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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 11/15/21

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. Kurylas
    3. Roche
    4. Martin
    5. Tate
    6. Wilson
    7. Tomsak
    8. Hughes (guest)
    9. Hiller
      1. Regrets
        1. Dodge
  2. COVID RTP
    1. Restrictions
      1. Young: I’m still getting asked what COVID restrictions are in place. A reminder that we’re back in Stage 5 for all regions which means that there are no COVID protocols. Essentially this means we’re participating in pre-COVID rugby with the only caveat is if a positive case happens, then we recommend clubs follow CDC guidelines.
      2. Tate: I checked all the numbers this morning and they are still trending in a good direction. All of our areas are seeing declining new cases, so we seem to be in a better spot than when we declared ourselves fully open. There’s no reason for us to make any changes to our COVID policies right now. We are open for business and we are playing rugby! Let’s keep it that way.
      3. Young: Nationally, we are planning to move forward like the entire season will be unaffected. There are basic contingency plans in place but we are hopeful and confident we can move forward.
      4. Tate: I know some areas have finished their seasons (Rocky mountain and others) so they are already ready to enter into the spring and participate in playoffs.
  3. Grant Request
    1. Austin Valkyries All Stars
      1. Tate: We have one grant request.
      2. Young: For our All-Star tournament, we had six teams confirmed, then got Chicago Lions which brought us to 7. We had contacted everyone, including top college teams, but were coming up empty. We really needed to get to 8 teams to make a clean bracket so each team gets two full-length matches. We approached Austin first as they had the fewest number of players trying out for the All-Stars. They were very sympathetic to our cause, and were able to participate; but they were not expecting this additional expense of hotels for this season. They asked for $700 to cover the cost of hotel rooms on Saturday night only. With the Austin Valkyries participating, the tournament is complete.
      3. Tomsak: Isn’t there an All-Star budget? Is there any money leftover from that budget?
      4. Young: We are about to hit that 10K for that budget, including all the streaming and trophies.
      5. Tomsak: Is that the budget for ALL All-Stars in the union or just the women? What if the men wanted to do something?
      6. Tate: The men haven’t put together an All-Star team in years and if they were to create their own event or find an opportunity we could always look to expand that budget.
      7. Tomsak: I’m okay with it, because I think we need this team to round out the tournament.
      8. Tate: Any objections?
        1. None.
        2. Grant of $700 to the Austin Valkyries is APPROVED.
      9. Tate: Dodge and I have been discussing reviving the men’s All-Star program for next year. We’ve had some chats with the local MLR sides to see if we could possibly pair a TRU All-Star side with the MLR academies for a few fall matches. So there are conversations surrounding a TRU All-Star. This side would primarily draw from Men’s D2-D4 sides, as many of the Men’s D1 club players are currently participating on the MLR academy sides. They do also have new academy coaches inbound that were not part of these discussions, so it will all have to be re-addressed. We are putting some more details around it so we can put together a proposal for the board to vote on. Drew, John, Zach, if you have any input or feedback, Dodge and I would love to hear it and work together to see what would work for everyone. With Texas having three MLR teams, most of the D1 all-star players have been vacuumed up into those pathway teams.
  4. XVs Schedule
    1. D3 Central
      1. Tate: Dodge sent an email earlier today summarizing some of the work he and the competitions committee have done to deal with curveballs in the D3 men’s schedule. Due to covid, many clubs were short on players and in danger of pulling out entirely. Primarily central-area clubs. San Marcos is out, players are being steered towards either SA or Austin. Countdown and Alamo City are willing to combine but wish to have the players register (transfer CIPP) to a new third-party club just for this season so they can resume their respective clubs once they gain more players for the 2022-23 season. The Clubs that remain are Other Rugby Club, Fort Hood, and McAllen. I spoke with Jonathan Atekinson from USA Rugby and this is possible. So, are we comfortable as a board moving forward with this for the 2021-22 season?
      2. Hughes: Yes I spoke with these three teams the other night and they will be responsible for making changes (practices/game fields) to make it work. They were aware of the challenges presented to them and they are willing to join forces for the sake of the competition this season. They seem excited about the possibilities of creating this team and mixing talent and skill-sets. There was some talk about also trying to schedule some cross-over matches with D3 south after Kingwood dropped out. 
      3. Tate: I am in favor of making some sort of crossover competition mandatory so we can be sure to have these matches on the schedule. Corpus and McAllen will have a difficult time hosting friendlies at home if it’s not mandatory, due to their location. 
      4. Hughes: I think the D3 South clubs would appreciate it too. I think 10 cup matches is ideal.
      5. Roche: **missed something about membership upgrades**
      6. Tate: Dodge asked us to put this on the agenda, so I believe that acts as a motion to approve the merger of Countdown and Alamo City for this season, and bypass the new club registration process.
        1. Kurylas: Second.
        2. Any objections? NONE. APPROVED.
      7. Tate: The second part of this is a conversation about dues. Countdown was alarmed that they started in June (bloodfest) and paid a full season’s dues for two months of play. They were unaware that the yearly membership runs from August-August and were wondering if there was a way to get a credit towards this years’ dues since they did not participate in the full year.I would argue that since we only charged $25 instead of $50, they did not pay a full years’ dues anyway.
