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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 7/25/22 (Special Meeting)

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. Roche
    3. Martin
    4. Kolberg
    5. Keuppens
    6. Kurylas
    7. Young
    8. Fosco
    9. Hanlon
    10. Leming
      1. Regrets
        1. Dale
        2. Hughes
  2. Minutes published?
    1. Young: I just want to confirm we’re going to publish these minutes?
    2. Dodge: Yes, we can publish, this is an extension of our last meeting. 
    3. Young: Awesome.
  3.  Re-admission of Kingwood to MD3 South?
    1. Dodge: So we had moved Shreveport to the MD3 South because it’s a better drive for them; and Corpus to the central as they preferred to be there. Are there any issues surrounding that? None. APPROVED.
    2. Leming: There was also a question about Grand Prairie 2 playing in Men’s D1c instead of participating in Men’s D1b.
    3. Kurylas: We believe that we really have a D3 side and a D1 side and our club wasn’t interested in moving up to D2 right now.
    4. Hanlon: I’ve run the numbers and 80% of your roster did play D1 last year, so they already are making a jump.
    5. Roche: Was that just stepped on the field in D1?
    6. Hanlon: Yes, but they are still playing D1 then moving back down to D3.
    7. Roche: They also were almost tied for last in MD1 so it’s not like they’re stacking rosters.
    8. Kurylas: Yes we had a number of injuries and players stepped up when they needed to, but we aren’t interested in moving up to D2. 
    9. Hanlon: I was just thinking in an effort to create more games for some of the D2 brackets.
    10. Dodge: I have a solution that might help for that but was planning on addressing that later.
    11. Dodge: We also received a roster of players from Kingwood that were interested in participating again this year in MD3. They took the year off last year due to COVID. They weren’t subject to promotion/relegation because they didn’t play at all, and they notified us of that beforehand.
    12. Young: If they are interested and committed to doing it, I’m down for it.
    13. Dodge: Is anyone interested in making them commit to a preseason tournament like Lone Survivor or something? I’m trying to find a condition that gives us some sort of assurance that they will be able to field a side for the entire season – anyone have any ideas?
    14. Kolberg: Can they put up a deposit?
    15. Dodge: That’s just a new club requirement that we created a few years back, but they aren’t technically a new club because they just took a year off.
    16. Fosco: At that point they should have enough members registered anyway – so it would be a good tell. Or could we have a requirement by a certain date?
    17. Young: I like the second option more, it’s not really fair to force them to go to a tournament, but they will have to register at some point and why not make it now.
    18. Dodge: I like that I’m just thinking from an administrative standpoint, it’s easier to get players to register before a match or tournament as opposed to a single date. What’s a good number?
    19. Fosco: I like 28, but think 23 is the bare minimum. There’s also a certain number we require from the new club checklist. I think Kingwood needs 15 and a coach by October 1 – that’s a good standard.
    20. Young: We do have a requirement for new clubs, 15 and a coach by September 1, want to stick with that?
    21. Roche: I think that’s a massive ask when we finish 7s two weeks earlier and don’t start our XV season until Thanksgiving.
    22. Dodge: We could just skip the 15 and require the 23 and a coach by October 1?
    23. Keuppens: Should we prepare them a bit and make sure they are prepared to have a L200 coach before we draw a hard line in the sand?
    24. Young: They can take a course at the Summit on August 27 or 28.
      1. Saturday L1/200
      2. Sunday L1/200
  4.  Re-admission of FTW 2 to MD4?
    1. Dodge: I spoke to Mike N with Fort Worth and he is very interested in adding a MD4 side in the competition, which would bring those numbers up to three (with Dallas 4 and Lost Souls).
    2. Hanlon: I’ve been playing touch with Ft Worth and their numbers aren’t very high, so this is a bit surprising to me.
    3. Dodge: He did say that TCU is restarting their team so I think he is counting on a number of college kids.
  5.  Playoff for MD1?
    1. Dodge: So this past year, we did a winner take all for MD1 to Nationals. Do we want to do a playoff this year? Should we reach out to the reps and see what they think?
    2. Keuppens: I think our D1 clubs are desperately looking for matches in an effort to advance. They are also not used to playing multiple matches in a weekend, so the more matches the better.
