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TRU Board Meeting Notes – 2/19/24

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:

Dave McPhail

Ozzie Bayazitoglu

John Kurylas

Drew Tomsak

David Dodge

Chris Hanson

Zack Hiller

  1. Regrets
    1. Whitney Ohmann-Wilson
    2. Wendy Young
  1. Financials:
    1. See email that was sent to the Board earlier this evening. TRU Treasurer, David Pfleger, sent an email with the updated finances to McPhail on 1/15/24. 
    2. Pfleger stated that there were no material issues at this time.  Budget’s are always fluid and we will have some adjustments that need to be made during the operating year.  
    3. Our next biggest expenses will be RRRC and Gulf Coast playoffs.  Otherwise our monthly expenses continue to be Operations, Administration, and Match Costs (TRRA).
    4. Discussion regarding the need to spend reserves / savings in order to cover a shortfall in revenue if there registration trend remains below last year’s YTD figures.  Based on current spend and some areas that may not need full funding, no, there is not an expectation at this point in the cycle that there will be a material shortfall that would require a meaningful savings injection.  The wild card may be the cost of the HOF banquet as costs are expected to be higher than recent years based on Austin location and overall increased costs for Hotels (Meeting Space, Rooms, etc).  HOF weekend is budgeted for a small loss, sponsorships will help keep the banquet a profitable event.
  1. RRRC Sevens Chair Opening
  1. As previously discussed, Arnal Prasad (San Antonio) will be serving as Sevens Chair for the 2024 season.  Arnal joined the RRRC call last week (Feb-12th) and outlined the progress made to date and summarized his discussions with Fil.  See RRRC minutes (Feb-2024). 
  2. Tentative / Proposed Qualifier Dates
  1. Q1 – Bloodfest – June 15, 2024
  2. Q2 – Choctaw – June 29, 2024
  3. Cross-over with Midwest July 13, 2024 (TBC)
  4. Q3 – TBC July 27, 2024
  5. Nationals August 10-11, 2024 – Madison, Wisconsin
  1. Discussion about running RX rosters for both TOLA and RRRC events from Jan-2024 Meeting:
  1. Hanson: l 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. 
  4. Hanson is talking to USAR and will advise more in the weeks to come.  It’s available but collecting 80 plus rosters could be very laborious.  Best case efforts for now on social tournaments but is required for 7’s NCS pathway (Qualifiers).
  1. USA Club Sevens Chair has been announced, David Fee is replacing Fil.  David Fee is a former USA Sevens Eagle.  David’s playing experience combined with his current coaching role are two strong skill sets he brings to the Chair.  No formal announcement has been made to my knowledge by USA Rugby; we are still waiting to hear directly from him on his plans for this summer’s structure, pathways, etc.
  1. DC Update continued – 
  1. Myself and DC Chair Scot Courtney were both notified that we will not be hosting the JO (judicial officers) course this Spring as anticipated.  
  2. There is a plan for the GU to possibly host a training session on June 8 & 9th (Scott Duval / USA).  Proposed date was confirmed via email rec’d during the meeting.
  3. Need to start identifying likely candidates for the class.  Legal background would be helpful.
  4. Scot will run as point person with USA Rugby and Dodge has provided the name of the host hotel in the DFW market area.  Zach will be working to help identify future JO’s.
  5. Red & Yellow cards are being handled by DC per normal and are getting processed and posted.  There have been some hiccups that we are still working through with connection to WTR, RX and posting of final decisions of the DC.  Still working on with Hansel, Zack & Scot.
  1. Admin Update – Comments below are from last month; no updates of note.
  1. The handoff of roles and responsibilities is still on-going between Wendy and Hansel. Not much traction happening over the holidays. There was discussion about adding another “known” person but that person does not have the band width at this time.  Status quo for now and will become a Summer priority.
  2. Automation is working well and creating more efficiencies in time and efforts. Happy with the trend.
  1. RX & WTR – 
  1. Hansel continues 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.
  2. RRRC Divisional Reps are reaching out to their respective member clubs to resolve issues identified. 
  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).  * Informational only
  4. Changes should continue to be submitted to the Match CAD Form. * Informational only
  1. Events
  1. RRRC Championships April 20-21, 2024 – Houston SaberCats. McPhail & Wendy had a call with the Hosts event manager & staff leaders.  We talked through the checklist to work out various items. Major concerns from the prio call were a) cost of parking for spectators and b) Cats sale of alcohol and related costs for security / police that will increase upfront costs.  Draft schedule is in the works but waiting on MD1 and WD1 to finalize some issues that are lingering and unanswered (see “Ref assignments” below).
  2. Gulf Coast Super Regionals May 4-5, 2024 – Austin Blacks.  Host contact has been named for the Blacks.  Wendy & McPhail will schedule an initial call to go over the checklist and iron out any material issues.  Draft schedule is in the works but TBC once we know more above Referee assignments (USA vs TRRA).
  3. Ozzie and his team are working with USA Referee leadership but feels strongly that the TRRA has as much depth of talent as any region and he will have enough local talent to properly staff all matches.  There will be other Ref’s for the GC Region invited to supplement the GC tournament. 
  4. XVs National Championships May 17-19, 2024 – Hosted by the Austin Blacks at the Round Rock Sports Complex.  Another great opportunity for TRU & TRRA members.
  1. USA Updates – Dodge
  1. USA Club Budget was submitted and approved.  Super Regional grant approved for all Regional tournaments (including Texas GU hosting) plus potential for a Social Media stipend discussed below.
  2. Dedicated social media person(s) will be offered that will have a grant in support of SR events.  More details to come.
  3. The GCSR trophy will be provided by the USA Club Council for each of the GCSR winners.
  4. New CEO for USAR: Bill Goran to start mid March 2024.  Goran is the former Deputy Commissioner of MLR.  Interim CFO (Todd Sowl) was also confirmed to be moving into this role on a permanent basis.
  1. Other Items – 
    1. Dodge asked about changing the forms used for Match Day eligibility.  There was not much support for changing the process at this time.  FR issue was raised with Jamie at USA but he did not see the need as this information is not being tracked currently.  We will try to raise the issue with Jamie and the RX team again over the summer as a proposed “upgrade” to RX that would include ability to track “FR” and “Professional” players among other items. Hansel stated during the RRRC call that he might be able to accomplish “FR” tracking by using the database and match roster comparisons.
    2. Last year Wendy and McPhail had a discussion about having a “mid-season” book check in advance of the playoffs.  This would, hopefully, gather over 80% of the data we need to do 50% and 66% compliance verification a lot quicker as we would only need updates as we near the playoffs and not entire rosters.
    3. Tasking Wendy and Hansel to review RX and come up with an announcement / posting once the document gathering process has been vetted. Call confirmed for Sunday, 2/25.
    4. Reminder: Referee’s still needed, especially in the Dallas area.  Upcoming courses confirmed by USAR T&E.  Dallas area clinic on Feb-11th was canceled due to lack of support.  Next clinic is:
      1. Mar 30 – Little Rock, AR with Little Rock
  1. New Business
    1. None

Meeting Adjourned: Dodge & Hanson 9:17pm