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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 11/21/22

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. Roche
    3. Kurylas
    4. Ohmann-Wilson
    5. Dodge
    6. Martin
    7. Tate
    8. Hiller
    9. Tomsak
      1. Guests
        1. McPhail
  2. Grant requests
    1. Wendy USWRF Conference Speaker
      1. Young: I’ve been asked to be a speaker on a few panels at the USWRF’s annual conference. 2 topics are based on administrative and 1 on journalism. I’m honored to have been asked to attend and would love to go on behalf of the TRU. This is a fantastic event for women’s rugby and I would also encourage our members to go as well. Here are the details and note that early bird entry ends December 2: https://www.uswrf.org/event-details/2023-wrcra-conference.
      2. Tate: Fantastic, that is a great event. What was the amount of your request?
      3. Young: I requested help to cover the conference registration fee (not waived for panelists), flight and hotel costs, approximately $800.
      4. Dodge: The dollar amount seems higher than what we normally see.
      5. Young: I didn’t intend for the entire amount to be funded but wanted to be up front about what the costs were. Any assistance would be appreciated.
      6. Tate: Yes, the amount was more than what we would give for a regular player grant. We don’t generally give that much. I do think we have some funding leftover in the budget from last year for grants though. We want to encourage our members to attend events like this as well as coaching and other educational events when possible.
      7. Tomsak: Didn’t we give more than normal to Nick James for her Rugby World Cup Assembly?
      8. Tate: Yes, we did. We gave her $500 if I recall because it was a long event.
      9. Tomsak: I don’t have an issue with the amount. I would motion that we give $400.
      10. Dodge: Second.
      11. Tate: Any objections? None. APPROVED. Wendy, let Pfleger know and he will cut the check.
        1. Young: Thank you for the support.
  3. Compliance
    1. Tate: The last update on social media was that we’re waiting on two clubs to register?
    2. Young: We’re down to one club now!
    3. Dodge: We talked about a few clubs we were worried about on the RRRC call. Kurylas, where are we with OKC Tribe?
      1. Kurylas: I talked with Rod and he is working on more administrative support as Jon White isn’t with the club anymore. They continue to work on recruiting registrations and Rod expressed confidence.
    4. Young: The other clubs we were watching were West Houston and San Antonio Riveters. Hughes and Curl from the RRRC were going to check on them. 
    5. Roche: The Riveters first game isn’t until Jan 21 so we have time.
    6. Tate: Oh ok, we don’t need to be stressed about them then.
    7. Registration Numbers
      1. Young: 1,403 people registered with 1,273 of those are players. Love that I can see this in a dashboard and don’t have to pull a report!
      2. Tate: Given that the women’s colleges are no longer registering with us this isn’t bad. I would expect us to finish up around 1,800 or 2,000 by April.
      3. Dodge: Nationally there are 18,253 players registered.
      4. Tate: That puts us about 10,000 national registrations behind last year but some areas only play spring ball. It would probably behoove us since it’s much easier to get these numbers to keep a record. This would allow us to track progress in the future on the same timeline. 
      5. Young: I could probably add that to our compliance sheet, that’s a good idea.
  4. Gameday
    1. Rosters
      1. Tate: I saw that the RRRC discussed the ‘name withheld’ and we had put out a notice about it to our clubs. We want to encourage our members to not choose that feature as we need the names on the roster to be visible. 
      2. Roche: I haven’t seen one pop up on any of my roster checks.
      3. Tate: That’s great.
      4. Roche: I’m not sure since I’m a super admin or maybe I just haven’t seen one.
      5. Tate: I believe the Blacks had a couple so you could check those.
      6. Roche: I went through all of them and didn’t see them. As far as roster compliance, I did my checks and almost every team had done by Friday at 7pm.
    2. CMS
      1. Roche: Same here, every team had done their CMS data on time. 
      2. Tate: That is amazing! A good start for the season. Seems that using RX is pretty easy so far.
    3. MatchDay App
      1. Roche: I wanted to know how the weekend went for everyone that used the MatchDay app?
      2. Kurylas: Scoring was interesting as one club chose to score for both and it locked the game.
      3. Young: Yes, teams should ONLY score themselves and don’t choose to do both teams. If you choose to score both teams it will lock out the other team.
