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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 7/13/20

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. Roche
    3. Tolar
    4. Dale
    5. Dodge
    6. O’Gara
    7. Fosco
    8. Kolberg
    9. Kurylas
    10. Keuppens
    11. Hughes
      1. Regrets
        1. Leming
        2. Watson
  2. Dodge: Proposed Men’s XVs 2020-21 League Restructure:
    1. Since the last call, I communicated with the Clubs that were being asked to move up or down based on the proposed schedule discussed on the last committee call. 
    2. HURT declined to voluntarily move up to MD1/MD2 due to concerns over numbers / strength of schedule.
    3. Ft. Worth declined to voluntarily move its second side to MD3 due to travel concerns. 
    4. West Houston requested to stay in MD1, but drop its second side to MD3.
    5. All other clubs being asked to move up or down agreed to do so.
    6. Rugby HTX (Sabercats academy team) has reached out about joining TRU and playing as a non-advancing side in the MD1 competition.   Further discussions are pending their admission as a TRU club.
    7. The following , revised proposed structure was circulated to all men’s team representatives on July 6, 2020, with a request for comments / questions / objections by the end of the day on July 10, 2020.
    8. Comments and questions were received from:
      1. Corpus Christi RFC:  Objected to being placed in a subdivision with the MD3 teams from Houston, as the last time they were in that division, they had an issue with forfeits (played and unplayed), and that travel was an issue.  I had a discussion with Louis Gaitan on July 11, and noted that the fines for forfeits had been increased, with some of the funds going to the forfeited upon club, and that the Houston clubs should not have any reason to forfeit given that their only other out of town match was in Galveston.  I agreed to raise the issue of tightening the forfeit rules further, but also discussed that with COVID and its potential effect on numbers, that we were all going to have to be flexible this season.  On the travel issue, while CCRFC’s away matches are on average 45 minutes further away under the proposed structure, that the aggregate travel time was decreased from last season due to the elimination of one away match.  Louis remained concerned about the potential for forfeits, but indicated CCRFC would not object to the proposed structure.
      2. DARC:  Tolar: I didn’t feel like the conversation we had in June was very in-depth regarding the possibility of this structure, and this call could be a better chance to do that. My concerns surround the MD1 competition and the 1b/1c. We may be forced to put true MD2 teams in the 1b competition and putting them at a disadvantage. DARC’s personal preference in this may have changed a bit seeing local teams being moved in MD2. We are launching a new facility this season and we believe that we could get more players and may be better suited for MD2. It’s not as easy to do as it is to plan for it. Those are my biggest concerns.
        1. Dodge: This structure definitely doesn’t deal with 100% of the issues we are facing, but it does solve a fair number of the questions we’ve been asked surrounding like-size clubs playing each other. Some clubs requested to not promote/relegate which affected our “ideal plans”. Once we get a schedule together we can address some of the other issues.
      3. Ft. Hood / ORC / Arrows:  All inquired regarding how MD3 regional playoff participants would be determined given that there are 5 MD3 subdivisions.  I indicated that the ultimate decision would be up to the committee, but a possible structure would be that the two subdivision winners with the lowest average available competition points would play in a wildcard match to determine which advanced to the regional playoffs as the fourth MD3 seed.
      4. Gordon Hanlon / Steve Daniels:  Both submitted individual comments that were not so much objections to the specific proposal for next season, but more suggestions for changes to the overall promotion / relegation system and competition structure.  I am in the process of scheduling calls with them to discuss further with an eye toward potentially formulating proposals for discussions with the Committee applicable to the 2021-22 season.
    9. Dodge: There were no unresolved objections or requests by anyone not already a member of the Committee to attend the call and discuss this proposed league structure further.
    10. Motion / Discussion / Vote:
      1. Dodge: I would like to make a motion to approve this structure.
      2. Keuppens: I second.
      3. Dodge: Any further discussion surrounding this?
      4. Young: Can you remind me which 1c/2c/etc is in which division.
      5. Dodge: The red highlighted division labels correspond to the USAR divisions, then you play across in your row against those teams.
