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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 5/13/2019

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. Leming
    3. Tolar
    4. Kolberg
    5. Dale
    6. Dodge
    7. Keuppens
    8. Watson
    9. Singiser
    10. Hale
      1. Regrets
        1. Kurylas
        2. Hughes
        3. Green
  2. Follow ups
    1. RRRC 15s
      1. MD1: Austin Blacks
      2. WD1: HARC (Austin fills fourth seed at Westerns)
      3. MD2: Austin Blacks II
      4. WD2: Austin Valkyries II
      5. MD3: Austin Blacks III
        1. Dodge: First off I’d like to thank everyone who helped with the TRU/RRRC Championships and the weather issues. In particular, I’d like to thank Wendy, Kirk, John Kurylas, John Dale, Karl Tolar and Drew Tomsak as they really stepped up. The Blacks swept the Men’s divisions while HARC took WD1 through league play, lastly Austin Valkyries II took WD2. There isn’t a fourth seed in WD1 West, because there is no WD1 competition in NorCal.  Seeding in the Round of 8 is based on the relative order of finish within each division in the prior year’s Round of 8. That left the Red River WD1 with the #1 seed (HARC), as Valks 1 took second place to the WD1 NorCal team in the West last year. As the remaining CR that finished highest in WD1 last year, Red River was also allowed to send its second place team as the 4th seed in the Western Round of 8. In this case it is Austin Valkyries so they will join HARC at Westerns. As HARC is the #1 seed and Valks #4 seed, they will face each other in Austin this Saturday. I’m going to try to have the NCC rule which requires teams from the same CR to play each other in the first round of the Round of 8 changed for next year and going forward.
        2. Young: I raised the same issue as well, ridiculous that the CRs have to face off.
    2. RRRC 7s
      1. Locations?
        1. 6/22 – RRRC Qualifier 1 – Bloodfest, Austin, TX
        2. 6/29 & 6/30  – National Super Qualifier (Men’s) – Eastern: Philly / Western: San Fran.
        3. 7/13 – RRRC Qualifier 2 – Hell or Highwater 7s, Spring, TX
        4. 7/27 – RRRC Qualifier 3 – Location TBD
          1. Keuppens: We are still evaluating bids, we’ve received three with Austin, NOLA, OKC and Little Rock. We’ve also heard that Alliance and the Dallas Reds have expressed potential interest. We’d prefer a North host and someone that isn’t considered a guest team (NOLA & OKC). ARPTC isn’t a guest team, but their location is very logistically challenging, particularly for a third qualifier, where we often see team attrition.  Dodge, are the Reds still putting in a bid?
          2. Dodge: It is under consideration for Mountain View, but it’s a financial decision that the Board needs to make.
          3. Keuppens: Great. We’re hoping to make a decision on this soon. We’ve extended the deadline until next Monday (5/20). Email vote will be on Thursday (5/24).
        5. 8/10 – 8/11 – National Championship tournament – Location TBD
        6. 7s Competition Policy Changes:
          1. Keuppens: We held a 7s All Hands Call on 4/22/2019 and those minutes are available on the website: https://texasrugbyunion.com/2019/05/13/7s-all-hands-call-minutes/. Note that some USA Rugby policies have changed and those are noted in the minutes.
          2. Dodge: Is there someone that can put together an updated policies and procedures with the above changes?
          3. Keuppens: Yes, I can do that.
          4. Dodge: Let’s have that done with same timeline as announcing the third location, 5/24.
    3. TOLA 7s
      1. Schedule?
        1. Keuppens: I’d like to have the clubs that are hosting communicate those with us. We’d like to publish them in a master calendar for all. I’d like to ask the RRRC reps to reach out and request that information. Teams can use this form: https://texasrugbyunion.com/referee-corner/referee-resources/tournament-bid/.
        2. Young: I can post the request to the website and then we can publish it like we did in 2018: https://texasrugbyunion.com/2018/05/30/2018-tola-7s-tournaments/. We’d like to publish the calendar by June 1.
        3. Dodge:  Please also reach out directly to the clubs that have traditionally hosted TOLA Tournaments.
      2. Coordinator?
        1. Keuppens: This year will be coordinator by committee, I’ll take point on it this year.
  3. Austin Blacks Grievance
    1. Young: Alan Sharpley has requested that the RRRC and TRU look at applying sanctions against Dallas Reds for their actions in the 4/13 match. They’ve requested that the RRRC look at requiring the Reds to play their matches against Austin next year only in Austin. I’ve sent the request for review to the RRRC and TRU.
    2. Dodge: OK, once we have the written request, we can form a special call or I’ll figure out what needs to be done. I will also confer with Ed Todd on what potential next steps could be.
    3. Young: Ok, I’ve sent it to our email list.
  4. USA Rugby National Competition Policies
    1. Dodge: Since last year, the National Competitions Committee (“NCC”) has been reviewing and adopting national policies on various topics.  Some are mandatory and supercede local CR/GU policies, and some are default policies which apply only as defaults, if the CR/GU has no existing policy.  The policies that have been adopted by NCC can be found here: (https://www.usarugby.org/club-resources/).  Policies adopted thus far include:
    2. League Standing Policy (mandatory)
    3. Match Commissioner Guidelines (mandatory)
    4. Team Minimum Matches per Division (mandatory)
    5. Tie Breaking Procedures (default)
    6. Severe Weather Policy (mandatory)
    7. Weather Cancellation Procedures (mandatory)
    8. Technical Zone Policy (mandatory) (NEW)

