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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 3/14/22

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. Roll Call
    1. Young
    2. Keuppens
    3. Dodge
    4. Roche
    5. Kurylas
    6. Kolberg
    7. Dale
    8. Martin
    9. Hughes
    10. Leming
    11. Hanlon
      1. Regrets
        1. Fosco
  2. Forfeits
    1. 12/11 W Houston vs Woodlands – W Houston played forfeit
    2. 1/29 Blacks III vs Quins III – Quins unplayed forfeit
      1. Young: TRU Board fined per the forfeit policy and it has already been paid by the Quins.
    3. 2/19 HARC W vs Quins W – Quins played forfeit
    4. 2/26 Huns v Little Rock – Little Rock unplayed forfeit
    5. 2/26 Little Rock W vs DARC – DARC played forfeit
    6. 3/5 HURT vs West Houston – unplayed forfeit, both sides had number issues
    7. 3/5 HURT II vs West Houston II – unplayed forfeit, both sides had number issues
      1. Young: Kat, can we confirm some of these, Little Rock is an unplayed forfeit?
      2. Roche: Correct.
      3. Young: What about the matches with West Houston?
      4. Dodge: This Committee decided that West Houston’s D3 matches were going to be friendlies at the same time that we decided that the other D3 matches for the D2 second sides would also be friendlies. What’s new is that West Houston let me know after the last Competitions call that they also cannot field a side for their D2 matches. They want to play some as friendlies, but for the most part, want to supplement other Houston D2 teams’ second sides to make those friendlies happen.
      5. Young: OK, so on 3/5 they weren’t able to play either match.
      6. Dodge: Correct. It does not appear that they will play their D3 friendlies, or D2 matches as league matches. As I understand it, all W. Houston matches (D2 & D3) have been removed from CMS.
      7. Roche: Correct. All W. Houston matches have been removed from CMS, and the D2 matches are all friendlies in WTR.
      8. Young: So long story short, we don’t need to refer the West Houston matches to the TRU for discipline as forfeits. We will refer the Huns vs Little Rock to the TRU to follow the policy.
      9. Roche: I’m 99% sure Little Rock timely followed the correct notifications.
      10. Dodge: That’s a TRU Board decision.
      11. Young: Cool, we’ll add it to the TRU agenda for their review.
  3. Compliance
    1. OKC M/W
      1. Young: I’ve been checking their rosters and there isn’t much movement happening. I see 3 men have transferred from MARFU and only 2 women have registered. I emailed Greg last week and didn’t hear back.
      2. Dodge: Ok, I will also reach out and let them know that the men need to be fully registered by the Wednesday before their next match. That would be March 23, 2022.
      3. Young: I believe there is one more WD3 event and if there women want to participate then they just need to be registered.
  4. Women’s Update
    1. WD1
      1. Young: Dodge, Roche, Marie Wilson and Wendy have been discussing concerns around this division. The Gray Wolves claim they were not aware of the home and away requirement of this cross-over league. They have had a lot of change in the last year alongside the pandemic including setting up an entirely new team with new administration since their split from Glendale. The Gray Wolves have been able to schedule all their required matches except for the return match against Dallas. 
      2. Dodge: Looking at the schedule the only open weekend would be if the Gray Wolves played a double header in Houston on 4/23. They are already scheduled to play Houston on 4/24.
      3. Dale: I will get with the Lady Quins and see if we can get that done. We’d like to focus on our D1 matches so we won’t be fulfilling our D2 friendlies.
      4. Young: I need to let the Gray Wolves know if this match is going to happen pretty quickly as they need to make changes to their flights and hotels. 
      5. Dale: Ok, I’ll let you know tomorrow.
      6. Young: Thank you.
    2. WD2
      1. Dodge: The South is looking very strong and really competitive. The North is not looking as great. We only had three, the Dames were struggling to field a side, and eventually elected to drop out of the competition. The playoff structure that was previously adopted by this committee has the North #1 and North #2 as well as South #1 and South #2 moving on. With the Dames dropping out, it might mean that DRFC Women could advance without winning a match, although they have a match remaining at Little Rock.  In any event, sticking with the current playoff structure might mean that the most competitive teams in WD2 don’t advance to playoffs. 
      2. Young: Don’t we do some sort of weighted points where there are different number of matches? Isn’t MD3 structured like that?
      3. Dodge: Yes, we do have some divisions that have a different number of matches that use an average weighted standings points calculation to determine seeing. 
      4. Kurylas: It is for MD3 and it’s a bit confusing so I’ve made a spreadsheet that helps determine it. But basically seeding will be determined by weighted average competitions points (i.e. Total Competition Points Earned divided by Total Competition Points Available). The top two teams from each Division advances.
