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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 6/14/22

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. Dodge
    2. Kolberg
    3. Kurylas
    4. Roche
    5. Fosco
    6. Leming
    7. Low (representing TRRA)
    8. Dale
    9. Hughes
      1. Regrets:
        1. Young
        2. Keuppens
        3. Hanlon
      2. Guests:
        1. Graham
        2. Rutherford
        3. Buckner
  2. New Clubs / Sides:
    1. sHARC WD2
      1. Dodge: sHARCs are looking to add a second women’s side for next season, we have a few representatives on to speak for them.
      2. Graham: We provided HARC WD2 Submission OpCom Final supporting our reasoning, if you all have access to that. Our objective is to support the growth of players and coaches. This is the best time for us to expand that program. We’ve had a growth in numbers and we need to create an environment in them to flourish. We’ve also been working to grow the women coaches and referees. We have a very strong core of players in their mid 20’s-30’s and a number of players who are looking to transition out of D1 as well as young ones looking to transition in. So we have a pathway created and believe we have a sustainable group. We have a successful track record from the past few years and I have some numbers that I can send to you. In terms of coaching, we have L300 and L200 coaches, L2 and L1 referees, as well as L2 CMOs and L1 S&C coaches. So we are trying to grow not just our teams in terms of players but adding to the rugby landscape. In our internal group, we have 66 members, with about 47 members Registered (a few are lost due to transfers in progress, etc.) We believe this is an adequate number to not just field a team, but thrive in both divisions. I know it was asked if we’d like to have a staggered schedule, that would be nice; but not out of a need to shuffle players through both pools, rather to help coaches develop and to work with the men’s team so we are not renting out facilities without maximizing our usage.
      3. Dodge: Where are most of your players coming from? Feeder programs? Growth in the city?
      4. Graham: We’ve had a recruitment program through Facebook that has been very productive. We are getting players from College Station, and as far as San Marcos. We do understand this is from limited D1 opportunities and many players want to play D1. We have a number of inexperienced players who are just starting out and would thrive in a D2 environment. But we also want them to be able to move up and have that option. Geographically most in the greater Houston area, many from the North side of the city and southwest.
      5. Dodge: The other observation/question I have – looking at the relative weakness of women’s D2, not just in our competition but across the country. We are likely looking at a union-wide women’s D2 competition. Would that be a problem for you in regards to travel?
      6. Graham: We would actively support having to travel, as we do with the D1. What I would ask is a mechanism to keep the Women’s D2 consistent so we can expect the same amount of travel over a few years. If there was a development league in the fall, then D2 late fall to spring, then D1 last spring, that would greatly support player and coach growth. Especially if it’s integrated into a regional thing.
      7. Dodge: It’s definitely been kicked around in discussions, especially on the men’s side. These are all side discussions that haven’t really gained momentum yet. Anyone else please chime in with questions.
      8. Fosco: I’m not sure I really have any, HARC has always had strong numbers. I don’t think they have the issue we have in DFW where we are saturated with teams, so I see no issue with it.
      9. Rutherford: I just want to echo what Paul said. We are all for having D1/D2 home game doubleheaders. We think that makes the most sense, and it would likely benefit us to not have a home/away on the same day. Like if the D1 are playing the Quins and D2 are going to play the reds. It may be tough to send the D1 to Denver and the D2 has to go to Little Rock.
      10. Dodge: Right, on the men’s side we try to coordinate them together, both for fairness and efficiency of doing it that way. We should continue that.
      11. Roche: Just to be fair, I recall when I was creating the women’s schedule a few years ago I was told to give Austin D1/D2 separate matches because there were crossover issues. So I never thought that was a good idea, but I’m just making sure we aren’t making rules for some teams and not others.
      12. Dodge: There’s only allowed to be four players playing in both matches on the same day, so there should never be crossover issues. Obviously if one team is a state away, there’s zero chance for crossover.
      13. Rutherford: And we’ve had loads of experience with eligibility working with two men’s sides, so we have the admin power to support this.
      14. Roche: I think HARC having a second side is a no brainer. They have a strong program and administrative support, they’ve succeeded over the years and this should be the picture that clubs strive for. Adding another side at an appropriate time, this should be a success story.
    2. Heart of Oklahoma
      1. Dodge: We’ve been contacted by a club called “Heart of Oklahoma”, but that’s really all the information I have from them. I’m not even sure if they’ve formally applied to the TRU yet. Does anyone have additional information? Nope.
      2. Kurylas: I will follow up with them and get a bit more information.
      3. Dodge: If they want to be part of the competition next year they definitely need to move. 
      4. Young 6/20: This is a club based in Norman, OK. They have only completed the application but not other requirements.
  3. Promotion / Relegation:
    1. Dodge: These are all “by policy” so in order to change these, clubs need to challenge this relegation and tell us why they should not be relegated. I would propose we alert these teams to the application of the policy. If they want to appeal and contest the policy, we need to hear from them in a week or so. And the divisional reps can have individual calls to converse with clubs. Often there is a conversation about divisional structure that feeds into this promotion/relegation – if they drop down will they have less travel?
