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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 6/21/21

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. Tate
    3. Wilson
    4. Kurylas
    5. Roche
    6. Dodge
    7. Hiller
      1. Regrets
        1. Tomsak
  2. COVID protocols dropped
    1. Young: Just a reminder as I’ve had a few teams inquire about this.
    2. Tate: I’ve still been checking on the numbers in our counties and parishes and we aren’t seeing troubling trends.
  3. Grants
    1. Nick James – Attending Daily Training Events (2x this year) in preparation for the 2021 RWC in New Zealand
      1. Tate: Our typical grant request is $250.
      2. Young: I looked back at the notes and for the last RWC she was given $500.
      3. Tate: Ok, so that makes sense as she has had two assemblies, that would be $500.
      4. Roche: I think it’s almost bamboozling that we’re talking about a player that is going to her second RWC. I like the consistency and the message that we will continue supporting players at this level.
      5. Tate: Do we have any objection to $500 or do we think it should be something different? No objections. APPROVED.
        1. Tate: She can also come back at any time if there are future events and we’re happy to discuss.
  4. New Clubs
    1. Round Rock Rage W – Received all of their paperwork
    2. Countdown City Elites (Spartans) M – Received all of their paperwork
    3. Little Rock Rugby M – Received all of their paperwork again
    4. Baylor W – Received some paperwork, they have not talked with Nick yet
    5. Celina Rugby Club M – No movement
    6. Victoria Rugby Club M – No movement
      1. Little Rock M
        1. Tate: I did talk to Sean Cox of Mid-America about Little Rock M and he was aware. He indicated that Mid-America would not stand in the way of a club looking to make a change. He did express that bouncing back and forth isn’t something he would like to see become a habit. 
        2. Dodge: In the past we’ve struggled with supporting referees for this location. Do we have any concerns?
        3. Tate: In the past, part of the way that we managed that was tapping Mid-America referees in an exchange or cooperative environment or we used Rod Puentes. I saw Rod this weekend and am not sure he is up there still.
          1. Young: He is still in OKC and very active.
        4. Tate: Ok, great. Jason Pollack who was with Little Rock is now with the Gryphons that maybe we could lean on. But, it’s absolutely a concern as we more than likely have to fly referees in for those matches. I think it’s reasonable that we put some of the onus on Little Rock for their home games.
        5. Roche: I have a couple of points/thoughts. It was very different when Little Rock was D1 because it required HP referees. If they are D2, we don’t necessarily have to put HP referees on those matches. However they need to be covered by the North referees where we only have 4 active referees.
        6. Tate: I think it is a worthwhile conversation to have and see if they can bring one or two referees to the table. 
        7. Young: We already provide referees for the LR women so if we can have them do tandem home games, that helps a little bit. It’s not always fair because a referee could be asked to do two games. 
        8. Dodge: I’m looking at the league structure for last year and we could make it a standard that they are part of the bigger conference, D1b. We could make it the only game for those big clubs that weekend. Let me play with it.
          1. Roche: That might help because then there wouldn’t be a MD1 match theoretically.
        9. Tate: Do we think that any of these concerns are insurmountable or can we approve and treat these as work ons? Any objections? None. APPROVED.
          1. Roche: As far as referees, we can work with anything. I think the bigger question is what division they would be in.
            1. Dodge: I think it would be MD2. They will have to do some real traveling to Houston and such. We’ll want to let them know that.
      2. Round Rock Rage W
        1. Tate: They are a team from Austin, Round Rock is a suburb. Their division is TBD as RRRC will discuss that. Any objections to their application? None. APPROVED.
      3. Countdown City Elites M
        1. Tate: This is a team from San Antonio, their division is TBD as RRRC will discuss that. Any objections to their application? None. APPROVED.
      4. Baylor University W
        1. Young: They are just starting their application process but I’ve received a TRU Application and Participation Agreement. I’ve also put them in contact with Nick James, the women’s college commissioner.
        2. Tate: We have some paperwork for these guys but we need more. We will want to hear from Nick on this and how they fit into their existing structures before we make a decision on their application.
      5. Tate: Great, we’ve got three new clubs. Coming out of COVID this is a great sign and we love having new clubs!
  5. Registration Incentive
    1. Young: Working on a package with BooshiePromo who we’ve done business with in the past (name change). We’re looking at TRU balls, string bags and then he’s going to recommend some other items. So once I have that package, I’ll share it.