Policies up for future consideration over this summer include:

    1. Overtime Policy
    2. Forfeit and Rescheduling
    3. Promotion / Relegation
    4. Scoreboards
    5. Requirements for Medical Kit / Coverage
    6. Participation agreement
    7. Alcohol Disclaimer / Code of Conduct
    8. Safe Sport Policies/Sexual Harassment
    9. Match Official Abuse Policy
        1. Young: So, promotion and relegation could be handled at the USA NCC level?
        2. Dodge: Yes, or at least there would be a national policy. I do think that is one that would be better served at the CR level.  I will circulate to the Committee drafts of these policies as they are being discussed, and would appreciate the Committee members’ input–particularly on the issue of whether you believe the particular policy is better left to the CR, rather than a national policy.
        3. Watson: There’s also some action getting ready to come out regarding all USA Committees. This is continued revamping of the committees that has been happening for a few years. The goal is to have CRs handle more of their business instead of having to push it up the pipe all the time.
        4. Dodge:  Thanks Ron, please do keep us in the loop on that.
  1. Annual Eligibility Rules Review
    1. Dodge: The USA Eligibility Committee is beginning to review the Eligibility Rules to make changes for next season. Nothing has been approved yet, but there is discussion about dropping the requirement for teams with multiple sides playing in contiguous divisions. This would give us more flexibility in our promotion and relegation, so we will wait to start that process until it’s decided. If anyone has any questions or concerns about the current eligibility rules, please reach out as we’ll be discussing changes over the next few weeks.
  2. Promotion / Relegation
    1. Dodge: John Kurylas has already started looking at this and will have a draft for us soon. I think we’ll be prepared to start discussing this on the next call. We may need to put out a request to teams if they would like to request to voluntarily move.
    2. Keuppens: Have we had any requests so far?
    3. Dodge: Not I. Wendy?
    4. Young: Nothing yet.
    5. Watson: I’ve heard that NOLA and possibly one other team may be interested in joining the TRU again.
    6. Dodge: OK, I haven’t heard that.
  3. MD1 Restructure
    1. Dodge: There is talk that MD1 could have a Premiership Cup or something like that and would be played in the Fall before the MLR starts. My understanding is that it’s not meant to displace the D1 competition in the Spring but supplement it.
    2. Watson: The intent was to allow players to play in the Fall and play in the MLR in the Spring, but that it would be in place of the existing MD1 competition..
    3. Dodge: Ok, those aren’t conversations that I have been involved in. I’ve made some inquiries with local clubs and seasonality is an issue – there isn’t excitement with starting training in August.
    4. Keuppens: I would also add to that that this has implications for players that aren’t called up to the MLR. Those players would then be available for only D2 or lower in the Spring, and that could give a decided advantage to multi-side clubs that have a MD1 side.
    5. Dodge: I also have questions about the sanctioning agreement with USA and MLR. No one seems to have seen it yet or know much about what it says.  The reason their are Club to Pro player movement rules in the current Eligibility Rules is because that’s the only side of the equation USAR could control last year.  The Sanctioning Agreement gave USAR the ability to spell out some player movement rules with MRL at the table, but it’s unclear whether USAR actually did that.
    6. Leming: If D1 does move to the Fall, this notice needs to go out sooner than later for recruiting and training.
    7. Watson: I’ve brought that up and it may not be this year because the timeline is so tight.
    8. Keuppens: I’m very concerned about what this would do to our D2 competition. In all transparency, my D2 club would benefit but I think it would really hurt the pathway of growth in D1. If a player does not make the MLR they aren’t able to play down unless it’s in D2 or lower.
  4. Referee Course June 1 Houston
    1. Dodge: A reminder that this course is in Houston on June 1: https://texasrugbyunion.com/2019/04/23/level-1-referee-officiating-june-1-houston-tx/. Please get people signed up!  Recently retired, younger players are really good candidates.  Please identify those folks in your club and reach out to them directly.
  5. New Business
    1. None.
  6. Meeting Adjourned (9:00 PM)