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TRU AGM Notes – 2/12/17

Please review the AGM minutes from our meeting in Austin on February 12, 2017. View all of the TRU archived AGM minutes:

2017 TRU Winter/Spring Annual General Meeting – Agenda

Sunday, Feb 12 @ Austin, TX

  1. Roll Call – Tate / W Young
    1. Board Members (Voting): Tate, Tomsak, Dodge, Parker
    2. Admin: Young
    1. Non Voting Members / Club Roll Call
  2. USA Rugby CEO Address
    1. Payne: USA Rugby wants to thank you for what you’re doing in the TRU. As a result of that, in the next 3-4 years we will continue to help promote rugby in this area and GU. There will be more International events here and we hope that this will help promote growth at all levels.
    2. Parker: Is there any chance that Houston and Dallas could host some international matches?
      1. Payne: Yes, but in the fall we’ve run into issues with football. But we will continue work to build relationships in those areas. Houston in particular is on the front foot of building relationships.
  3. Dallas Rugby Youth Rugby Club (Dodge)
    1. Dodge: Focus is on U11 & U13 kids that are in underprivileged areas. We need coaching support and equipment and we ask for the support from the TRU member clubs.
    2. Tomsak: Ask for cleats too, those are always needed.
    3. Dodge: Facebook is Dallas Youth Rugby Club.
  4. State of the Union
    1. CIPP Stats
      1. Tate: We’re down in CIPP numbers and more teams are forfeiting matches due to numbers. We need to determine what’s going on; we know that have growing communities and DFW, Houston, Austin and San Antonio are on the top 10 cities in the country.
        1. Tomsak: Could we look at the last three years to see if it’s regional?
        2. Tate: I’m working on that, with the data USAR gives us today, it’s not possible. But I talked to Erik Geib and he has supplied with some raw data.
      2. Tate: Our growth across the board over the last 2-3 years and we’ve flattened this year. The answer isn’t going to be the same for every club or even regionally, but we as a union we have to take a hard look at this. 95% of our funding is dues based, with that reduced, we can do less.
    1. NDS and Hall of Fame Recap
      1. Hall of Fame Presentation (PDF)
      2. Pins
        1. WHITE – Board or Congress member
        2. RED – TRU play
        3. BLUE – Rep side play
        4. GOLD – HOF
    2. TRU Foundation
      1. Tate: We are currently creating a 501c3 foundation, we have obtained counsel and kicked this off. Developing another revenue stream through charitable donations will allow us to continue developing rugby.
      2. We’re also thinking ahead and the Foundation board would run the Hall of Fame event as part of their fundraising activities.
        1. Taute: What’s the fundraising goal? Second, will it be liquid?
        2. Tate: We haven’t gotten as far as setting a fundraising goal, we still need to seat a Board, etc. At first though we don’t want it to be liquid but build up an endowment. Long term I would like to fund ongoing coaching or other development. Ongoing rather than once a year…
  5. Financials – Tate
  6. 2016-2017 Competitions – Reps
    1. 15s
    1. RRRC 7s Series (TO BE CONFIRMED)
      1. June 17 – Bloodfest
      2. June 24 – North (Tulsa/Norman/Little Rock)
      3. July 8 – South (Austin/San Antonio/Houston)
      4. July 22 – Central (DFW)
    2. TOLA 7s (Social Series)
      1. Will work with RRRC 7s to host dual events or stand-alone, more details to come. David Dodge is heading up TOLA now.
    3. 7s Clinic/Summit
      1. The Board has been discussing hosting a 7s clinic/summit in May. Very early planning.
  7. USA Rugby Congress Update – Yeoman/Watson
    1. Questionnaire
      1. Watson: This is still valid and I would ask that all members respond. This information is becoming part of a focus group study.
      2. Parker: How much feedback did you get from D3 clubs?
      3. Watson: D3 and colleges were the predominant responders. I called 90% of responders and had good conversations.
    1. Watson: A theme of the weekend for Congress was accountability and transparency from USA Rugby and the USA Rugby Board. Dues have been put on the back burner for now, but your insurance program is being reviewed. We also discussed RIM throughout the weekend. I would reiterate that it’s the responsibility of the clubs to educate their members. There are lots of resources out there and they can educate themselves but we can help too.
    2. Ridnell: If there is no dues increase? How will the shortfall be made up?
      1. Watson: They believe it will come through RIM or USA Rugby Trust.
    3. Yeoman: They are also cutting budgets across the board in an effort to keep the shortfall as little as possible. We also talked about fiscal controls as there was some overspending by various programs.
      1. Watson: No, RIM hasn’t made any money yet.
      2. Yeoman: The license fee schedule increases next year and they project to be cash flow neutral/positive in the next few years. There is no set distribution schedule yet because the USAR Board has to determine to reinvest etc.
      1. Yeoman: RWC 7s has it’s own LLC and the books are kept separate. But the strategic efforts will be made for both. RWC 7s is also the gateway to show that we can run a high profile event and eventually go for a RWC 15s.
      1. Dodge: You mentioned that RIM is supposed to cover the shortfall. Have they made any money?
      2. Thierry: Do they anticipate 2018 because of RWC 7s and the 2019 RWC? Are the banking on these events?
    4. Norton: What about PRO Rugby competition? Is there shortfalls that can be made up there?
      1. Yeoman: That is under potential litigation and so we couldn’t get specifics. But we pushed the topic and had discussions.
  8. Lunch Break (12:30 – 1:00pm)
  9. Updated Policies & Guidelines
    1. Norton: Are there any policies or procedures in place for situations like the Griffins (M)?