      5. Dodge: For WD2, I tried to see if we could add some cross-over matches but it means that most teams in the South would be playing back-to-back on 4-5 weekends. That did not seem feasible.  I’ve put a lot of thought into this because it affects my club but I think the weighted option is the fairest. Or we can leave this as-is.
      6. Young: I agree. We are potentially making a change in the middle of the competition and we don’t want to do that if we can avoid it.
      7. Keuppens: Right, we are making a change because it has affected the other teams.
      8. Roche: I agree with that. The competition changed with the departure of the Dames.
      9. Young: I motion that we change the WD2 playoff advancement to follow the MD3 weighted average competitions points. We do have a bullet below to clarify the MD3 language below and we would follow that.
        1. Roche: I second.
        2. Dodge: I would ask that we amend to allow for a North team to be included regardless of the weighted average competition points. 
        3. Young: How do we figure that match with that? Do they just get North #1?
        4. Keuppens: Usually we put division winners as top spots and the rest are wildcards. 
        5. Roche: Yes, that is how the MD3 works.
        6. Leming: Makes sense.
        7. Dodge: So the two division winners are in as the #1 and #2 seeds, #3 and #4 are found by the average weighted competition points.
        8. Keuppens: The #1 seed is who has the highest winning percentage and the other gets the #2. 
        9. Leming: We’re using percentage points because?
        10. Dodge: Because all the teams haven’t played each other.
        11. Young: AMENDED MOTION: Northern and Southern WD2 Division Winners advance. Seeding between those two teams is based on weighted average competition points (i.e. Standings Points Earned divided by Total Possible Standings Points). Then the 2nd and 3rd place teams are determined by weighted average standings points among the remaining 4 teams. 1 plays 4, 3 plays 2. Winners play each other.
        12. Dodge: Any objections? None. APPROVED
  5. Playoffs
    1. Pathway Descriptions
      1. Dodge: I’ve been reviewing the pathway descriptions on the website and we have some errors. I’m marking up a red line and will send it to the committee to review. We want to make sure these are all correct so teams know how they qualify for playoffs and the correct dates.
        1. WD2 – update to match MD3 with the above amendment
        2. MD2
          1. Young: This was never updated and is showing 2019 information.
          2. Dodge: OK, we’ll get it corrected.
        3. MD3
          1. Dodge: We have it as a wildcard but it’s really a quarterfinal. 
          2. Kurylas: That’s right, we shouldn’t use the wildcard language because it’s confusing.
          3. Dodge: The overriding issue with MD3 is whether we want to have teams playing a third match against other teams in their own subdivision.  Do we do what we just approved for WD2? Do we take the top four divisional winners and seed them separately from the second place teams?
          4. Kurylas: The way we did it before when we had three divisions with four teams advanced. The max points average would seed out the teams. Right now the Blacks, Shreveport have all of their max points. But since some of the teams haven’t played each other it makes it tough to project results. Also, most of the tiebreakers are head-to-head, which wouldn’t apply if teams don’t play each other.
          5. Roche: It goes to the average point differential. I had to know this for the 2020 Playoff Preview.
          6. Kurylas: Ok, so it will go all the way down to the point differential. So we know some of the seeds but there are still a few matches that need to shake out. We had some teams drop out and that has made this a bit more complicated but we still want it to be fair.
          7. Hughes: There are two options to prevent a third match between the same two teams in the quarterfinals. First, If we keep our current situation with the seedings we could make it so the #1 plays the #8 but if they are from the same division they would play #7 instead. So they would play the next lowest seed instead of a third match.
          8. Kurylas: Looking at it right now it does look like a few teams may line up to where they would be playing each other for a third time in the quarterfinals. 
          9. Hughes: The second option would be that we would predetermine that the North plays South and D1b vs Central. It would still be #1 vs #4 and #2 vs #3 but we then know where the teams come from. The problem is that no one wants to play the D1b winner because it’s more than likely the Blacks. If we did this we could rotate it every year so it wasn’t always the same team.
          10. Dodge: I like the first option better…if we’re going to try and prevent teams from playing a third match against the same opponent. That result allows matchups to be decided on the field, rather than by edict of this committee. 
          11. Hughes: I think most teams would rather swap teams as said in option 1.
          12. Keuppens: If I’m not mistaken we’ve done this in the past so there is precedent. If memory serves me right. In the MD2 competition from about 4 years ago.
            1. Young: That’s correct, I refereed the match. It was a slobberknocker.
          13. Hanlon: What if we did a random draw? It negates any fixing of seeds to try and avoid certain teams.
          14. Dodge: I think we’d get quite a bit more pushback on that idea. If these were all things that we discussed at the beginning of the season before a whole subdivision collapsed I think that idea would have some traction. I think if we’re going to make a change at this point, it needs to be the least radical one we can make to serve the objective of not having teams play a 3d match against each other. It’s also not clear that a random draw would accomplish that goal.
