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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 9/12/22

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. Dale
    3. Roche
    4. Dodge
    5. Kurylas
    6. Keuppens
    7. Hanlon
    8. Martin
    9. Fosco
    10. Leming (GWM)
    11. Kolberg
    12. Hughes
      1. Regrets
        1. None
      2. Guests
        1. Dave McPhail
        2. Bill Taute
        3. Sallie Buckner
        4. Michael Norton
        5. Glen Fontenot
  2. Appeals
    1. HURT 2 placed in D1-C
      1. Dodge: The committee decided via email discussion that Hurt 2 would be placed in D1C.
  3. 7s Recap
    1. Dodge: We didn’t get a chance to recap the 7s National Tournament, Fil can you fill us in?
    2. Keuppens: Yes, I would like to do that. We took a grassroots approach and focused on the quality of referees, pitch and facilities. It was incredibly well reserved and even though we had some bumps along the way it was a fantastic event. I want to thank Dave McPhail, Dave Dodge and the attending Texas teams for their support in the event as well. In particular McPhail stepped up and helped out administratively.
    3. Dodge: For the timeline that we had to work with, it really came together well. Our teams did okay, we have a bit more to work on here in the Red River to get to where the other conferences are at.
    4. Keuppens: We have a call Wednesday about that. Each team and regional representative is invited to attend. The goal is to be more proactive and get ahead of the venue and some other moving pieces. We are trying to create a pathway that teams can anticipate. We also notice the teams with a lot of financial resources and are focused on 7’s tend to dominate the competition – Scion and NAV won their respective divisions and they are both solely 7’s focused academies. The women’s competition definitely has a large margin of difference between the top and bottom teams.
    5. Roche: Did you notice if PR 7’s affected the club game in any way?
    6. Keuppens: We did notice that. We had over 100 eligibility appeals and Tam and I are going to take that into consideration moving forward. It particularly affected the women’s side as there are less top-level women’s-only competitions in the USA in the summer (unlike RugbyTown for the men). It did have an impact but I’m not sure if it made teams better or worse, but there was a big logistical impact. Whether it improved the quality of club nationals, it’s hard to tell.
    7. McPhail: Particularly on the men’s side, we noticed the academy teams had a lot more players from PR7’s. On the women’s side, you could see the talent is clearly being drawn to the “superclubs” and it significantly drops off after that.
  4. Summit recap
    1. Young: We held our seventh annual Regional Development Summit on August 26-28 in Houston, TX. Over the weekend we held 4 education certification courses for 53 TX ruggers. 7 participants were from out of state for a total of 60 individuals (3 international!).
  5. HOF recap
    1. Young: The Class of 2022 was formally enshrined into the Texas Rugby Union Hall of Fame on August 27, 2022. We also featured for the first time the awarding of Distinguished Service Awards as well as the inaugural Alan Sharpley Memorial Award and we celebrated the 2001 Woodlands RFC USA Rugby DII Championship team. We sold 195 total tickets and sold out, which is fantastic.
    2. Kolberg: If we can this year, pick a date nice and early so no one plans a conflict.
    3. Young: Yes, we have chosen the weekend for the future! The HOF/Summit will always be the last weekend in August.
  6. AGM Recap
    1. Young: We held the Summer Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday, if you missed it you can watch the recording. We discuss the State of the Union, Financials, the New RX Registration and Competition system and more.
  7. RX
    1. Registration
      1. Young: 215 total registrations. Currently at about 12% of our expected registration numbers. It seems to be going well. Compliance is starting to creep up (clubs that have paid USAR registration) and are at about 50% of RRRC/TRU clubs registered.
      2. Roche: So go ahead and register your club! Yourself! Your best friend! 
    2. Issues
      1. Dodge: One of the issues I have seen is multi-role registration. To do this currently, you need to register for each role individually, and a few people seemed to have been charged a few times so I’ve gotten refund requests. 
      2. Young: We’ve also seen some issues with the Rugby Learning Center and the required training for coaches. If you are doing these on your mobile phone, please complete them using your computer. We’ve also seen this with paying your club fees, do it on your computer.
      3. Dodge: I also know when we were testing last year that you have to do your roster on the computer first and then it is available in the Match Day App.
