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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 2/7/22

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. Call moved up from 2/14 to avoid Valentine’s Day
  2. Roll Call
    1. Hanlon
    2. Dodge
    3. Kurylas
    4. Keuppens
    5. Kolberg
    6. Roche
    7. Martin
    8. Fosco
    9. Dale
      1. Regrets
        1. Young
        2. Leming
  3. Round of 16/8 Negotiations
    1. Dodge: I’ve had some further discussions with the Southern CR unions. They are still wanting to have a 2-match playoff weekend. I let them know that if they wanted to do that, we would want them to come to Texas this year.  They were concerned with ease and expense of travel, so probably Houston or Dallas because those cities have hub airports. Their representative took it back to their constituents to talk it over. For WD2 and MD2, Texas would get the #1 seed. There would only be a single match for MD3.  Issues we need to decide: (i) are we okay with a 2-match weekend if we are hosting? (We would expect to travel there next year); and (ii) do we want to play conciliation matches for MD2 and WD2 on Sunday.
    2. Kolberg: What locations are we talking about for next year?
    3. Dodge: Same sort of criteria – cheap, easy flights, major city. I would imagine Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte.
    4. Hanlon: Did they have an idea for this year, if we went there?
    5. Dodge: I pushed pretty hard to have it here, but I imagine the cities I named.
    6. Dodge: So they have a bit more people to work with on their side because there are 4 different unions in the Southern region. We’re consolidated in Texas, so it’s easier to gather our opinions. On the conciliation match issue, a lot of time those consolations don’t get played. So I imagine they would only get played if we all agreed with the South that it is required.
    7. Kolberg: The biggest benefit for consolation games is to allow players who didn’t play Saturday to play Sunday.
    8. Dodge: The South also said we could use it for seeding for the next year, but it’s kind of a loose proxy for how good the team that makes it to playoffs in the following year is relative to a team from a completely different competition.
    9. Dale: There’s no guarantee those clubs would make it in.
    10. Dodge: So thoughts? Primarily would like to hear from WD2 and MD2 reps.
    11. Fosco: Especially if people are traveling, and they don’t get to play on the Saturday, they often look at it like it’s a complete waste of a weekend if they travel and don’t get game time. 
    12. Dodge: Whatever we agree to this year (especially if we host) we are setting the precedent for next year.  This is a 2-year deal, then we’d reevaluate.
    13. Kolberg: What if you allow a team to bring a backup roster of 6 or 8 players that wanted to travel and only will play if there’s a consolation match?
    14. Roche: I actually like that idea, you have people that like to travel and can cheer the side on Saturday.
    15. Fosco: I like it too, you often have players who want to travel but don’t want to play on the championship seeking side.
    16. Hanlon: How would that work with multi-sided clubs?
    17. Dodge: Thinking from an example of our club (if MD2), we would probably bring a couple of D3 guys. It’s basically a glorified friendly if it’s a consolation match. What would you add to that roster for the “backup friendly roster”.  By that time of the season, downward movement of players is pretty restricted.  What do people think is the right number?
    18. Fosco: 4 or 6 maybe?
    19. Keuppens: Do we have to put a restriction on it?
    20. Fosco: There’s 28 on the championship roster, so I would think anything above and beyond that.
    21. Keuppens: What if we just say anyone who is registered with the club.
    22. Roche: I would think that you need to have been playing with that club, not just a random person who lives in the city of playoffs and just wants to get a run-in.
    23. Fosco: What about having only “playoff eligible” players?
    24. Keuppens: There is a playoff cutoff deadline that we could adhere to. So players who are registered before April 1 are eligible to play.
    25. Dodge: Yes let’s do that because everyone across the country is familiar with that deadline as the deadline to be registered with a club to be eligible for playoffs.
    26. Dodge: So I’m hearing WD2 wants the conciliation match to be required, what about the men’s d2?
    27. Hanlon: I mean this year if we are playing at home it doesn’t really matte,r but I imagine if you traveled and have to pay for hotel and flights, you definitely want that second match.
    28. Dodge:. So for the divisions with only one match, when should the matches be?
    29. Kolberg: If I’m playing one game on a weekend it should be on Saturday. It doesn’t make sense to have a final Sunday match and no Saturday.
    30. Dodge:  OK. That makes sense.   I’m thinking two fields, first match block 11-1 and second 1-3. Then 3-5 for the MD3 final on the Saturday. On Sunday, there would be 4 matches–2 finals and 2 conciliation matches.  We could also start earlier in the day on Sunday (e.g., 9:30 / 10am) to allow more time for teams from the East coast  to get flights that get home at a reasonable hour.
    31. Dodge: OK so I’m happy to report back that we are okay with two match day weekends for MD2 and WD2, with required consolations, but you are allowed to have extended rosters for the consolation matches if those players are registered by April 1st with your club.  MD3 championship match as the last match on the Saturday.
