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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 12/19/22

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. McPhail
    5. Dodge
    6. Hiller
    7. Tate
    8. Tomsak
      1. Regrets
        1. Ohmann-Wilson
        2. Martin
  2. RX
    1. Registration Numbers
      1. Young: Still looking good, we’re sitting at 1,627 and on par to equal our numbers last year or we could exceed them. I tried to go back even further but I forgot how bad the data was for Sportlomo. The reporting differed from month to month so I didn’t waste my time.
      2. Tate: Yes, Sportlomo was not very good at data and it was always a crapshoot. 
    2. Transfers Process
      1. Tate: I talked with Dave from the RRRC committee and we want to make sure we’re all on the same page for this process. If we feel that either a player hasn’t checked all the boxes on a transfer request or it is an in-season transfer after a player has played a league match (closed registration period) then we should deny the transfer. The burden then goes to the player to prove that they meet an exception. The reason being if we approve the transfer first then if they don’t meet the exception they have to stay or try to transfer back. We’d rather they stay with their existing club so that a new club couldn’t put them on their roster. This could cause problems down the road. We want anyone that wants to do a transfer should also file a waiver.
      2. Dodge: Logistically what are you considering a waiver?
      3. Tate: It’s included in the regulations, if they have played a league match then they have to apply for a waiver.
      4. Dodge: Ok, if a player requests a transfer in RX they list a reason and they check a box indicating that they have satisfied all of the requirements. What would they have to show? Is there something beyond that that they would need to show?
      5. Tate: This makes sense for single side clubs, but not really for multi-side clubs. What happens when a Reds player moves to DARC? That player is effectively moving down a division…
      6. Dodge: This may be something that the competition committee has to look at. We could say something like you can only transfer and play at a higher level.
      7. Tate: I get why the rule is there but I feel like that rule was written for a Union where somebody wants to go play PRP or ARP after they’ve been playing for their D3. I don’t think that rule was written with multi-side clubs. 
      8. Hiller: What is this ‘Rugby-Related Reasons’ reason?
      9. Dodge: Check out  7.5.2.E
      10. Young: I don’t think players are looking at their regulations or don’t know they need a waiver. I’m extremely nervous about adjudicating these transfer requests and understanding these guidelines at this point.
      11. Tate: Right, players can request a transfer at any time. They only need to request a waiver if they meet any of the reasons under 7.5.2. So we don’t need to worry as much about the waivers, we need to process the transfer and urge them to do a waiver if they fit any of those reasons.
      12. Young: Ok, so I review the transfer requests like before?
      13. Tate: Somewhat, you review the transfer request and if they have played in a league match with another club they need to seek a waiver
      14. Young: Clear as mud. Most of our requests have been mistakes with players registering with the wrong club. 
      15. Tate: We are trying to avoid players who transferred but DON’T do a waiver and if they play with their new club but aren’t eligible or are trying to go to NCS then they won’t be eligible. Players must do the waiver to protect themselves. 
      16. Dodge: How does the eligibility committee know they have a waiver?
      17. Young: The waiver form doesn’t go through RX, it’s a PDF: https://d26phqdbpt0w91.cloudfront.net/NonVideo/679ecfeb-b469-46ab-87f1-7e88db6c6e8a.pdf. Only the transfer goes through RX and notifies the local Union and any relevant clubs.
      18. Dodge: OK, I thought RX had superseded all of that, so not all of the process is in there yet.
      19. Tate: But you do bring up a good point that the Eligibility Committee may not be privy to all the transfers that are out there. We should also let our members know about these new eligibility rules, waivers, etc. We don’t want Wendy or Kat in the position of “ruling” on these decisions, it’s just a black and white that we’ve seen you’ve played with another club. Then we can let the player know they must do the waiver. At the National level we need the outbound Union to notify the other Union that the player is trying to go to.
      20. Young: That would be great. I’m blind to anything outside of our Union.
      21. McPhail: Is there a way to verify receipt of the request and turnaround time or when we can expect a response?
      22. Young: One good thing is that the person who initiates the transfer in RX receives notification of each step. So if I approve or deny they receive notification and so down the line.
      23. Tate: For the waiver, it states that “the Eligibility Committee will have up to ten (10) days from date of receipt to provide an Eligibility Decision. Requests are not accepted less than 48 hrs before an event.” The player will need to email that to SeniorClubEligibility@usa.rugby.
      24. Dodge: I know that Tam now has access to transfer reports in RX and she can see all of them across the country. If a player sends in a waiver request the Eligibility Committee can then verify it with the transfer report.
      25. Young: Could that be shared with Union Admins? I couldn’t see everything before but we are definitely more in the dark now.
