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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 4/11/22

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. Fosco
    3. Roche
    4. Kurylas
    5. Dale
    6. Hanlon
    7. Martin
    8. Leming
    9. Hughes
    10. Dodge
    11. Kolberg
      1. Regrets
        1. Keuppens
  2. Forfeits
    1. 12/11 W Houston vs Woodlands – W Houston played forfeit
    2. 1/29 Blacks III vs Quins III – Quins unplayed forfeit
    3. 2/5 Dallas Rugby vs DARC WD2 – DARC played forfeit
    4. 2/19 HARC W vs Quins W – Quins played forfeit
    5. 2/26
      1. Huns v Little Rock – Little Rock unplayed forfeit
      2. Little Rock W vs DARC – DARC played forfeit
    6. 3/19 BARC vs Corpus Christi – Corpus played forfeit
    7. 3/26 
      1. San Antonio W vs BARC – BARC unplayed forfeit
      2. Austin Huns vs Grand Prairie D3 unplayed forfeit
      3. Little Rock vs DARC WD2 – DARC played forfeit
    8. 4/2-3 Austin Valks W vs BARC – BARC unplayed forfeit
      1. Austin Blacks vs Little Rock – LR unplayed forfeit
      2. Austin Huns D3 vs Dallas Harlequins – Huns unplayed forfeit
      3. Austin Blacks vs Austin Huns – Huns unplayed forfeit
    9. 4/9 
      1. Austin Blacks vs Alamo City – Alamo City unplayed forfeit
      2. DRFC Women vs. Little Rock – Dallas unplayed forfeit
    10. 4/16 Round Rock vs BARC – BARC unplayed forfeit
      1. Young: Generally forfeits are handled by the TRU unless we need to review for competitive sanctions. In this case we do have one for review by the committee. Kat can you recap so I can type?
      2. Roche: Yes, we established the D3 QFs early in the week and at 11am on Friday Alamo City alerted RRRC via email that they didn’t have enough players to play their QF match. We immediately scrambled to alert the next two teams per seeding. That didn’t pan out because they had barely 12 hours notice. They also didn’t notify the Blacks or the referee at all.
      3. Young: Yes, I alerted the Blacks and referees at around 4pm on Friday because I was nervous that they hadn’t been notified by Alamo City. They confirmed that it was the first they had heard and had already purchased food, etc for the event. I can’t recall that we’ve had a forfeit at playoffs before so I don’t think we have precedent for this. But this is a very bad look and we should consider competitive sanctions to try and avoid this in the future.
      4. Hughes; I agree completely, a playoff match has a lot more going around it. It should have a penalty if forfeited. Another team could have filled in if there had been adequate notice. The Blacks had even sent out the required email on Wed confirming the team and the referees. There wasn’t a whisper about any issues from Alamo City. This is disrespectful to the other teams in the division, to the RRRC and the TRU.
      5. Kolberg: How many players have they been having this season?
      6. Young: Remember they were a comboish team this year with Alamo and Countdown City Elite. They seemed to run pretty light all year.
      7. Hughes: Agree, they came short to McAllen and I had heard they were short all year. I know there is a fine in the policy but I think we should look at further sanction.
      8. Hanlon: Can we bar them from next year’s playoffs?
      9. Young: I don’t disagree with you but since this is a combined team of Alamo City and Countdown. Who would we bar? Both?
      10. Kolberg: Don’t they lose their home game?
      11. Leming; They are in different divisions.
      12. Young: I think that used to be tradition but is not in our current policy. 
      13. Kolberg: Oh, I thought we still did that.
      14. Leming: We took that out because teams aren’t always playing in the same divisions each year.
      15. Hughes: Alamo City has been a club for a long time and shouldn’t be allowed to slide. I think they should be on probation and have to jump through some hurdles going forward to get back into the Union’s good graces.
