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TRU Board Notes – 10/21/2019

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. Roche
    3. Tate
    4. Hiller
    5. Dodge
    6. O’Gara
    7. Kurylas
    8. Tomsak
      1. Regrets
        1. Whitman
  2. Follow Ups
    1. Club Compliance checks
      1. New Clubs
        1. Alliance W – 2 CIPP’d players; has a L200 coach
        2. Denton W – 8 CIPP’d players; has a L200 coach
        3. Grand Prairie W – 3 CIPP’d players; has a L200 coach
          1. Young: We also sent out the WD3 guidelines that Elaine Vassie and Monique Fosco put together last week. The teams seemed pretty positive around the format. Tyler and Fort Worth may not have teams this year but they are always welcome to join or have their players attend tournaments. As a result the first tournament has moved from Tyler to the DFW area.
        4. North Texas Barbarians – 5 CIPP’d players; NEED a L200 coach
        5. Other Rugby Club – 13 CIPP’d players; has a L200 coach
        6. Fort Hood – Fully compliant
        7. OKC Tribe Rugby – Fully compliant
      2. Club Viability Fund Refund
        1. Young: Clubs have until Nov 1 to meet their obligations to have the club viability fee refunded. Looks like Fort Hood and OKC Tribe are on their way.
    2. Women’s Forum
      1. Tate: We had a call yesterday and had 15-20 participants. It was a great discussion covering several topics including eligibility, scheduling, and coaching development. While the TRU doesn’t handle eligibility (USA Rugby) nor scheduling (RRRC), we had a very good discussion. We did have some really great discussions around what they would be looking for in regards to coach development. They asked for more support around presentation around learning styles and how to coach new players alongside veteran players. We’re looking to identify folks that can help us with that and develop some offerings as we move forward. We have a unique opportunity upcoming as USA Rugby National Women’s Team Coach Rob Cain is coming in for the All-Star weekend on Dec 7-8.
        1. Tate: With regards to eligibility, there are some teams that aren’t happy with the state of the regulations. The particular complaints aren’t new to my ears simply because we’ve had discussion in the men’s game for years now. It’s a challenge because the rules aren’t under our control and we don’t want regulations that cause micromanagement of players. We have competing needs in this case. Molly had sent an email asking us to consider some changes. I do want to have that discussion but she isn’t available for the call tonight.
        2. Dodge: Yes, I think if we can come up with some well thought out proposals, we can present that to the USA Rugby NCC for consideration. It would only be for the next competitive season though, we can’t make any changes for this year.
        3. Tate: We may see this even more as HARC women continue to grow, they are up to 37 players, what can we do to encourage teams to push their growth. What do they see as their hurdles? So I think there can be more information gathering and conversations to have. I do think it comes back to coaching, with good coaching, clubs will grow. Wendy, anything to add?
          1. Young: I would say that we do have a problem with tribal knowledge. We had some discussions around draft schedules and kick-off times. We have procedures in place that aren’t necessarily documented and it would be difficult to do so…we may need to think about that a bit more.
          2. Tate: Yes, those of us who have been in the world of administration for 10+ years know to look for these things, or we know that the men have set kick-off times. Etc. But you may be onto something about the tribal knowledge, we are communicating but there seems to be an awareness gap.
    3. Referee Training Events
      1. 10/26 – Development Camp #4 – Dallas, TX
      2. 10/26 – Level 1 Officiating Course, Houston, TX
        1. Young: Note that there are only 3 individuals signed up currently. We need to push this as registration closes on Wednesday. 
      3. 11/2 – Lone Survivor Tournament
        1. Tate: Two big weekends that referees or potential referees can take advantage of! 
        2. O’Gara: Backing up a bit on this, we held a referee training event in Houston last weekend. We had 21 participants and a great event. We’re looking at future events including a women’s college 7s event in February. We’d like to have an all women match official crew for this as well.
    4. Referee Abuse Policy
      1. Dodge version
        1. Dodge: I sent out some notes on this over the weekend. I apologize that I was late on those. 
        2. Tate: I believe there is a World Rugby definition of referee abuse, do we need to reinvent the wheel on that? 
        3. Dodge; I wasn’t aware that there was a definition. Let’s go ahead and use it if it is out there.
        4. Tate: I’ll go ahead and add the World Rugby definition and send out an updated version. I’ll ping Courtney so he can review. 
        5. Young: I do think we need to allow the center referee, AR, #4 or TRU/RRRC representative to handle the referee abuse. We can’t have the sole responsibility on the center referee, it’s just too much for one person to handle.
        6. Tate: Wendy, is your concern about who handles the accusation of referee abuse or the process?
        7. Young: I want to make sure we’re not putting too much pressure on the referee in the moment. We have a plethora of new referees that may be dealing with this and they will probably look to their experienced AR, referee coach or sidelines support.
        8. Tate: Ok, I’m good with that. I do want to avoid a party being able to claim bias as a defense…ie a coach reporting another coach when there wasn’t really an issue. I’m OK with taking the pressure off the referee but we do have to have referees reporting these instances. Kat, as an active referee, what do you think about an AR, a Field Marshal handling the referee abuse? Then the center referee submits the report.
        9. Roche: I think whoever witnesses the abuse has to take it into their own hands and they have to report it. For example, if an AR flags in a red card, they report it. My report as a center referee will indicate to review the AR report. 