    3. Hanlon: I think this is the way forward for all divisions. Reward the teams that have done well with a home game, and possibly reduce the number of games at the finals and only have the finals on that weekend.
    4. Kolberg: Does anyone know if there are going to be more teams throughout the nation playing Division 1?
    5. Dodge: I think it’ll be less.
    6. Dodge: Kolberg will you reach out to the MD1 clubs and see how they feel about proceeding with playoffs or just having the champion from the regular season advance.
    7. Leming: I think it should be consistent across all divisions – if you have a top seed hosting semifinals and then finals at one place, it should be the same for all.
    8. Roche: I personally feel like this would lower the quality of referees for those play-in matches. It is way more attractive to invite referees to a large tournament where we can be around fellow refs, versus long travel for a single one-off match.
    9. Martin: I kind of agree with Kat on that, tournaments are more fun.
    10. Leming: Was there any strong benefit to the winner take all model from last year?
    11. Dodge: Not really, besides a long time to raise funds to afford the trip to Nationals.
    12. Hanlon: I think play-ins are a great idea, it gives you a chance to really test what you would do going into that big travel weekend for nationals.
    13. Dodge: I think we should poll the clubs and get some insight from them.
    14. Dodge: So looking at MD1 Playoff options, we’ve discussed: same as last year, winner take all / higher seed hosting semifinal than final at the highest remaining seed OR at TRU final location / Friday night semifinals and Sunday final at one TRU Final location.
  6. Wild Card Round / Extended Playoff for MD2?
    1. Dodge: So how would we do this with a wildcard set up, top six teams advance? We have nine D2 clubs.
    2. Roche: What we typically do with a nine team bracket in sevens is top six advance, top two overall have byes – 3v6 winner plays 2 and 4v5 winner plays one.
    3. Hanlon: D2 has Six league matches, then seed teams 1-4, all teams play another match 1v4 and 2v3, whomever wins goes forward and plays 1&2 from D1/B 
    4. Leming: Why aren’t we just having 1 and 2 from each subdivision play each other?
    5. Dodge: Well, we are trying to get more games on the schedule for the smaller subdivision in D2.
  7. MD3 Playoffs
    1. Dodge: So do we want to go back to the wildcard rounds? Or what we did this year with the top two from each subdivision advances.
  8. Home / Away / Home schedule for MD4?
    1. Dodge: So with two teams, possibly three, and all teams are in Dallas, we can probably just handle this locally?
    2. Leming: At what point do we need to lock down this D4 competition? We have some teams in San Antonio who might be able to participate in D4, and we all know that teams work better with an organized schedule.
    3. Dodge: When would we know if this was guaranteed or not?
    4. Leming: I’d need some time.
    5. Dodge: If you can sort out those teams strength and viability, I can figure out what the Dallas teams look like and their availability to travel to San Antonio, and we can play that by ear.
  9. Women’s league structure
    1. Dodge: Wendy circulated a women’s structure for all three divisions. Wendy, want to cover that?
    2. Young: Sure! The Women’s reps met last Thursday and finalized a bit of what we had been discussing.
    3. Women’s D1
      1. Austin Valkyries
      2. sHARCs
      3. Denver Black Ice
      4. CO Gray Wolves
      5. Utah?
        1. Dodge: Is Utah part of Rocky Mountain?
        2. Young: They are Frontier technically. They fold into Rocky Mountain but like to do their own thing.
        3. Dodge: Do we have a viable administrative partner in Frontier/Utah? Since we’ve had issues in the past.
        4. Young: Yes I think we will be good. We have a good partner with Lin at RR and she can help us ensure that they are good partners as well.
        5. Dodge: When will we have the schedule published?
        6. Young: The teams last year wanted to schedule themselves, which we will never do again. There was good intent but it just didn’t work out. This year Kat is scheduling and we will partner with the RM rep as we’ve done in the past. There’s already talks of double headers like the teams have done in the past. Most teams want to play in the Spring so we will focus on a spring only schedule.
        7. Dodge: Can we get some sort of agreement with RM that the forfeit rules of the host club apply? Since we have differing forfeit rules between RM and the TRU. I just want it to be consistent and agreed upon before we start.
