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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 4/18/22

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. Wilson
    4. Martin
    5. Dodge
    6. Roche
    7. Tomsak
    8. Tate
    9. Hiller
      1. Regrets
        1. None
  2. Forfeits
    1. 12/11 W Houston vs Woodlands – W Houston played forfeit
    2. 1/29 Blacks III vs Quins III – Quins unplayed forfeit already fined
    3. 2/5 Dallas Rugby vs DARC WD2 – DARC unplayed forfeit
    4. 2/19 HARC W vs Quins W – Quins played forfeit
    5. 2/26
      1. Huns v Little Rock – Little Rock unplayed forfeit notified Tuesday
      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 notified Friday night
      2. Austin Huns vs Grand Prairie D3 unplayed forfeit Match Change Form Friday 
      3. Little Rock vs DARC WD2 – DARC played forfeit
    8. 4/2-3 Austin Valks W vs BARC – BARC unplayed forfeit notified Tuesday
      1. Austin Blacks vs Little Rock – LR played forfeit
        1. Young: The Blacks corrected this one, it was a played forfeit.
      2. Austin Huns D3 vs Dallas Harlequins – Huns unplayed forfeit Wednesday 6pm match change submission (email??)
      3. Austin Blacks vs Austin Huns – Huns unplayed forfeit notified Wednesday
    9. 4/9 
      1. Austin Blacks vs Alamo City – Alamo City unplayed forfeit never notified
      2. DRFC Women vs. Little Rock – Dallas unplayed forfeit notified Tuesday
    10. 4/16 Round Rock vs BARC – BARC unplayed forfeit notified Wednesday
  3. Review of unplayed forfeits – league season
    1. Young: Kat and I chatted about this right before Alamo City forfeited. Since there have been so many forfeits we were feeling bad about potentially fining additional clubs. We’ve only fined one club so far this season, Quins for 1/29. 
    2. Roche: Yes, we discussed this in the spirit of lots of clubs either folded for the season and clubs had a hard time fulfilling their matches.
    3. Tate: Let’s review the policy. I don’t think we have lots of clubs that would be potentially fined because we specifically designed the policy to allow for unplayed forfeits BUT they have to notify us. If they notify us then it’s OK. There is a potential fine for repeated lack of notification.
    4. Roche: Ok, I wasn’t aware that it was tuned around the notification. I would say half of these were notified on time and half didn’t.
    5. Tate: Yes, the intent is if clubs can notify us by Wed we can pull referees before they travel, opponents can try and find an alternate match if possible. So I think we need to go through this list and truly understand what is going on now. Whatever we decide, we need to apply the policy consistently. If we’re going to make any kind of adjustment then it needs to be consistent for every game. 
    6. Young: I think we’re talking about critical mass here, there were so many forfeits that it was hard to follow even with all of our processes. 
    7. Tate: Obviously hindsight is 20/20, going forward we need to be making a note when something cancels when it happens. So we aren’t trying to go back and go through emails, texts and phone calls.
    8. Roche: I agree with you except that there are so many weird nuances where clubs are trying to work it out, but then declare it a forfeit, or it’s COVID related or they try to play.
    9. Dodge: I’m not for letting anything slide, we need to follow the policy.
    10. Tate: We can’t eat referee fees and we need referees to be doing these games because we don’t have enough to start with.
    11. Tomsak: Are we paying referees if they don’t go to a match?
    12. Tate: How TRRA handles paying referees is their business. We have a contract for a certain amount for every match.
    13. Martin: We make every effort to reassign the referee.
    14. Tate: The point here is that notice is the key, the reason these fines are all described as an amount plus fees is to protect the referee resources and that they go to games that are actually being paid. 
    15. Young: I think we accomplished that as Kat and I believe were always able to alert the schedulers in time. BUT since there were so many forfeits this year, I think we should be forgiving due to the many issues we had this year. 
      1. Tate: Help me understand what was different about Alamo City then?
      2. Young: They never notified their opponent and still haven’t technically. I notified the Blacks on Friday at 4pm because I was nervous they hadn’t heard. They confirmed that they hadn’t.
      3. Dodge: Yes, that was egregious. 
    16. Tate: Ok, so you’re asking for us to review the forfeits and see if a referee was actually sent? If we’re going to make an accommodation we’ve got to make sure it’s consistent.