      4. Dodge: I couldn’t figure out substitutions?
      5. Kurylas: I had some issues with that as well, on the app it’s under Movement.
      6. Roche: There was one thing I wanted to bring up about substitutions, lots of clubs are only selecting the OFF player but they didn’t indicate who was coming ON. 
      7. Young: So, this is a two step process?
      8. Roche: No, it’s a one step process but you must select BOTH players before submitting.
      9. Dodge: Old CMS wouldn’t allow you to enter substitutions unless you did both.
      10. Tate: Ok, this application does not protect you from user error. So clubs will need to be diligent on this. These are things we should capture and report as feature enhancements to RX and at the same time educate our users so they know.
      11. Roche: Austin Blacks and HURT had all the data (subs on and off) correct. 
      12. Tate: Excellent, I’m sure they are willing to help others as well.
      13. Roche: Yes, Norton has put together a few screenshots for me to share around as well.
      14. Dodge: Kat, can you find out if it’s possible to reopen the matches that are closed from this weekend.
      15. Roche: So I will try to figure that out, but I actually don’t have anything in my superadmin system that shows how to open OR close a match. We will look into it. I sent out a bunch of emails to the teams who didn’t enter subs.
  5. Disciplinary
    1. Alamo City Appeal of 3/12 Red Card
      1. Tate via email: A three person panel consisting of Holly Iker, Jeff Kolberg, and Jono Cooper reviewed the red card issued to Collins Mensing (Registration Number 2452171) on 03/12/2022 for the reported conduct of repeatedly striking an opposing player in the face with a closed fist. They reviewed the video evidence provided several times. The original sanction of a 10 game suspension has been AFFIRMED unanimously by the panel. Based on Alamo City matches last spring and the current league schedule, Mr. Mensing will be eligible to return to play on 3/18/23.
      2. ACRFC via email: Collins has notified us that he would like to appeal further.
      3. Tate via email: The next step is to appeal to the Senior Club Council disciplinary committee. Please email Megan Braun, the SCC Disciplinary Chair at braun.megan@gmail.com. I recommend that Mr. Mensing includes the grounds for his appeal, and any additional evidence he wants the SCC committee to consider.
    2. 3 red cards
      1. Young: I don’t normally bring this up but on our opening weekend we had 3 red cards. That is alarming. In particular, Alliance had a friendly match, with a HP referee who recently moved to Texas…and that match had 2 red cards. The referee picked this up on Friday because it was a late add, drove all the way to Texas and this happened?
      2. Tate: This is crazy. These will go through the normal disciplinary process but this is not a normal thing. A few yellow cards at the start of the season isn’t too surprising as teams’ calibrate but 3 reds is abnormal.
      3. Tomsak: Agree, I’m not as worried about the yellow cards especially this early in the season. 3 reds is not ideal.
      4. Tate: Agree, yellow cards can vary for their sanction, repeated infringements vs lack of skill, etc. 
      5. Martin: The other red card was during the Grand Prairie match.
      6. Young: Ok, I don’t see that one as “final” yet.
      7. Martin: I’ll send out a note to the referees to remind them to submit “final” versions.
  6. RRRC Championships 4/22-23
    1. Playoff Location
      1. Young: The RRRC formed a sub-committee to review the bids for our Championships. This was the hardest bid selection I’ve ever been a part of and I’ve been in all of them for the last 10 years. There was lots of discussion over the past two weeks via email. It came down to a vote and ended up as a split decision at 3 votes for Huns/Valkyries and 2 for Durant. Durant was a fantastic bid but the overarching decision was that it is very difficult to logistically support venues outside our major cities. We would love to see Durant continue to host events in the future. 