        8. Young: Yes, we’re working on updating the agreement that we had in place last year. Here is that draft.
        9. Kolberg: Is this all home and away?
        10. Young: Correct.
    4. Women’s D2
      1. Roche: This year we will have two regions with four teams each. Teams will play home and away in their region. For playoffs we want all 8 teams to go to a tournament; this mimics what the WPL does and it’s been a really great model. Top 2 from each region progress to SFs. 1v4 and 2v3. Bottom 2 teams play in the consolation bracket. 
      2. Dodge: Are those matches to be played at RRRC Championships?
      3. Roche: Yes. We are already using two fields and it shouldn’t stretch the schedule or referees too much. We hope it will allow teams to schedule their entire season and it will bring all the teams together at the end of the year.
      4. Dodge: Cool, I like that idea of having all the teams together at the end of the year.
      5. North
        1. Dallas Harlequins
        2. Dallas RFC
        3. Little Rock
        4. Austin Valkyries II
      6. South
        1. sHARCs II
        2. Round Rock Rage
        3. San Antonio Riveters
        4. BARC
    5. Women’s D3
      1. Roche: WD3 will continue to follow WD3 Guidelines. We’ve already started looking at some weekends and in particular we want to schedule McAllen’s tournament immediately. We want to get that date out so teams can begin to plan ahead.
      2. Dodge: How many tournaments?
      3. Young: Everyone will host at least once. 
      4. Roche: We can also have a Championship if desired.
        1. OKC Crusaders
        2. Denton
        3. Grand Prairie
        4. Alliance
        5. McAllen – Dec 17?
        6. DARC
  10. Weekend for Women’s All-Stars?
    1. Young: The Mary Graham All Stars will be in the DFW on December 3-4, 2022. We already have 4 GUs confirmed and working on the rest. As always our goal is to have a team from GU so we will start from there and then invite others as needed.
    2. Dodge: There should be money in the National budget for this event, right?
    3. Young: I have heard that but have no idea how to access or gain reimbursement. I spoke to Gary a few weeks ago and he mentioned that the men are trying to get going as well.
    4. Dodge: Ok, there is a line item. I will confirm.
    5. Young: We will build tryouts into our fall schedule, there are two women’s tournaments that we may build on.
  11. Blackout Dates
    1. Dodge: Have we gotten many blackout dates?
    2. Roche: Not very many but happy to have any that come in. We have gotten notes for Easter, Thanksgiving and such. We always black those out but thanks for sending those in!
    3. Young: I shared two tournaments that the women want to host and the All Star dates with Kat.
  12. New Business
    1. Rugby Xplorer
      1. Young: Yes, we have to mention this to everyone. I’m not sure if it’s been OFFICIALLY announced but we are switching from Sportlomo to Rugby Xplorer. We have been getting the systems set up and will be providing more information soon. It is definitely an upgrade so we should be very excited.
      2. Roche: Yes! I would also like to echo that while we understand this is really frustrating and we all hate change, it is going to be more user friendly and if we can all combat these negative vibes around changing, that would be much appreciated. We’re all in the same boat and have to work with it.
      3. Fosco: Is this registration or Competition Management as well?
      4. Young: Both!
      5. Kolberg: Why are we changing? Is this going to be good for our clubs?
      6. Young: Dodge and I have been involved in this from the beginning, they did their due diligence this time. They evaluated five providers and Rugby Xplorer came out on top. It is built for rugby, can do split payments (many don’t) and has a robust mobile platform. 
      7. Dodge: I agree with that, USAR actually did their homework this time and was very transparent with the GUs, College and Club administrators. The biggest factor is that we wanted to continue with split payments and only so many providers do that. We did a small test with MD1 last season and it was a new platform but very intuitive and very mobile friendly. Australia is most closely aligned with the US as far as our governance and competition levels and it looks more like what we have here. Sportlomo is based off the Ireland model and so it was like putting a square peg in a circle hole.
      8. Fosco: Ok, I’m nervous but it has to be better than Sportlomo. The bar is very low…
      9. Young: Agree. It will be a new platform and change is hard but we seem to be starting off on a better foot already. RugbyXplorer has a robust support portal and we have direct contact with their support team who is actually responsive. We will have more info soon! 
        1. July 26 Update – There are club-level admin trainings on July 28th and August 1st, registration for those available if you click on the date. These meetings will be recorded and available for distribution.
  13. Meeting Adjournment (9:49 PM)