      16. Leming: I’m with you, the forfeit is bad form as well as bad manners.
      17. Hughes: I don’t try to take these things personally but McAllen travels farther than anyone in this league and we didn’t win one game this year. We played four weekends in a row and finished the season with 15 players. I’m 54 and even suited in some matches. If AC can’t get 15 players together for a match in Austin I have a big problem with that. 
      18. Roche: *Kat applauding Travis on playing the full 80 in the past few matches*
      19. Kolberg: There’s no excuse for this. If I was Austin I would be very angry. 
      20. Dale: I’d like to hear from Alamo City as to the reasons they didn’t make the playoff match.
      21. Hughes: I’d like to hear from them as well but I believe it would be mostly excuses. They are facing the two-time D3 Champions and knew they were going to get beat.
      22. Kurylas: What about taking away competition points for next season? Typically a forfeit is one point but we could take two points overall. We could also talk if they had another forfeit that they are not eligible for playoffs.
      23. Hughes: I think we can talk about eliminating them from playoffs for next season, we can make that decision now.
      24. Hanlon: Of all the things we’re talking about, what are we trying to achieve, are we looking for a behavior change or helping the competition? If we ignore the other 20 odd forfeits but then punish this team, how is that going to look?
      25. Fosco: In all fairness it seems they knew well ahead of time they weren’t going to play that match. The Dames struggled all season but we were up front with our opponents and we tried to make any and all matches happen. It’s unacceptable to notify the RRRC so late and they never notified their opponent. They should be on probation at the very least.
      26. Hughes: I agree, they should be on probation and complete a perfect season before they can be eligible for playoffs again.
      27. Roche: In general we are too lenient on clubs and we make exceptions all the time. Maybe we need to be stricter up front to stop this from happening. We need to give credit to the clubs that do what is required.
      28. Hughes: I do think we came out very soft because of COVID and now we’re seeing some of the repercussions with all these forfeits. But forfeiting playoffs is a different beast.
      29. Kolberg: I motion that the TRU apply the maximum fine and ensure that the Blacks receive restitution. Alamo City is hereby placed on probation and must play all matches next season without any forfeits. If they don’t meet that requirement they aren’t eligible for playoffs and will be relegated. 
        1. Leming: I would propose we consider as a general policy that if a club has a forfeit in the playoffs it means you are not in good standing and have to apply as a new club. Then you are automatically on probation for a year.
        2. Dodge: We need to really review all of this from the last few years. How many games are being rescheduled, forfeited, what is happening when we promote vs relegate?  We have a larger responsibility as a Union to ensure we have an equitable path to playoffs.
        3. Roche: Yes, I completely agree.
        4. Hughes: I still think we should think about taking away an additional competition point for doing this at the playoff level.
        5. Roche: I think we should look at carrying forfeit points over to the next season. We are hearing more and more that teams are folding/forfeiting because they are out of playoffs. We have other clubs that are completing their season no matter what. 
        6. Young: I’m not opposed to any of this but it complicates the procedural side. Our current CMS can’t do additional points and all that, so then we’re manually tracking things.
        7. Hughes: I think teams are looking at the fines and thinking well we’d rather pay that than fulfill the match. So we have to have a competitive sanction.
        8. Young: We’ve spent 45 mins on this and while it’s a good discussion we need to make a decision. I motion that we place Alamo City on probation and that means they aren’t eligible for the 2022-23 Playoffs. If they complete the entire 2022-23 season with no played or unplayed forfeits then they are in good standing and are eligible for playoffs in 2024. I also recommend that the TRU review and apply the forfeit policy as written and consider giving the Blacks reasonable restitution for expenses.
          1. Kurylas: I second.
          2. Hughes: I second as well.
            1. Roll call vote
              1. Young – yes
              2. Fosco – yes
              3. Roche – yes
              4. Kurylas – yes
              5. Dale – yes
              6. Hanlon – yes
              7. Martin – yes
              8. Leming – yes
              9. Hughes – yes
              10. Kolberg – yes
                1. All yes, APPROVED
        9. Leming: What if all the players just jump from Alamo over to Countdown?
        10. Fosco: We could make Countdown re-apply or relegate them to MD4 since they didn’t play under their own banner this season and they didn’t help fulfill this playoff match.
