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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 6/12/17

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. Opening of the meeting and Roll Call (8:00pm CST) – A. Sharpley
    1. Sharpley
    2. Kolberg
    3. Young
    4. Luke Gross
    5. Watson
    6. Tate
    7. Kurylas
    8. Butch
    9. Keuppens
    10. Iker
    11. Turner (arrived 8:45pm)
    12. Hughes (arrived around 8:50pm)
  2. Approval of minutes from May meeting: https://texasrugbyunion.com/2017/05/10/rrrc-competitions-committee-notes-5117/
    1. Kolberg: Motion to approve
    2. Tate: Second
    3. Sharpley: Any discussion? Any opposition? None. APPROVED.
  3. Approval of the Agenda
  4. RRRC approvals by email vote during the week of June 4
    1. Approve Glendale to join RRRC Div.1 competition for 2017-18 season
      1. Sharpley: The RRRC voted online last week to approve the admittance of the Glendale Raptors to the Men’s D1 competition. They will not be full TRU members but rather just participating in our competition (like when New Orleans played in our competition in the past).
      2. Tate: This online vote was precluded by an informal meeting of the Men’s D1 teams and they also agreed to allow Glendale to join. We’ve had some inquiries on social media and through email and just want to make sure it is clear for everyone.
    2. Confirm results of RRRC Automatic Promotion and Relegation policy for 2016-17 season
  5. Report from June 6 NCC meeting – A. Sharpley
    1. Glendale approved to join RRRRC Div.1 competition for 2017-18 season
    2. RRRC gets two seeds in 2018 D1 Round of 8, 2nd seed up for challenge from Pacific South #2 for 15s
      1. Kolberg: Will the challenger have to travel like Life West had to?
      2. Sharpley: The home team holds the seed.
    3. RRRC gets two seeds in 2017 for both Men’s And Women’s National 7’s Championship
  6. Status of RRRC Competition Structure Proposals for 2017-18 season
    1. Women’s D1/D2 – W. Young, H. Iker
      1. Young: We will have 3 divisions with 15 teams this year! We are still working out all the formalities and speaking with the teams on what the structure should be.
      2. Iker: This will also only be a spring only competition. We found that the fall was inconsistent with most teams moving their matches to the spring anyways. We will have the All Star program in November again.
    2. Men’s D1 – J. Kolberg, K. Tate
      1. Tate: Home/away competition with Dallas Reds, Austin Blacks, Austin Huns, Dallas Harlequins, Little Rock (promoted) and Glendale Raptors. We have also had informal inquiries from an unnamed MLR team that may want to enter a side in D1. Little Rock has told us that they plan to appeal but we haven’t seen it yet.
        1. Watson: Isn’t that contrary to bylaws that a new team can’t join at D1?
        2. Tate: No, the RRRC controls competitions and can place the team where they see fit. The TRU only allows the club and RRRC places them as they see fit.
        3. Kolberg: I’m very curious about what will happen with Little Rock.
        4. Sharpley: They have said they will have their written appeal in by the end of the week.
        5. Kolberg: Hypothetical situation, if they appeal and we deny, they go to USA Rugby NCC and how long will that take?
        6. Sharpley: The NCC has 72 hours and the $1,500 fee will be due as well (see USA Rugby Eligibility regulations). The fee is reimbursed if they win the appeal, it is due up front.
        7. Watson: Another hypothetical, what happens if they appeal and we deny. What if they try to leave the Union?
        8. Sharpley: They will not play next year, you cannot jump GUs.
        9. Tate: They not only won D2 two years in a row and with a point differential of 28+; there matches weren’t competitive.
    3. Men’s D2 – L. Turner, D. Corrigan
      1. Sharpley: Luke or Doug on the call? No?
      2. Young: Confirming that they are not on the call.
      3. Tate: I can speak to it if you’d like. HARC (relegated), HURT, Tulsa, San Antonio, DARC, Oklahoma Crusaders, Woodlands, Ft Worth, Katy and San Marcos (promoted) are in our D2 for now.