      8. Hughes: Yeah it was about 9 players that registered in 2020-21.
      9. Tate: Before we vote on that, there is another dues request from Corpus Christi, who are dual-registering collegiate players to meet their minimum number of players required. Even though there is only a $3 increase in the USAR portion of dues, there are still collegiate conference dues they have already paid and TRU dues they will need to pay. Both requests are to assist struggling clubs coming out of COVID. There are multiple logistical ways to achieve this, through registration discount codes or grants.
      10. Kurylas: As far as the collegiate players go, I am comfortable with that, but I am uncomfortable that we are setting a dangerous precedent for all players who only CIPP for the 7’s season.
      11. Roche: I agree with John, Corpus has been around for a while, they have a solution for adding more players, and need assistance for players that are already being charged by another conference. I think Countdown is a new club that started in the middle of COVID and should have been prepared for what it takes, especially since they started in the middle of a pandemic.
      12. Tate: For Corpus and their collegiate request, how would you all prefer to do this? A sum grant or discount codes.
      13. Tomsak: I support Corpus and their collegiate players.
      14. Tate: The $50 charge from the TRU, do we want to waive part or all of that fee for the college players? We need these schedules to happen, and otherwise these teams could fold and withdraw from the competition. To John’s point on a precedent, we could have clubs come back and ask “what about us?” for those who pull college players as well. I don’t think it’s something the large clubs need help with. If it turns out to be a big success we can look into expanding it next year.
      15. Kurylas: Yes we could look into a type of dues discount to encourage players to transition from college to club.
      16. Tomsak: Would it be possible for Kat to do what she did with players/coaches who overpaid last year on a discount code process?
      17. Tate: Yes Kat can definitely do that!
      18. Roche: Yep!
      19. Tate: There seems like there’s enough sympathy to the Corpus situation to propose a motion.
      20. Tomsak: I’d like to motion a 50% discount to college players transferring to Corpus Christi this season.
      21. Kurylas: So it would be 43$ total still to register? Is there a way to make it a bit lower, especially for college kids. Maybe round it to 30$ total.
      22. Tate: So the 15$ for club council and $15 to the TRU?
      23. Amended motion from Kurylas: Give Texas A&M Corpus Christi college players (already registered with A&M CC) who dual-register with the Corpus Christi crabs 12$ TRU dues for this season to assist Corpus Christi to field a side this season.
        1. Tomsak: Second.
        2. Any opposed? NONE. APPROVED.
      24. Tate: Kat let’s get together to figure out how to get the roster and make this easily possible for those players.
      25. Roche: *quietly typing*
      26. Tate: Travis, anything else from D3 or the competitions committee?
      27. Hughes: Nope! I will relay information from tonight to Alamo City, Countdown City and San Marcos regarding the upcoming season as well as some of the information regarding dues.
    2. WTR
      1. Young: Kat entered all the games!
    3. CMS
      1. Young: Kat entered all the games! 
      2. Roche: I will go in and make the changes voted on in this meeting. Wendy and I will also have to push CMS over the weekend, because it is so long since we have utilized it (Thanks COVID!).
    4. Compliance
      1. Young: These are the non-compliant teams as of tonight:
      2. Tate: Pretty good for this time of year, matches begin for most regions next week.
      3. Young: Little Rock has a few players CIPPed across Mid-America and Texas so we just need to work with the club and USAR membership to combine. I’ve already got an email chain started about resolving it.
      4. Roche: And some of these clubs have games this weekend? 
      5. Young: Yes we are definitely going to have to get some clubs compliant if they wish to play this weekend.
      6. Tate: Let’s start with clubs that have games this week and 12/4 weekend. We need to reach out to them tonight/tomorrow to make sure we reschedule before Wednesday so it doesn’t overly affect the referee schedule. With reschedules, we can’t just push them to the busiest weekends of the year (unless they want to do a Sunday). (Shawn’s Heatmap)
      7. Kurylas: Some of those clubs don’t start until January, so they have plenty of time to move in the right direction.
  5. Summit Recap
    1. Young: It was a considerably smaller event this year with 35 attendees but they were all able to get certified as a coach, S&C, referee or CMO. The instructors were very complimentary of our event and most of them have attended before, they look forward to coming back each year!
    2. Tate: What are our costs and income looking for this?
    3. Young: Our total expense for the Summit was $5k and our income from registrations was $1,235. So the grand total was ~$3,965.
  6. HOF Recap
    1. Tate: I thought it was a fantastic weekend. We faced a lot of hurdles, we had two years of HOF classes to induct, it was an odd weekend that we don’t typically host on. Traci Young (and Wendy) but mostly Traci did a TON of work and I am so grateful to her. 
    2. Young: It was a fantastic event. Traci stepped up to let me enjoy my induction, which was really nice. We had over 200 guests at the HOF dinner, which is the largest to date. 
    3. Tate: Excellent. Do you have numbers for us?
    4. Young: Yes, and remember that this was for two years as we inducted two classes. The banquet total was $22,282, we sold the most tickets and tables ever and some exclusive HOF gear for a total of $14,996. So the grand total was $7,285. Not bad for two classes.
  7. Swag
    1. Young: For the first time ever we purchased swag to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Union and to have some items to include in a Welcome bag for the Summit. The cost for that was $5k and so far we have brought in $2,015. We will continue to have the swag available on the website and at various events throughout the year so we will keep making income on this.
      1. Kurylas: Will you be bringing the inventory to TRU All Stars? I want a ball!
      2. Young: Yes, we will have it all with us.
  8. All Stars
    1. Young: As we talked about above, we have 8 teams attending and we can’t wait!
  9. New Business
    1. None.
  10. Meeting Adjournment (9:30 PM)
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