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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 9/9/2019

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. Kolberg
    3. Dale
    4. Fosco
    5. Dodge
    6. Kurylas
    7. Watson
    8. Tolar
    9. Hughes
      1. Guests
        1. Roche
      2. Regrets
        1. Leming
  2. Follow Ups
    1. Divisional Alignments
      1. MD4
        1. Dodge: On Saturday we got notice that Galveston is dropping their D4 side due to lack of numbers. 
        2. Hughes: Is there anyone we can try and fill that spot with? I haven’t reached out to anyone yet.
        3. Dodge: We probably should.
    2. RRRC weather notification / cancellation / rescheduling policies
      1. Dodge: We tried to save this until the end of scheduling to bring this back up. This arises out of the Reds/Blacks D1 game from last April. I don’t want to set something that would have us calling games too early and leading us to cancelling games later in the season due to weather-related issues. Do we have anyone that will step up to help us create something official coming from the RRRC regarding this?
        1. Kurylas: I will.
        2. Hughes: Me too.
      2. Kurylas: USAR put something out about this regarding replaying games that are cancelled in the middle. I’ll try to find that. The biggest issue would arise from teams that have to travel far and the game gets cancelled in the middle.
      3. Dodge: Let’s put Marcus on that as well so we have each N/C/S weighing in.
  3. Membership Update from USA Rugby
    1. Young: Wanted to make sure this wasn’t different from what we talked about at the end of last year? 
    2. Dodge: They shouldn’t be different, let me check real quick. The notice also includes some optional policies or rather policies that we may not be enforcing yet.
    3. Young: OK, should I post to the website?
    4. Dodge: I’m just scanning these now but the eligibility, match cancellation and forfeit policy are new. Specifically the match cancellation and forfeit were for unions that didn’t have a policy. We do have one, so ours would supersede. I think we do need to probably put together an eligibility primer for our clubs. I can work on that.
    5. Kurylas: Yes, I’ve talked with a few clubs about it already. That would be good to put it out to over us for the year.
    6. Dodge: They tried to simplify the rules a bit. We want to make sure interpretation is consistent across the board.
  4. Club Compliance checks
    1. Young: Will begin doing these weekly in October. Checking teams for USA Registration, Coach L200, and # of players. Teams will be emailed if they are missing anything and referees will be removed until compliant.
  5. Report on team requested changes to schedule
    1. Young: 19 changes requested and a few friendly’s added as well. 
    2. Dodge: Were all of those approved?
    3. Young: No, a few were changes from Sunday.
    4. Hughes: These were changes in the spring, so we asked the teams to wait until we know how the referee situation is.
  6. Report on entry of schedule in CMS
    1. Young: Ready to send divisional alignments to USAR. Dodge, can you confirm that I should send to James Wilbur?
    2. Dodge: Yes, send to him. 
    3. Young: Great, I will send to James and Kat can start loading matches in WTR. 
  7. Discussion of modification of forfeit / rescheduling rules
    1. Dodge: John and a few others are looking at this. Can you have something to us before the next meeting?
    2. Kurylas: Yep, we can do that.
  8. Formation of Competition Enhancement ad hoc Committee
    1. Dodge: This is something we talked about late last year, putting together a committee to look at making divisions/matches more competitive. I’d like to see something like an early fall Challenge Cup pitting the top D2 club against the bottom D1 (just an example). Karl, I think you had indicated a desire to work on this?
      1. Tolar: Sure.
    2. Dodge: Anyone else? This would include potential eligibility changes that we could float to USAR NCC.
      1. Kolberg: I’ll also help.
    3. Dodge: I’d like to ask Kirk Tate, TRU President if he’d like to participate. Anyone have an objection? None. APPROVED.
  9. Proposed Referee Abuse Policy
    1. Kolberg: Obviously we have a referee abuse problem. We’ve talked about it for years and it’s still getting worse. The proposal is very simple and we garnered it after talking with MD1 Presidents and MD3 clubs. A key part of the proposal is that this notice is posted for all clubs, it would be approved by RRRC, TRU and TRU DC. Essentially it comes down to one warning for referee abuse, second warning is removal and third warning is ending the match. Fees and suspensions may be assessed once the TRU DC reviews.