      4. Young: Correct, if you want to do Match Day scoring at the field you have to load your roster beforehand and then use the app.
      5. Buckner: We’ve had reports of a few individuals who couldn’t pull their profile from the USAR database. We reported this to USA Rugby and have been told it has been resolved.
      6. Dodge: I can say the fixing of bugs has been going faster than our previous experience.
      7. Young; Agree! I had asked about  few features and they were fixed in the next few days.
      8. Buckner: We’d love to be able to offer payment plans for our players.
      9. Dodge: I asked about that and it is on the development list but unsure of when it will be worked on. They also want to expand the type of payment types.
  8. Elections
    1. Women’s, MD1, MD2 and MD3
      1. Dodge: Voting opened yesterday and closes on September 16 at 5pm. It should be announced no later than September 20.
      2. Young: Yes, I’ve sent ballots to all the Club Presidents. If you didn’t receive it via email, let us know. REMINDER: your club must be registered with USA Rugby to have your vote counted.
    2. Chair
      1. Dodge: It has been my honor to be the Chair of this committee and I want to thank all of the committee members. Whoever takes over as Chair is working with a great group of people. Once the committee is seated with all the new members the committee will then choose a new Chair. I think we can follow this format: https://texasrugbyunion.com/2017/09/12/rrrc-chair-nominees-wanted-rrrc-competitions-committee/.
      2. Young: OK, we can do that!
      3. Dodge: To be clear, we will announce the election winners and in that same announcement we can open Chair nominations. Then we can vote for the new Chair on the October call.
      4. Young: I agree.
      5. Norton: Is there a job description for the Chair position?
      6. Dodge: There is a description in the post above that should cover that. If anyone has any questions, they can reach me at ‭(972) 523-3135‬. 
  9. XVs
    1. Schedule
      1. Final Schedule
        1. Dodge: The deadline to finalize any agreed changes is tomorrow at 5pm. How many changes have we received?
        2. Roche: 8? Not that many. The WD1 are reviewing their schedule as well and we anticipate a few changes.
        3. Hughes: Just a few friendlies and time changes, nothing too bad.
        4. Dale: We may be requesting a change to our March 11 against the Reds, it is the day of the St. Patrick’s Day parade so we may want to move it up. We could talk about doing a Thursday or Friday night game.
        5. Dodge: Ok, can you call Jeff on that change?
        6. Young: We also are sending the WD1 schedule and League Guidelines to all of the Red River and Frontier teams for their review. They have seen a draft WD1 schedule but we have a few changes that the teams agreed upon. 
        7. Roche: Yes, we can go ahead and add those games and if the WD1 clubs have any changes we’ll make sure those get in RX and WTR. The Frontier teams are playing some fall matches and our TRU teams are playing spring only.
      2. Load in RX
        1. Dodge: Let’s talk through this because it’s going to be a new process. Is that going to be a Kat project?
        2. Roche: I will be in different time zones but I can load the schedule.
          1. Keuppens: I’m not as familiar with RX but I’ve heard that we can load tournaments? I want to understand if we can do it and if it would work. If we can use RRRC 7s as a testing platform and then push it out for Nationals that would be great. 
          2. Young: Yes, I’ve seen a demo of it. I haven’t done it myself but I know it can be done.
          3. Roche: Yes, after we load the XVs schedule we can look at testing it for 7s.
        3. Young: So for XVs we will need to load the competition (divisions) into RX and then the draw (fixtures) go in. Now that the schedule is pretty much set Kat can go ahead and load these.
      3. Load into WTR
        1. Young: We will also need to continue loading matches into WTR as TRRA is still using that for referee assignments. Clubs will need to continue using the Match Change Form so we can keep all the databases up to date.
        2. Martin: Confirming that Kat is loading matches into WTR this year.
        3. Roche: Yes, it brings me joy!
      4. TRRA Heat Map
        1. Martin: We will be looking at this again this year. However we think it’s a bit early so we’re going to monitor and will share with the clubs.
      5. Disciplinary Reports
        1. Young: Just another reminder that referees will continue to load any disciplinary reports into WTR and Kat will keep our manual database updated. Clubs will need to continue submitting their disciplinary report into the RX Competitions System as well.