        1. San Marcos WILL NOT appeal their promotion.
        2. HARC will also not appeal their relegation and would be a one side club next year unless we do create a D4.
        3. Ft Worth has also sent in a notification that they may want to move down (we requested an appeal).  
        4. Alamo City hasn’t reached out.
      4. Sharpley: I hope I can speak for the D1 clubs, we’d really like to find some way for our D1b and D2 teams to play together.
      5. Tate: I’ve been playing with that and I think we combine the D1b with D2 North to play home away and then have crossover matches with the other D2 teams. But the appeals need to be resolved before we solidify anything.
      6. Sharpley: We don’t have our D2 reps on the call but I appreciate Kirk filling us in. Any questions?
    4. Men’s D3 – T. Hughes, J. Kurylas
      1. Kurylas: HARC (D1b) (relegated), Euless (relegated), Alamo City (relegated), Shreveport, Austin Blacks C, HURT B, Corpus Christi Crabs, Lone Star, Grand Prairie, Woodlands B, Fort Hood, Dallas Reds C, Bay Area, Alliance, San Antonio B, McAllen, Galveston, Austin Huns C, Kingwood and Abilene.
      2. Euless – I understand that they are not in good standing, is that correct?
        Tate: Yes, they have forfeits and played an ineligible player. They are not in good standing until those fines are cleared up.

        1. Sharpley: This is hard for the TRU and the RRRC, we have a D2 semi-finalist that was competing and then just folded towards the end of the year.
      3. Houston Arrows – I spoke with them and they would be OK with being in D4
      4. Dallas Diablos – Also OK with being in D4
    5. Men’s D4
      1. Sharpley: This isn’t RRRC but is something we can still talk about. Can we informally put forth what the D4 regional competition would look like?
        1. Tate; Yes, this is looking very positive this year. I do want to mention a caveat. The clubs that are entering B sides are looking at it with the understanding that the eligibility rules will be less stringent. We should be able to do that since this would only be a TRU Championship with no 50/50 rule.
          1. North: Diablos, Denton, DARC B, Lost Souls with potential of a new club in Tyler and Brad let me know about a possible Alliance B.
            1. Kurylas: I talked with Tyler and they should be submitting their applications for men and women this week.
          2. South: Corpus Christi Dogfish, Katy B, San Marcos B, Battleground (new club), possible HARC B (if they have the numbers) and Houston Arrows.
        2. Sharpley: If this comes about we may want to think about adding a D4 representative in the next election cycle (August).
  7. Texas GU Update – K. Tate, W. Young
    1. Tate: We pretty much covered it above but note that this summer after the 7s qualifiers we will be getting ready for the TRU Summit and Hall of Fame event. That will be towards the end of August or early September. Also note that we did receive two applications for 7s only clubs to the TRU. We did approve the Hawks Rugby Academy but denied an application from Oklahoma Elite Rugby Academy. Two years ago they were admitted under a probationary status and they violated that in less than 30 days. They have inquired about appealing the TRU ruling to USA Rugby and I’ve sent that to Erik Geib to see what/if the procedure for that is.
    2. Sharpley: There are two different appeal pathways, one with competitions and one for violations of bylaws and statutes of the USA Olympic Committee. I imagine this would go directly to a USA Rugby Grievance panel.
    3. Tate: Oklahoma Rugby Elite hasn’t registered their club yet and their players are open to register with any club that they’d like. We haven’t restricted any players, just the Oklahoma Elite organization.
    4. Keuppens: Kirk, can you send me a notice so I can share that with the RRRC and TOLA hosts? We want to make sure that any attempts to register are not allowed from the Oklahoma Elite organization. And to be clear, they can’t participate in any of our tournaments period because they aren’t associated with a GU?