        10. O’Gara: We did have an incident just this past weekend, a brand new referee with a referee coach on the grounds. The incident was so bad that she abandoned the match with a few minutes to go and then immediately vacated the field. So when Wendy is talking about new referees dealing with this, they may not be ready for that. We have to allow support staff to deal with and report issues as well.
        11. Tate: Ok, we do want to allow center referees, ARs, Field Marshals etc handle these incidents if needed. We can look at revising the language to whoever witnesses the issue, can report it. With respect to this specific incident, if you could shoot me an email with more details, we can get into it.
        12. Dodge: Do we want to add something into the policy about clubs having to take responsibility for unknown participants?
        13. Tate: How do we ensure that we can give due process? 
        14. Dodge: Yes, it’s complicated. But if this continues to be a real problem, we’ve got to put the onus on somebody. 
        15. Tate: If it continues, we’re going to have to put it on the club. At the end of the day, it’s a cultural thing that we have to fix. I don’t want to minimize anything about what happened to the referee this past weekend, but I reviewed all of the match reports for the past few months (going back to the spring as well). For TRU games only, we’ve only had the incident from this past weekend. Am I missing any? 
        16. O’Gara: Not that I’m aware of.
        17. Young: Same, that is the only one I’ve seen reported.
        18. Tate: OK, I do think we have an issue but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing any other reports. We do need to set an example and put a stake into the ground starting now. Get me the information and we’ll make a statement.
        19. Dodge: Like we put in the proposal, if it needs to include competitive points, we can do all of that. 
        20. Tate: Right, but as soon as we do that, teams can appeal. So we want to make sure that we have due process in place. Ok, so I will make the requested updates to the document and send it out for review again.
      2. Where do the funds go?
        1. Young: Tim would like to explore where the fines go. TRU or TRRA?
        2. Tate: My attitude on this is wherever the funds can go to be most productive, they should go there. If that is referees and it moves the game forward, let’s do that. Of course, my hope is that we don’t collect any fines. That means that everyone is behaving and we don’t need to assess any fines. If we do collect fines, I’d like to see them used to develop referees. I would propose that since the TRU DC would be assessing the fine, the payment would come to our account and then we dedicate it to a grant program for referee development.
        3. Roche: I think that is awesome! Even just this year we’ve been doing a scholarship program for dual athletes (those that play and referee). If there were any fines assessed, this would be a benefit to the program that we’re running.
      3. Field Marshals
        1. Solicit volunteers?
          1. Young: Do we want to put together a list of field marshals?
          2. Tate: Yes, I think we could do a vetted list. 
          3. Young: Ok, do we want to put a call out for marshals on the web?
          4. Tate: Not yet, let’s get the proposal finalized and then we can ask for applications.
        2. Paid?
          1. Young: This item came from last week’s RRRC call. Do we want to pay these individuals?
          2. Tate: I will have to look at the budget to see if we have any funds for this. It’s not a bad idea because volunteers can’t always be depended on. I’m not averse to a small covering cost kind of stipend but we have to make sure the budget works.
          3. Dodge: Perhaps some of the fined money could be used for this?
          4. Tate: That’s an idea, but we are hoping that there will be no fines. It is nice to have the program pay for itself, but we’d rather not have that.
    5. Image Licensing Rights
      1. Hiller: I’ve emailed a bit more with their “Senior” official and we haven’t had any further negotiations. I think we follow what we decided on the last call.
      2. Tate: Ok, I agree.
      3. Tomsak: I think we should tell them to go away. Case closed.
    6. 2019-2020 Budget
      1. Tate: I did get the final financial report from our Treasurer but I haven’t had time to start the budget. I have that on my schedule to have a draft by our next call. I will send it out by email or if we need to have an interim call, we can do that.
    7. Grants
      1. McAllen Maidens reached 15 players, $600 grant issued 10/12
  3. All Stars
    1. Tryouts
      1. Oct 19 – Dallas
      2. Nov 9 – Houston
      3. Nov 16 – Austin
      4. Dec 7-8 All Star Tournament (Austin)
        1. Tate: The first tryout was last weekend and there are two scheduled for in November. The Dallas tryout only had Quins at the event. We’d like to see participation from the other Dallas teams and they are encouraged to attend the other camps. If they can’t attend, they can send Luis game film and a bio. 
        2. Young: Yes, we want participation from all clubs. We need to keep getting the word out about the upcoming tryout events. Or like Kirk mentioned, coaches or players can send in video for Luis to watch.
          1. Young: Also, in very exciting news, Rob Cain, USA Rugby National Women’s Team coach is attending our event. We’ll be hosting a Thursday night coaches session, Friday night player session and a Saturday night banquet for the All Star Teams. More details on all of this will come out soon!
        3. Tate: This is very exciting and we’re definitely going to take advantage of Rob while he is here. It’s also an opportunity for our women’s players to be scouted. We have Nick James on the Eagle squad and we want more.
  4. New Business
    1. 2020 WRCRA Conference – Registration Open!
      1. Tate: This is a fantastic event put on by the Women’s Rugby Coaches & Referee’s Association. I would like to push this to all of our clubs and ask that they attend as well. More info will be going up on the website soon. It may generate some grant applications and that is great. We can consider those as they come in. 
      2. Young: I attended this event last year and it was fantastic. It’s a conference on women’s rugby with a focus on coaching development, player development and referee development. It covers youth, college and Senior rugby. It will be in Atlanta, GA on January 17-19, 2020.
    2. USA Rugby NDS
      1. Young; Saw on Facebook that this is moving to the summer and will be Summer 2020.
  5. Meeting Adjourned (9:15 PM)