      26. Tate: Maybe we just need to schedule a call with Jamie and try to explain what we need. If you can facilitate the meeting then we can try and explain why we need more.
      27. Dodge: I know that Tam and Jamie have been talking quite a bit about this, it may be worth reaching out to Tam first.
      28. Tate: The main point is that Wendy and Kat shouldn’t be in the position of approving these transfer requests and evaluating whether players meet these eligibility waiver requirements. That is for the Senior Club Eligibility. Your decisions are black and white, have you played a league match for anyone else? Waiver is declined. If you haven’t played  a league match then it’s approved. If it’s from outside our Union then we have to rely on them to make the choice.
      29. Young: Ok, I think I’ve got it now. Thanks.
    3. Rosters by Friday Night
      1. Young: Norton has been handling the notifications for this. The first week only one club had it right, everyone else had issues. It will take teams a few tries to probably get this right, so we’re expecting growing pains through the next few months.
      2. Roche: The big issue is the name withheld option in RX. Norton has been scouring the rosters and notifying the club, they notify the player, and then have to wait for them to get back to them…it’s taking quite some time.. 
      3. Tate: The burden has to be on the club administrators and their players to fix this. The notifications are a courtesy but we’d like to encourage proactive checking of this.
      4. Roche: He is doing it but it’s a lot of emails and eventually it’s a phone tree issue.
      5. Dodge: To see this problem, you have to view the public roster, then notify a player…wait for them to change it and then remove them from the roster and re-add. It’s quite a few steps. 
      6. Kurylas: You can see it in RX. Go to RX Admin > Member > Member Management > Private Profile. If it says yes then they have that feature checked and they will show up in RX as name withheld. I would suggest admins sit down and review this and work proactively with their players.
      7. Young: OK cool, I don’t think any of us were aware that you could see this in RX. We can put this up as a post to help club administrators.
      8. Dodge: With the deadline of Friday, we’re OK with making changes to that roster if, on Saturday morning, there is a no-show by a player. Can we change the roster?
      9. Young: Yes, that is like in the past…note it on your printed roster and you can change it in RX afterwards.
      10. McPhail: Lots of comments on the RRRC call about timely matters like submitting rosters, making sure substitutes are entered and such. We need to keep encouraging our clubs to be compliant and do we need to evaluate any of our processes around these?
      11. Tate: We have had a fee process for years around handling late match reports. Typically we have had a grace period in the beginning of the season where we don’t enforce that strictly. There are new administrators for clubs and this year with a new system we will continue to help with growing pains.. 
      12. Young: I think this is more around the roster requirement of Friday night. Is there a sanction if a club doesn’t provide their roster by the deadline?
      13. Tate: Ah, I see. We need to update our language with the match report policy to include the roster requirement. We have done this in the past and put a date of February 1st to ensure compliance. This gives lots of time for practice and then clubs can make sure they are completing everything.
      14. McPhail: For clarity, Feb 1 is mid-week. So that is about 3 weeks of grace period. Is that sufficient?
      15. Tate: I would defer to those dealing with it…I do think it is fair to give clubs time to acclimate to the new system. Whether that means now or two weeks from now. 
      16. Kurylas: What if we move it to January 28? Most clubs have played at least once in the fall or will have played by then. Clubs also need to get with our admins EARLY in the week, Friday night and Saturday morning are not acceptable.
      17. Roche: I think that works.
      18. Young: I’m good with that. What if a club doesn’t do their roster AND then doesn’t do their match report by the deadline? Does it pile on or is it a flat fee?
      19. Tate: Flat fee. We don’t want the club’s money, we want them to fill out their requirements.
      20. McPhail: Is that either or? If you miss one?
      21. Tate: Correct. If you miss anything in RX for your match, it’s fine. I repeat, we don’t want your money…we want the match data to be accurate and complete. That makes our competition accurate and complete. Divisional reps and RRRC committee members, please echo these notes and communications to all of our members.
    4. Issues/Feature Requests
      1. Transfer Requests
        1. Young: It would be really great if the transfer dashboard indicated what OUR status was. It is showing the last status that hasn’t been done, so I’ve approved but it’s still waiting on the club. I have to constantly check to see if I’ve done my part of the process.
      2. Eligibility History
        1. Young: We added a report from RX to the compliance sheet, use this link and choose Eligibility Report.
      3. Name Withheld
        1. Young: See notes above, clubs need to sort this out. We have put in a feature request for RX to change it but as an Australian held company they have to have this feature due to privacy laws.
  3. OKC Tribe v Alliance 12/10
    1. Tate: As I understand this, Alliance traveled to Tribe. They were at the facility and were present as they were lining the field and ensuring it was ready. The referee deemed the pitch was safe but Alliance refused to play. Is that correct?
