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TRU Board Notes – 9/16/2019

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. Tomsak
    3. Whitman
    4. O’Gara
    5. Roche
    6. Hiller
    7. Kurylas
    8. Bloo
    9. Tate
    10. Dodge
  2. Follow Ups
    1. Elections
      1. Vice President: Drew Tomsak
      2. MD1: David Dodge
      3. Women’s: Molly Whitman
        1. Tate: Welcome Molly to the TRU Board! I believe this is your first call, it’s great to have you aboard. Otherwise Tomsak and Dodge were re-elected  to their positions of Vice President and MD1. Molly is the only change to the Board and they will all serve three year terms. 
    2. Summit/HOF
      1. Young: We covered more than half of the Summit because we charged a registration fee for every sign-up and we covered the HOF costs 100%.
      2. Tate: That is fantastic! For those new folks on these calls a few years ago, I think the first year we did the Summit/HOF it ran us $9-10k out of pocket. We spent that money as an investment with a goal to make  it self sustaining to provide value but not draining our resources. We’re getting there and with HOF donations, hopefully we’ll get to a break even or cash positive weekend going forward. Want to thank Wendy, Kat and of course Traci for all of their hard work on making this event come together. Also, Paul Mabry’s work on the HOF was huge and we can’t thank him enough.
      3. Young: I also did a survey for the Summit and we had a 9/10 of “would return” again. So that is great as well!
    3. Women’s Forum
      1. Tate: I had a chance to talk to a number of folks from the women’s communities that expressed challenges and feedback. So  we decided to have a forum on October 20 where we will talk with and listening to the women’s clubs about the challenges they are facing. We want to see what we can do to help the women’s  game move forward. We talked about doing something in person but a central location was tough and so we determined that a virtual town hall would be a better fit. I know the WC QFs are happening in the  wee morning hours, so we’ve set it for an afternoon time slot. We’ll give everyone a chance to express concerns and challenges and from there we can move to brainstorming potential solutions. Hopefully we can come out of that weekend with some ideas to pursue ideas or initiatives that would help the women’s game. Molly, this  was being discussed while votes were still coming in, but we’d obviously like to have you participate. 
      2. Whitman: Yes, I’ve already RSVP’d but am excited to participate!
      3. Tate: Wendy, can we also make sure the RRRC reps are invited? I think you’re one of them?
      4. Young: Yes, I’ve invited Monique as well.
      5. Tate: There may be RRRC related questions as well so we’d like for you two reps to be on if at all possible. 
    4. 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. Tate: We certified a ton of referees and the goal was to get them onto the field as quickly as possible.
      3. O’Gara: We’re working really hard to make sure these L1s get to a tournament after a course. We’ve gone from 1 out of 10 taking the course and becoming an active referee, to about 40-50% if we get them on the field as quickly as possible. On these weekends we’re supporting the new referees with CMOs, ARs and experienced referees. We have many former players and transfers into the society, a few people the TRRA is sponsoring due to lack of funds. We’re trying to sponsor dual-player/referees or individuals who have committed to refereeing for the season.
      4. Tate: Great, let’s get on a phone call in the next few weeks and work out our contract for the season.
    5. Grants
      1. Leslie Schroeder – Voted digitally on email, Board approved a $250 grant.
      2. McAllen Women
        1. Tate: We have a request from the McAllen women on a CIPP break because the WD3 folded last year. They were scheduled for six matches and only one happened beyond the TRU Championship. They had 25 women pay the full fees to CIPP with USAR and TRU and then didn’t really get to participate. As a result they’ve requested a grant to help them get over the reluctance of their player base for the next year. They have been accepted into WD2 and they should get a full season this year. Alex requested $2,000 which would effectively  be 20 players, but half of that is money that is paid to USAR. Personally I’m sympathetic with their situation but I have a few concerns. I don’t want to set a precedent of paying entire club CIPPs. The other concern is that we pay that grant and then they don’t get the players registered anyway. In discussing this proposal, I would encourage everyone to think of metrics that we require. 
        2. Tomsak: Haven’t we talked about this before?
        3. Young: Yes, it was brought up earlier in the year.
        4. Tate: Yes, we let him know that we would consider it with the new CIPP cycle.
        5. Tomsak: Ok, so this is about $1,000 in TRU fees? I would say that after they CIPP, we refund their fees. They didn’t get any money from what they did last year and they didn’t use referees.
        6. Roche: Looking at the notes, you did talk about this in May, we approved a rebate from the TRU. It was up to $600 back to the Mcallen women.
        7. Tate: Great, so we have a proposal out there. We can let Alex know that once they have 15 people CIPP’d and a L200 coach, we’re happy to reimburse $600 towards their TRU fees.
        8. Young: I will let Alex know.
  3. RRRC Proposed Referee Abuse Policy
    1. Tate: I’m going to turn this topic over to Dodge, the RRRC has come up with a proposal that they’d like to share with the TRU Board.
    2. Dodge: This was a proposal that Ron Watson and Jeff Kolberg put together and shared with the RRRC last week. Obviously if we’re going to do something this year, it will need to be put in place next month ahead of league play. I do think it’s something that the TRRA should comment on as well as the TRU Disciplinary Committee. Kirk, what do you think about circulating with the TRU Board to get their comments? 
