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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 1/14/20

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. Kurylas
    4. Fosco
    5. Dale
    6. Tolar
    7. Leming
    8. Roche
    9. Dodge
    10. Watson
      1. Regrets
        1. Hughes
        2. Keuppens
      2. Guests
        1. Justin Hale (ORC)
  2. Huns D3 Protest of Dec. 14, 2019 Match v. ORC – Dustin Hagemann, Ineligible Player
    1. A majority of the RRRC Committee determined that ORC played an ineligible player in their Dec. 14, 2019 match v. Huns D3, and that the penalty of a 28-0 forfeit of the match should be imposed on ORC, which will also result in ORC receiving -1 competition points for the match. A majority of the Committee voted to recommend that the TRU Board not impose a fine on ORC.
    2. Young: I’ve added this to the TRU agenda as well for further discussion. Note I’m not saying anything about fines etc but that I have simply added it to the agenda.
    3. ORC eligible for playoffs?
      1. Dodge: Justin Hale from ORC is on the line tonight as he has requested clarification on their forfeit and if they are eligible for playoffs. I circulated the relevant portions of the TRU and RRRC policies last week. Kirk also weighed in, generally the thought is that forfeits that would disqualify you from playoffs are because a team didn’t have enough players (12). So we need to decide if it applies here and do we want to revise the policy to reflect that it only affects unplayed forfeits.
      2. Hale: I understood the sanction that the RRRC committee handed down and we don’t want to fight that. We would like clarity on if we would be eligible for playoffs even with it being a declared forfeit. 
      3. Dodge: Thank you, does anyone have any questions for Justin in regards to this question?
        1. Dodge: None were asked. Justin, can you go ahead and drop off so we can discuss and let you know the ruling?
          1. Hale: Of course, have a good evening.
        2. Dodge: Ok, opening the floor to discussion on this. Thoughts?
        3. Kolberg: There is nothing in the rules that says a forfeit of this nature disqualifies a team from playoffs?
        4. Dodge: Correct, the forfeit policies don’t cover this situation but the implicit suggestion of the rule is that it only applies to unplayed forfeits. I think it’s worth clarifying it in this circumstance.
        5. Young: Yea, I think it’s a pretty clear cut case that the policy needs to be updated. So an unplayed forfeit disqualifies a team from advancing to playoffs but a played forfeit is OK. 
        6. Kolberg: Ok, can we then add in something about breaking the rules twice? Is that something we have the ability to do?
        7. Dodge: I would say that is something that would be handled on a case by case basis.
        8. Young: Yes, I agree.
        9. Kurylas: If there are two forfeits for the same thing, they will have lost two competitive points. That would probably bring them down in the standings quite a bit.
        10. Leming: I appreciate the path we’re going down but I’d like to discuss the symptom of this problem. We need to evaluate clubs in the beginning of the season with more scrutiny. 
        11. Dodge: I think that follows more Tyler and Alliance and is a separate question. I don’t disagree that they may have played this player because they were short, but it seems like a different scenario.
        12. Leming: Ok, I do think it comes down to a numbers issues.
        13. Dodge: I don’t disagree but think these should be kept separate.
        14. Leming: OK. 
        15. Dodge: If we want to make this only about unplayed forfeits than I think we can just update the first paragraph of the policy: https://texasrugbyunion.com/rrrc-match-cancellation-and-reschedules/#Forfeits
        16. Young (INTERNAL NOTE): We moved from these minutes to a Google document where we are making live edits to the policy. If and when changes are made we will update the policy on the website.
        17. Young: Bringing this back around, Dodge is sending out a redline copy that we will approve via email. This does mean that ORC is eligible for playoffs per the updated policy.
          1. Dodge: Correct, I will notify Justin.
          2. Young: Website has been updated as of 1/15 with the updated policy: https://texasrugbyunion.com/rrrc-match-cancellation-and-reschedules/#Forfeits
  3. Follow Ups
    1. CMS Compliance
      1. San Antonio D3 vs Austin Blacks D3 12/7
        1. Roche: Our only outstanding issue is from 12/7, San Antonio is responsive but hasn’t fixed the problem. Dodge: Does this mean they need to pay the unlock fee? 