        11. Dodge: Travis, please remind us what the thought process was when they merged.
        12. Hughes: They talked about combining for a season but then splitting afterwards so they could grow their own clubs. There was a small merge that occurred but only a few Countdown players actually played for Alamo City.
        13. Leming: I can reach out to their President to see if they have plans for 7s but I have serious doubts about them being able to participate in XVs.
          1. Leming: Update towards the end of the call, they do plan on playing 7s this summer.
          2. Dodge: Ok, we will talk more about Countdown during our promotion and relegation call.
        14. Dodge: We probably need to discuss what the above mentioned stress test includes but if a club doesn’t do 7s then we could request that they re-apply.
        15. Kurylas: Plus they have to register, that is a big indicator to starting a club.
        16. Hughes: If we approve a club and it doesn’t materialize, then our scrutiny should be higher the next time around.
        17. Young: I think we scrutinize new clubs pretty heavily, a good example is OKC Crusaders and Little Rock. They have jumped back and forth between Unions in the past and we now have agreements in place to stop that. They had to make a commitment to us. BUT we do let existing clubs get a pass sometimes. So we need to accurately apply our policies to everyone.
        18. Dodge: This is a topic for our next call when we talk about promotion/relegation and league structures but we need to be really careful about allowing clubs to splinter or add multiple sides. We’ve let this happen with little oversight over the last few years and we need to ensure that it will work or we will continue to see problems similar to this.
  3. Waiver of RRRC Eligibility Rule 3.5 (Order of Lower / Upper Division Matches) for MD3 Grand Prairie vs Huns
    1. Dodge: We had an email vote on this but it turned out to be a moot point as Huns D3 forfeited the match.
  4. WD1
    1. Young: We have an outstanding match that needs to be played between Gray Wolves and the Harlequins. The match should be played in Texas but hasn’t been scheduled yet. Gray Wolves have appealed to the USAR Club Competitions Committee on the grounds of player welfare and lack of communication from their Union (RMR) on the divisional requirement of home and away matches. We should be hearing from the appeals panel any day. The only open weekend this match could be played is 4/23 in Houston (Gray Wolves are playing Houston on 4/24 already).
      1. Young: Update 4/14 – The appeals panel “felt that Colorado Gray Wolves will need to play the Dallas Harlequins in order to have an equal opportunity to gain points in the league standings. There is no equitable way to adjust for the missing match. It does appear that everyone has agreed that should the match not happen, no forfeit will be counted against either team which the panel also supports.”
  5. Playoffs – April 23-24, 2022 @ Austin Blacks
    1. Participating Teams
      1. Roche: All divisions are confirmed. See schedule below for details on MD2, MD3 and WD2, MD1, Dallas RFC goes through to the national semi finals. sHARC will play Gray Wolves, location dependent on the result of the match between those two teams on 4/24.
    2. Check In Location / Time / Staffing
      1. Dodge: The below list are folks that can help out. I can’t make it this time.
      2. Young: I am working on the team packet which will include check-in times and roles for these folks. Thanks for volunteering to help!
        1. Young
        2. Hanlon
        3. Keuppens
        4. Hughes
        5. Leming
        6. Tate
        7. Kurylas
    3. Schedule
      1. Young: We now know the teams and so I’ve taken a first pass at the schedule. We always try to have teams that travel the farthest play later and we will have the same division matches at different times. Any concerns? None. APPROVED.
