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TRU Board Notes – 7/15/2019

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:

  1. Roll Call
    1. Young
    2. O’Gara
    3. Daniels
    4. Kurylas
    5. Tate
    6. Dodge
    7. James
    8. Tomsak
      1. Guests
        1. Roche
        2. Other Rugby Club Justin Hale
        3. Tribe of Oklahoma (formally OK United) John White and Rod Puentes
        4. Euless TD
        5. Grand Prairie W Katie Barr
        6. Alliance W Karbun Tang
        7. Denton W Marie Wilson
        8. Fort Worth W Sydney Rogers
          1. Not available/or didn’t join
            1. North Texas Barbarians Mark Kissinger
  2. Follow Ups
    1. New Clubs
      1. North Texas Barbarians (Dallas, TX)
      2. Euless RFC
      3. Other Rugby Club (Pflugerville/Round Rock, TX)
      4. Tribe of Oklahoma (formally OK United) (OKC / Norman)
      5. Ft Hood (readmission request)
      6. Alliance W
      7. Denton W
      8. Grand Prairie W
      9. FT Worth W
    2. Tate: We appreciate representatives of each club joining so we could review applications and ask questions tonight. We are looking to make decisions on these applications this week. The RRRC is already looking at divisional alignments so we need to get things finalized as quickly as possible.
      1. Tate: Let’s start with Fort Worth W, are you looking to join WD2 or WD3?
      2. Sydney: We are just starting out and have a growing team with 4-5 committed players. I just met Wendy virtually last week and we’ve been talking about WD3.
      3. Tate: Are you going to be under the Fort Worth Men’s umbrella or will you be stand alone? 
      4. Sydney: That’s something we’re looking into with our coach. Currently he is coaching both teams but we need to formalize an agreement with the men’s team.
      5. Tate: To make it clear for the minutes, as a union we don’t have a preference. The main reason we ask is that if they are combined generally they share bylaws and officers. Just helps us understand the landscape. So would it be fair to say then that you’re looking to compete in WD3 or social this season?
      6. Sydney: Yes, we’ve consistently had 4-5 girls at practice and want to have scheduled matches.
      7. Tate: The big implication is that it means you’ll have time. If you were dead set on competing in WD2, we’ve already announced the preliminary divisional alignments and they are starting scheduling soon. But since you’re looking to compete in WD3 or socially you have some time to build up your numbers. Our goal here is to get more people playing rugby, time frames and the information we look for is really about making sure we have viable clubs that can meet their obligations in regards to schedules. Do you have any questions for us?
      8. Sydney: Our main concern is numbers, is there going to be a requirement in regards to how many players we have to have CIPP’d?
      9. Tate: A great question, to compete in WD2 you must have at least 15 players and a L200 coach. We ask for more than that to make sure that we aren’t mixing fixtures. But in WD3 or social you can come into the union with less and play 7s, 10s this season and then work towards developing. If the ultimate goal is to be playing WD2 next season we’d be looking for 20-25 registered players etc. We understand that isn’t where you’re at right now, so you have time to recruit and understand if you want to partner with your men’s team.
      10. Sydney: Are Wendy and you the best people to contact if we have questions?
      11. Tate: Yes and Nick James is your TRU women’s rep. Any of us can help out. 
      12. Sydney: Great, we’re really excited about being included and bringing the Fort Worth women back to the TRU.
      13. Tate: Ok, let’s move on to Denton W. Marie, similar question, can you tell us what the Denton W goal is in regards to division etc?
      14. Marie: Our goal is to reach WD2 but we feel right now that WD3 is perfect for us. We have 5-6 dedicated players and we’re actively recruiting right now. We plan on playing 7s to start out and eventually working our way up to 15s. As far as coaching I am handling those role as a player coach but we have help from Art Anderson as well. 
      15. Tate: That’s great and I’m glad you’re working with Art. Anyone else have any other questions for Marie? 
      16. Tate: Alright, Karbun, Alliance W have been members of the union for awhile now. But numbers have been an issue over the past few seasons. Karbun, can you tell us where you’re at with numbers and structure?