    3. Tate: Sure, we can definitely circulate it. I also don’t have any issues with fines once the disciplinary committee has gone through it’s due process. We do want to put the onus on our teams to discipline their own team as well. Some of the items in the proposal does put a lot of responsibility of the referee and I’m not sure we want to do that. I also think that in law they can already do a lot of what is proposed. I’d be very interested to hear what TRRA has to say about that. We don’t want to be adding stress to a referee who is alone on the pitch.
    4. Dodge: Yes, that was one of my comments to the RRRC as well. The other was that if we’re going to impose a competitive sanction like forfeiting, we would have to have levels, first is RRRC, then TRU DC and then USAR NCC. 
    5. Tate: There is already a due process for that, but it would be a new burden on the RRRC for competitive sanctions.
    6. Dodge: I think everyone believes we need a deterrent and it has to have some teeth to it. 
    7. Tate: Yes, we know that competitive sanctions are probably the one that will be respected. If USAR will support it when appealed, we just need to make sure.
    8. Dodge: I don’t have an issue sanctioning clubs, players etc. My concern is a fan or player that is returning after a time away…if it’s someone that isn’t under their control, what can we do about it?
    9. Tate: Right, it’s something that the Huns or Blacks, those that own their own land can handle easily…but if they  are in a city park, they can’t tell a citizen to leave.
    10. Dodge: Yes, we have to think through  the scenarios.
    11. Tate: Part of that could be stricter enforcement of technical zone. We know that putting the fans away from the players and coaches is a big improvement. One of the recent issues wasn’t from a fan, it was repeated abuse from a coach. We’re happy to circulate it among the TRU Board as well as the TRU DC. 
    12. Dodge: Let’s set a date of next Monday for comments.
      1. Young: I’ve sent it out to the TRU Board and DC.
    13. O’Gara: To echo the TZ comments, we have seen a decrease in referee abuse when it is clearly outlined, fans are on the opposite side, etc. It’s even better as a referee if the club has their own “Field Marshal” of sorts and they can help call out loud fans. We do hear from clubs that they don’t know that a TZ is required though. How can we fix that?
    14. Tate: We have alerted all clubs to the requirement and we are sharing lots of things with them right now with Club Registrations, CMS etc. However, we can do another web posting and notice to all the clubs. 
      1. Young: Will do.
  4. Referee Abuse Disciplinary Reports
    1. Tate: We have had some questions regarding procedure of reporting referee abuse. Sometimes it doesn’t fall into carding one of the participants on the field. If a referee is reporting referee abuse, we recommend they issue it as a red card. This immediately alerts the TRU DC and it’s private. However, there are provisions for reporting undetected foul play and/or if “other” issues need to be reported, we still have a manual disciplinary from on the website. It’s always been there and it’s a place for folks that don’t have access to WTR can report a disciplinary issue. It is forwarded to the TRU DC automatically: https://texasrugbyunion.com/manual-disciplinary-report/. There have been a few reported that don’t fall under the World Rugby Disciplinary and Scot will kick those back to the TRU Board or RRRC for review. 
  5. Image Licensing Rights
    1. Hiller: I hope that everyone had a chance to read the summary that I sent on this. I haven’t had any conversations with the individuals since I initially spoke to them. 
  6. Club Compliance checks
    1. Young: Started compliance checks last week for Women’s Collegiate and any friendlies that are on the schedule. 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.
  7. Schedules
    1. Young: WTR is loaded and CMS is being loaded now. Women’s Collegiate is already done in both places since matches started last week.
    2. WD3
      1. Young: We’ve got a draft schedule and just checking it with the referees. Should be out soon!
  8. CMS
    1. Young: Username and passwords won’t be changed this year,  so clubs should be able to login using what was used last year. If you need a password reset, use the help email on the login screen. The TRU is not able to reset passwords, USAR has to do that.
  9. U23 All Stars Budget Proposal
    1. Tate: Ok, the last thing we have here is a budget request from our Women’s Collegiate Conference. It will take place the same weekend as the Senior All Star event. When the women’s colleges were in the Lone Star conference they tried to have an All Star team but the budget wasn’t allowed to be spent. This is one of the reasons they came back to the TRU as they saw that we already have a women’s All Star program. We also hope this will help with retention and continue helping women’s rugby grow in our union. I for one am in favor of this and think we should fund this reasonable request.
    2. Tomsak: How many did they CIPP last year?
    3. Young: 224 players
    4. Tomsak: And we’re getting $50 a head?
    5. Tate: Correct.
    6. Dodge: Is this something we’ve already budgeted for?
    7. Tate: No, the Senior team has been budgeted every year and has come in well under budget. This is specifically for the collegiate women who weren’t part of the recurring budget.
      1. Tomsak: A side note, I’m working with a vendor that may be able to be a jersey sponsor for the Women’s All Star. It would be great if we could do the men’s as well next year. I’ve been talking with some of the men and they want to be included as well.
      2. Tate: The challenge with the men is that it’s harder to find teams to play. It has been brought up to me as well in the past. 
    8. Tate: I make a motion that we approve a $4,000 budget for a TRU  Collegiate Women All Star team. Do we have any objections? None. APPROVED.
  10. New Business
    1. 2019-2020 Budget
      1. Tate: I will start working on our 2019-2020 budget but will need to talk to TRRA first. That is our largest budget item and we will want to talk to them before we put anything together.
    2. Sponsorships
      1. Tomsak: I’m speaking with a few vendors and hope to have an update soon!
  11. Meeting Adjourned (9:30 PM)