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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 12/18/23

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. Dave McPhail
    2. Ozzie Baya
    3. John Kurylas
    4. Drew Tomsak
    5. David Dodge
    6. Chris Hanson
    7. Zack Hiller
      1. Regrets
        1. Wendy Young
        2. Whitney Ohmann-Wilson
  1. Club Viability Fee – 
    1. Collin County – Resolved. No further action. 
  1. RRRC Sevens Chair Opening
    1. David previously spoke with two individuals who had expressed interest. Arnal Prasad (San Antonio) will be serving as “interim” Sevens Chair until a formal posting can be published. We need to update the job description and work with Wendy to have it posted to the website. Will review and proceed as applicable. Goal is to have the final name(s) published by EOM Jan-2024.
    2. Tentative / Proposed Qualifier Dates
      1. Bloodfest – June 15, 2024
      2. Choctaw – June 29, 2024
      3. Cross-over with Midwest July 13, 2024
      4. TBD July 27, 2024
        1. Open to clubs that would like to host a third qualifier- submit a Tournament Form
      5. Nationals August 17-18, 2024


  1. DC Update
    1. McPhail reached out to Megan Braun (DC, USA Rugby) about hosting a JR (Judicial Review) course in Texas. Follow up phone call a week or so ago and Megan is still waiting on final approval from USAR. Reaffirmed our desire to host and send as many DC members as possible.
    2. Additional phone call was held with Scot Courtney regarding the matter and he recommended a) that all DC members attend and b) he is working with Zack and the group to review existing protocols to ensure that process is running smoothly as the process is driven by USA protocols, but the burden is on the DC more and more to initiate and follow through with the Carded player/team. 
    3. FYI…there has been a handful of Red Card sanctions; normal activity. The other item of note is that there was a DC hearing requested by USA as there was a person that transferred to TX from Detroit. This player was not cleared by their home club so they elected to create a new profile and a new registration to get around the issue. Player admitted to the wrong doing and both TRU DC and USA DC are in communication.
    4. Zack Hiller- Hearings will happen for every red card; teams or players don’t need to initiate but are encouraged to participate. Procedures and information will be updated and summarized and posted. 
    5.  There was an agenda item to follow up on some prior TRU and USA DC rulings from the last competitive cycle. New allegations were raised regarding certain individuals. Recommendation from USA is that a “new case” be filed with SafeSport for ongoing and future tracking. Email has been forwarded to Scot and Zack.
    6. Closed session- former discipline issue
  1. Update on ByLaws and 501c3
    1. Message sent to K Tate – Text message that he is working on By-Law Update. See note below regarding Winter AGM.
  1. Budget – Proposed budget was reviewed, discussed, and approved based on the assumptions noted on the prior conference call. Still a concern regarding top line revenue from registrations vs project cost of normal operations. 
  1. Admin Update
    1. The handoff of roles and responsibilities is still on-going between Wendy and Hansel. 
    2. Andrew Heller has come on board as an admin for the D1 Premiership initiative discussed last month.

There has been discussion about expanding his role and filling in the gaps between the skill sets of Wendy and Chris. 