      6. Young: How does MD3 playoffs work with 5 subdivisions?
      7. Dodge: That will have to be discussed, my initial thought is bottom two subdivision leaders by weighted average available competition points would play in a wildcard match for the 4th seed. But we are definitely open for more discussion surrounding this. This will all obviously be dependent on what the teams/clubs look like next year.
      8. Young: Do we think MD4 will even happen next year? We had a fair number of teams travelling and not getting their return trip (home game).
      9. Dodge: We hope so and I think we should plan to have it until we can’t.
        1. Dodge: Any opposition to the motion to approve the men’s league structure? None. APPROVED.
  3. Status of Women’s Schedule
    1. Young: The women’s reps have come up with a proposal that includes DEVELOPMENTAL tournaments in the fall and league play in the spring. I put developmental in caps because we are proposing a few unorthodox things like bringing back rugby whores to help fill out sides (goal is to have these as 15s matches), rolling subs and asking that teams don’t put their Aside out (as a few examples). We had a call with a few of the WD2 and WD3 last week to share our proposal and there is some really good enthusiasm around this proposed format. It would be a North/South split with the North including the DFW teams and Little Rock. South would be HARC, BARC, San Antonio and Austin. I’m now reaching out to the remainder of the teams including WD1 to get their feedback. The tournaments will lead up to All Stars in December. We haven’t chatted much about the Spring as we’d like to see how teams come back together in the Fall. We don’t anticipate that we will be participating with Glendale, Boulder and Utah in WD1..so we may have some issues in that division.
  4. Return to Play Update/7s 
    1. Keuppens: Ok, the 7s subcommittee has said that if we aren’t playing rugby by 7/11 we wouldn’t have a Championship series competition (even TOLA) this season. So Plan B was that we could still have some tournaments, but after talking to several potential hosts/participating teams, almost all prefer to have a minimum of 3-4 weeks in Stage 4 and at least one week in Stage 5 before hosting. Teams have to have the opportunity to begin playing contact rugby again before a tournament is held. Looking at all that and that the new CIPP cycle starts at the end of August…we’re essentially out of time for 7s. There is still a chance for a single tournament at the end of August, but the odds look very slim.
      1. Fosco: I think the way that things are trending, it’s not going in a good direction. 
      2. Dale: Talking about the new CIPP cycle, what if we start the competitive cycle with 7s? It would encourage players to CIPP.
      3. Keuppens: That is an interesting idea…it could help with CIPP compliance. 
      4. Roche: That was one of our initial thoughts, we could have fall competitive 7s. Do we want to have a competitive series with a Championship? 
      5. Dodge: I like that idea…can the 7s subcommittee reach out to the clubs and see what they think of competitive 7s in the fall?
        1. Roche: We asked this in the original club survey and there was overall support for it already. Teams just want to play rugby. As long as it doesn’t interfere with the competitive XV run to Nationals the larger clubs are also interested.
      6. Young: I think it’s a good idea as well, but what if we had a split of teams that want 7s and 15s? It’s not the end of the world but could complicate things.
      7. Dodge: I suggest we put a hard stop on August 1 to decide on whether there will be any 7s before the end of the CIPP cycle on 8/31/20. We can discuss our next RRRC call on August 10 what we do in the fall based on another month of data and possible changes in government restrictions.
        1. Young: The RPT Task Force also continues to monitor on a daily basis and is in regular conversation with the RRRC and TRU. 
  5. New Business
    1. TRRA Elections
      1. Dodge: Kat, Is this your first official call as TRRA Chair?
      2. Roche: Not yet, we still have the same leadership until September. 
      3. Dodge:  Well, congratulations all the same.
    2. Engagement
      1. Young: In early April we hosted a few educational sessions via video to help engagement. We fell off that a bit as things have been chaotic. We want to try and face attrition head on and so we’re looking at hosting some value-add sessions with S&C trainers, yoga, etc. Be on the lookout for some free sessions for our teams/members soon.
  6. End of Meeting (9:15 PM)