      17. Karbun: Our intention is to have the women’s side integrated in with us completely. We’ve struggled with numbers and we fluctuate from 4-5 players to 10-12. We tend to want to play 15s more than 7s because they are so vastly different and we find it easier to recruit all types of athletes. We know we need to recruit about 10 more players to survive WD2. I wasn’t aware that so many women’s teams were forming and I’m a bit concerned that it’s very rugby dense up here now. 
      18. Tate: I think you’ve made an excellent point, we’re looking at four new women’s clubs in the FTW greater area. So that does raise the question of 4 7s teams or 2 15s teams. That is something that time will tell. It would be to everyone’s advantage in that region of what the best path and partnerships are to grow rugby.
      19. Marie: We find that players choose teams on personality or what fits their particular situation.
      20. Tate: Yes and I don’t mean to squash this growth, just awareness around the proximity.
      21. Karbun: My personal opinion even for the men’s games is that there is lots of choice for players and that promotes competition. But we want to play locally if we can, so we support the idea of more clubs. In the women’s game, is it viable though?
      22. Tate: Right, what do we have to do to make sure that all of the teams have sufficient numbers to play actual games? We know that players need games to stick around.
      23. Kurylas: On the RRRC call we talked about approving you for WD2. But we’re talking about numbers and now I’m concerned. Doesn’t it make more sense to do WD3? This looks like a perfect four team competition where each club hosts a round robin and play 6-8 times. 
      24. Karbun: I’m not sure if that’s a question, but Alliance will do whatever we need to do. Be it WD2 or WD3.
      25. Tate: The main concern here is if Alliance could get enough numbers to safely participate in WD2. Ultimately this is a decision of the RRRC as they handle competitions.
      26. Young: With this additional information form Karbun, I would think we recommend WD3 for Alliance. It also builds a very nice four team competition in the North for WD3.
      27. Tate: I do want to make clear that there is nothing prohibiting teams from playing socially either. So if Alliance or any other club wanted to play a WD2 that would be perfectly OK.
      28. Tate: Ok, now on to Grand Prairie W. 
      29. Barr: We’ve existed for a few years but we need matches to keep players interested. We would be fully incorporated with the men’s team and we’re working with them to adjust the bylaws. Kurylas is going to be our coach, so we’re all set there.
      30. Tate: Excellent, and you’re also interested in WD3?
      31. Barr: Correct.
      32. Tate: Ok, any other questions for Grand Prairie W?
      33. Tate: Ok, let’s switch over to the men and Other Rugby Club. For those that don’t know this is a new forming club in Austin. Talk to us about fields, coaching and divisional aspirations.
      34. Hale: First, please note that we’re a new club  located in Pflugerville and Round Rock. We’re talking with the city of Pflugerville about field space as they’ve created a similar space like the Round Rock Metro Complex. Our goal is to compete with for a National Championship and go straight into MD3. We have 10-14 players that live north of Austin who aren’t playing due to travel logistics (Austin traffic is horrible). 
      35. Tate: On the coaching, who is that and are they L200 certified?
      36. Hale: No, but I will be getting my L200 at the TRU Summit. I’m already registered for the course.
      37. Tate: CIPP registration doesn’t open until August 1, going straight into MD3, are you prepared to provide a list of those players for the RRRC? 
      38. Hale: Yes, we can provide a list and we have guys ready to CIPP as soon as the window opens. We also haven’t done any publications yet as we haven’t been approved yet. 
      39. Dodge: How many guys have you got lined up from the Huns or Blacks?
      40. Hale: Based on my preliminary list I have 4 guys that are considered current Huns and 3 from the Blacks. We have a few players that have come through the Rock Rugby HS program as well.
      41. Tate: As an FYI, Dr. Rock has a very successful HS program and he was very instrumental in getting rugby fields and fields with sleeves for posts at the Round Rock Metroplex.
      42. Tate: Ok, OKC Tribe Rugby. We know Rod as he has been a referee and working administratively in Central TX for years. John was also a member of the OKC Crusaders as well. Same questions as before but a particular focus on why the TRU and of course the referee question. We’re already short on referee area and we have zero referees in Oklahoma. 