    2. Kurylas: The only past I would change is that the Tribe spent 90 minutes sweeping, drying and using buckets to remove as much water as possible. Alliance still refused to play.
    3. Tate; I have never in my life refused to play a game because of a field being wet. I’ve played in a puddle that you could have drowned in.
    4. Roche: The only time I can kind of remember this happening was the Blacks v Red match a few years ago. Both teams didn’t want to play but nobody wanted to wimp out either.
    5. Dodge: They have an agreement to make up this match, right?
    6. Kurylas: Yes, they agreed to schedule it.
    7. Tate: Tribe reserved a field, right?
    8. Kurylas: Their field was unavailable so they moved it to the OKC Crusaders field.
    9. Tate: OK, so Tribe is not out a field rental fee? Tribe isn’t asking for a reimbursement?
    10. Kurylas: Correct, they are asking that the match be a forfeit. We haven’t received a monetary reimbursement.
    11. Tate: Ok, so no request for a monetary reimbursement from the club? We will be billed for a referee though?
    12. Roche: Yes. The referee arrived at the assignment.
    13. Tate: Ok, we will pay the referee as they attempt to fulfill their assignment. Do we want to eat that or seek anything from the clubs involved?
    14. Roche: in defense of Alliance, if they went for a 2pm kick-off and the field was unsafe at that time. If they kicked off at 3:15pm their players could have had obligations and had to leave. This was an inconvenience for Alliance and the field was not ready for play at 2pm. 
    15. Tomsak: Do we know that?
    16. Roche: Yes, we got pictures once the referee arrived and after the attempted cleaning.
    17. Tate: OK, we don’t really have a policy that covers this, this isn’t a club not showing up, it’s not a club canceling at the last second. They showed up and the field wasn’t ready. I’m inclined to let this one slide. We need to review our policies and decide if this is something we address in a future policy.
    18. Tate: Have we received a formal request from either Tribe or Alliance appealing any decision by the competitions committee?
    19. McPhail: I haven’t published anything officially from my position. The RRRC has had discussions but the two teams have decided to reschedule the match. We aren’t suggesting any sanctions but we did want the TRU to review the policy around roster requirements.
    20. Tate: Ok, so the RRRC would determine if this was a forfeit, they have not done so at this time. They did ask that the TRU review procedures around this situation though. In the situation like this, the referee will be paid and that is paid from member dues money. We don’t want to waste member dues paying referees for matches that don’t happen. 
    21. McPhail: From the RRRC point of view, is there guidance on this very unique situation…if a referee deems a field to be safe should the match be played? Or do we wait until submissions or appeals?
    22. Tate: That’s a great question but probably lies outside the scope of this meeting. Let’s table that particular question and have more discussions offline.
    23. Roche: Unfortunately the law book doesn’t quite help us. 
    24. McPhail: It’s a slippery slope either way we go. My biggest fear is that now that this card has been played it could be used as a tactical advantage.
    25. Tate: I don’t know that a lot of clubs are prone to drive 3 hours and then pull out…let’s table the discussion around policy on this.
  4. W college players eligible to play XVs
    1. Tate: If college players are registered with a TRU club then they are eligible to play. They are currently playing with NCR and not USA Rugby members. As long as they register with USA Rugby and TRU then they are eligible to play.
    2. McPhail: I completely agree.
    3. Young: Awesome, I already told Round Rock they were good. 
  5. Mary Graham All Stars
    1. Recap
      1. Young: We had the MG All Stars two weeks ago and it was a smashing success. We had 8 GU All Star teams for the first time. Midwest Green won Tier 1 and South Panthers won Tier 2. The TRU won on Sunday to remain in Tier 1 for next year. Special shout out to the TRRA and Grand Prairie. TRRA worked with Amanda Cox from the WPL (thanks to Paul Santinelli) and she brought in three fantastic HP referees and we had Bekkah from San Antonio. Also Grand Prairie is and has always been a fantastic host. If you could have two fields we’d never leave!
      2. Tate: I watched some of these matches on Youtube and it looked like things were going great. We had four teams on the waiting list so we needed to start thinking about a facility with two pitches.
      3. Young: Yes, we’ve been talking through how that would work since we do Tiers. It complicates things but it’s not impossible. I think Traci and I want to talk to the Unions and see what would be best for all. We want as much participation as we can get!
    2. USAR SCC Proposal
      1. Young: Did we get on the agenda?
      2. Dodge: The call is on Wednesday, let me talk to Jill.
  6. 501c3
    1. Tate: Still waiting on the government.
  7. New Business
    1. None.
  8. Meeting Adjournment (9:29 PM)