      1. Yeoman: If we are to determine what division our sides participate in by June, how can I know that?
        1. Dimitri: I agree, I founded Lonestar and we have players coming from other areas because of our club culture.
        1. Tate: You may not like this answer but it probably means you aren’t a D1 club.
        2. Yeoman: Fair enough. But what about the creation of new clubs that take players from existing clubs?
        3. Sharpley: The USAR Club Strategic Committee is discussing a potential policy change that states that new clubs can’t have more than eight players from an existing club.
        4. Tate: Some of the new clubs that pop up is a healthy and good thing, like a church that opens a second location across town because there are too many members. And if a club isn’t offering a player what they want, they will go somewhere else.
      1. Tate: Alan Sharpley, chair of the RRRC has instituted a participation agreement for all RRRC competition clubs. Essentially stating that they commit to participating in a particular competition and division. We could look at also including a surety bond or deposit. The larger issue is that we have a crumbling D1 and no teams want to move up.
    1. Unlock CMS Policy
    2. Add/Change/Drop Match Form
    3. Rescheduling Matches/Forfeits (RRRC)
  10. Discipline
    1. Tate: The total number of cards and issues is consistent. The major issue this year was a club played a player that was suspended. This cannot happen. If a player is shown a red card, they are suspended immediately for 8 days or until the next match has passed. The DC will review and may pass down an additional sanction but the 8 days is automatic.
  11. High Performance – Tomsak
    1. Tomsak: CARFU and MARFU women came and played TRU All Star. Grand Prairie was the host and we had a several donations to support the event (Budweiser for beverages and Baylor Medical for medical). Have also received two requests for future sponsorship, will need to follow up with that. We are looking at a return trip to MARFU in November again and will try to have a four team event.
  12. Sponsorship – Tomsak
    1. Continued partnerships with Red Ball Oxygen and Ruck Science. Also looking at a major sponsorship over the next few weeks.
  13. Referees
    1. Recent referee courses hosted by Rugby Texas
      1. Lack of numbers caused the 3 courses to be canceled. Remember that we recommend at least 8 attendees and HAVE to have a tournament available for them to do a practical in the evening.
    2. Referee Abuse – No major issues this year, keep up the good work!
    3. Cooling off period – Remember to chat with the referee after a “cooling off” period. You can have a positive discussion once everyone has a chance to collect their thoughts.
  14. Club Requirements
    1. Touch Judge Program Continues
      1. If you need players certified to comply with this policy, let TRU or TRRA know and we can send someone to your practice and do your whole team.
    2. L200 Coaching Certification
      1. 100% again this year! We are the only GU that can claim this (2 years running). The TRU will host it and a L300 annually at the TRU Summit. If clubs want to host on their own, we’re happy to help support.
    3. CMS
      1. Teams must do this Friday evening (enter your roster) and complete by Wednesday at 5pm. This includes substitutions, disciplinary and a complete roster. This data is used for RRRC playoffs and USA Rugby National Championships.
  15. Technology
    1. TRU Website – Redesigning soon!
    2. Feedburner
    3. Club Contacts
    4. WTR Contacts
    5. Twitter
    6. Facebook
    7. Youtube
    8. In general we are happy to post things on behalf of clubs. Send it to Wendy or Kirk and we will help promote it.
    9. Sharpley: USAR is in works to create a Club Rugby website. More to come soon!
  16. TRU Board Terms
    1. President – Sep 2017 (3 year term)*
    2. Vice President – Sep 2017 (3 year term)*
    3. DI M Rep – Sep 2019 (3 year term)
    4. W Rep – Sep 2019 (3 year term)
    5. DII M Rep – Sep 2018 (3 year term)
    6. DIII M Rep – Sep 2018 (3 year term)
    7. Congress – Sep 2018 Watson (2 year term)
    8. Congress – Sep 2017 Yeoman (2 year term)*
      1. *These will be addressed at the Summer AGM (notice will go on website BEFORE AGM)
  17. Summit/Hall of Fame (late August, maybe early September)
    1. Will host courses:
      1. L1 Referee
      2. L200 Coaching
      3. L300 Coaching
      4. L1 Strength and Training
      5. We’re also looking at bringing in some high level coaches to add more value to the event.
    2. Looking at moving the event around, perhaps Houston, San Antonio or Austin.
      1. Buckner: We need to be mindful of the WRWC which will be in late August.
      2. Tate: Yes, we will need to be aware of that. We have to have it after Club 7s and before fall 15s starts.
  18. Summer AGM
    1. Held in conjunction with Summit. Major topic will be election of TRU President and Vice President. As well as Yeoman’s Congress seat.
  19. New Business?
    1. Bi-annual AGMs?
    2. Tate: We talked briefly about this in the beginning but attendance is down for this AGM. Do we think we could do this in a PDF or online notes?
      1. Pryor: Let me ask it a different way, do we think we could have had this discussions at an annual event?
      2. Watson: The RRRC and TRU meet online monthly, do we do something like that?
      3. Yeoman: I like the interaction, doesn’t have to be in-person though.
      4. Tate: Maybe we do a semi-annual report from the Board? If you think about time it takes to organize an event space, an agenda etc. Do we use that time for a detailed report that dovetails into a strategic plan or something? Then we can have a meeting that is action instead of a discussion. The summer meeting has to happen to show the members the financials, etc.
      5. Watson: It’s not the time in the meeting, but more the travel time and burden on the clubs.
      6. Tate: Yes, that’s why we held it in Austin this weekend to pair with the test match.
  20. Meeting End (2:01 pm)