  4. Playoff Pathway Descriptions
    1. Dodge: I still have a few comments on the MD1, I’ll finish that up tonight. What’s left?
    2. Hanlon: Just the Men’s D2. We just needed to finalize the playoff structure whether it was one or two matches.
    3. Kurylas: I need to update MD3, just to clarify the one match.
    4. Dodge: Assuming we need to clarify 2 matches for WD2 also.  Anything else here? Nope.
  5. Compliance
    1. Dodge: We have a few clubs that are struggling a bit. 
    2. West Houston/DARC W
      1. Dodge: WH emailed. They were supposed to play SA last weekend, does anyone have additional insight?
      2. Roche: They’ve postponed and rescheduled a number of matches. They had a played forfeit in December or January? A lot of teams aren’t notifying me about played or unplayed forfeits and it makes things pretty complicated.
      3. Dodge: I believe teams should make a decision by February 15th if they can continue the season or not. Then it’s basically an automatic relegation. 
      4. Hanlon: There’s not much of a travel distance for WH in D2 or D3. I understand if teams are playing matches and losing by a lot but not even  playing.
      5. Dodge: Let’s reach out to WH and let them know we need a firm yes or no that they can make up all matches and play them or they are out and will reconvene and come back next season.
      6. Hanlon: Isn’t there a minimum threshold of unplayed forfeits before you are relegated and out.
      7. Dodge: Yes. I think the argument is you are immediately relegated but come in and make your case to see if you can really make it work.
      8. Dodge: So both WH and the DARC Dames will be contacted and notified that they must make a decision by Feb 15th to let us know if they can continue the season or accept the automatic relegation and removal from the season.
      9. Dodge: I don’t think there is anything preventing a team from playing friendlies.
      10. Fosco: So if, for example, the Dames commit to played forfeits for the rest of the season. Could we bring in players from other clubs (like the WD3) so we could get to 15 and could help provide competition to the playoff-seeking clubs?
      11. Dodge: I don’t have an issue with that, does anyone else.
      12. Kolberg: I have a question: if the clubs that get dropped out of playoffs, can their players transfer to another club and play new league matches?
      13. Keuppens: I do think there is some precedence there.
      14. Kurylas: If they haven’t played any cup matches, they probably can. But I don’t think we should be encouraging players to switch clubs, that could be the demise of their club. We want more teams playing more games.
      15. Dodge: I have to agree with John, I think the goal is to play more matches. But we do need to be clear about whether it’s a played forfeit or not for the TRU and the TRRA. I think we just need an answer from these clubs, so we can plan out the season.
      16. Dodge: The motion is to give the DARC Dames and WH Lions until Feb 15th to commit to either 1) playing their entire league season (including all makeup matches), or 2) playing as many of those matches as possible as friendlies with borrowed players if needed; or 3) simply withdraw for the season.  Any club that takes option 2 or 3 will be automatically relegated, but have the opportunity to appeal, and playing under option 2 will be viewed as a mitigating factor in such appeal. 
        1. Roche: Second
        2. Dodge:  Any Opposition? None.
        3. None.  APPROVED.
          1. Dodge: I will reach out to both clubs and keep everyone updated.
    3. OKC M/W
      1. Dodge: OKC have been approved to transfer their club to TRU. They just need to transfer their registrations and pay TRU dues, but their account was just activated today so I imagine they will be doing that soon. Men are playing in D4 and are looking for friendlies, so if your club is looking for more matches, reach out to them. They look pretty good with numbers, we saw them last week. The women are just getting off the ground but look to send some players down here for WD3 tournaments.
      2. Martin: As the ref, I thought it was a very competitive match. They look good.
      3. Keuppens: Our coach staff reported back they definitely are playing some skilled rugby.
  6. Forfeits
    1. 1/29 – Blacks III vs Quins III – Unplayed
    2. 2/5 – DARC W vs Dallas – Played
      1. Dodge: Depending on the status of the above conversation this might stand or be rescheduled. I haven’t looked at the forfeit policy in a while but I think first one is a fine, then relegation begins threatening.
      2. Dale: Yeah, we had a serious conversation with our club about not having enough to travel, etc. I probably contacted about six clubs to get enough players for a played forfeit and only got one guy.
  7. COVID Rescheduling Process
    1. Dodge: Kat we had a list of games that needed to be rescheduled, did they get rescheduled? 
    2. Roche: Yes! Then the ice storm hit so we now have a bunch of weather reschedules.
    3. Dodge: We just have to be sure that matches are being rescheduled due to COVID, are being looked at for Sunday matches. If they want to reschedule on a Saturday, they have to formally go through the TRRA.