    17. Young: Yes, I would ask that we review and consider making an accommodation this year due to COVID, clubs rebuilding, etc.
    18. Roche: I’ve added what information I have above. Wendy will need to add more detail as she gets the admin@texasrugbyunion.com emails. I would recommend that we fine clubs that did not notify on time as I misunderstood the policy until it was described again to me tonight.
    19. Tate: Looking at the notes that Kat added above it looks like we’re looking at potentially 5 fines. Unless we come across any other emails or communications we will need to review all of these.
  4. Review of unplayed forfeit – playoffs
    1. Austin vs Alamo City forfeit
      1. Tate: I see that we were referred to as an unplayed forfeit from the RRRC Competitions Committee. They did request that we review any unforeseen expenses but I don’t know that we can afford to take this out of the TRU pocket for every forfeit (especially looking at this last year). It needs to be a certain fine amount and we have that in the forfeit policy
      2. Dodge: I don’t know that the CC was recommending that this come out of the TRU’s pocket. We may have gotten a bit overzealous in that part of the request.
      3. Tate: The first thing we do is cover the refere bill and the remainder of whatever that might be would go to the club. This was a MD3 match so the referee bill would be $200. The difference of the fine to Alamo City less than $200 dollars would go to compensate the host club. So the fine to Alamo City would be $350. Any other discussion? None. APPROVED.
        1. Young: Invoice has been sent (4/22).
  5. Sponsorship Packages
    1. Young: I was motivated these past few weeks to try and see if we can generate some income from sponsors. We’ve had two unexpected expenses so far this year and so I was trying to think of ways to get some of that back. I would propose that we offer Sponsorship Packages and discuss offering revshare with our members.
    2. Tate: This is great and I’m glad you’ve been thinking about this. We have a pretty potential brand footprint with our website and social media. Do we know what all those analytics are worth?
    3. Young: I’ve soft pitched this to a few folks but we probably should pressure test it a bit more.
    4. Tate: So I’d recommend we take this to a few folks and see if we can pressure test it. We want to make sure we’re asking for the right amount and putting the right data out there. If we want to get into revshare we need to make sure there are very clear guidelines around that because we want to make sure the deals are reputable and that we aren’t roped into something we don’t want to be in. A big thing there would be to bring the prospect to the TRU Board and we’d have to approve/deny.
    5. Dodge: 100% agree with initiative and direction. One of the other things I’ve been kicking around with other Unions and a revshare could be that the host keeps all the revenue and a piece of what the other Unions have in sponsorship. 
    6. Tate: Technically the Super Regionals are a Council property so we would need to check with them.
    7. Dodge: Not the streaming, so it’s a gray area, but I can check.
    8. Tate: Correct, they could include that in future budgets. 
    9. Young: If we wanted to try and push something out ahead of RRRC Championships or Gulf Coast we would need to act on this pretty quick. Would we want to try and push out the “Streaming, Website and Event Sponsorship”?
    10. Tate: That’s a good point. Especially for Gulf Coast, as long as we’re not claiming to attach the Council’s property to the stream we could say it is sponsored by {SPONSOR NAME}. As long as we’re not slapping a sponsor’s name on it I think we’re OK.
    11. Young: Maybe we keep thinking about the Title Sponsorship and revshare part but let’s push this out and see if anyone bites.
    12. Tate: Yes, and let’s get input from our marketing friends.
  6. RRRC Championships – April 23-24, 2022 @ Austin Blacks
    1. Eligibility Paperwork
      1. Tate: Ok, where are we with paperwork?
      2. Young: Clubs have started to submit their 28 player rosters to the paperwork folder and I am starting to see some participation agreements and event releases. In the past I did most of the checks, verifying in CMS the number of matches played but I didn’t do the multi-side checks. 
      3. Dodge: The new form I have created should help and it looks like most clubs are using it.
      4. Tate: I think we can quickly work up a formula for the multi-side clubs based off this form. Then checking in CMS can be much quicker. Ok, so how can we help you Dodge and Wendy?
      5. Dodge: I think we start with the multi-side clubs. I probably shouldn’t review the Reds…
      6. Tate: Ok, I can check the Reds. Let’s go ahead and assign the rest of these.
    2. Checkins
      1. Young
      2. Hanlon
      3. Keuppens
      4. Hughes
      5. Leming
      6. Tate
      7. Kurylas
      8. Wilson
        1. Young: I think we’re good for the weekend but we can always use more help on the ground. Shawn is working on #4 assignments and we may need to fill that in. I will let you know.