      2. Tate: Yes, lots of discussion this year! Our general practice has been to take the committee’s recommendation and I don’t remember the last time we didn’t…but we have the ability to overturn or appoint if needed. We do have a policy to try and rotate regions when possible but we won’t go to a region unless there was a compelling bid. This year would be a North region if we followed the rotation. The sub-committee felt that the Austin Huns bid was the superior option.
      3. Dodge: One point of clarification, although Dallas RFC is offering logistical support for the Durant bid we didn’t submit it. We did attend the 7s event that was held in Durant and it was done very well.
      4. Tomsak: I didn’t see the bid, has that been shared? 
      5. Tate: It’s available in Drive but I don’t believe they were shared out yet.
      6. Young: This was the longest deliberation that I’ve ever been a part of and it took us much longer than normal to choose. I apologize as we didn’t have time to share the bids beforehand. I’ve  shared them with the committee now.
      7. Tate: Yes, very competitive bids and the new fish in the pond was the Durant, OK bid. They held one of our 7s events and by all accounts the fields were great, hotels were nice and the city of Durant is keen to be involved. The main concern with the Durant bid is that it is about 90 minutes north of Dallas. It would cost us more because administrators, referees and teams would have to travel and require hotels. Another concern was that there wouldn’t be a club affiliated with the organizers but Dallas RFC offered to be that support.
      8. McPhail: Agree, there was lots of discussion by the sub-committee and we wanted to make sure we could get the decision to the TRU and share with our members by our previously posted date of December 1. I think that the decision should have gone to the RRRC first and then the TRU but we are cramped on schedule.
      9. Tate: Yes, typically the RRRC recommends the location and then shares it with the TRU. To be honest we generally take the RRRC’s recommendation and ratify it. If we saw something off kilter or something that didn’t fit we may choose to intercede but we’ve never done that. On the timing we really want to try and confirm a venue earlier rather than later. It gives the host a lot more ability to put on a good show.
      10. McPhail: Yes, we didn’t want to slow down the process and we had a stated date of sharing with our members by December 1.
      11. Tomsak: Last year we were in Austin?
      12. Tate: Yes, at Austin Blacks.
      13. Tomsak: 2020?
      14. Tate: No events due to COVID.
      15. Tomsak: But the Super Regional was in Houston last year? I understand that it’s easier to have this event in Austin but the clubs outside major metro cities deserve a chance.
      16. Roche: 2019 was in Dallas and it got rained out and we had to split the tournament to two different locations.
      17. Dodge: 2018 was Austin and 2017 was Tulsa. I was party to the working groups discussion but I did not have a vote. One part we didn’t discuss was that it will probably cost more to hold the event in Durant but anyone that needs to stay in Oklahoma will have a cheaper rate than staying in Austin. Hotels have been costly the last few years.
      18. Tomsak: Did the Durant bid include any funds back to the TRU to help with hotels for teams?
      19. Tate: No, that is not something that is normally included. Not saying we wouldn’t consider it but it wasn’t included.
      20. Young: No funds to the TRU but bid indicates that they would secure a group rate (discounted) but no specifics. This is normal because they would only be able to negotiate once they had the event locked in.
      21. Dodge: DRFC paid $156 before taxes for a double queen in Round Rock. Durant felt comfortable saying they would expect it to be around $120 for something like a Quality Inn and $140 at the nearby Casino.
      22. Tate: Yes, all of these points were brought up in the email discussion that I was privy to. 
      23. Tomsak: Any concerts on WiFi?
      24. Young; That is always a wild card! We had problems in Dallas a few years ago that we didn’t anticipate. Our streaming partner typically can solve any problems but they may have to buy additional hardware sometimes.
      25. Dodge: The park office is right by the fields and I’ve heard that hard wire is available.
      26. Tate: That would be great.
      27. Dodge: One thing that I do think Durant has is that it’s a neutral location. It has pros and cons of course, pro on competition but con on logistics.
      28. Roche: I would also like to say that the Huns are doing some upgrades on their fields, field 2 has been moved over completely and has full size goal posts now.
      29. Young: I was there last weekend and saw that they are building a pavilion over their social area and they now have compostable toilets.
