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TRU Board Notes – 8/17/20

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. Wilson
    4. Roche
    5. Kurylas
    6. Dodge
    7. Hiller
      1. Regrets
        1. O’Gara
  2. USAR Reorg
    1. USAR/TRU Dues
      1. Tate: We’re still in negotiations with USAR over a few things, the main hurdle is accident insurance. We’re very close on dues and liability insurance. I would anticipate that USAR dues will be $20 and whatever the insurance ends up being (~$35). So that is a reduction of out of pocket to our playing membership in terms of the USAR portion of the dues. We know that there will be a reduction of services from USAR and the GU (TRU) will attempt to make up some of those services. At some point it may result in an increase in GU dues to cover the additional services at the GU level. Two quick examples of additional services would be Training & Education and National Playoffs. I propose for this year that we use the money that we would have spent on playoff grants for last year’s teams to make up those USAR services. This would be in place of raising due or assessing some kind of club/registration fee.
        1. Tate: I have asked Pfleger for our financials to review everything. We got very close to what we would have expected for CIPP #s but we didn’t spend nearly everything we normally would have. 
        2. Roche: Does Training & Education include referee certification courses?
        3. Tate: That’s a great question. We’re still trying to get a clear answer on the funds from World Rugby in regards to certification courses. We need to know this because it will help us understand the available funds for these courses. I do know that USA Rugby and the T&E Chair, Katie Wurst are talking about what certification courses will look like during a pandemic and the future.
    2. Selection process for National Club Committees
      1. Tate: In the next few days we will be reviewing the nominees for the various National Club Committees. We expected to have the qualifications for these committees out a few weeks ago but we have had a few fires that needed water.
    3. SportLomo
      1. Tate: I mentioned some of the fires, one of those has been Sportlomo, their system crashed last week. The youth were supposed to begin CIPPing last week but haven’t started yet because of the issues. We’re not too concerned about it because software can have bugs or crash but it has taken up some cycles from USA Rugby.
      2. Login Information
        1. Roche: I have everything setup on our end for Sportlomo and would like to start sending out login information. I want to make sure that all of the club contacts are correct though, so if any clubs have updated info, please share with me.
        2. Young: Should we hold off on sending any login details for a bit?
        3. Tate: Yes, let’s hold off for a couple of weeks. This will give them a bit more time to pressure test the system.
  3. Elections
    1. Young: Tate was the only nominee we received and so he continues in his role as President.
    2. Tate: Ok, I won’t take that as a ringing endorsement but more that no one is that upset with the work we’re doing.
  4. BLM/DEI
    1. Tate: We put out the BLM and DEI statement last week and it was received very well. I also had a call with the DEI committee and we talked about what they would like to start doing. One of the topics that was discussed was building out the committee with a few other people. I think that’s a great idea.
    2. Tomsak: Have we ever looked at the makeup of all of our clubs by demographics?
    3. Tate: No, I never have. But that is definitely something we could ask the DEI to gather if we’d like. That would certainly be some good data to have. It is also dependent on what members choose to disclose. 
    4. Young: Should we consider adding the DEI members to our Board calls?
    5. Tate: I think we should have them finish filling out their committee and they can select a Chair. Then that Chair could attend the calls if they liked.
  5. RTP
    1. Tate: The Texas Governor’s guidance hasn’t changed in a few weeks. We’re still gathering in groups of less than 10 people, wearing masks, social distancing and no contact. That still precludes a lot of rugby activity. Abbott’s guidance doesn’t currently specifically reference any policy on shared equipment. With respect to introducing balls into approved activities, we have followed earlier and more conservative guidance from the CDC. While there have been questions raised about transference of the virus from surfaces, the CDC hasn’t published any new findings. I did do some research and while understanding the  transfer for surfaces is that it isn’t as likely but they are still recommending wiping down heavily used items/surfaces. So my question to the group is should we relax the prohibition of allowing shared equipment like balls? 
    2. Dodge: I was actually reading an article today that was indicating that the early guidance was probably a bit too restrictive. This is in regards to how you would catch COVID by touching inanimate surfaces. If balls were sanitized before, during and after training, we are probably safe.