  7. Gulf Coast Super Regional (Round of 16/8) – May 7-8, 2022 @ Houston (Aveva Sports Complex)
    1. Streaming
      1. Dodge: We received a quote from our normal partner to stream this event. I proposed that we approve it via email to the TRU Board and it was approved unanimously. I am working with our partner Union in this to secure streaming when we play in their region.
      2. Young: Great news, I’m working on commentators from the TRU and True South.
      3. Dodge: We may have a few logos that we need to flash up on the stream, I’ll get those to you Wendy.
      4. Young: Ok, thanks.
    2. Volunteers
      1. Young
      2. Dodge
      3. Hiller
      4. Tomsak
      5. Rutherford (depends on SHARCs)
      6. True South reps?
    3. Match Commissioner
      1. Young: To confirm we aren’t taking advantage of the Council resource for this?
      2. Dodge: Correct, time is short and we have plenty of capable individuals.
      3. Tate: I also have another name we could consider, I’ll share that with you via email Dodge. 
    4. Scoreboards
      1. Dodge: Do the practice fields have scoreboards?
      2. Hiller: I don’t believe so.
      3. Tomsak: I think I have two portable ones…I’ll check.
      4. Dodge: Ok, thanks.
    5. EMT Contacts
      1. Dodge: We need to have an EMT on site, not an ambulance. Could I get some help with that?
      2. Young: I reached out to Mary Swanstrom with the SaberCats, haven’t heard back.
      3. Tate: I’d also recommend contacting Maggie Rouse because they use them for RT matches.
      4. Dodge: Ok, we will have trainers but we need EMTs.
  8. USA Rugby Nationals – May 20-22 @ Silverbacks Park in Atlanta, Georgia
  9. U23s Update
    1. Wilson: We’ve had three camps and every time we’re growing in numbers. We have a ton of talent and we’re really excited about the team. We may add a fourth tryout camp in Dallas because the first one we held was very early and during Spring Break.
  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. We’ve received a hotel bid and shared that with Kirk.
    2. Tate: I’ve been out of pocket but will review and get back to you.
  11. HOF
    1. Nominations – Due by May 15
    2. Save the Date – August 27, 2022 in Houston, TX
  12. New Clubs
    1. Young: We’ve received one new application so far from Dallas Sevens. They are well ahead of our normal time that we review new clubs, even 7s clubs. I’ve put them on hold and let them know that we would look to review them in May.
    2. Tate: Great, we will review in May.
    3. Young: The only thing I see missing is registration and a list of prospective players. I’ve let the applicant know.
  13. 501c3
    1. Tate: Dodge, have you received the new paperwork?
    2. Dodge: No.
    3. Tate: OK, I’ll call him tomorrow. We need all the signatures and then we will be on our way to a determination letter.
    4. Young: Do we think we will have it in time for the Summit/HOF? We paid $3k in taxes last year.
    5. Tate: I don’t know. I wouldn’t make any bets on the IRS these days.
  14. New Business
    1. Playoff Grants
      1. Tate: I’m not sure if I’m recalling this correctly but I thought a few years ago that if qualifiers are in our region that we don’t issue them? For our clubs that qualify for the Gulf Coast SR in Houston, do we want to provide grants for those clubs even if some of them might be Houston area teams?
      2. Dodge: I think 2018 was the last time we had the Round of 16…what did we do?
      3. Tate: My memory is that we did not.
      4. Young/Dodge: Frantically reviewing notes….
      5. Hiller: What do we give the grants for?
      6. Tate: They are tied to registration numbers. You get 50% of the dues paid by your club OR $25 dollars a registration whichever is more. This is so a small club gets $25 a registration for a 28 r 14 player roster in the case of XVs and 7s. The minimum is $700 for 7s and $1400 for XVs side but it incentivizes clubs to get people registered. 
      7. Young/Dodge: Neither of us are finding anything in the 2018 minutes…very weird.
      8. Tate: I’ll pull the 2018 Financials and we can confirm. But once we do the eligibility check for this weekend we should be able to have a rough idea of what a payout would look like. Then we can talk about this again on the May call.
  15. Meeting Adjournment (10:00 PM)