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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 3/20/23

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. Kurylas
      3. Dodge
      4. McPhail
      5. Martin
      6. Hiller
      7. Tate
      8. Ohmann-Wilson
      9. Hansel
        1. Regrets
          1. Roche – good luck @ Six Nations!
          2. Tomsak
    2. Disciplinary
      1. 1/14 Austin Blacks vs Dallas RFC MD1 Robin Coetzee – Undetected foul play, DC issued ruling of 2 weeks, TRRA appealed to TRU appellate which increased to 24 weeks, Coetzee appeals to USAR and they reduced to 6 weeks
        1. Tate: Mr. Coetzee appealed to USA Rugby and after reviewing they reduced to 6 weeks. As it turns out, he has gone back to South Africa so that is that.
      2. 2/25 OKC Tribe vs OKC Crusaders M – multiple incidents
        1. Kerry Story – suspended for 4 weeks
        2. John White – suspended for 2 weeks
          1. Tate: We have had a ton of stuff with OKC Tribe, Mr White did initially appeal his sanction but then withdrew. Mr Story has an appeal with our TRU Appeals Panel with potential aggravating factors to be considered.
        3. 3/10 Tribe reported undetected foul play from their 2/25 Crusaders match
          1. Tate: The DC rejected this as they viewed it as untimely and retaliatory. The report was received approximately thirteen (13) days after the match was played and three (3) days after the DC sanctioned the reporting party for undetected foul play. The Tribe have appealed and we have formed a TRU DC Appeals Panel to hear it.
      3. 2/25 HTX vs Huns M – stomping
        1. Young: I think this one was missed so I sent another note to the DC tonight. 8 days and or their next match has passed but just didn’t want it to be missed. The DC has been quite busy this past month.
        2. Tate: Ok, I saw that and will also review those emails.
    3. Forfeits
      1. NEW
        1. 2/18 Blacks v Grand Prairie MD1 – unplayed forfeit by GP, notification on time
        2. 2/18 Arrows vs Kingwood M – Kingwood played forfeit, notification day of
        3. 3/4 Quins vs Valks W – Valks played forfeit
        4. 3/4 Denton v OKC Tribe M – Denton unplayed forfeit, notification on time
        5. 3/4 Little Rock vs Dallas W – played forfeit
        6. 3/25 Dallas vs Austin Valkyries W – unplayed, notification on time
        7. 4/1 Corpus MD3 QF
          1. Tate: We are at that point in the season where teams are struggling. Most of these are happening in MD3 and WD2 where there is the least room for attrition. For the most part we don’t need to consider any fines because teams are notifying on time or the match is being played. Want to encourage everyone in the Union that the first response to not having enough players is borrowing and doing a played forfeit. Do something to have the game happen as that is the best way to grow your club and work your way out of number problems. Also let everyone know including the Union, your opposition and TRRA what is going on. 
      2. Previously reviewed
        1. 12/17 Little Rock vs Denton M – Denton played forfeit
        2. 1/14 – Huns III vs HURT II M – HURT unplayed forfeit with late notification / TRU fined per policy
        3. 1/21 Grand Prairie vs HURT M – unplayed forfeit, notification was done before deadline, no additional sanction
        4. 1/14 Corpus Christi vs ORC M – ORC unplayed forfeit with late notification, TRU fined per policy
        5. 2/4 Shreveport vs Kingwood M – Kingwood unplayed forfeit with Sat morning notification
        6. 2/11 OKC Crusaders vs Denton M – Denton played forfeit
    4. Fines
      1. Outstanding
        1. 1/14 Corpus Christi vs ORC M – ORC unplayed forfeit with late notification
          1. Tate: If a club has folded we aren’t going to chase them. If they come back around and apply for readmissions depending on how much time has passed it may or may not be taken into consideration. If it’s next year the fine will stand but if it’s 5 years or so we may waive it.
        2. 2/4 Shreveport vs Kingwood M – Kingwood unplayed forfeit with Sat morning notification
          1. Young: I sent a reminder to them again today (Kingwood). I haven’t heard anything back from them. They have viewed the invoice.
          2. Tomsak: What was the fine amount?
          3. Young: $300, $150 for referee costs and $150 for opponent costs
          4. Tomsak: Well I was the referee and I didn’t have to travel…I motion to probate the fine against Kingwood provided they don’t incur any other fines this year. Essentially I recommend that we waive it.