        2. Leming: I can get with you afterwards, I thought this was already resolved.
        3. Roche: The good news this week is that we do have a 100% Compliance for 1/11!!! So the memes are working!
    2. Forfeits, cancellations etc
      1. HARC/Valkyries vs Utah – still outstanding
      2. Dallas W vs Black Ice/Denver – rescheduled for 4/25
      3. McAllen W vs Austin Valkyries 1/11 (McAllen forfeit)
      4. Alliance D2 vs WH Lions D2 1/11 (Alliance D2 forfeit)
      5. OKC vs Shreveport 1/11 (rescheduled)
        1. Roche: So, we’re still waiting for Utah to reschedule against Valkyries/HARC.
          1. Dodge: Frontier gave them a deadline of Jan 31, I wish it would have been sooner.
          2. Young: There have been other developments, Austin is now trying to reschedule to play in Dallas when Utah is here playing the Quins. HARC has gone quiet and so I don’t know what is going on there. 
          3. Dodge: Ok, I’m inclined to recommend to the NCC that if Utah doesn’t reschedule by Jan 31 that it’s a forfeit.
          4. Young: Yes, we have that in writing in email with Margy agreement but I would like an official word from the NCC.
          5. Dodge: OK, I’ll get into it.
        2. Roche: I believe Dallas W have rescheduled their match to Denver, Dale can you confirm?
        3. Dale: I believe it’s been rescheduled for 4/25 but I’ll confirm.
        4. Roche: McAllen W have forfeited due to numbers.
        5. Young: Note that it’s a forfeit due to lack of playing #s on this weekend only. We don’t anticipate any future issues with numbers. McAllen did try and reschedule but there were no open weekends with the Valks having two teams and limited playing weekends.
        6. Roche: The non-Alliance forfeit was weather related and they gave adequate notice, so no issues.
    3. Competition Enhancement ad hoc Committee
      1. Dodge: Keeping on the agenda but skipping for tonight
    4. Men’s Tights Allowance
      1. Dodge: I did reach out to other Competitive Chairs but I only got a response from Mid-Atlantic. They said they adopted it and there haven’t been any issues. The teams work it out and the referees stay out of it.
        1. Dodge: I propose that we re-circulate our policy and do an email vote.
    5. North Referee Pool
      1. Roche: This is looking better, Tyler and Alliance MD2 dropping has helped quite a bit. The biggest issue we’re seeing is the dual track athletes have limited availability because they are playing most weekends. An example is the Reds players, if they aren’t playing then they are supporting the club, etc. Our concern is that we don’t want to give those players matches that they are playing in (divisionally) but at the end of the day it may have to happen. 
      2. Dodge: Can you use those guys to help with HS and other groups?
      3. Roche: Yes but those matches haven’t started yet. Overall the numbers are better and we just need to figure it out.
      4. Dodge: How was the clinic last weekend?
      5. Roche: It was good, 7 participants but all from high school programs. Which is great, we love the youth but they are potentially limited in what matches they can do.
      6. Dale: I wanted to comment on not using referees that are associated with a club, but in the past it was the policy that the host team had to provide referees for second and third side matches. Personally I wouldn’t have any issues with continuing that policy. Now that is just me, but it’s something to consider.
      7. Dodge: I tend to agree with you John. I think of Keuppens and when he was refereeing, he used to call us tighter than the opponent. Look, we are where we are and if the choice is an affiliated referee, I think most would choose the available referee.
      8. Dale: I think that doing something like that would encourage referees to do more games. It would also give them experience.
      9. Roche: Ok, if everyone feels OK with that, we will look into it. We want high level players refereeing, they have good rugby minds!
    6. Moving matches from Saturday to Sunday
      1. Dodge: I was supposed to circulate something on this but didn’t get to it. I will try to do it this week.
    7. RRRC Championships Bids
      1. Young: We’ve only got bid in the Austin Huns but there is still a few weeks left for bids to come in.
      2. Dodge: On a geographic rotation weren’t we thinking it would be South this year?
      3. Young: Yes, that is the rotation but we are open to reviewing bids from anywhere.
  4. Alliance dropping D2 side, will play D3 and D4
    1. Dodge: Lots of email discussion on this, Alliance requested to drop sides due to lack of players. Email approval was to allow Alliance to drop their D2 side but they will play their D3 and D4 fixtures. Has notification been sent to all those divisions?
