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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 1/15/24

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. Whitney Ohmann-Wilson
        2. Wendy Young
  2. RRRC Sevens Chair Opening
    1. As previously discussed, Arnal Prasad (San Antonio) will be serving as “interim” Sevens Chair until a formal posting can be published. Arnal has a meeting scheduled with FIl K. to discuss best practices and getting the ground work done for the upcoming Summer.
    2. USA should be announcing a new Club Sevens Chair shortly. Need to see what changes, if any, may be made with respect to pathways, seedings, etc.
    3. Tentative / Proposed Qualifier Dates
      1. Bloodfest – June 15, 2024
      2. Choctaw – June 29, 2024
      3. Cross-over with Midwest July 13, 2024
      4. TBC 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 (Needs to be confirmed)
    4. Discussion about running RX rosters for both TOLA and RRRC events. 
      1. Hansel can pull reports of all players for TRU but we do not have national access at this time.
      2. Dodge would have access to National and weekly at-large registration as well.
      3. Best option at this time is to continue with USAR event sanctioning and national office roster checks. Not a clear way for clubs to create teams and select from players outside of their club registration at this time. 
  3. DC Update continued – 
    1. Still no announcement regarding the training course from Megan Braun. Will advise further once we have details. 
      1. Zach – there was a discussion of training in March and April but not in Texas. It has been pushed back to a possible summer date. Dodge confirmed that there was a discussion on ExCo call to push it back.
      2. TRU needs to keep moving forward with our internal plans and wait for USA training dates.
    2. McPhail is continuing to discuss updating our procedures to align with USA / World Rugby policies with Courtney & Hiller.  
    3. FYI…there has been a handful of Red Card sanctions; normal activity. Zach was delayed over the holiday but sanctions / notifications have resumed. 
    4. Zach Hiller has sent initial notices out regarding the Reg 18 hearing related to the subject player discussed last month that was a transfer into the TRU.
    5. 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. 
    6. Referees mostly do a good job with reporting cards. Make sure that the player’s full name, player jersey number and full description of infraction are included. 
  4. Update on ByLaws and 501c3 – 
    1. No updates received since the last text message thread (Dec-2023) from Tate.
  5.  Winter AGM – 
    1. Group discussion on if we need to have an AGM twice a year or just once in the Summer?
    2. Drew: I say we keep rockin ‘down the road with just the Summer AGM.
    3. Dodge: Is there a bylaw requiring this?
    4. McPhail: Reading through the by-laws quickly, doesn’t show a requirement for a winter AGM. Special meetings can be called at any time with a majority of the board. Drew will double check with McPhail. 
    5. Group recalls any attempt at an in person winter agm not being that successful. Consensus on skipping the winter agm. Dodge motioned to skip winter agm with a second from Drew. No opposition. * McPhail and Tomsak confirmed that there is no requirement for an interim meeting; annual only requirement.
  6.  Financials – 
    1. McPhail: Requested a calendar Year End update from Treasurer (Pfleger). Update rec’d from Pfleger. Will review this week and forward to the Board for review / comments. 
    2. McPhail: Note that membership / enrollment is tracking about 90% of YTD figures last year.
    3. This will need to be addressed over the summer. If enrollment continues to stay negative or flat, it will not keep up with our current or historical spending and a dues increase, program cuts, or increased use of savings to balance expenditures.
  7. Admin Update – 
    1. The handoff of roles and responsibilities is still on-going between Wendy and Hansel. Not much traction happening over the holidays. 
    2. Wendy created a draft document that outlines a vision of what the TRU / RRRC administrative roles would look like once fully staffed. McPhail requested for a pro forma impact on the budget but nothing was received in response. * Young confirmed no material change via email.
    3. Automation is working well and creating more efficiencies in time and efforts. Happy with the trend.
    4. No negative comments being heard. Chris continues to be autonomous. We still need Website and Social Media gaps clarified. 
  8. RX & WTR – 
    1. 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. 
    2. Fines will be mandatory starting after Jan-15th, 2024. 
    3. Reminder: 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. Any changes post 9/28 should be submitted to the Match CAD Form
  9. Events
    1. RRRC Championships April 20-21, 2024 – Houston SaberCats. McPhail had a call with the Cats event manager and walked through the checklist to work out various items. 
      1. Major concerns from the call are a) cost of parking for spectators and b) Cats sale of alcohol and related costs for security / police that will increase upfront costs.
    2. Gulf Coast Super Regionals May 4-5, 2024 – Austin Blacks. No response at this time. 
    3. XVs National Championships May 17-19, 2024 – No new announcements. Venue should be announced by USAR prior to the next TRU Board call.
  10. USA Updates – Dodge
    1. Budget is up for approval. 
    2. David had an introductory conference call with Elain Vassie (newly hired Sr. Club Assistant). Looking forward to working with Elaine once she gets settled into her new role.
    3.  Will Keels was hired by SCC to be an outside admin that works directly for the Exec Committee vs Elaine that works directly with GU’s.
    4. Senior Club Rugby Assistant role search by USA Rugby
  11. Other Items:
    1. Ozzie has agreed to host an online training course regarding Replacements. 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. Here is the document that he will be going over. *Training was recorded and can be watched here.
    2. 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.
      1.  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.
      2. Send email to RRRC to discuss. Non-Resident / Professional / Subs. Etc. – McPhail to send.
      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
    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. * Post was made to FB that referenced the online course.
      1. Upcoming courses confirmed by USAR T&E:
        1. COACHING Feb 4 – Austin, TX with Huns
        2. REFEREE Feb 11 – Dallas, TX with Trinity Rugby (Carrollton, TX)
        3. REFEREE Mar 30 – Little Rock, AR with Little Rock
      2. Process for scheduling education course.
    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. Ozzie; no issues at this time but it will be monitored.
  12. Meeting Adjourned: 9:06pm

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