          5. Tate: Ok so if they give timely notice or have a unplayed forfeit that won’t trigger a fine?
          6. Tomsak: Right.
          7. Martin: Second.
          8. Tate: Any discussion? None. Any objections? NONE, APPROVED.
            1. Young: Got it, I will cancel the invoice and notify Kingwood.
      2. Paid
        1. 1/14 – Huns III vs HURT II M – HURT unplayed forfeit with late notification | HURT paid on Mar 3
      3. Roster issues
        1. 2/25 – we issued fines but then realized that the mechanism we were using to check was flawed. Canceled all fines and refunded where necessary. There have no other issues at this time with rosters.
    5. RX Issues
      1. Forfeits
        1. Young: We’ve alerted USAR to a possible issue with forfeits displaying in the results and/or some issues with table standings. We await their response.
        2. McPhail: I’ve talked with Wendy and Travis about these and we are seeing some weird issues. I’m recommending that the RRRC reps manually calculate and then we have a backup in case this doesn’t get resolved.
        3. Tate: Perfect.
    6. 4/1 Transfer Deadline
      1. McPhail: Note that we posted our annual notice regarding the April 1 transfer deadline. Players must show up on their desired club rosters by April 1 or they will not be eligible for RRRC Championships or USAR postseason matches.
      2. Ohmann-Wilson: I had a question about this, if a team has a game forfeited does that count towards player eligibility?
      3. Tate: If you can show that the forfeit would have been played…we will honor it as such. We do recommend teams enter their roster regardless of a forfeit. We would also recommend that if you have a doubt about a player that you go ahead and request an Eligibility Waiver request. I also believe that RRRC Championships do count as well.
      4. Dodge: Yes.
      5. McPhail: Agree.
      6. Young: The only stipulation there is that a player has to have played in at least ONE match before RRRC Championships. You cannot use RRRC Championships to meet a player’s two match minimum.
      7. Tate: Correct. Back to the forfeit question, if there is a player that would have had a game but due to a forfeit they should put in a waiver request. So that way they do have their one match before RRRC Championships. When in doubt, if you’re worried go ahead and submit a waiver request. The worst thing that could happen is a negative answer but it tells you right where you stand. 
      8. Dodge: It used to be if you transferred it went through USAR but now it goes through the Union and the Clubs. For players outside the Union do they have to go through that process?
      9. Tate: Yes, we’ve had this with Rugby HTX where they wanted to do a mid-season transfer from players outside the Union. We have tried to enforce that in advance. The system doesn’t make us enforce but we have been endeavoring to do it. We want players to have their waivers in place so hopefully come playoff time we don’t have those issues.
    7. MD3 QFs
      1. Young: I know this isn’t the RRRC call but wanted to see if we could provide any more details as I’m getting questions from clubs on these anticipated matchups. 
      2. McPhail: Two things we are dealing with, Corpus Christi is currently third in their table but would advance in place of Alamo City as they are not able to advance this year. So that means that Corpus would be eligible for a QF but they are having number issues due to deployments and such. They have given early notice that they are not available. Travis HUghes made a recommendation to me that we look at the other divisions and consider the teams in the third place position and apply a formula based on weighted average that we typically do. I think what Travis said in one of his emails is that Alliance won their most recent match so that knocks out the Crusaders. The Quins match this weekend is a deciding factor and would determine further seeding.
      3. Tate: Ok, so it sounds to me that Wendy can tell clubs that are inquiring that we should know more after this weekend’s results. I would recommend that we wait on posting an official announcement until we have official results.
      4. McPhail: Agree and we will try to get this done as quickly as we can but we need teams to complete their RX data ASAP this weekend.
    8. RRRC Championships – 4/22-23
      1. Schedule
        1. MD1 SF
          1. Dodge: It isn’t a done deal yet but if the Reds and Blacks stay on their current trajectory they would be in the SF. On the Feb RRRC call the MD1 teams proposed that the SF be played on Saturday and one of the Reds coaches scheduled his child to be inducted on Sunday. I’ve talked with the Reds, Blacks and the host the Huns are all OK with moving the match back. There are two fields so the likelihood of an injury on both is low.
          2. Young: That was a proposed schedule as RRRC is input to the TRU who is the organizer. So your coach shouldn’t have scheduled anything based on that proposed schedule!
          3. Tate: There could be weather concerns but that may impact all of the matches. My main concerns are the hosts and if the Huns are OK with it…the other concern is for the referees. Shawn, how do you feel?
          4. Martin: I am concerned about the number of referees that we already need on that weekend. We want to have teams of three for all matches and this means another team of 3 would have to be brought. For the MD1 specifically we are considering flying in a referee and that might complicate things as well. 
          5. Tate: Ok, let us know, we haven’t shared the schedule with the teams yet. We don’t want to make a decision that would jeopardize having a top notch referee for the game.