  6. RRRC Elections
    1. Young: FYI for this group, we’ll be posting a call for nominations this week.
    2. Tate: We have continued to operate the RRRC as it was an ad hoc USAR sub committee. Dodge and I talked last year that we could change it to be a TRU Competitions Committee but if it isn’t broken…why fix it? So we will continue on this current policy unless there are objections? None. APPROVED.
      1. Tate: Excellent, there is a round of RRRC elections coming up and those notices will go up soon. There are two representatives from the various constituencies, 2 for each division/gender and an At Large position (appointed by Chair), TRRA Chairman is included, 7s Representative (appointed by committee) and then all members elect the Chair.
  7. TRRA Elections
    1. Roche: We had our elections this past weekend and Shawn Martin is the new Chair of the TRRA. Vice-chair is Drew Low, North rep is Mary Johnson (Waller), Central is Cesar Herrera and South is Robin McClure. 
    2. Tate: Got you, when does Shawn’s term begin?
    3. Roche: September 1st.
    4. Tate: Ok, usually the TRRA Chair is a member of this Board, do you think that will continue?
    5. Roche: Yes, that will probably be the case or if he would like I can continue. He will make that decision in September.
      1. Tate: Ok, and to confirm you would like to continue helping us with TRU Administration?
      2. Roche: Yes!
  8. TOLA
    1. Young: We’ve had two tournaments, one more this weekend, a break and then it’s 6 straight weeks of 7s! I’ll post the recap tomorrow or Wednesday with updated standings as well.
    2. Tate: I didn’t make it up to Dallas but I was able to attend Bloodfest. It was incredible to be out there and be at an event that felt “normal”. I saw lots of smiling faces and it was a great weekend for all. I also got some complimentary comments from a few out of state folks as well.
    3. Roche: I’m also going to do another mid-season writeup like I’ve done in the past.
  9. 7s National Championships
    1. Dodge: Fil has been pretty good about letting our teams that are interested in attending that the intent to participate form is due Wednesday (June 23). It’s all over social media but I also want to mention it here.
  10. XVs schedule
    1. RRRC Schedule
      1. Dodge: Broad strokes, I’m calling teams right now that indicate they are moving divisions or there are questions about their participation in their March RTP survey response. Hopefully by July 1 we’ll have a good idea of where everyone wants to play. RRRC’s next step is to put together the League structure and then between July and August we’ll put together the preliminary schedule. We’ll then share it with the clubs and allow for schedule changes. Wendy, Kat and Marie, how are you handling it with the women?
      2. Young: We’ve been talking about a few options for the structure and we need to have a call with all the women’s reps to confirm which one. Then we’ll host a call with all the Women’s clubs to make sure there is alignment and to answer any questions.
        1. Tate: Ok, coming back to this since we’ve talked about RT and W College now. We’re going to have more rugby in the spring than we have ever had before. We need to make referees a standing talking point on our agenda. We also can’t have every team kicking off at 2pm on Saturday.
    2. Rugby Texas
      1. Tate: I’m still talking with Hansel and Maggie about how we can work together. At the very least we need to try and avoid inadvertent schedule conflicts. We want to try and avoid scheduling Championships on the same weekends and 6,000 miles apart.
      2. Dodge: Yes, I’ve already reached out to Corrigan and we’re going to talk.
    3. W College
      1. Young: I’ve talked with Nick briefly. Will likely change to 7s in the fall and XVs in the spring. Will likely be a challenge for referee allocation.
      2. Kirk: Need to make sure Nick is kept in the loop with the senior schedules for the Spring and have an emphasis on referee recruiting from the college ranks. 
      3. Young: Sensitive to having W collegiate sides play on their own grounds, but may want to have some curtain raisers at senior club venues, or require matches on Friday nights.