      43. Puentes: We will be coming in as a club with very experienced players with a few from the OKC Crusaders. We’d like to come in at MD3 as we feel like we’d be very competitive. I am a L200 coach and will be primarily coaching the club. There will be other coaches as well and some are coaching local HS teams. As far as referee, I’ve refereed for years and have been helping out Mid-America and TRRA. I’ve talked with Tim O’Gara and we’re working on a plan to start recruiting referees in these areas. I’m also the Mid-America South referee scheduler so I’ve got access to lots of referees and we’ve already started talking about exchanges. 
      44. White: I’ve been with the Crusaders for a long time and our switch to Mid-America hasn’t gone well. We also had to deal with the Frontier quite a bit and that made travel very difficult. The pathway in Mid-America is also very limited as there is no MD1 rugby and so we wouldn’t really have a pathway to advance beyond MD2.
      45. Tate: As a matter of professional courtesy, is this organic growth in OKC and a second club in OKC or is this the demise of the OKC Crusaders? We’d want to give Mid-America a heads up so they can look at their own plans for the upcoming season. I also talked with Cody and the OKC Crusaders are looking for higher level coaching and were considering Jason Horowitz. 
      46. White: My gut says that there will be two clubs here. I think that two clubs is part of the progression where one club that has players that are a bit more social and another club that wants to compete.
      47. Tate: I’m guessing you’re on the club that wants to progress?
      48. White: Yes, that is correct. We want to build a strong culture that is competitive. Over the past few years I’ve built a relationship with the OKC Energy and we’re going to continue building that partnership.
      49. Tate: Ok, if that comes to pass, that is information that would be interesting for the RRRC competitions committee. The partnership that you alluded to is not required to be a member of the TRU but might help your application for MD3. But I want to make clear that I’m not making any guarantees as I’m not part of that committee.
      50. Dodge: We had John and Rod on our call last weekend so we’ve talked to them once. This is a more detailed presentation and I appreciate their time.
      51. White: Out of courtesy to the Frontier GU, they are aware of our creation. They had their AGM last week and I’ve spoken directly to them as of this week. 
      52. Tate: I believe Dodge has spoken with them but we want to make sure we’re all being good neighbors and partners in developing the game.
      53. Tate: Ok, I think we’ve gone through everyone that was available for the call.
      54. TD: I joined late, sorry about that! Euless is partnering with Trinity HS and will be using their facilities. As far as numbers, we’ve got about 12 guys. We haven’t announced anything official as we were waiting on TRU and RRRC approval. We’d like to come in as MD3 and I’ll be coaching. I know we haven’t portrayed the best rugby image in the past and I fully intend on cleaning that up. Hopefully we can contribute in a positive way and grow rugby in Texas.
      55. Tate: As I was telling the other new men’s teams, this is a two part process. The TRU reviews your application for readmission to the Union. If approved, then the RRRC competitions committee would review your application for MD3.
      56. Dodge: How many guys do you have firmly committed and could we review a list of names?
      57. TD: We’re having a meeting on Thursday and I can gather that information for you. 
      58. Dodge: Have you done your administrative paperwork for the TRU?
      59. TD: Not at the moment. To be honest, I wanted to see how this call was going to go before we moved forward.
      60. Tate: A bit of advice, I would get that paperwork in as quickly as possible. Part of what we look at is the submission of the paperwork and that is an indication of your seriousness. When we don’t see the paperwork we start asking questions around seriousness. I would urge you to complete that as it will give us a better confidence level. There are to many good rugby players in Euless and we want to see that community be a productive part of the union. The challenge has been sustaining organization from year to year. 
      61. TD: Definitely. Part of why we wanted to reform is because there are HS players that don’t have a club to go to. Our intention is to grow that and help these players have a club they can grow with. 
      62. Tate: Sure, I respect that tremendously.
      63. Young: I’ve sent you the new club requirements and they are a bit more stringent than in the past. How are you feeling about that?
      64. TD: I’m feeling pretty confident about it, we’re aware of the requirements. We’ve been talking for months about reforming and we’ll get it done. 