    2. Watson: I would like to add something, we have a lot of new referees and they need support. I’d like to suggest we have a regional group that helps with maintaining sidelines etc. 
      1. Dodge: I scanned through this but haven’t really had a chance to study it. I would like Tim O’Gara, TRRA Chair to weigh in on this. I would especially question referees calling a match to end, do they really want that responsibility?
      2. Watson: We don’t want it to come to that but we need to have an absolute outlet. 
      3. Dodge: I think we could find another way to handle that, perhaps the match is ruled as a forfeit afterwards.
      4. Watson: We don’t think it will get to that point but we’d like that option to be there.
      5. Dodge: Referees, what is the propriety for issuing a red card to a coach? Or can a player be issued a card for actions of a coach?
      6. Watson: You can’t red card a coach.
      7. Roche: No, we cannot card players for actions on the sideline. But we do have the power to expel individuals and not resume until we deem so. We can also abandon the match if issues continue, this is all in the laws.
      8. Kolberg: I doubt it will ever get that far, but if you get a 100% jerk it could happen and we want that parachute option. 
      9. Tolar: I may have an issue because this may lead to more escalation. As Kat said, the referee can abandon the match if necessary. One issue has been that referees don’t report the activity. If the referees are being instructed about reporting incidents better, that is one thing.
      10. Dodge: There was a persistent issue last year that caused one of our top referees to lay down the whistle. Kat, is that something that is being emphasized to the referees?
      11. Roche: Yes, but I’ll say as a referee it’s very difficult. Your job is to be impartial and empathetic and sometimes I think we don’t report as often as we should. TRRA needs to focus on this and emphasize reporting before these issues arise over and over.
      12. Watson: That’s why I suggested that we have a Senior person or a #4 like person to help regulate. 
      13. Kolberg: Right now all of the responsibility is on the referees. We need to put it back on the coaches, admins and then it is solely their responsibility. Control your team or pay the consequence.
      14. Young: So it sounds like we need Field Marshals. Rugby Texas has these and I would say they have been pretty successful. They don’t have them at every match but they stand on the spectator side and help keep the audience in a positive spirit.
      15. Dodge: Are they from the clubs?
      16. Young: I believe so and we would have to be careful about that. We’d have to have a published list of Field Marshals and then they could drop in at matches.
      17. Kolberg: We have to take the pressure off the referee crew and that includes ARs/TJs. Since it would be a published policy it would be pretty easy to enforce.
      18. Dale: Rather than the referee go over there, I would send the team captain. They will know the person and have a repore with them.
      19. Kolberg: John, I have no problem with that, they would need to understand that it is there first warning. I could buy into that and I think it is better.
      20. Dodge: Ok, what you’ve proposed here would need to be reviewed by the TRU Board and TRU DC. I’d like to propose that we have written comments by Monday at noon, and we will have it added to the TRU Board agenda.
      21. Young: It’s very timely as Scot Courtney will be on the TRU call next week to talk about how we want to report referee abuse.
    3. Referee Abuse Disciplinary Report
      1. Young: The TRU is discussing the procedure for reporting referee abuse next week. There is some confusion about what process referees vs coaches or spectators would take. Typically this form would be used for coaches, spectators, players etc to report referee abuse. Referees would generally use WTR to submit them.
  10. Report on Referee Training Events
    1. Roche: We had two camps, one in Denton with 12 L1s refereeing. It was really great and then this past weekend we had a camp in Abilene with 3 L1s. One of the Denton L1s came out to Abilene. Each of these camps had senior referees in attendance as ARs and Referee Coaches. We will have three more camps in October and we’re excited about the athletes in the mix!
    2. Dodge: One thing Shawn Martin and I had discussed was coming up with a schedule where referees could attend local trainings. It would be coordinated with the local clubs, has there been any further discussion on that?
    3. Roche: I’d reach out directly to the regional reps, Shawn Martin is North, Tim O’Gara in the South and myself or Drew Low in the Central.
  11. New Business
    1. None.
  12. Meeting Adjourned (8:52 PM)