    2. Kurylas: Yes, I notified MD3 and MD4.
    3. Tolar: I notified MD2.
    4. Dodge: Wendy, do you feel like email notification is sufficient or should we put something on the website?
    5. Young: I hesitate to put it on the website and think that email should be sufficient. Kat has removed them from CMS and WTR as well so it should be pretty clear. 
  5. Tyler dropping from MD4
    1. Dodge: Not sure if there’s much we can do about that. Hopefully they’ll reform next year. I think what needs to be discussed is tightening the requirements for new teams and new sides. I’d like to see something along the lines of needing 30 people to start a new side on an existing club or a new club. The requirement we have now doesn’t seem to be getting it done. The teams we approved this past cycle are still playing without full rosters sometimes. With existing clubs we need to show based on past year’s evidence that they can stock full rosters. What’s the standard now?
    2. Young: 24 by November 1st is the current policy for new clubs- we’re going to need to be careful with this because new women’s teams will struggle to reach this starting out.
    3. Kurylas: That’s why we provide the viability fee, it shows that they have skin in the game.
    4. Young: I think we need to emphasize that teams cannot join right away in D3 or D2. They have to prove themselves in a lower division. We do this for the women and it has worked out quite well.
    5. Kurlyas: If we’re looking at standards to show viability I think we need 45 players, at least for the men.
    6. Dodge: I just don’t think the standards we have now are cutting it, at least not for the men.
    7. Kolberg: If you have a D2 team and want to bring a D3 team in, what would you think is a good number to have CIPPed?
    8. Dodge: 90?
    9. Kolberg: If you’re going to add a new side to your team you’d need an additional 30 people? Coaches and administrators don’t count.
    10. Dodge: My experience has been if you have 30 people you can get through a season with injuries, travel etc. That seems to be a healthy number.
    11. Young: I tend to agree with 30 as a good number but looking at rosters right now, we don’t even have half our clubs there right now.
    12. Tolar: It all comes down to coaching and administration. Maybe we shouldn’t focus so much on the numbers but rather the structural integrity of a club.
    13. Young: That’s a great point, we have a coach that leaves and they almost fold?
    14. Tolar: I think that’s generalizing it a bit,we should have looked at Alliance’s numbers and seen if they could realistically do three sides. Look at the Reds, they have 70 players out this weekend for three sides. So maybe other clubs think it’s just about numbers? But we know that isn’t it, it’s coaching and administration that is very strong.
    15. Leming: I agree with what you’re saying, clubs have to have good structure but minimum standards needs to be in place. What could be in place to evidence the feasibility of fielding two sides? 
    16. Young: We do have numbers in place for multiple sides for NEW clubs but not for existing clubs. So we didn’t apply this to our clubs that wanted to grow.
    17. Leming: Right, I think that a few clubs are feeling this, we want to grow but we need to be smart about how we grow it. We as a committee need to be smart about allowing it.
    18. Dodge: I’ll circulate what we have currently for new clubs and we can start an online discussion about how we can apply that to new sides of existing clubs.
      1. Young: I’m hesitating because does this go back to our discussion of over-policing everything? We talked about that last month.
      2. Dodge: I do think we need some guidelines. We would just take the TRU recommendations and apply them to existing clubs. I think it adds consistency rather than creating a new policy. It also gives us some tools to make sure the competition has stability.
      3. Kurylas: I think it also helps us determine where to put teams, if they have an existing D2 side and want to add one, it has to start in D4. 
      4. Young: I think we’ve gotten a bit flexible on allowing clubs to advocate for playing above the minimum division. We’re trying to be sensitive and not allow clubs to beat up on D4 but it is a good proving ground.
      5. Dodge: I can agree with that. Is there any opposition to looking at the TRU New Club requirements and adapting those to to existing clubs that want to add sides?
        1. Dodge: None. I will circulate.
  6. AGM – Jan 26
    1. Young: Just a reminder that we have the AGM coming up and we urge clubs to register beforehand. If you’d like to have anything covered, please reach out!
  7. New Business
    1. None
  8. Meeting Adjourned (9:20 PM)