      65. Tate: So if we could get that list of players and the required initial paperwork as well as the club viability fee paid by the end of the week that would be a big help. 
      66. TD: Yes, we have a meeting on Thursday and I’ll start getting everything together.
      67. Tate: If you have questions on the paperwork, please ask. Our mission continues to be having more people playing better rugby. 
      68. Tate: Ok, do we have anyone from North Texas Barbarians? 
      69. Young: I’m just double checking the calendar invite and I did send it to Mark. 
      70. Tate: Ok, so North TX Barbarians and Fort Hood would like MD4. Other, Tribe and Euless all would like MD3. For membership applications, who has checked all the boxes?
        1. Tate: Fort Hood is already a member and they provided everything again for our review. So the RRRC will need to decide where they belong.
        2. Dodge: They didn’t really put their hand up until after our call last monday. I’d like to know definiteve what division they’d like to play in.
        3. Young: I’ve received conflicting answers to that question from their President and Coach.
        4. Tate: Yes, we need to see what division they really want?
          1. UPDATE 7/16 Young: Ft Hood indicated they would like to do TRU MD4
        5. Young: Ok, Dodge, do you want me to start up an email chain on the MD3 teams in regards to the requested player list and anything else that is outstanding?
        6. Dodge: Yes, please do that and then the RRRC can review. For all of these clubs that want to join MD3, we need to see a player list. The list needs to include if they have played rugby before and how long.
      71. Tate: With respect for Other Rugby Club, Wendy do we have all of their paperwork?
      72. Young: Yes and they paid their club viability fee.
      73. Tate; Do we have any objections to accepting The Other Rugby Club as a TRU member? None. APPROVED.
        1. Tate: Ok, so we will leave it up to the RRRC on what division they are placed in.
      74. Tate: Same questions for OKC Tribe Rugby.
      75. Young: Yes all paperwork is in and they paid their club viability fee.
        1. Dodge: Two things, and I should have voiced this with The Other Rugby Club. I would like to hear from Tim O’Gara on referee resources. Didn’t we include in the new club requirements that an active referee is required? 
        2. Tate: Yes, that is a new requirement and both of these clubs fit that requirement already.
        3. O’Gara: Rod reached out to me and he has a plan for 3 or 4 guys in the OKC area. All these other new clubs maybe don’t have this as a focus. 
        4. Dodge: The other item is that I need to talk with Frontier and KJ at Mid-America as a courtesy.
          Tate: Yes, absolutely. If you want to reach out to Frontier, I’ll reach out to Mid-America.
      76. Tate: Do we have any objections to accepting OKC Tribe as a TRU member? None. APPROVED.
      77. Tate: With respect to Euless, I would say their application is pending until they have submitted further paperwork. 
        1. Dodge: Are we going to give Euless a deadline? 
        2. Young: I had originally given them a deadline (like the other clubs) and it was missed.
        3. Tate: What if we go with Monday EOD?
        4. Dodge: I’d rather we go with Friday. My original plan was to engage the RRRC now that we have applications approved.
        5. Tate: Ok, let’s let TD know Friday at 5PM is their deadline.
        6. Young: I will let TD know!
      78. Tate: On North Texas, I would also consider their application pending as well since they haven’t paid their club viability fee. I’m inclined to accept their membership once they’ve paid that fee. But I don’t want to pre-approve them until they’ve done so. 
        1. Young: Ok, I’ll email Mark and prompt him to make that payment.
      79. Tate: With respect to the women’s teams, Alliance W area already members but we heard that they may not have the numbers for WD2.
        1. Dodge: Stuart was also on our RRRC call last week and I believe we approved them for WD2 already. I believe we had a bit of rose colored glasses in regards to numbers. At the time we also didn’t know so many women’s clubs were forming.
        2. Young: I’m feeling that Alliance would fit nicely in a North WD3 and that would allow them to grow and develop.
        3. James: Yea, 12 is a bit light for numbers.
        4. Tate: Just looking at CIPP numbers and historical forfeits. 25 appears to be the magic number. If a club has that many players, they rarely forfeit due to lack of numbers. 