    4. Hanlon: I know we built in a couple of free weekends, is it better to schedule those or Sundays?
    5. Dodge: Shawn, how are we looking?
    6. Martin: *sounds panicked* We have to reevaluate, we were looking pretty good until the winter storm, but now with Rugby Texas reschedules, it’s all very fluid. We just need all the changes to come through us. We were getting a ton of hearsay that games were postponed, but no reschedules coming through. We had a lot of teams working out reschedules on their own then coming to us informing us of the new date – instead of asking us if we can handle the matches on that date.
    7. Dodge: I think Wendy was working on a more streamlined form to remind clubs that reschedule dates are not guaranteed until approved by the TRRA.
  8. Competition Structure 2022/2023
    1. Hanlon: To me it seems clear that the structure we’ve put in place is not standing up to COVID, so maybe we can put out a question to see if anyone has ideas for new structures so we can plan ahead. Start the discussion sooner than July when we are under pressure to have it confirmed in 60 days. 
    2. Roche: I think there are some benefits to the structure. Take D2b for example; the clubs participating were able to change the D2b games to all friendlies because they were all in the same boat.
    3. Dodge: I’d like to give this structure a bit more time to see if it can work. It’s been the first year and it’s been the first big year outside of COVID, so things are bound to be tough. We also need to see how National Championship dates might change or continue to change.
  9. In-Season Transfers
    1. Dodge: So Sportlomo has zero filter on restricting transfers in-season. So a few players have initiated transfers AFTER playing a league match with the club they were with. A couple actually had in-town transfers which are outside of the waiver period. I know Wendy went through Sportlomo to try to find all the possible cases of players who might have played a league match with another club before transferring. She sent out emails to notify those clubs that they may have to fill out waivers to continue to play in league matches. Bottom line is – if you play a league match with a club THEN transfer to a new club, you need a waiver to play league matches with this new club. This has always been. Now the technology just lets you do it automatically but you STILL need a waiver.
    2. Hanlon: Have we had this affect anyone?
    3. Dodge: I think we caught them all in time.
    4. Dale: So you need to be sure to send it to the right email address, which is in the eligibility rules.
    5. Tracking on ‘In-Season Transfer’ tab in Compliance sheet
  10. Club Committee Chairs Nominations
    1. Dodge: This is at the senior club council level. This is for the chairs of the sub-committees under the executive committee of the senior club council. If you know anyone who is interested in serving on any of these committees, please let us know. We obviously want to get as many of our people on these committees as possible, because we don’t want to get shut out of national governance. I’m not sure Kirk is continuing as chair of the senior club council, which was a massive benefit to us.
    2. Hanlon: What’s the process like for that?
    3. Dodge: I think you turn in your resume and short personal statement. Then the executive committee vets them then the unions vote.
    4. Hanlon: If someone is interested do they have to be nominated by the union?
    5. Roche: I think the union has to nominate you.
    6. Keuppens: You can self nominate.
    7. Roche: I’m wrong again…
    8. Dodge: I think it depends on what committee you are on. If you are the chair of a subcommittee you will be working with people from other unions, need to be organized, have a set schedule, etc. We tend to be pretty good about it. If you are interested please let us know!
    9. Apply by Feb 26
  11. Championships
    1. Request for hosts – For TRU/Red River Championships, due by the end of this month.
      1. Kolberg: Are the host group/team eligible for remuneration for field rentals or anything like that?
      2. Roche: No, because the hosts are able to sell merch and concessions and get profits from that.
    2. USAR request for hosts – For Nationals for 2022 & 2022 (7s & XVs). #bringachampionshiptotheTRU 
  12. 7s Tournament Schedule
    1. Keuppens: I have the national dates, Natl Championship is August 13 and 14th at location TBD. There was some talk about having recurring host sites, but I will let you know more when I know more. I will start reaching out to some of the regular hosts of TOLA/RRRC 7’s and seeing what their schedule looks like. I haven’t heard about super qualifiers. Goal is to post regional 7’s dates by 4/4.
    2. Dodge: XV Nationals are about a week earlier, are we welcoming newcomers to hosting in late May?
    3. Keuppens: I think we are open to anything, especially for a bit of COVID flexibility. We have done a seeding tournament in year’s past, that sent the theme for the Lone Star Classic the following week. There is a bit of desire to have more just to encourage teams to not play if they have been exposed, instead of a limited tournament field. Does anyone know if Bloodfest has been published yet? Bloodfest is published as the 17th and 18th, so not sure if they are planning for two day for elite divisions.
    4. Roche: Probably high school.
    5. Keuppens: We don’t know if the eagles will get off our lawn and let Dallas host Lone Star as usual, so there’s a lot up in the air.
  13. New Business (Meeting adjourned 9:26pm)