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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 4/10/23

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. McPhail
    3. Roche
    4. Martin
    5. Kurylas
    6. Dale
    7. Horn
    8. Hanlon
    9. Fosco
    10. Curl
    11. Norton
    12. Hughes
      1. Regrets
        1. Keuppens – Birthday
  2. Forfeits
    1. NEW
      1. 3/25 Huns vs Grand Prairie MD1 – GP playfed forfeit, no notification
      2. 3/25 HURT vs Grand Prairie MD3 – GP un-playfed forfeit, no notification
      3. 4/1 DARC vs Huns MD2 – Huns unplayed forfeit for, notification on time
        1. Young: Only 1 forfeit to consider, GP had an unplayed forfeit and there was no notification to the TRU.
        2. Kurylas: I was in communication with Austin Willis all week where we tried to make a friendly happen but it didn’t come together. I had asked if they were going to send a notification and I guess it didn’t happen. I had given Shawn a heads up on Friday night.
        3. McPhail: Right, so we need to make sure the notifications go to the right people before the notification period.
        4. Roche: This might be on me…I tried to update WTR and RX but may have missed one.
        5. Young: OK, so this is just a mismatch between WTR and RX. Our fault!
    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 – GP 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
      7. 2/18 Blacks v Grand Prairie MD1 – GP unplayed forfeit by, notification on time
      8. 2/18 Arrows vs Kingwood M – Kingwood played forfeit, notification day of
      9. 3/4 Quins vs Valks W – Valks played forfeit
      10. 3/4 Denton v OKC Tribe M – Denton unplayed forfeit, notification on time
      11. 3/4 Little Rock vs Dallas W – Dallas played forfeit, notification on time
      12. 3/25 Dallas vs Austin Valkyries W – Austin unplayed, notification on time
      13. 4/1 Corpus Christi MD3 QF (resolved, see notes below)
  3. MD3 Wildcard Weekend – 4/1
    1. 3/23 email motion on Corpus Christi forfeit
      1. McPhail: Wanted to include this in the minutes, we had an email conversation and motion to substitute the best 3rd place team from D3 (highest league points average) for the playoff spot vacated by Corpus Christi. The RRRC decision (last competitive cycle) to disqualify Alamo City from the RRRC playoffs this season’s competition cycle, due to their last minute forfeit of last season’s quarter final match resulted in Corpus Christi qualifying as the 2nd place finisher in D3 Central bracket this season. Corpus has informed the committee that they are unable to fulfill their obligation to compete in the quarter final round due to low numbers. They were only able to field 15 players in their last home match this past Saturday. Given the circumstances, the recommended resolution is to replace Corpus Christi with the best 3rd place team from D3. Based on league point standings.
  4. Player Eligibility 
    1. New Player Eligibility Report
      1. Young: We released a new Player Eligibility Report last month and wanted to make sure it was mentioned in the minutes.
    2. RX Transfers and USA Rugby Club Eligibility Comm Waivers
      1. McPhail: Long story short, transfers were getting approved in RX by the TRU because both clubs and the Union agreed to them. However, there was a step missing when players had played for another club as that requires a waiver. So we adjusted the transfer approval process to if a player has played previously with another club in the TRU then the transfer request sits in RX until we receive notice from the player and/or the USAR Club Eligibility Committee. We had some that should have been adjudicated that weren’t and we found some during the process that were later declined. We appreciate everyone’s patience on this as it is a new system for all and requires all new processes!
      2. Young: Yes, we’ve adjusted our process to try and help our members. Once we receive a request for the transfer we will check if they have played with a club previously. If they haven’t, it can be approved or declined based on their standing with the Union. If they HAVE played with a club previously I will reply to their transfer request and indicate that they need a waiver. We will not approve the transfer request until we receive an approval or other notice from USAR Club Eligibility Committee.
      3. Norton: We’ve also discovered that players can request transfers (RX calls them clearances) and that allows them to be on two rosters at the same time. We have found a few instances where a player has been present on both rosters throughout the season.
      4. Young: Yes, I can confirm this and assume this is acceptable in Australia but of course we wouldn’t allow it here in the US except for in the case where a player has gotten permission to play in an MLR Academy and a Club…I think that is the only exception?
      5. Norton: Yes. I was wondering if we could use competition cases as a workaround for this?
      6. Young: Possibly but it’s not designed for that and would mean more overhead. Let me ask USAR if this is the intended behavior or if it will be adjusted for the USA. 
        1. Young 4/13: I spoke with USAR and they consider it a feature not a bug so it is not on their list for changes. They understand our concerns but it is there for players that do have permission to move to an Academy team and back to their original Club team (this rare but does happen).