          15. Keuppens: To that point we can lean on precedent here. We’ve usually chosen to follow that path rather than something radical that’s never been done before.
          16. Dodge: I’m not very concerned about teams tanking games to monkey with the seeding…they will have to face the top seed eventually.
          17. Kurylas: What happens when we get to the RRRC playoffs?
          18. Hughes: I think we only apply it to the first round.
          19. Dodge: That’s a good question, how do we seed the second round?
          20. Hughes: I think we only determine the first round, after that it should be straight seeding. So they can play within their own division after the first round.
          21. Hughes: I motion that we keep the MD3 playoff structure as it stands but with an addendum that teams advancing from the same sub-division will not face each other in the quarterfinal round of playoffs. Instead the subdivision winner will play the next lowest seeded team from a different subdivision. This addendum only applies to the MD3 quarterfinal round of playoffs.
            1. Kolberg: Second.
            2. Dodge: Any objections? None. APPROVED.
        4. TRU MD4 / WD3
          1. Dodge: For MD4 I would recommend that we don’t hold a Championships since it is only three teams.
          2. Young: So we’ve done this for the women before, their competition is what it is but we’ve always had a Championship match. Maybe these divisions are widely different but who doesn’t want to play in a Championship match? It doesn’t really cost us any money since we’re already there for RRRC.
          3. Keuppens: I agree with you on the women’s side but on the men’s side I think it defeats the spirit of what D4 is supposed to be about.
          4. Hughes: I totally see it for WD3 and we want a Championship event but for MD4 I don’t see the point.
          5. Roche: I agree with Fil, I think the goal for MD4 is to allow them to play. But if you want to win a championship we encourage you to play in D3. 
          6. Kolberg: D4 doesn’t have set rosters and we allow At Large players to participate. So it shouldn’t lead to a Championship.
          7. Roche: I think we can have an exhibition match though. The teams can have a match streamed.
          8. Dodge: Let’s back up. Clarification on a few things, all the D4 matches are in CMS and we do allow guest players but only up to 3. I think we’ve had at least two Championship matches before for D4. However, for this year I don’t think it makes sense because the division only has three teams. I’m not opposed to the concept of a D4 championship, I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense this season. 
          9. Keuppens: I agree, just for this year.
          10. Young: Ok, we’ll need to discuss this further on the TRU call as it technically falls under them.
    2. Red River / TRU Championships
      1. Austin Blacks hosting
        1. Young: We only received two bids from Dallas and the Blacks. The deciding factor was that the Reds have an Eagles nest at Lake Highlands and couldn’t guarantee that they would be hatched by the event. 
      2. Schedule
        1. Young: I put together a draft schedule based on where we are right now. Considerations that I am thinking about are divisions playing at different times and sharing Field 1 and 2 between all divisions and genders.
        2. Dodge: Ok, we will also want to try and make it so teams that travel the farthest distances don’t have early kickoffs if we can avoid it. When do we think we will know all the seeds?
        3. Kurylas: I’ve got my spreadsheet and am keeping track. I think we’ll know most in two weeks but a few may take longer. I’ll keep the committee updated.
      3. Staffing
        1. Match Commissioner
          1. Dodge: I’m Best Man in a wedding that weekend so I won’t be available. This means that we will need a Match Commissioner. Is anyone interested?
          2. Keuppens: If there is no one else and there isn’t a perceived bias I could do it.
          3. Young: We can also ask Kirk…
          4. Hughes: I’m also available to do the role or help out.
          5. Hanlon: I can do it as well.
          6. Keuppens: Dodge, what if you make a list and then we can see who has the least conflicts on the weekend?
          7. Dodge: We probably should have started this inquiry by asking who is available to be there. Who can be present?
            1. Young
            2. Hanlon
            3. Keuppens
            4. Hughes
            5. Leming
            6. Tate – Wendy confirmed via text he will be there
          8. Dodge: Ok, let’s see how competition shakes out over the next couple of weeks and I’ll name someone as Commish.
          9. Check-ins/#4s
            1. Young: If you can be there then we will put you to work! Assignments for things like Check-ins and #4s will be assigned closer to the date.
