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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 9/10/2018

The Red River Competitions Committee releases 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. Young
    2. Dodge
    3. Kurylas
    4. Kolberg
    5. Keuppens
    6. Tolar
    7. Fosco
    8. Watson
    9. Hughes
    10. Dale
    11. Nezat
    12. Green
      1. Regrets
        1. Gross
  2. Schedule – Approval for Input into WTR/CMS
    1. Dodge: Travis, can you give us an update on how the schedule is going?
    2. Hughes: We processed about 20 changes from the clubs. We still have a few matches on 2/23 and are actively trying to get those moved. There are a lot of matches in Houston so that is probably OK.
    3. Young: Keep in mind that TRRA will have a big group of referees tied up working the match. They are essentially locked in a room at the stadium 3-4 hours before the match begins.
    4. Dodge: Good, I’m glad teams took advantage of the change period. The goal was to get changes in before we do the major input into WTR and CMS, rather than after the fact.   Divisional reps, please look at the schedule and encourage teams that still have matches on 2/23 to move them, as there is a high probability of a referee shortage that weekend.
      1. Dodge: Is anyone not ready to vote on the schedule? None. Scott, does this look OK from a referee allocation standpoint?
      2. Green: I haven’t had a chance to look closely at it, but I don’t think that should hold us up at this point.
      3. Dodge: OK, we did try to limit the aggregate number of matches per weekend. We appreciate your continued flexibility on that.
      4. Watson: I move that we approve the schedule.
      5. Hughes: Second.
        1. Dodge: Any opposition? NONE. APPROVED.
          1. Dodge: Wendy, can you get that to Erik?
          2. Young: Yes sir.
  3. Regional Rugby Festivals
    1. Dodge: Divisional reps, please encourage your clubs to participate in these events. These are open to all clubs, male and female. It’s meant to train new referees, ARs and a competition for all clubs.
  4. 2018-19 Eligibility Rule Changes Memo
    1. Redline of changes to Eligibility Rules (new language is in red)
    2. Draft Memo on Changes
      1. Dodge: The key changes are in the draft memo on changes but not that there are a couple of things we need to decide on:
        1. PLAYER MATCH MINIMUMS FOR RED RIVER PLAYOFF ROUNDS: Under Rule 3.5(e), order to play in the Red River Regional Playoff rounds, each player must be capable of meeting the match minimums for participating in the NCS rounds by playing in the Red River Regional Playoffs. NOTE: The Red River considers the new Men’s Division 3 Wild Card playoff matches as regular season league matches for purposes of this rule.  We need to vote on this last part, after the word “NOTE”.
          1. Hughes: This makes sense to me.
          2. Tolar: Agreed.
            1. Kolberg: Motion to approve.
            2. Kurylas: Second.
              1. Dodge: Any objection? None. APPROVED.
              2. “CLEAN SLATE” RULE FOR IN-SEASON TRANSFERS: In the Red River, we will also apply this “clean slate” rule for purposes of determining eligibility under Rules 3.5(e) and (f), as that has been the practice of USA Rugby’s Eligibility Department in pastCompetitive Cycles.
                1. Watson: I move we approve this regulation.
                2. Hughes: Second.
                  1. Dodge: Any objection? None. APPROVED.
  1. MAC Contiguous Division Waiver Request for Washington Irish
    1. Dodge: There is a new provision that would allow the USA Rugby National Competitions Committee to allow exceptions to the contiguous side requirement. That requirement says that if you are going to have two sides, they have to play in contiguous competitions (ie D1 and D2). In order to request an adjustment it has to come from the CR (as opposed to the individual club) to the USAR NCC.  The rule is meant to allow CRs to maintain competitive balance and structure within a CR. The NCC has recently received a request from a MAC club, the Washington Irish. Their CR Committee wants their men to play D1 and second side to play D3, and is asking NCC to approve this exception. I’m bringing it to the Committee so you guys are aware of the new rule and can consider the potential competitive impact on our Red River clubs.  Frankly, I don’t think this has much of a competitive impact on us. If the Washington Irish’s second side were a bunch of ringers at the D3 level, I expect there would be substantial pushback within their own CR. Also, there are enhanced player movement rules for any team that is granted such an exception. Anyone have any strong feelings about this? None.
      1. Dodge: Ok, just wanted to bring that up and my inclination is to vote to approve it when it comes up at the NCC meeting, after I have heard the discussion at the NCC level.
  2. List of Pre-Season Reminders to Send to Clubs
    1. Dodge: Obviously we’ll be sending out the memo on the eligibility rule changes, and I think we should probably remind clubs about tie breaker, forfeit rules, operating procedures and book checks (more in New Business below on spot checks).
  3. New Terms of Reference / Committee Structure going forward
    1. Dodge: This has been in the works for over a year and was recently approved. Under the new TORs, the Chair is to make a recommendation on committee structure and voting to the NCC for approval.  However, I wanted to get everyone’s feedback on my initial thoughts. I believe the structure has worked pretty well thus far, so my inclination is to keep things as close to the way they are now as we can under the new TORs.
    2. The major change is in the way we conduct elections (everyone must be elected, rather than only having to run for re-election if challenged). The Chair continues to be elected by the members, but ALL members must be elected from their various constituencies. So, what I’d like to do is establish two year terms for everyone. I’d also recommend doing elections in January as opposed to the summer. The only exceptions would be:
      1. Referee seat (would match the current TRRA election cycle in July and continue to be elected by the TRRA) and be a year-to-year term.
