I am very honored to be your new Chairman and look forward to working with all of you. My personal thank you to those who have gone before us. Traci and Greg volunteered to lead us this past year and we will be forever grateful for all of their help. I want to thank Scott Green for stepping in as Vice Chair, Wendy Young for staying on as admin/scheduler, Randy Campbell for staying on as RDO and Dave McPhail for staying on as Treasurer. We certainly could not continue without them. I want to share with you my immediate concerns, goals and initiatives coming down the road.
Like most of the rugby playing world the TRRA has struggled to recruit referees. With the TRU, Collegiate and Rugby Texas adding more teams and clubs this year, we must make referee recruitment our number one priority. I have reached out to the TRU to help in our recruiting efforts and ask that you please get out into your communities and help find the next ref. High school to senior club level, we will take them all and give them the proper training
Standards and consistency. Over the last few years not only has the volume of matches that the TRRA covers increased, the standard and quality of rugby in Texas has and will continue to increase. We are blessed to have the opportunity to referee some of the top matches in the country week in week out. With this blessing it is our responsibility to ensure that the product we deliver meets and exceeds this standard. It is my goal that the all TRRA referees will continue to use, follow and implement the USAR game management guidelines so we achieve a consistency across all matches. To help get us on the same page throughout the union, we would like to bring back monthly training sessions. There will be one in each region (North, Central, South) where we will discuss a common topic, review law exams and enhance the camaraderie amongst our association. The teams in TRU should be comfortable knowing that week in and week out, no matter who the ref is, the laws will be cited the same. Beep tests are coming in September/October. These are for you to see where you are and what you need to work on. The January Beep test will factor heavily into match assignment and promotions.
I had so many compliments last year about how the referees were showing up early and that teams could tell that the quality of referees was on the rise. Let’s continue that positive trend and give them our best, every match. Remember we are one of the few people in rugby getting paid to perform a service to the absolute best of our abilities. I found last year, by smiling, staying calm and enjoying the match, the players in turn reacted the same.
Kit. There were great reviews about the test kit the C1 referees wore last year. We are going to offer this kit to everyone with a yellow and a green version. We are working hard to help you offset the cost so stay tuned as we finalize a deal and make the kits available.
Sponsorship. Several letters go out this week to businesses asking for sponsorship. We are asking anyone with serious connections to a Texas based business (bank, food, dealerships, etc) to contact us.
Working on our own website. It will be Texasrugbyref.com. Stay tuned and this will be one of our primary communication outlets.
There is much more to come and we are always looking for ideas and help. If you have ideas or want to help coach referees or help out your TRRA staff, please contact us. This is going to take a monumental effort by all of us working together to get our numbers up. I am always available for questions and I can’t wait to start the season! Thank you for all you do!!!