  1. Wendy has created a draft document that outlines a vision of what the TRU / RRRC administrative roles would look like once fully staffed. 
  2. Dodge – Checking on if this outline is covered with the current budget. Unsure at this stage but is being looked at. 
  3. David – Budget request tied to proposal was requested. Will have to see how it compares to existing admin expenses already approved in this cycle’s budget.
  4. David – Ask that all Board Members review the document and circulate and Q&A so we can discuss in depth at the next meeting.
  1. RX & WTR – 
    1. Minor glitches have been caught along the way. Primarily human error given that RX was wiped out from last year and the majority of the data and information that we relied on was deleted. Have requested that we not lose all data and have some sort of archive going forward.
    2. Another component is the manual mapping of data from RX, conversion of data into a format that works with WhoTheRef and then the validating of all data points (dates / times / location / etc).
    3. Hansel has been running reports each week and manually verifying that teams are meeting input deadlines for rosters by the deadline. Overall, compliance has been good. Most of the problems are data lost in RX transition and new club management that had no prior experience with RX. To dates, policy fines have been waived. Fines will be mandatory starting Jan-15th, 2024. 
      1. CLubs need to make sure and mark Front Row eligible players and be familiar with substitution numbers and how Front Row identification can affect those (WR Law 3)
    4. “Name Withheld” has not been a material issue to this point. 
    5. Any changes post 9/28 should be submitted to the Match CAD Form
    6. Corpus Christi has had a non-played forfeit with late notice. Fine to be sent out via RRRC / Policy.
  1. Events
    1. RRRC Championships April 20-21, 2024 – Houston SaberCats
    2. Gulf Coast Super Regionals May 4-5, 2024 – Austin Blacks
    3. David notified our USAR SCC contact, Andrew King, of the dates and locations. Andrew responded, “rock and roll, thanks”. 
    4. Wendy has sent an email to both Hosts asking them to start working on long range planning (hotels, etc). Wendy also shared an “operational checklist” with the Hosts that she has used for prior events. We will need to keep tabs on progress, especially for the GCSR event as costs to participants was a major concern. No comments or feedback from email that was sent on 12/15/23.
    5. XVs National Championships May 17-19, 2024 – No new announcements.
    6. Mary Graham All Stars December 7-8, 2024. Great event, as always, based on FB coverage and feedback provided. Link: https://texasrugbyunion.com/2023/12/07/a-recap-of-the-2023-mary-graham-all-stars-and-gearing-up-for-2024/#more-20658
    7. 2024 date has been published as Dec 7-8th.
  1. USA Updates – Dodge
    1. Next Sr Club Council call is this Wednesday? DRM is not going to be dialing in as a guest based on family conflict. Dodge, can you provide an update after the meeting?
    2. David has a conference call this week (Thurs) with Elain Vassie (newly hired Sr. Club Assistant).
    3. Senior Club Rugby Assistant role search by USA Rugby
    4. Will Keels hired by SCC to be an outside admin that works directly for the Exec Committee vs Elaine that works directly with GU’s.
  1. Other New Business
    1. Ozzie has agreed to host an online training course regarding Substitutions. There was a match that had raised multiple questions and interpretations. David spoke with Ozzie and he has shared some information as to how it relates to World Rugby and MLR work he has done. Plan to video the training session and share with RRRC / Board. Does not need to be a large audience initially.
      1. Discussion around team rosters, front row players, non-resident identification, etc. Suggestions around a form for the future to possibly be piloted by Division 1. Example from Dallas Reds.
      2.  Dodge: Is it possible for the RRRC to look at requiring an “updated” roster form that would cover all USA player types that include restrictions such as “professional” as well as the standard items for non-resident and front row eligible (and max subs allowed matrix). David, yes, we can share that with the RRRC group and see if the D1 has interest in trialing it for the Spring as this ties in with last week’s RRRC call discussion on substitutions and continued RRRC / TRU requirement to provide a Front Row Waiver. The FRW determines the max number of subs based on the matrix. Suspect many are not adhering on game day.
      3. Reminder of Book checks which should be revised for the Spring. Teams should be advised to get their Book in order. More information can be found here
    2. Winter 2024 AGM – Date / Topics:
      1. Need more information on last Winter AGM to set up. Sounds like Winter AGM is no longer a normal course of action. Will send a follow up email to the Board to confirm if there is a need/desire to have a Winter meeting or if these monthly meetings are meeting the Board and the Members needs.
      2. If K Tate has By-Law changes completed this may be a reason to have it in Jan/Feb 2024.  However, the lack of response on 501c3 may be reason to wait and not make changes twice and wait until Summer 2024 AGM to address changes.  Will need to see the impact of proposed changes and figure out materiality and timing.
    3. Referee’s still needed, especially in the Dallas area. Dave confirmed with Wendy that she will put up a post to see if there is any interest from clubs in setting up training. 
      1. Process for scheduling education course.
      2. AR Training now available through the USA Rugby LMS. Click on “Learning Center” in RX for more information. Training is currently free for the time being. May charge in 2024.
    4. Dodge: Any major issues with TRRA coverage as it relates to the newly published MLR schedule? Not sure, haven’t had a chance to review the full schedule but will have a look.
  1. Meeting Adjourned 9:18 (Zack / John)