    3. Tate; Yes, that is sort of where I’m leaning. 
    4. Hiller: I know the last time we talked about this there was a concern that there wasn’t insurance in place? WE know teams are already doing this but including guidelines might help.
    5. Tate: Accident insurance won’t cover COVID, but liability insurance is in place until August 31. There will be a liability provision in the new coverage when players CIPP again. So, no one should be doing sanctioned activities unless they are CIPP’d. Maybe we should look at crafting some guidelines on specific equipment that can be shared. Ruck shields, scrum sleds are bad but balls and tees are ok. A short list rather than an exhaustive list. Then it could be released and include an effective date so we’re covered with the liability insurance.
    6. Hiller: Yes, I think so. I definitely want to make sure that the Union is protected and our members are as well. 
    7. Tate: Ok, so I think we need to hold off on making any policy changes until we finalize the Union agreement with USA Rugby (in progress) and then registration can open. Then our members can register and be covered (through liability insurance). So we won’t be changing anything until August 31st.
    8. Young: Technically, the USA Rugby RTP guidelines for Stage 3 specifically states “No use of communal equipment, including balls”. So are we moving stages or just adjusting what is included in the stage?
    9. Tate: Good point, we need to review the USA RTP guidelines, local guidance and propose an updated policy of included activities when the new CIPP registration cycle begins on Sep 1.
    10. Dodge: Yes, I think we can dig into it. 
      1. Tate: Question two, are we ready to make any determinations on the fall season? Austin has extended the stay at home order as well as a few other areas.
      2. Dodge: On the RRRC call we discussed following the women’s lead and putting social tournaments on the calendar. As we get closer to the dates we’d assess where we’re at with regards to local and government restrictions and would proceed if able. If not, we push the dates back and try again. Travis is looking at a spring only schedule as a result.
      3. Tate: Excellent, that makes sense to me. Anyone object? No objections.
  6. Summit
    1. Tate: We’ve postponed this event due to the pandemic. We will be monitoring the situation to determine when we can have an in-person gathering. If it carries on too long, we will come up with an alternative plan.
  7. HOF
    1. Tate: Same thing here, postponed. This particular group isn’t very keen on getting together in a banquet style event right now.
    2. Young: Throwing this in the notes, next year is the 50th anniversary of the TRU!
    3. Tate: Wow, 50th anniversary in 2021. So we’ll be making a big blowout and a big return to normalcy for that.
    4. Polos 
      1. Young: Mabry asked if we could order polos for the 2020 folks, I already said yes…so hope that is OK. 
      2. Tate: Yes, don’t have a problem with that.
  8. AGM
    1. Young: This isn’t scheduled yet. When is good?
    2. Tate: I’d like to get the financials from Pfleger and have finished negotiations with USAR on dues amounts. THis will allow us to give our members a good understanding of what our financial picture may look like for next year. 
    3. Young: Ok, so last weekend in August (my birthday) and the next weekend is Labor day. So September 13?
    4. Tate: That works for me. Do we think that is too late for anyone? Usually we try to have it before Sep 1st.
    5. Dodge: I don’t think it’s too late given the situation we’re in right now.
    6. Tate: Ok, then we will do a virtual AGM on September 13. By then we will have all of the financials and information and will provide a better update.
    7. Dodge: We should also have more substance to a social fall schedule and the spring as well.
  9. Virtual Sessions
    1. Tate: Wendy and I have been looking at virtual training and education in place of the Summit. We tried a few DIY things in the Spring and found those to be lots of work and challenging. So we’ve entered into a trial with ARPTC and they will provide us virtual training and education content. So we looked at what was available in our Summit budget. They will be doing weekly virtual sessions that will be available live or on-demand to our members.
    2. Young: ARPTC will start September 7 and run through November. Dallen Stanford will be doing a three video series on being a rugby commentator and we’re working with Gordon Hanlon on a series for analyzing film.
    3. Tate: I know that USAR is looking at virtual content aimed at people looking to get back on the field, staying fit or working on skills. Everybody is trying to figure this out and we know other Unions are checking to see what we’re doing.
  10. New Business
    1. None.
  11. Meeting Adjourned (9:00 PM)