      2. Divisional reps would have staggered 2-year terms with longest standing members up for re-election in Jan. 2019.
      3. At-large (currently appointed by the Chair and held by Luke Gross from Glendale) would be changed to a geographic representation for Red River clubs from outside the TRU.  This seat would have a one-year term, as the clubs from outside the TRU that form a part of Red River could vary from season to season. Right now, that’s only Glendale, but with WD1 restructuring next season, it will likely include WD1 clubs from other GUs starting in 2019-20.  There is language in the new TOR about ensuring adequate geographic representation, but my understanding is that such language relates to ensuring that teams from all GUs in a CR are adequately represented, not that different sub-regions within the same GU are represented or have separate voting.  The geographic sub-region to which a club, or particular side of a club, may be assigned can vary from season to season, and keeping track of who represented whom, and who could vote for whom from year-to-year could get very complicated. Red River, unlike most CRs, is predominantly comprised of TRU clubs.
      4. 7s – caveat would be they have to have been on the 7s sub-committee for at least a 7s competitive cycle before being eligible to run for the 7s spot on the committee.
        1. Hughes: I think it makes sense to stagger and I really like doing it in January. The summer is very busy!
    3. Dodge: Let’s talk about voting as we’ve had some concerns brought up by Alan Sharpley (and others) about multi-side clubs not feeling like they have adequate representation of their lower sides under our current voting policies, which, like the TRU, only allow clubs to vote for divisional reps at the highest level at which any side for the club plays (e.g., the Reds men can only vote for the MD1 rep, not the MD2 and MD3 reps)–although someone affiliated with the Reds could run for those spots (e.g., Bill Taute from the Austin Blacks recently ran for the MD2 seat that Luke Turner vacated).
      1. Hughes: Why didn’t Alan address this when he was Chair of this committee? My second question is are we treating clubs as one with three sides or are they three clubs? If you’re getting three votes in all the elections, you’re acting as three individual clubs. I see the second as a problem, one President voting on three reps?
      2. Watson: My problem is that the members on a D3 club don’t have a representation for their membership.
      3. Hughes: Ron, the players don’t get to vote, the club votes. If McAllen has 50 players on their roster, they only get one vote. It doesn’t have to do with how many players are on a roster.
      4. Dodge: I guess the way I would look at it is…I don’t see how the current structure has harmed anyone? The system has seemed to work pretty well for the TRU and the RRRC since its existence. I’m kind of falling into the camp of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
      5. Kolberg: I’m President of Dallas now, if we get three votes and so do all of the D1 clubs, it means the D1 clubs can pretty much run everything. I don’t think that is fair. I see what Ron is saying, but those players should feed up to their reps and they vote accordingly. I think we leave it as is, it’s fair.
      6. Kurylas: I do think that the multi-side clubs should have input on who their representative is for each division in which they play, but a vote for bylaw changes etc, they shouldn’t get 2 or 3 votes.
      7. Dodge: Let me make clear, we are only talking about how we seat divisional reps for the RRRC Competition Committee. If you’re talking about an At-Large seat, everyone would vote on that. I’m suggesting that we keep voting for divisional reps consistent with the TRU and the way this Committee has conducted elections for open divisional seats in the past.
      8. Hughes: If we allowed multi-side teams to have as many votes as they have teams, the single sided clubs would be outnumbered and pissed off.
      9. Keuppens: I concur with that, I’m also part of a multi-sided club. Part of our duty is to help grow the game, we need to do what we can cater to the needs of the single side clubs. Giving them a voice is the right thing to do. The only place I would say an exception should remain is with the women’s clubs if they fall under the same banner. Their needs are 100% different in most cases.
      10. Young: I agree that it should remain in parity with the TRU. Single side clubs need their representation. I motion we keep it as is.
        1. Dodge: OK, let’s take a quick advisory vote on that motion.
          1. Fosco, Hughes and Tolar: Second.
          2. Dodge: Any opposition?
            1. Watson: Yes.
  4. New Business
    1. Referee Assignments
      1. Green: We had a meeting with the USA Rugby Referees today and have been told that our liability insurance is NOT covering clubs that are in a pending or grace period status. As a result we will NOT be assigning referees to those matches until fully registered with USA Rugby.
        1. Young: There are a few items to note here:
          1. Grace Period: USA Rugby registration has not been paid
          2. Pending: Can be coaching status, background checks and minimum number of players (minimum is 15 for 15s; 9 for 7s).
        2. Green: Yes, we’ve been instructed to tell teams to contact membership@usarugby.org if they have any doubts. Don’t wait for registrations to flip over, we urge them to reach out proactively.
    2. Eligibility Book Checks
      1. Kurylas: Are we going to do spot checks? More often than in January or February?
      2. Dodge: Yes, I think we should. Why don’t we schedule it out next call once we have the schedule loaded into WTR and CMS?
      3. Hughes: I think it’s a good idea to have as many spot checks we can have in the first few weeks. This would help clubs get their books in order.
      4. Kurylas: Then in 2019 we can do checks without giving them notice.
      5. Young: I agree, give them a few notices and then we need to do routine checks without notice.
      6. Dodge: Right, the point is to have clubs have their books in shape. This is preparation for playoffs and the next level.
    3. USA Rugby Congress Update
      1. Watson: Revisions to the USA Bylaws are in the works.  Note that there is also a committee that is looking at restructuring the USA Rugby Committees.  Major touch points are that there are longtime members and the need for fresh blood, as well as the same people sitting on multiple committees, some of which have jurisdiction over other committees on which the same person sits.  Also important that all coaches and admins take the Safe Sport course.
  5. Call Adjourned (9:15 PM)
    1. Watson: Move we adjourn.
    2. Kolberg: Second.