          6. Young: Two issues for me, and I know I’m being selfish but I really don’t want to be there for 14 hours and then have to be there all day on Sunday. I know there will be other folks there to help but a lot of the burden falls on me and the hosts. Second issue is that I have just enough commentators and I will have to find two more. It’s not really easy to find more commentators that have experience.
          7. Dodge: I may have a few commentators as we’ve been streaming out matches this year.
          8. Tate: Wendy, I hear you. There are enough volunteers that we will be able to cover you. Let’s figure out the referee question and then we can go from there.
        2. WD2
          1. Tate: Have we confirmed that the WD2 teams are all coming?
          2. Young: I’ve got an email sitting in my drafts folder attempting to confirm with all the WD2 teams. We want to make sure they are all planning to attend.
          3. Tate: Yes, we need to ensure the festival is happening for WD2 or we can make further changes to the schedule as needed.
      2. Support
        1. McPhail: I talked to Blake and Gordon and they can both help.
        2. Dodge: I’ll be there.
        3. Tate: I’ll be there as well.
        4. McPhail: My assumption is that I would be the Match Commissioner and can perform #4 duties as needed.
        5. Tate: Perfect.
      3. Match Commissioner
        1. Tate: I did this last year, we didn’t have any major issues…Kurylas and I checked most of the teams in. I’m happy to do that again but we do have a new RRRC Chair and I don’t want to step on Dave’s toes.
        2. McPhail: I am here to serve.
        3. Tate: Are you going to be in Austin that weekend?
        4. McPhail: Yes, I’m planning on being in Austin.
      4. Player Eligibility
        1. Tate: I’m not as familiar with RX, is there a way that clubs can tabulate this information?
        2. Young: There is not an easy report like the old CMS that I’m aware of.
        3. Tate: Ok, so clubs will need to be on top of that.
        4. Young: Yes.
        5. Tate: Ok, so the sooner we have rosters, the better.
        6. Young: Hansel has also been working on a report that may help with this but I wanted him to pressure test it with a few clubs. We want to provide the help we can but we want to make sure it’s right.
        7. Hansel: I will share with a couple folks and have them pressure test it before we push it out.
        8. Tate: Great.
        9. Dodge: Early on when we started using MatchDay the person entering the data wasn’t using the sub functionality correctly. Player X subbed off at the 45th minute and instead of Player Y our person would put Player X back on. I’m wondering if other clubs have this issue as well. We keep this in a spreadsheet ourselves but we want RX to reflect the right movements. 
        10. Tate: Ok, so you had subs that looked like they were unused but actually did enter the field. 
        11. Dodge: Right, it’s a three click process and we only did half of it. We know we need to clean it up.
        12. McPhail: Dodge, for transparency can you share the documentation so we can head off any issues. 
        13. Dodge: Yes, we’re happy to share that data. I’m hopeful that we are the only team that has had this issue. Where should we send it?
        14. Tate: Send it to Wendy, Hansel, McPhail and myself.
        15. Young: The matches are locked so you would have to request access to unlock as well.
      5. RX Competition
        1. Young: We will need to set up a competition once we know the teams, Kat knows how to do that so I’ll have her and Hansel work on that.
    9. Gulf Coast Super Regional 5/6-7
      1. Tate: There was a field change and that necessitated a hotel change and they are negotiating the terms with that new hotel. The event location is Orlando, FL and that has been confirmed. Once we have a packet with the hotel information we will share.
      2. Martin: Over the weekend we were reached out by one of the Southern referee societies and they have requested Rebekkah Portlock so we will be represented there. Congratulations to Rebekkah.
      3. Young: Is he from the USA Referee HP?
      4. Martin: Yes, he has replaced Hailey and is part of the pathways group.
      5. Young: Awesome!
      6. Tate: I know our representatives won’t be known for a while but if they want to book refundable flights they can do that. You can’t book at the event hotel yet but you could look for other accommodations if you wanted.
      7. Tomsak: AirBnBs are very cheap down there…
    10. USAR National Championships – Jun 2-4
      1. Tate: I know bids are being looked at and they are focusing on locking in a host as soon as possible.
      2. Young: We received another bid today that was quite compelling. We’re hoping to meet as a committee to review ASAP.
    11. 7s
      1. Tate: At the National level Fil expects to have the qualification pathways set by USAR SCC meeting in April. A few of our larger 7s events are already advertising but we don’t have anything else huge to announce right now.