    2. Men’s
      1. MD1:
        1. Quins (Relegation: Last place / points diff.)
        2. Rugby HTX requested to play in MD1 next season
      2. MD2:
        1. Little Rock (D1b Relegation:  4 forfeits)
        2. West Houston (South Relegation:  8 forfeits, entire season)
      3. MD3:
        1. Huns D3 (D1c Relegation: 3 forfeits)
        2. McAllen (South Relegation: Last place / points diff.)
        3. Corpus (Central Relegation: Last place / points diff.)
        4. Denton (North Relegation: Last place / points diff.)
      4. MD4:
        1. OKC Crusaders looking to move up to MD3 North
    3. Women’s:
      1. WD1:  
        1. Lady Quins (Last place / points diff. / 1 forfeit)
      2. WD2:
        1. DARC Dames (North Relegation – 4 forfeits)
        2. San Antonio Riveters (South Promotion – divisional winner, +55APD)
      3. WD3: NA as that is a TRU only league.
    4. Discussion
      1. Dodge: What if we created the men’s D4 to be played on tournament weekends? Round robins?
      2. Roche: Like we do with the Women’s D3?
      3. Dodge: Yes, with 30 minutes halves or something.
      4. Kurylas: That might be a good call depending on what the Division 4 could look like.
  4. League Structure:
    1. Men’s:
      1. Kurylas: Wasn’t there talks that Rugby HTX wanted to formally enter the Men’s D1 competition?
      2. Dodge: We did have an informal conversation about that at Gulf Coast regionals. Would anyone have an issue with that?
      3. Kurylas: Nah they’ve been playing the last few seasons anyway, and if the only concern is MLR players, they would be under the same restrictions that we would.
      4. Dodge: I think that was part of the concern that led to the initial agreement.
      5. Roche: I did referee a match where their starting lineup was almost all MLR, but they did make adjustments quickly and it was great practice for our D1 players who got that experience playing against them.
      6. Dodge: Can we have our divisional reps reach out to the clubs listed above and make them aware of this situation? I’ll reach out to Crusaders, Jeff Kolberg will you talk to Quins/Grand Prairie (noting both have representatives on the call) John Kurylas can you take Men’s D3, Marcus men’s D2, Kat can you talk to women’s D1, Monique women’s D2? We need to hear from them by next Wednesday in writing if they want to appeal this decision. And we need to leave open the ability of this committee to grant a waiver to maintain the integrity of any particular division.
    2. Women’s:
      1. Leming: Monique I spoke with our San Antonio Riveters and they were keen on the conversation we had last month.
      2. Dodge: Yes, San Antonio did well in Texas but didn’t fare particularly well against Tampa Bay or Knoxville.
  5. Upcoming Milestones
    1. Dodge: Here are the upcoming milestones for this committee:
      1. Elections – August with AGM/Summit (open nominations in July)
      2. Young 6/20: Would recommend following the plan we have for TRU elections: open nominations Aug 1, close them on Sep 2 and then open forum at AGM with digital vote afterwards.
  6. TOLA 7’s
    1. Dodge: Denton hosted a TOLA seeding tournament in May and Dallas hosted Lone Star last weekend. Bloodfest is upcoming as our first RRRC Qualifier.
    2. Kurylas: Do we know where Nationals are yet?
    3. Dodge: Not officially, we’ve heard a few rumors but I’m not sure it’s confirmed yet. I have the presentation that Fil shared with the committee, we are guaranteed one seed per gender from Red River. 2022-06-03 – May SCC 7s Pathway Document The three qualifiers are Bloodfest, Hell or High Water, and Choctaw 7’s. To satisfy their National Championship requirements, players can count TOLA tournaments if rosters are formalized and checked in that tournament (and follow all the requirements). 2022-06-08 – Ruling on TOLA for 7s National Player Qualification You have to jump through all the qualifier hoops, but if you do that – players on that roster can tick that box (have to play in 2 qualifiers). Upshot is – you can expand the pool of players available to you if you do qualify for Nationals, if you do this. Two clubs took advantage of this in Lone Star 7’s (Austin Blacks and Dallas RFC). 
  7. New Business
    1. TRRA Elections:
      1. Low: This weekend is the TRRA AGM, and we will be voting in a new board that will take effect August 1.
      2. Dodge: Do you turn over every year?
      3. Low: As of right now, yes. Yearly turnover is causing problems.
      4. Leming: A few months ago, there was a discussion about the combination between Rugby Texas and TRRA, was there?
      5. Low: Not that I was aware of, but we do converse with the other referee society and have a working relationship.
  8. Meeting Adjourned (9:10pm)