    5. Tate: Yes, that is correct.
    6. Sharpley: Incidentally Oklahoma Elite joined the True South GU last year and were approved. This shouldn’t have been as you can’t jump GUs. Unfortunately it wasn’t realized until after they’d participated in 2 qualifiers. They did request to join the True South this year and it was denied as well.
  8. TRRA Update – B. Neuenschwander
    1. Butch: A quick 15s note, next year we will save the TRU some money and will not be pulling in help from USA Rugby National Panel referees. We are anticipating that we will have at least 6 referees ready for that level. On to 7s, a reminder that we are not managing social 7s tournaments. We are managing the RRRC stops with TRRA referees and at least one visiting top 7s referee from USA Rugby and that will be our focus. This is a big weekend for the TRRA, it’s our AGM weekend. It starts Friday night and we’ve invited Nic Ricono and Paddy Mac from the USA Rugby High Performance Referee group to do a training and then coach all day at Bloodfest. Then we have our elections on Saturday night and I will not be the Chairman anymore. It’s been a pleasure and I know it’s a thankless job sometimes. I’d like to say thank you to everyone on the committee and acknowledge all of your hard work that sometimes go unrecognized.
      1. Tate: Thank you Butch.
      2. Sharpley: We will miss you and thank you for your work as well!
  9. New Business
    1. New Club – Hawks Rugby Academy (7s only)
      1. Sharpley: Hawks Rugby Academy has been approved by the TRU and I see no reason with Red River approving but will open the floor to questions before we vote.
      2. Tate: Just to clarify for everyone on the committee, for this season it’s only a women’s 7s team?
      3. Iker: Yes, just for this season it will be women’s only. Since the Oklahoma Roses are transitioning to a college side this will be a Club 7s only team. We have a few international players as well as players from Texas and Oklahoma.
      4. Sharpley: Thank you and congratulations on the new team!
      5. Tate: I move we accept the Hawks Rugby Academy.
      6. Kolberg: Second.
      7. Sharpley: Any discussion? Any opposition? None. APPROVED.
    2. RRRC 7s Update
      1. Keuppens: Many of you have heard that there has was an issue with the tournament fees for Bloodfest. Fortunately we’ve resolved it and I want to publicly thank Kirk for working with Mitch to make this work. The pricing is set for the RRRC Qualifiers at $250 and that is because of the relationship between the TRU and the TRRA. Historically Bloodfest charged $400+ for their premier event and we were able to work to a compromise where the teams will pay $300 up front but if they attend all four events they will be reimbursed $50.
      2. Sharpley: On the Bloodfest combined elite/qualifier bracket, I want to make sure that we are all on the same page. Which teams in that bracket will be playing elite but not eligible for qualifying points?
      3. Keuppens: Lemurs (formally prickly pear) and Kansas CIty are the two teams to my knowledge.
      4. Sharpley: Even if a non-RRRC team wins, the points move down to the RRRC team?
      5. Keuppens: Correct, RRRC will get the points rather than the Non-RRRC. In a hypothetical, even if our teams don’t make the cup round, we would go down to pool standings.
      6. Sharpley: Well, does it mean that we are diluting our competition? Is there enough head to head competition?
      7. Keuppens: Yes, I think we do.
      8. Sharpley: Some of these changes, problems with pricing and acceptance of teams were made without my knowledge or the RRRC.
      9. Sharpley: My apologies and note that we’ve talked about this before. Before we brought Bloodfest in we talked about having teams from outside the RRRC to improve the level of competition. Frankly that was one of the reasons we brought in Bloodfest was to raise the competition.
      10. Sharpley: I’m not questioning that, I’m questioning the lack of communication about over the last week and some of the potentials conflicts. I think I’ve made my point.
  10. Any Other Business
    1. None
  11. Close of the meeting (nlt 10:00pm CST)
    1. Watson: Move that we adjourn
    2. Kolberg: Second