      30. Tate: They are also replacing most of the broken boards on the bleachers.
      31. McPhail: Is there a timeline on these improvements?
      32. Tate: The field is already moved and goal posts are in, pavilion has posts up already and they are working on the roof so it should be done by Championships. I can ask about bleachers. To me this really comes down to spending potentially more as a Union to put the event in the Northern region even though it is removed from a major city center versus putting it in Austin which will cost the Union less money and will be easier for the Union to oversee but it gives the impression we’re not giving the Northern members a chance to have an event in their backyard. That is really what it comes down to. Honestly the 3 bids were good.
      33. McPhail: Which is scarier? Tulsa or Durant?
      34. Tate: Honestly, Tulsa. We had to fly in almost all the referees and administrators. Tulsa as a host did fantastic and it was a very well run event but it was very far away. It was a very expensive event but I don’t regard Durant as being as logistically difficult as Tulsa.
      35. Dodge: Tulsa is another 2.5 hours from Durant.
      36. McPhail: I appreciate that perspective, I’m trying to understand how the committee got comfortable with Tulsa but not Durant.
        1. Kurylas: One other point we talked about was that teams seem to struggle with getting 2 fields. That is why we don’t host much in Houston, those clubs really struggle with that. With USA moving Championships do we look at the format for the future to where we can play on one field?
        2. Tate: That is a possibility for 2024. The RRRC would need to discuss that.
        3. McPhail: We will add it to the agenda for 2024.
      37. Tate: Do we have more discussion? If not, I would like to call for a vote on the sub-committee’s recommendation of the Austin Huns. A yes vote is to accept and a no vote is to consider another option.
        1. Kurylas – Yes
        2. Ohmann-Wilson – Yes
        3. Dodge – No
        4. Martin – Yes
        5. Hiller – Yes
        6. Tomsak – Yes
        7. Tate – Abstain
          1. Tate. APPROVED. Motion passes with 5 yes and 1 no. We can inform the Huns/Valkyries that they’ve won the bid and we will hold the 2023 RRRC Championships at Nixon Lane. Wendy, please also notify the other bidding teams.
          2. Young: Will do.
  7. All Stars
    1. USAR SCC Proposal
      1. Tate: Wendy, we did not get a chance to discuss your proposal on the USAR SCC call last week. I will share it with Tam Breckenridge as she is the interim Competitions Chair. I believe there was money in the SCC budget for All Star events.
      2. Dodge: Correct, there is money for last year and this year as USAR did not hold All Star events..
      3. Tate: Funds from last year haven’t been spent yet?
      4. Dodge: Correct.
      5. Tate: This is the first year we’ve asked for support for this event. I do have one concern that we aren’t able to accommodate all of the teams as I believe we have 3 teams on a waitlist.
      6. Young: Yes, we’ve been talking about that already, we will have to move to venues that have two fields to accommodate the growth. Which is a good problem to have!
      7. Tate: Yes it is! This event has grown tremendously from 3 teams a few years ago to 8 teams confirmed and 3 on the waiting list. Congratulations goes to Wendy and Traci for their vision and hard work around this event.
      8. Dodge: I have added this to the USAR SCC agenda for December to be discussed.
      9. Young: Thanks!
  8. 501c3
    1. Tate: Still waiting on the government.
  9. New Business
    1. TRRA Heatmap
      1. Martin: Feb 4 and Feb 25 are looking to be heavy weekends.
      2. Tate: OK, so that means we won’t allow friendlies or move matches to those above dates.
      3. Martin; Would be greatly appreciated.
    2. USAR Championships Jun 3-4 Bids
      1. Young: Saw on Facebook that USAR has asked for host bids. Do we know if there is a deadline for submissions?
      2. Dodge: No deadline yet but like us they want to identify a host sooner. If we have any TRU clubs interested in hosting, please send your bids to tbreckenridge@usarugby.org.
      3. Tate: Yes, we would love that event to be in our region. 
  10. Meeting Adjournment (9:30 PM)