      2. Young: We should be pushing out a call for hosts soon, just waiting on the final OK from Fil.
      3. McPhail: There are four regions for 7s, it’s basically us and the Chicago area. We did reach an agreement that there will be 3 qualifiers in the Texas region. We’ll be looking at a Dallas, Austin and Houston location. We still don’t know how many reps are coming out of our region but there is a crossover event available if teams want to attend that. It’s not a super qualifier but you can gain additional points towards a potential seed at USAR Club 7s. Leading bids are Chula Vista or Seattle
    12. Summit – Aug 25-27 @ Sheraton Ft Worth Downtown
      1. Young: We have signed a contract with the Sheraton Ft Worth Downtown, it’s very close to Ft Worth practices so we will be using pitch. The only catch is that parts of the hotel will be under construction so it may appear unsightly but our event shouldn’t be affected.
    13. HOF – Aug 26 @ Sheraton Ft Worth Downtown
      1. Tate: Are nominations open?
      2. Young: Yes! Paul opened them and they will close on April 15. Get your nominations in!
      3. Tate: Great, everyone reach out to your constituents and make sure that we get our nominations in. The HOF committee would love to see more players and younger nominees. 
    14. Elections
      1. President – Sep 2023 (3 year term)
        1. Vice President – Sep 2025 (3 year term) Tomsak
        2. DI M Rep – Sep 2025 (3 year term) Dodge
        3. W Rep – Sep 2025 (3 year term) Wilson
        4. DII M Rep – Sep 2024 (3 year term
        5. DIII M Rep – Sep 2024 (3 year term)
          1. Tate: Elections are coming up and my seat is up. I do not intend to run again so we’re going to need nominees for President.
    15. AGM
      1. Young: So, we’ve moved from having the Summer AGM at the Summit/HOF to another weekend. The RRRC elections are also tied to this so we need to set a date.
      2. Tate: I was thinking about this the other day…I do think there is value to a face to face AGM even if it’s not every year. I think it might be a good thing for the Union to have everyone together on a Sunday morning. Obviously I’m on my way out and I don’t want to dictate that but if we’re handing off to new leadership there might be value in having this face to face. We haven’t done that for a few years.
      3. Dodge: I like that idea.
      4. McPhail: I think it’s logical.
      5. Tate: We might want to see if we can get a room for a Sunday morning in-person AGM.
      6. Young: Everyone is usually so hung over they don’t show up…
      7. Tomsak: What about on Saturday?
      8. Tate: I don’t really care what day it is. 
      9. Young: Ok, I’ll check with Traci. I’d be inclined to have it on Saturday rather than Sunday.
      10. Tomsak: What if we do it at like 3 or 4pm? 
      11. Tate: That would be OK with me.
    16. All Stars Budget Request from USAR SCC
      1. Tate: Thanks to Dodge, the Senior Club Council includes a budget that includes money for All Stars. I’m assuming that we need to provide budget information to you?
      2. Dodge: Yes, we need to establish a grant request process for this. I believe it is $14k for men and women.
      3. Tate: We need to look at it, some years we have a budget for replacement jerseys and such so the number fluctuates. We need to review our budget and get you solid numbers.
      4. Young: In anticipation Traci has already done that. Happy to share.
      5. Dodge: Great.
    17. 501c3
      1. Tate: No further news at this time.
    18. New Business
      1. Weekly Eligibility
        1. McPhail: The RRRC received a request from two clubs to review a matter of player eligibility for Dallas MD1 matches on a weekday and then MD2 and MD3 matches on Saturday. It was reviewed via email and a vote was taken and it was determined that no material breach occurred due to the seven day window and timing of the three matches played. No further action is recommended but the RRRC will be reviewing the language of the policy to make changes to cover various timeline interpretations. Also note that the MD1 match scheduled for last Thursday did not finish due to a power outage at the field and so it is being “resumed” tomorrow. 
      2. 3/26 L1 Referee Course @ West Houston
        1. Young: We wanted to share that there is a L1 Referee Course on 3/26 in Houston. Note that on the USAR Training & Education website it is still listed as 3/12 but it is really 3/26.
        2. Tate: Yes, if anyone is interested in becoming a certified referee there is a course this weekend!
      3. Coaching Course
        1. Dodge: We are hoping to do a coaching course in Dallas in May. Between that and the Summit we should be able to cover everyone for the year.
        2. Tate: We are getting pretty well saturated on basic certification but going forward we may want to take an approach more like the old USA National Summit. What high level folks can we bring in to do more targeted training.
        3. Young: Yes, we’re planning on adding an administrative panel, 7s, defense, mental skills, player welfare and such. More to come!
    19. Meeting Adjournment (9:40 PM)