    2. Draft Playoffs Pathways
      1. Dodge: We’re adding to the Red River Championship the Men’s D1 match to Sunday.
      2. Roche: Why not Saturday? Is there a chance that if a club’s D2 team loses Saturday, those players will all roster for the D1 Sunday match?
      3. Dodge: No, the rosters are still fixed.
      4. Dodge: Gulf Coast Super Regional will be on May 8th weekend, we have a written agreement with the rest of the Gulf Coast region unions regarding size of city, airport, etc so we don’t end up having to fly into a tiny expensive airport.
      5. Hanlon: Do we have any sort of agreement that they send us the options they are considering?
      6. Dodge: We considered that last year but we really didn’t have any issue with that. They didn’t mind as long as our region followed all the written requirements.
      7. Dodge: Right now May 19-21 are the finals weekend. There is a pending vote before the council to move to early June but we should know that by next week. I don’t foresee that affecting our schedule at all. As a union we are opposing that change. In MD3 we have a balanced number of teams, so we should be able to figure out the top 8 teams by table points, then by APD. Action Items are MD3 reps double-checking the information written in the document and Kat and Wendy editing the women’s summaries.
    3. Bidding on TRU/RRRC Championships
      1. Dodge: I’d like us to start exploring venues earlier rather than later, especially since we will have schedules soon.
      2. Young: I have had feedback from some of the clubs who haven’t hosted before, they might not be ready to bid in the fall. So perhaps we can open it but for a longer period of time? A few newer clubs are interested in hosting but don’t have anything organized yet.
      3. Dodge: Who is up in the “rotation” for hosting?
      4. Roche: It was in Austin this year and Dallas last year, so ideally Houston or a smaller city? College Station/Waco/San Antonio?
      5. Kolberg: The sooner you open it up the better for everyone!
      6. Taute: We often have trouble finding host hotels when we aren’t sure who is hosting and who is going to be attending. Everything gets booked up early. 
      7. Dodge: Let’s open it next week and leave it open until?
      8. Roche: Halloween!
      9. Young: Let’s say November 1?
      10. Fosco: Then we can make the announcement by January 1?
      11. Kolberg: Why can’t we make the announcement by November 15th.
      12. Fosco: My thought process was just after the holidays, people are usually really busy.
      13. Leming: Is there a minimum set of requirements for hosts?
      14. Young: Yes, it mostly depends on the fields and sizes and requirements (how much available space, parking, warm-up space). We talked about having a list of qualified hosts instead of making teams fill out these forms every time, but we never really finalized that. 
        1. Young: I’ll look at making the form shorten if you’ve applied before. So we could get new host bids and review those. UPDATE: I’ve updated the form to include a “bail out” point if a club has submitted before.
      15. Leming?: Have we talked about having a national hotel chain partnership with the TRU?
      16. Young: We did discuss with the woman we worked with for the Summit and no hotels would really jump on it because there just weren’t enough participants or rooms being booked. We’ll get the request for bids posted next week.
    4. Eligibility Rules Changes Memo
      1. Dodge: The eligibility rules have made some pretty substantial changes this year. I’m going to put together a summary and send it out to our clubs so we are all aware.
    5. USA Rugby Senior Club Council Competitions Chair Opening
      1. Dodge: There is an opening, currently someone is working in interim, so that will likely be opening soon. It is NOT limited to a GU president, so if you know of anyone who is interested… 
  10. Compliance
    1. Young: This is really a conversation for the TRU but like to mention it here so teams are aware that we are checking this weekly.
  11. New Business
    1. Kickoff Times
      1. Roche: So I mentioned this in the AGM, but wanted to reiterate here – if your club has preferred kickoff times for all your matches (ie all night games or all 12pm kickoffs instead of 2pm) feel free to email me at kat@texasrugbyunion.com instead of filling out a ton of match change forms. Or use the comments box at the bottom of the match change forms – I find those very helpful!
    2. Leming: If everyone is OK with it, I was going to approach all the True D2 teams about B-side matches. I know we pulled off a few last year, but I’m hoping to see if we can create that development opportunity for referees and players alike. 
    3. Martin: How soon in advance would we know about them? We’d want a pretty lengthy lead time just to see if we can really put resources into that. 
  12. Meeting Adjournment (9:55 PM)