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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 11/8/21

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. Dodge
    2. Young
    3. Kolberg
    4. Dale
    5. Kurylas
    6. Leming
    7. Roche
    8. Fosco
    9. Martin
    10. Hanlon
    11. Hughes
    12. Keuppens
      1. Regrets
        1. None
  2. Summit / HOF Recap
    1. Dodge: Great job and I want to thank Traci, Wendy and Kat for their work on making these events happen!
    2. Young: At the Summit we had 35 people attend, smaller numbers than the past but with weird timing and COVID, it was still good. We had Coaching L200, Level 1 S&C, Referee L1 and referee CMO (both desperately needed). The HOF Dinner was a smashing success, over 200 people attending (biggest one ever!) and it was great to see all the rugby folk in one place again.
  3. CMS Status / WTR Verification
    1. Dodge: Is everything in WTR correct? Has everything been uploaded into the CMS?
    2. Roche: I believe WTR is accurate but only pre-season matches have been entered into CMS. That is the project for this week.
    3. Dodge: Ok, that sounds good. Let’s make sure we get at least the matches through the end of January entered by the end of the week. Are the Club usernames and passwords the same?
    4. Young: Yep, they are the same, no changes.
  4. Colorado XO Flake Out
    1. Dodge: Shortly after our last call, I was contacted by Luke Gross with Colorado XO and they indicated that they were pulling out a couple of additional matches in addition to their prior cancellation of the 11/6 match against Dallas RFC. When I went back to confirm with him he let me know that they are pulling out of the Red River competition completely due to an extended South American tour and related budgetary constraints. Incidentally, I was approached by Geno Mazza from PRP that we may be able to play their clubs. It’s early discussions but we’ll keep the communications going.
    2. Hanlon: Is that a home or away thing?
    3. Dodge: It could be that or a 2 year agreement. They only have 3 clubs right now so they are looking for matches.
    4. Kolberg: Who are the three teams?
    5. Dodge: Belmont Shore, Life West and OMBAC. Anyways, we still have a pretty strong MD1 schedule even with the XO’s dropping out. 
    6. Hanlon: We still hit our match minimums, right?
    7. Dodge: Yes, we will. Technically there are no game minimums anymore, just player minimums. I also need to get the Rugby HTX matches blessed by the SCC Competitions Committee as “Qualifying Matches” for individual player eligibility purposes. I’ll make that application this week.
  5. Clubs Declaring Inability to Play this Season:
    1. Dodge: We’ve had a rash of clubs letting us know that they won’t be in a position to compete this year.
      1. Diablos (MD4)
        1. Dodge: Lost Souls are going to step in and take over the Diablos MD4 schedule, so that was an easy fix. The Souls are primarily a touring side but are and have been a TRU member Club. The Diablos and Lost Souls have already agreed upon this change among themselves as well.
      2. NTX Barbarians (MD3 N)
        1. Dodge: We had talked about this in our last call, Kurylas had reached out to the DFW North clubs to see if they would pick these matches up as friendlies. John, can you give us a quick run down?
        2. Kurylas: Basically Quins are going to play at Shreveport on Nov 20, Reds are playing Alliance, Grand Prairie will play Denton on Mar 12. OKC didn’t seem that concerned about picking up their extra matches.
        3. Dodge: Great, we’re mostly doing this to make sure teams don’t lose matches. If they don’t want to pick up those matches, that’s OK. Kat or Wendy, what do we need to do to get WTR and CMS updated?
        4. Kurylas: I’ve gone two of them but am still waiting on confirmation from Alliance. Once I get confirmation I’ll go ahead and submit that form. 
        5. Dodge: Thanks for working all this out!
      3. Kingwood (MD3 S)
        1. Dodge: Today we received notice from Kingwood that they don’t have the numbers to compete this year. There are a few struggles with administration and coaching that are exacerbating things. 
        2. Hughes: Another idea if MD3 Central struggles, we can try and combine Central and South. McAllen and Galveston have played before…not ideal but it’s an option.
        3. Dodge: Yes, that is an option but I almost think it’s a nuclear option, given that Clubs have likely already published their match schedules and built their social, fundraising, etc., schedules around that. Reworking the entire schedule would be pretty disruptive, and I don’t think we are there yet. I’d like to try doing what we did with the NTX Barbarians and see if other Clubs can pick up the Kingwood matches as friendlies.  I already have a call into the Arrows to see if they are interested in picking up some of the Kingwood matches, as they were asking about a MD4 South back in August. I also spoke with Rob Rutherford from HARC, and he didn’t think HARC could assist. Who can reach out to the other Clubs in the South to talk about picking up some of the Kingwood matches as friendlies?