        5. Dodge: Ok, we’ll make a determination on Alliance W and let the TRU know.
      80. Tate: For Grand Prairie W, Fort Worth W and Denton W, they are all looking at WD3. Do they have all of their paperwork?
        1. Young: I believe so but some of it came in during the call, so I need to confirm.
        2. Tate: What if we confirm all their paperwork and do a digital vote? APPROVED.
        3. Young: Are we going to require that they pay the viability fee?
        4. Tate: That’s a good question, my initial pedantic answer is that rules are rules. But what I heard about tonight is clubs with 4-5 people. That makes that fee a lot tougher and so I am open to being persuaded otherwise.
          1. Kurylas: I think holding off on that isn’t a bad thing. Hopefully these all flourish.
          2. Dodge: Maybe some sort of a reduced fee? I like people have to put their money where their mouth is. Since all four of those clubs are int he DFW I wouldn’t mind seeing them getting together and actually have them help create the competition. We’ve mentioned a few 7s tournaments and building it around other existing events in a way that helps with referee resources.
          3. Tate: I think they were really looking at leveraging partnerships with their men’s teams. 
          4. James: I do think money talks and it puts some skin in the game for them. I don’t want to deny anyone the opportunity to play rugby but I would be in support of a reduced fee. 
          5. Tate: How would we feel about reducing the fee by 50% ($250) for these four women’s clubs? Any objections? None. APPROVED.
            1. Dodge: Do they get the fee back? I don’t have the rules in front of me. 
            2. Young: Yes, they have to fulfill some obligations and then the fee is returned.
    3. Elections
      1. Congress
        1. Tate: Welcome to Bloo and congratulations as he is our new Congress representative. 
        2. Bloo: Thank you. I talked with Watson last week and got a big download on where Congress is at. I’m also being copied on Congress emails, so I’m all hooked up.
        3. Tate: Excellent news.
      2. Vice President
        1. 5 nominees, 3 accepted, 2 declined
      3. MD1
        1. 2 nominees
      4. Women’s
        1. 2 nominees
          1. Young: I’ve emailed all the nominees and am waiting for statements to post to the website. Hoping to have this posted by Wed.
          2. Tate: Vice President is open to all member clubs and no quorum is required. On MD1 it is only the 5 men’s teams and women’s it is 26 teams (women’s club and college teams). I did make a judgement call with Wendy on email that brand new clubs DO NOT get a vote because they haven’t registered and are prospective members until the new CIPP cycle. This includes the clubs we spoke about on this call. If they become members, register with USA Rugby and CIPP players they would eligible for future elections. 
          3. Young: We also talked about clubs voting along their new divisional alignments. 
          4. Tate: Right, that was the other thing. As normal, clubs vote in the highest division that they compete in. For instance, San Antonio being relegated they would vote for MD2 but that is not up for re-election. They would still get to vote for VP though.
            1. Dodge: What is the timeline we’re working on?
            2. Young: Hoping to post nominees by Wed and then they will have the option to speak at the TRU AGM on August 18. Then voting opens directly after that for five business days.
  3. RRRC weather notification / cancellation / rescheduling policies
    1. Tate:The RRRC will be discussing this on their next call but I asked Wendy to put this on our agenda as well. We potentially could assess fines.
    2. Dodge: John Dale presided over the latest grievance from the Austin Blacks and the decision was to impose no competitive sanctions. 
    3. Tate: As I understand it, the RRRC did want to look at adjusting that policy?
    4. Dodge: Yes, we will review on the next call as the special meeting was after our normal monthly call.
    5. Tate: Ok, since we’re coming up on 10PM, I suggest we push this to next month as well. The general idea was to review the match cancellation/weather enforced changes and making sure that we’re setting a high enough bar for clubs to make that call as early as possible. This would include giving the opposing team and referee. With the understanding, the weather can change faster than our organizations.
  4. Women’s Forum
    1. Young: Moving this to the next month’s agenda due to time.
  5. New Business
    1. None
  6. Meeting Adjourned (10:00 PM)