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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 11/9/20

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. Kurylas
    3. Kolberg
    4. Dodge
    5. Roche
    6. Dale
    7. Tolar
    8. Keuppens
    9. Watson
    10. Leming
      1. Regrets
        1. Hughes
        2. Fosco
  2. RTP
    1. Fall Tournaments
      1. Dodge: We received plenty of bids but we aren’t sure if any of the dates in November will work since we aren’t in Stage 5.
      2. Watson: I agree, nothing can happen in November.
      3. Dodge: I think we tell those that bid in November that it isn’t happening but we are looking at December.
      4. Young: Here are the hosts and requested dates:
        1. Huns – Nov 14, Dec 5 and 12
        2. Austin Valkyries – Nov 14, Dec 5 and 12
        3. DRFC – Nov 7, 14, 21
        4. Rugby HTX – Nov 14 and Dec 12
        5. Alamo City – Nov. 21, Dec 5, Dec. 12
      5. Roche: I’m very concerned that we aren’t going to have any rugby this fall or even this Spring. We’re losing athletes to other sports. Can we explore a waiver so we can play?
      6. Dodge: When you register it does include a COVID waiver but that doesn’t help us allow play to happen at this point. 
      7. Roche: Why do we have to play under USA Rugby or with the TRU?
      8. Watson: Because we’re members of USA Rugby.
      9. Roche: Why do we have to be members of USA Rugby?
      10. Dodge: It’s primarily because of the liability insurance which would be cost-prohibitive for smaller clubs to get on their own. If you want to use city space, or a field at a local school or college, you have to prove that you have liability insurance as a club. Even if you own your own land, it is prudent for you to have to have liability insurance. A waiver might help you win a lawsuit, but it won’t prevent you from getting sued; liability insurance will cover not only any potential judgment, but also pay for an attorney to defend those sued, which is where the real value is in a lawsuit that is of dubious merit. To be clear, the insurance doesn’t cover COVID but rather covers anyone hosting a practice, event or game for other types of claims, such as: “I broke my leg because there’s a huge sprinkler hole in your field that you knew was there and did nothing to fix or warn me about.”  By my reading, neither the USA Rugby general liability policy, nor the accident policy, will cover COVID-related claims. However, if a Club is not a member of USA Rugby, it would not be covered under the USA Rugby general liability policy for other types of potential claims.
      11. Roche: I appreciate all of that information.
      12. Dale: Do we know how the MLR is handling it?
      13. Dodge: I am virtually certain that they have outside insurance.
      14. Kolberg: I’ll bet a round of beers to this entire group that the MLR doesn’t kick off in early 2021.
      15. Roche: Atlanta has been having games for months…they have created a “bubble”. But who’s monitoring this bubble? Can they just claim a bubble and play as usual?
      16. Young: I’m also doubtful that we will play any rugby this fall as well and am concerned that our January start is in jeopardy. 
      17. Conversation drifted off towards ideas around Stage 4 and if we can play some form of rugby…
      18. Dodge: Ok, let’s come back around to the issue of the fall tournaments. Do we want to tell the clubs that bid to hold venues for December? Or do we want to just let the fall tournaments go?
      19. Young: For those that don’t own their own fields, they have to put in reservations. So we do need to decide if we think these will happen or not.
      20. Kurylas: I think we call a spade a spade and there won’t be rugby this fall.
      21. Dodge: I move that we cancel the proposed fall tournaments.
        1. Leming: Second.
        2. Kolberg: Yes.
          1. Dodge: Any opposition? None. APPROVED.
            1. Dodge: Wendy, please tell the potential hosts that we appreciate their willingness to put in bids, but that the conditions with COVID did not move as favorably in our direction as we had hoped.
            2. Young: Will do.
    2. Executive Session Discussion re: Legalities of Various RTP Options
    3. January Start
      1. Dodge: As we’ve said, we need a contingency plan in case we can’t start league play in January due to the state of the virus in the TRU. I think there are at least 2 options:
        1. Base the standings on only those matches that can be played, once we can resume play.  Changes would need to be made to some advancement structures (e.g., we’d need an MD1 playoff round) in order to make this option work.  
