into the Operating Policies.
    • Summit Wrapup
      • Young: I think it went really well especially with changing the location at the last minute due to Hurricane Harvey. We certified 70 people in various courses and we got nothing but positive feedback.
      • Tate: A huge thank you to Wendy, she continues to pull these events off even with these last minute changes.
      • Young: We also did Facebook LIVE this year and we had a lot of views throughout the weekend. View all the videos here: https://www.facebook.com/texasrugbyunion/videos/?ref=page_internal.
        • LSC Skills Clinic
          • Young: The LSC clinic had to be cancelled last minute and so I made some last minute calls to several clubs in Austin. Rock Rugby and the Austin Valkyries answered and provided players each day. They really saved our butts and I would like to propose that we give them some sort of donation. Rock Rugby also provided all the equipment for the course.
          • Tate: OK, so we had 8 players from Rock Rugby and 6 from the Austin Valkyries. What if we send Rock Rugby $300 and the Austin Valkyries $200? We were going to pay LSC $500 we can split it appropriately between the teams.
            • Dodge: Second, it really sounds like they stepped up.
            • Tomsak: Move to vote.
            • Tate: Any objections? None. APPROVED.
    • HOF Date
      • Tate: We delayed the HOF this year to Hurricane Harvey and we need to pick another date. We have had some online discussion regarding a proposed date.
      • Young: We were thinking of Nov 18 and matching it with the TRU All Star event but we’ve talked with a few inductees and HOF members and that weekend is not ideal. What if we did a double class next year?
      • Tate: I’d really like to try and have it sooner. Let me go back to the HOF committee and see if we can choose an earlier date. I’d really like to do it before the end 2017.
    • MD4/WD3 Regulations
      • Young: Ready to post?
      • Dodge: Should we appoint a regional competition commissioner to assist with tracking guest players, etc?
        • Tate: We will require that these division use CMS and guest players can be manually added (by writing them in). We will need to have a system by which we monitor those guest players. My thought is that it more of an honor system like we had before CMS.
      • Dodge: I don’t see CMS is included in this?
      • Tate: You’re correct, we need to add that.
      • Young: I’ll add it as well as the handbook and policy about locking CMS.
      • Tate: As far as a regional competition commissioner, what names are we thinking of? What about Derek Fisher of Tyler? He has a men and women’s team in each division.
    • TRU Disciplinary Committee
      • Tate: The vacant position has been filled by Catherine Harper of HARC and the committee is now seated. We previously voted to have Scot Courtney continue as the TRU DC Chair. I believe she is the first women we had on the DC committee. Is that correct, Wendy?
      • Young: As far as I know, she is the first!
  • Who’s the Referee Changes
    • Team Contacts
    • Match Reports
      • Young: Referees will now submit these via WTR and the distro lists are still active. Board members may need to create a WTR account if you don’t have one to view them.
      • Tate: Ok, but this doesn’t affect anything that the teams need to do as far as CMS?
      • Young: Right, teams still need to be using CMS.
    • Disciplinary Reports – Will now be submitted via WTR and the distro lists are still active. DC and Board members may need to create a WTR account if you don’t have one to view them.
  • AGM Winter/Spring date
    • Tate: At the August AGM the members opted to do away with the Winter AGM in-person meeting. Our bylaws only require one general meeting so we didn’t have to have the second meeting. We do still want to have some kind of Winter catch-up and information and delivery session for our members. It will be online, conference call, Facebook live or something like that. We want to keep that transparency out there and allow the members to ask questions. We won’t ask clubs to travel anymore for the Winter meeting. I’m not sure I’m ready to pick a date yet, we need to see what the ARC matches are now the HOF.
  • Schedules loaded into WTR
    • Young: All schedules have been loaded into WTR. Teams can still make changes but need to follow the match change policies.
    • Tate: We did have some last minute schedule changes, Euless was initially included but failed to meet all of their requirements to be considered “in good standing”. They have not been included in a RRRC competition and do still have an outstanding fine. They are not available for social or friendly matches until those fines are paid up.
  • CMS
    • Young: I’ve requested logins from USAR twice, still waiting on them. Not really an emergency yet but Men’s D4 starts mid October.
  • New Business
    • Budget
      • Tate: Next call we will focus on reviewing our budget, I’m in the process of finalizing our taxes. If there are proposals for All Stars, U23 or other events get those to me ASAP.
    • Vice President Term
      • Tate: We discussed this at the AGM, currently the President and VP are on the same terms. We’d like to make sure they are staggered going forward. Drew will serve out two years and then we would do an election.
        • Tate: This may require a bylaw change, I’ll need to review that. You will serve out this full year anyways, so we don’t necessarily have to deal with that right now. We do need to make sure we deal with it next summer.
  • Adjourned (9:44pm)
    • Tate: Moving to adjourn
    • Dodge: Second.
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