        4. Hughes: I can.
      4. San Marcos (MD3 C)
        1. Dodge: With respect to San Marcos it’s a similar story with lack of players, administration and coaching struggles. MD3 Central already had 6 clubs while D3N and S only had 5, so Central still should have a decent number of matches. We’re hearing that some Greys players may play with the Austin clubs or perhaps the San Antonio clubs.
        2. Leming: I’m hearing that Countdown and Alamo City are also struggling with numbers. 
        3. Hughes: What are the possibilities of Countdown and Alamo City joining forces?
        4. Leming: There is some politics there…
        5. Hughes: Right, I know that. But if they implode, we won’t have much of a D3C this year.
    2. Hanlon: Do we think that the competition structure for these clubs is appropriate? Are the clubs having problems as a result of something we’ve put in place?
    3. Dodge: I’m hoping it’s a transitory issue due to COVID. This may be an overgeneralization, but it seems that the Clubs that worked at staying as active as they could under COVID and kept recruiting are coming out of COVID OK, and those that didn’t aren’t.  We can always look at the competition structures we’ve put in place, but we haven’t even played a single season under the new competition structure that aligns like-sized clubs, so I think it’s much too early to determine the impact of that change.  My gut says to check with the other clubs on their numbers and see what happens. I did talk to Kirk about making sure that the Summit has an administrative course, so that perhaps we can help Clubs that are struggling with admin get some ideas on how to make that part of running a successful club easier.
    4. Kolberg: I think we may have loosened our new club guidelines a bit too much. We’re letting clubs that only have 15-17 players. I think we need to ensure they have enough players.
    5. Hughes: I do think there is a timing issue, we’re accepting new clubs in the summer but they won’t register until September. We have to have some sort of assurance that they will have a club so they can be included in the match schedule. 
    6. Dodge: I’m not sure this would solve the problem we are seeing right now, given that Kingwood, the Greys and Diablos have been active TRU Clubs for some time. However, doing more to ensure new Clubs are set up for success might be a step in the right direction. What if we push back that new club application date until April 30. Then we say that part of their admission is that they have to play in 2-3 7s tournaments and go through some administrative training?
    7. Hughes: I like that. I think we should also require prospective rosters.
    8. Keuppens: Conceptually it’s a good idea but we’re asking them to pay registration fees for 7s and then they would have to do it again in September?
    9. Dodge: I believe USA Rugby is going to continue the weekend registration option.
    10. Keuppens: They may have to do that once or twice so it’s almost the same thing. This may work for some clubs but generally they are strapped for cash. Also if they’re a South club, most of the tournaments aren’t in their area. Maybe we do something else like requiring that they attend a training session around administration. 
    11. Kolberg: We need to make sure clubs have an assigned coach that is L200 and a dedicated administrator. 
    12. Hughes: What if we opened registration earlier? 
    13. Dodge: I can check and see if that is an option with USA Rugby.
    14. Hanlon: I question if this will solve the problems we’re seeing and how do we best serve these clubs? Even if they have a L200 Coach and an administrator, they will need players. We need to be removing barriers and looking at this from all angles.
    15. Hughes: I think COVID has a lot to do with this, there are a ton of factors. Plenty of players retired, some had children and some just aren’t coming back out.
  6. Playoff Pathway
    1. Dodge: I had a good conversation with Kerri O’Malley from Florida about MD2, WD2 and MD3. We’re on the same page of what we discussed for the last call. We will determine our overall TRU winner and they will do the same. We will be on a 2 year exchange for hosting the next stage. She did indicate there would need to be a discussion with True South, the Carolinas and Georgia. I owe her a proposal on how this would work; I will get that out this week.
    2. Keuppens: This doesn’t include MD1 or WD1?
    3. Dodge: Correct.
    4. Young: I have an update on WD1, the Red River/Rocky Mountain champion will be determined the same as last year. You can see the pathway reflected on the website under Competitions > Women’s D1. Then it will more than likely be a four team playoff with Champions from SoCal/NorCal/Seattle/Southwest, Midwest, Capital/Empire and RockyMtn/Frontier. I’m working on confirming those Unions participation this week and ratifying with the USA Rugby Club Competitions Committee.
  7. TRU / RRRC Admin Calendar
    1. Dodge: Kurylas submitted a proposed calendar that has all the pertinent information for our Union. 
    2. Kurylas: Yes, I just updated it with a few other items this week.
    3. Dodge: Ok, everyone take a look this week and comment if there needs to be any changes.
    4. Young: I just made it a google spreadsheet and circulated it.
  8. Reminders to Clubs re: Match Week / Game Day Procedures / Tie Breakers
    1. Dodge: Kat or Wendy, it’s been some time since the Clubs had to comply with these, and I’m sure there has been some coaching / admin turnover. Can you post that new season reminder?
    2. Young: Yes, we will do that!
  9. New Business
    1. None
  10. Adjournment of meeting (9:25 PM)