      4. Kat:  WPL is also talking about playing in the Spring.
    4. XVs National Championships
      1. Tate: Can we put up a quick post that we will have a 2022 XVs National Championships?
      2. Young: Sure!
      3. Dodge: What if we phrase it as an update on what’s coming for RRRC and include in there the National Championships. 
  11. HOF/Summit
    1. Hotel
      1. Young: We’re reviewing various hotel proposals for our HOF/Summit event on 11/5-7. We’re very close!
    2. Summit Course Offering
      1. Young: So we asked for 7 conference rooms and need to start nailing down what courses we want to offer. Normally we offer:
        1. Coaching L200
        2. Coaching L300
        3. Referee L1
        4. Referee CMO/L2
        5. S&C 2
        6. Administration
      2. Dodge: Part of allowing HTX to compete in MD1 was that their coaches would be available to us. Or do we want to talk to the AGs?
      3. Tate: I think that the current AGs coaches are all about it. They have been reaching out regularly to the Central TX coaches and inviting them to their training.
      4. Dodge: Ok, should we ask for this kind of participation at the Summit or should we do it even earlier in the fall?
      5. Tate: We should do something earlier in the fall because the Summit will be moved out of its traditional time slot. I would also like to have the MLR teams get plugged into one of our cultural events of the year. We want to build those bridges and partnerships. We can set aside a table for the MLR at the HOF banquet.
        1. Young: I don’t have bandwidth to engage with the MLR coaches right now. Does anyone else?
        2. Tate: I can handle that. 
    3. 50th Anniversary Swag
      1. Young: Working with BooshiePromo on swag options, below is what I’ve asked pricing for. We aren’t obligated to anything at this point but I wanted to get to a starting point and we can whittle down if necessary.
        1. HOF/Summit ~125-150 attendees
          1. String backpack w/ Summit logo and 50th Anniversary logo
          2. Mini rugby balls w/ Summit and 50th
          3. Soft tshirt with Summit and 50th Anniversary 
          4. Snapback hat (with low crown) with 50th Anniversary
          5. TRU Stickers
        2. HOF ~150-175 attendees
          1. Lanyards for name tags with HOF and 50th Anniversary logo
          2. Anything else?
            1. Roche: What about the baked goods that were at Bloodfest?
            2. Young: Oh, that’s a good idea!
  12. Women’s All Stars/50th Anniversary Tournament
    1. Young: This will be the first weekend of December, I am talking with the SaberCats about using Aveva and the Houston Sports Park. The tournament would be open to all TRU clubs and we’ve asked for it to be a blackout date in the RRRC schedule.
    2. Dodge: I also got a call from the Midwest All Stars MEN that want to come down as well. We could go about this one of two ways, we can put together a men’s All Star side or have one or two sides come down and do a round robin.
      1. Tate: I think a men’s All Star would be hard to get going at this point. Most of the men’s teams will have already started playing by then.
      2. Dodge: Right, or they could come down to play in the 50th Anniversary Tournament? I’m also concerned that we would be slapping together a men’s All Star Tournament.
      3. Young: What if we offered it to the MD1 teams as a match? We can have it as a curtain raiser of the women’s All Star Championship.
      4. Dodge: We could do that too. 
        1. Tate: On this topic, there does seem to be a movement to bring men’s All Stars back. With all the MLR Academies it could be a good way to keep momentum and we’d have built in matches against the Academy teams. While the MD1 teams may not want to participate, we’ve done a MD2/MD3 team in the past and it could be something we look at reviving. This gives our members in lower divisions something to participate in as well.
        2. Dodge: Ok, I’ll reach out to Drew and maybe it’s something we look at for the 2022-2023 season as well.
        3. Tate: It’s also an opportunity to do some coaching development. MLR coaches are the main coaches but all the assistants are the clubs coaching teams.
        4. Dodge: I like that.
        5. Tate: We’ve got to continue to find ways to develop our coaches and these are perfect opportunities.
  13. New Business
    1. Sportlomo/CMS
      1. Tate: Membership registration, paying your dues is still going to be Sportlomo in 2021-2022. Club and college rugby will be going back to CMS for competition management rather than using the Sportlomo competition system. USA Rugby CMS has the functionality that we need, our members understand how to use it and we want to focus all of USA Rugby and Sportlomo resources on making sure membership registration goes as smoothly as it can.
    2. Insurance
      1. Dodge: Pricing will remain the same for this year for liability and accident insurance (same benefit levels). We are looking at a few other options that include additional coverage but we’re waiting to hear back on that. 
  14. Meeting Adjournment (9:33 PM)