    3. USAR request for hosts
      1. Young: USAR has received very few bids. So the deadline has been extended to Mar 26.
  6. Round of 16/8 – May 7-8, 2022
    1. Dodge: I’m still working on a location but it’s looking more and more that Round of 16 and 8 will be in Houston. 
    2. Young: Bean, You hearing this? 
    3. Martin: Yes, we will start looking at referees!
    4. Young: I believe you were still negotiating consolation matches and such?
    5. Dodge: They accepted our proposal of consolation matches but with extended rosters. 
    6. Young: Did we want consolation matches? I can’t remember.
    7. Dodge: True South objected to dropping them and we countered with extended rosters so more people would have an opportunity to play / those matches would be more likely to get played. The agreement is for two years but they will host us next year.
    8. Young: Ok, I will let our streaming vendor know the weekend and potential locations. Will True South do the same (streaming) when we go there in 2023?
    9. Dodge: We haven’t quite gotten to that point yet but would encourage that their tournament is in kind to ours. 
  7. Eligibility Rule Reminders
    1. Dodge: We need to put these reminders out.
    2. Young: Yes, on my list and should go out tomorrow.
    3. Dodge: Wendy, can you please include the eligibility book requirements?
    4. Young: Yes.
  8. Competition Management Test
    1. Dodge: USA Rugby is testing competition management systems and they asked us to try out an alternative competition management system. My understanding is that other parts of the country are being asked to try out other solutions. Right now we are only testing it with MD1 and initial feedback is that there are a few bugs but their support team is very responsive. It’s also very user friendly.
    2. Keuppens: The live match score updates is a very marketable feature. We tested it for our 3/12 game against the Quins, you can view the result here.
    3. Dale: Our guys that have registered have said it was way way easier, more intuitive and the interface on mobile is fantastic. Much easier to score at the games, and the live scoring is fantastic.
    4. Young: From the administrative side, a few quirks because it’s from Australia. We’ve identified a few bugs that are unique to the USA and they’ve been very quick to diagnose and resolve. This is very easy to use, it’s intuitive and I love that it’s made for rugby.
    5. Dodge: I think it’s superior to what we have right now but we’ll continue to evaluate it through the rest of the season. I’m excited that USAR is evaluating other options.
  9. USA Rugby Talent ID Camps – April 3 in Round Rock, TX for men and women between 16 and 25 years of age
    1. Young: I finally got information! It is being held at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, 2001 North Kenney Fort Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78665. The women’s session will be in the morning (~ 9-11), the men’s session will be held after the women’s (~11:30-1:30).
    2. Kolberg: Is there a cost?
    3. Young: No cost. It does require pre-registration: Athletes between 16 and 25 are encouraged to review the performance criteria here and sign up for a camp in their area at least 5 days before each event date. 
  10. New Business
    1. 7s
      1. Schedule
        1. Keuppens: I’m trying to get the 7s schedule going and only Bloodfest on 6/18 and Hell or High Water on 7/9 have definitive dates. I think most clubs are still just trying to get going but would love to start getting this going. I do have notes out to all historical hosts and would love to have a draft schedule by next call. We’ll continue to follow tradition and RRRC/TOLA Championships will be in Shreveport the first weekend of August.
        2. Young: Interested clubs can fill out the form here.
        3. Dodge: Are we only looking at having 3 RRRC Qualifiers in our region?
        4. Keuppens: I think so. There are elections being held for a 7s competition chair so things are in a bit of transition right now. But generally I think 3 is the best number. We will also continue with the TOLA/RRRC hybrid to continue encouraging as much participation we can get.
        5. Dodge: Are we still requiring that clubs have to participate in all 3 qualifiers?
        6. Keuppens: It has been 2 for the last few years. We could accept waivers.
        7. Dodge: Can we make it 3? I think we need this to make sure that our teams are prepared for the next stage.
        8. Keuppens: Yes, we could discuss that. I don’t know if that achieves our objective of higher level competition…
        9. Dodge: That was my only concern. We could say that you can skip a RRRC qualifier but you must attend another National Qualifying event.
        10. Young: We did that for ARTPC, the last few years they went to other National Qualifying events.
          1. Keuppens: RIP ARPTC, if you haven’t heard they have closed shop. We’d like to formally thank Julie McCoy and her staff at ARTPC as they were a vital part of our women’s competition. This does open up the door for our other women’s teams now though.
          2. Young: Hear hear.
        11. Keuppens: I’d like to welcome feedback on this topic of 2 vs 3 from our members. We have time to make a decision and we want to make the right one.
      2. Tournament Host Proposal
        1. Keuppens: We’ve asked for more administrative help around 7s and in particular the TOLA tournament. We’ve had folks try it out but not follow through. My proposal for this year is that hosts are required to choose a member from their club that joins the committee for the season.
        2. Dodge: I like this.
        3. Young: As a former member of this committee, it is a fantastic opportunity to get involved at a relatively easy entry point. It’s a committee so you have lots of friends and Fil is a great leader. I love this idea.
  11. Meeting Adjournment (10:20 PM)