  5. RRRC Championships – 4/22-23
    1. Event details
      1. Young: We’re publishing event details earlier than ever before! You can find all the details on the website and we’ll update as needed.
    2. Hotel Block
      1. We weren’t able to get a hotel block this year due to competing events but the hosts have indicated the hotels they would recommend.
    3. Schedule
      1. Young: We’ve also settled on the schedule and want to share the considerations that we take in creating it:
        1. Travel – For clubs that have longer travel than most we will attempt to put their match later in the afternoon
        2. Rest time – Club should have at least 24 hours rest between matches if not more
        3. Divisional alignment – We’ve gone back and forth on when divisions should play over the years…at the same time or at different times. We’ve determined that for a streamlined schedule that divisions will play at the same time and then teams can watch matches on replay since we are streaming everything.
        4. WD2 Festival – Please note that the WD2 Festival is canceled but WD2 SFs are still on!
    4. Streaming
      1. All matches will be streamed on our Youtube channel
    5. Qualified Teams Paperwork
      1. Player Eligibility Check Template
        1. McPhail: For the MD3 QFs there are quite a few things to check regarding eligibility and it’s even more complicated for multi-side clubs. To help with that we created this template to help with the 50% and 66% regulations. It has conditional formatting in place to highlight things if there is something that is flagged so you can do additional research. Note that we have heard there are some waivers out there, we need to receive a copy of those so we can verify.
        2. Young: We tested this a few times with the QFs as McPhail mentioned, we feel confident that it’s right but we’re happy to hear feedback from clubs. It’s designed to copy straight from the 28 player roster for ease.
        3. Norton: Yes, I would love it if the eligibility committee could simplify these guidelines. But I think this will be really helpful for clubs this year.
        4. McPhail: We also know that it’s a new year using the RX app so there may be some other issues. However we are doing our best to follow the rules as we can. These first three clubs were the guinea pigs so sorry if we scared a few of you but appreciate your feedback on this.
    6. Check In Times and BOOK CHECK
      1. Young: This is the most critical as we want clubs, administrators, coaches and players to understand that they must have proper identification at check-in along with their book check.
      2. Norton: At the MD3 QFs we did a digital book check and I wanted to clarify that we don’t have to have the actual copies as well? So if I have a digital book that has passports do my players need to have a copy in their hand?
      3. McPhail: No, if it’s all digital and we can validate the face then we are good. If it’s a form that doesn’t have a photo id like birth certificate then they will need to have proof of identification that has a photo as well. But you don’t need to duplicate your efforts with paper with a digital book in hand.
    7. Referees/#4s?
      1. McPhail: Shawn, how are things coming with the referees?
      2. Martin: Great! We had invited a referee in for the MD1 match but he was just assigned to a MLR match in Dallas. We’re on the hunt for another referee but we don’t anticipate any issues. It’s also a very light weekend so we will have full coverage with ARs and #4s.
      3. Young: Ok, we will have a few folks on the ground if you need help with #4s.
      4. Martin: I think we can cover most of them but once we get closer I will confirm with you.
    8. RRRC/TRU Support on the ground
      1. Young
      2. McPhail
      3. Tate
      4. Norton
      5. Hughes
      6. Horn
  6. Gulf Coast Super Regional 5/6-7
    1. McPhail: No new information since we last met. I continue to follow up with all parties. I did find a Facebook event though.
    2. Super Regionals 2024 – placeholder for discussion set for 4/15/23
      1. McPhail: This is in our Memorandum of Understanding that we will review the agreement and that clearly hasn’t happened. I will try to get the conversations for 2024 going…we are slated to host. 
  7. USAR National Championships – Jun 2-4
    1. Young: Announcement of location will be coming very soon!
  8. 7s
    1. 6/10 – LoneStar Classic (Dallas, TX): TOLA
    2. 6/17 – Bloodfest  (Round Rock, TX): RRRC / TOLA / Midwest Crossover event
    3. 7/1 – Hell or Highwater 7s (Houston, TX): RRRC  / TOLA
    4. 7/8 – Midwest Qual #2 (Chicago, Il): RRRC Crossover event
    5. 7/15 – Cherrybone 7s (Woodlands, TX): TOLA
    6. 7/22 – Choctaw 7s (Durant, OK): RRRC / TOLA
    7. 7/29 – Riverboat 7s (Shreveport, LA): TOLA
    8. 8/12-13 – DC or Seattle (TBC)
      1. McPhail: Fil gathered all these events and so we have our RRRC/TOLA schedule for the summer!
      2. Young: Yes, I will get this posted soon. I know that 7s by the Sea is reviewing and will announce their social date soon. There may be a few other tournaments as well, we’re happy to add them but tell us about them.