        1. Dodge 4/14 Update: The committee received a complaint from Ft. Hood about Grand Prairie potentially playing an ineligible player in their D3 QF on 4/9. A review was completed including consulting the USA Rugby Club Eligibility Committee. After reviewing the complaint and facts, the CC voted to follow precedent via email. This meant that Grand Prairie was removed from the RRRC Championships and replaced by Ft. Hood. Further, Because Ft. Hood was a number 2 seed, the MD3 matchups on April 23 are realigned as follows, consistent with the original seeding procedure announced by the CC before playoffs began:
          1. Field 2  – 1PM – Austin Blacks D3 v. BARC
          2. Field 2 – 3PM – Ft. Hood v. Houston Arrows
        2. Dodge: As the CC is convinced this is an honest mistake by GP, a new multi-side Club, in interpreting a complicated set of eligibility rules, no further sanction beyond forfeiture of the Quarterfinal match (and resulting elimination from the playoffs) is being imposed. More information can be found on the website.
    4. Team Packet
      1. Young: I’ll try to finalize the packet with Bill later this week and send it out ASAP.
      2. Dodge: Please, all reps reach out to all the eligible teams and remind them about the Book check policy.
      3. Young: Yes, also please make sure that they have the right identification documents. We had problems with that a few years ago.
    5. Streaming
      1. Young: We will stream the matches on our Youtube channel. I have two commentators but could use 1-2 more so they aren’t overworked. Let me know if you have any interest in this role. If it’s your first time you can be a color commentator which helps the lead commentator. A much easier entrance into talking about matches and it’s fun!
    6. Hotel Block
      1. Young: Bill is working on this and we’ll update the site soon.
  6. Gulf Coast Super Regional (Round of 16/8) – May 7-8, 2022 @ Houston (Aveva Sports Complex)
    1. Location
      1. Young: Can I post that this is at Aveva?
      2. Dodge: Yes, please do.
    2. Schedule
      1. Dodge: This is the schedule. The sHARCs have asked that if they play Gray Wolves in Texas that they could play at this event. I’m not opposed.
      2. Young: If that works out, that will be great.
      3. Dodge: Any opposition to the schedule as drafted? NONE. APPROVED.
    3. Referees
      1. Dodge: Marc Nelson is the referee organizer and he has been in contact with TRRAl.
    4. Match Commissioner
      1. Dodge: There was some talk about bringing in someone but we can probably handle this in-house.
    5. Medical
      1. Dodge: We have $1000 from the USAR budget that can help cover this. We do have to have EMTs but not an ambulance. Can we get some TRU admin to try and track that down?
      2. Young: I can ask Mary with Houston.
      3. Dodge: Ok.
    6. Match Balls & Awards
      1. Dodge: This is also covered in the USAR budget and balls should be sent to us. 
      2. Young: What about awards?
      3. Dodge: He is getting those as well.
    7. Streaming
      1. Dodge: We have a quote from our normal service but need to get an agreement with Nancy Campbell for when we return the trip. There is no budget available from USAR for this. I am planning to ask the TRU if we gain an agreement with Nancy.
  7. USA Rugby Club Championships – May 20-22, 2022
    1. Dodge: Just a reminder that MD1/WD1 SFs are on Friday, May 20. All other divisions are Saturday/Sunday.
  8. 7s
    1. Call for tournaments
    2. Young: We have a tentative schedule and are just finalizing a few dates. 
    3. Kurylas: What is Choctaw 7s?
    4. Kolberg: That will be in Durant, OK at the Choctaw Resort and Casino and is hosted by Gorilla 7s.
    5. Young: Will wait for Fil to get back in town and then this can be finalized and posted.
  9. HOF
    1. Nominations
      1. Due by May 15
    2. Save the Date – August 27, 2022 in Houston, TX
  10. Summit/AGM – Houston, TX on August 26-28, 2022
    1. Young: We announced a save the date for the Summit/HOF/AGM, taking place in Houston, TX on August 26-28.
  11. Upcoming Milestones
    1. Dodge: Here are the upcoming milestones for this committee:
      1. Promotion & Relegation – May
      2. League Structures/Divisions – June
      3. Elections – August with AGM/Summit
  12. New Business
    1. None.
  13. Meeting Adjournment (9:25 PM)