        2. Scrap the schedule and start over.  I’m not in favor of this, and Option 1 isn’t great either.  Other ideas?
      2. Kolberg: What if we just move the start of the season to March 1? Nationals are probably scrapped this year, so why are we worried about that?
      3. Kurylas: I agree, I don’t think there will really be Nationals this year, what if we take any cancelled matches and append them to it to the end of the existing season?
        1. Dodge: I really like that.
        2. Kolberg: Yes, it keeps the integrity of the competition intact.
      4. Keuppens: With Kurylas’s proposal, we need to keep 7s in mind. There is a desire that 7s would occur normally in 2021.
      5. Dodge: There is no answer from the SCC Competitions Committee yet on whether there will be Nationals this year. If we do this proposal, we move back RRRC Championships and potentially forgo Nationals (depending on when they are scheduled).
      6. Keuppens: I think that is risky for player retention. We’ve acquired players that have moved to Dallas specifically because of the chance to go to Nationals. I’m of the mind that if there aren’t Nationals, we hold our own.
      7. Kolberg: I think we append them to the end and if Nationals fits…it fits. We shouldn’t make our competition solely around USA Rugby.
      8. Young: Yes, I think we should make sure our competition occurs and we have Championships. Then if Nationals happen or whatever Championship occurs, we can fit it in. We don’t even know if Nationals will happen or it may be an asterisk year where only 3 of the 8 GUs participate. 
      9. Keuppens: I agree but just want us to be aware that this would essentially be a business decision. We have players coming to us because of the chance to reach Nationals.
      10. Young: I hear you but I think that viewpoint might be unique to M/WD1. I don’t know that M/WD3 teams are having players flock to them at this point for that reason. I could be wrong though!
      11. Keuppens: The chance to host Nationals in the TRU shouldn’t be passed up. I may have a narrow viewpoint on this particular topic but we have to participate in XVs and leave a window for 7s too.
      12. Dodge: Ok, we’re not really making any headway. I’m going to share my screen so we can look at the proposed schedule. If we assume no Round of 8, due to an insufficient number of participating teams, and move RRRC Championships to 5/22, that will give us some space at the end of the season. Also, we could use Easter Weekend (April 3) as a makeup weekend if pressed.
        1. Young: Yes, I think that makes sense. May can hopefully accommodate all the rescheduled matches and moving RRRC Championships should be doable. 
        2. Kolberg: Yes, agree.
      13. Dodge: Keuppens, are they keeping 7s roughly the same dates?
      14. Keuppens: Yes, but the format might be a bit different in 2021. 
      15. Dodge: Ok, the motion on the floor is to move the TRU Championships to the Round of 8 weekend, and leave the NC weekend open for some sort of USAR National Championship, should it occur, creating more time for makeup matches that we may not be able to play at the start of the season.  Under this motion, the schedule would now look like this at the end of the season (see Figure 1 at bottom) 
        1. Watson: I second.
        2. Dodge: Any further discussion?
          1. Leming: What’s the decision point to make that call?
          2. Dodge: I think we’re going to have to make it on our Dec. 14 call. We should know by then whether we can move to Stage 5 in time to start league play in mid-Jan.
        3. Dodge: Any opposition? None. APPROVED.
  3. New Business
    1. Sportlomo Registration
      1. Leming: Do we have any concerns about the hardiness of Sportlomo if we have 800 people trying to register once we do kick off?
      2. Young: Ha, yes, we should be concerned. Not sure we can do anything about it though.
      3. Dodge: We do want to encourage clubs and players to register before participating in rugby activity. At the very least Clubs who are having organized training should have their players register with the training registration that includes liability and accident insurance.  This is particularly the case now that we are in Stage 4 and can do limited contact.
  4. Meeting Adjourned (9:22 PM)
Figure 1