      3. McPhail: We are still trying to help Fil out with 7s by adding a few folks to his committee. I had conversations with someone this weekend and am just waiting for their feedback. We’re also working on a document that will hold rules, scores and such so it can all be found in one place. That could be used at the National level as well.
  9. Pitch Protocol and Inspection Form
    1. Dale: We updated this from our last conversation and the form is much shorter and simpler now. We created this because of a previous issue where a match wasn’t played due to objections from one club to the condition of the field. I created this from an English club that had a similar form and think it will help clubs determine if a pitch is playable or not. It’s really meant to give guidance to referees and clubs to make the best decision on the day.
    2. McPhail: Great, has the committee had a chance to review?
    3. Dale: I think so, this is version 3 and we’ve gotten feedback from almost half the members of this committee.
    4. McPhail: What do you think about adding a section or a page that includes when a game is called early?
    5. Dale: That is already covered in the TRU policies but maybe we add it to the bottom of this?
    6. McPhail: Yes, I think that makes sense. Just in case there is a dispute then this form can be used.
    7. Young: Do we add this to the current Risk and Safety policy?
    8. McPhail: Yes, I think that makes sense.
    9. Young; Just so we don’t have stand alone policies as they tend to get overlooked.
    10. Dale: Agree, I think that makes sense.
    11. Young: Great, I’ll wait till it’s approved and then make the update.
  10. AGM – tentatively scheduled for Aug 26 at 3pm
    1. In-person
      1. Young: We will be having an in-person meeting this year as we are in need of a new TRU President and we have a whole slate of elections between the RRRC and TRU. It is tentatively scheduled for August 26 at the Summit in Fort Worth. We’ll confirm that soon!
    2. Elections
      1. Men’s DI – Dale
      2. Men’s D2 – Hanlon
      3. Men’s D3 – Kurylas
      4. Women’s – Fosco
      5. At Large – Roche
        1. McPhail: Does anyone want to share if they are running again?
        2. Roche: I will not be running again.
        3. Fosco: I am also not running again.
        4. Dale: I’m happy to run again.
        5. Kurylas: To be determined.
        6. Hanlon: I will be running again
        7. McPhail: Thank you to everyone who has served and those that would like to run again. This is an important committee and we want to make sure that all our divisions are represented.
  11. HOF – Aug 26 in Ft Worth
    1. Nominations close Apr 15!
    2. Hotel Block
      1. Young: Only a few days left for nominations, please get those in! We have settled on a hotel in Fort Worth and have reserved a block of rooms. The block always fills up so get your reservation in! Booking info is already available on the HOF website.
  12. Summit – Aug 25-27 in Ft Worth
    1. Hotel Block
      1. Young: Same as above, we have a block of rooms reserved for the Summit. Get booked because the block will fill up quickly.
    2. Calum Clark
      1. Young: We have an opportunity to bring Calum to the Summit but there is a cost to bring him from overseas. We’re wanting to explore if we bring him over 2 or 3 weeks before and that way he can host some courses throughout the major cities and also do the Summit. This would be quite the cost and of course if any club wanted to  help subsidize the cost…we’re always open to that.
      2. Roche: This is cool but we have a lot of top talent in the US with the MLR and Club, why are we looking Internationally?
      3. Young: We have reached out to the MLR coaching staff in the past and sometimes they are interested but it hasn’t panned out. We have already reached out to the Jackal coaching staff and haven’t heard back.
      4. Roche: Ok, at least we’re trying to use what we have here.
      5. Young: Yes, we have tons of talent in the US but we’re having a hard time getting anyone confirmed. If clubs are interested in supporting this effort, please reach out.
  13. New Business
    1. Promotion and Relegation
      1. McPhail: Finger in the wind, when do we want to start these conversations?
      2. Kurylas: Usually I do a bit of spreadsheet work and present it to the committee to get the conversations started. I can have that together by the next meeting so we can start.
      3. McPhail: Great, thank you. I’d like to start those conversations at our next meeting. Deadline for new VII’s Club application (May 1st?) and XV’s Club applications (June 1st?)
      4. Young: Yes, those are the published dates.
      5. McPhail: As we talk about promotion and relegation we also want to know of any new clubs. That deadline is fast approaching on June 1st.
    2. Discipline – Fort Hood appeal of Red Card (?)
      1. McPhail: This is really for the book checks and to make sure this player or any other serves their sanction.
      2. Young: I will check with Zack on the appeals process and see how that appeal is progressing.
        1. Young 4/13: The appeals panel ruled and this red card has been vacated, I’ve updated the record in RX and the public Disciplinary Report.
  14. Meeting Adjournment (9:30 PM)