TRRA Board Minutes 10/26/20

As proposed at the TRRA AGM of 2020 – the TRRA Board will explore posting meeting minutes for all members. A record of the meeting minutes can be found here.

  1. Roll Call
    1. O’Gara
    2. Roche
    3. Herrera
    4. Johnson
    5. Bayazitoglu
  2. Advantage Referee/TRRA Webinars
    1. Roche: We had our first one last week and had 38 participants. We had a couple of team coaches as well which is great to see. Those numbers are good, I would like to see a bit more on the call but am hoping that people are watching the replays. Be sure to push it in your regional groups, send to the email chains as well to link in people that aren’t in the whatsapp. It’s super beneficial and we can really learn a lot.
    2. Bayazitoglu: I thought it was great. It exceeded my expectations which were already high. I did the summer series that Advantage Referee put on and I thought this was more on point. He took a general knowledge and focused it on your local union referee. It was useful for a brand new referee, a middle of the road referee and the high performance referee.
  3. Treasurer/Bank Update
    1. Roche: Drew has indicated his interest and sent over a proposal that we all received. Anyone else who is interested please indicate your interest by letting any of the board members know! We would like to know before the end of the week.
  4. Membership Registration
    1. Roche: So far we have 9 members: Yip, Reagle, Cousins, Cole, Rouse, Roche, Summers, Jones registered. I have sent kit to Sam Reagle who is new and added him to the email list. He’s in the Central region (San Antonio). Grant Cole has joined as a referee coach, which is awesome. All of these members have been registered under NASO. Robert Hays has also registered since I last sent in payment to NASO, he (and whoever else registers this week) will get in the NASO group I send in on Friday.
    2. Roche: Also so everyone is aware, the rest of the Referee Societies may or may not be on strike with USA Rugby? It still seems pretty unclear to me.
    3. O’Gara: What was the reasoning? Dues?
    4. Roche: Many of the societies were frustrated with the lack of representation and the fact that dues were not decreased like player and admin dues were. To me it seemed like anger towards the governing body with the effect of taking it out on the sport and participants. I feel like everyone was waiting around for USA Rugby to tell them what to do and what was going to be done in regards to education and continued training and then got frustrated when USA Rugby made errors. This also all seems like wishful thinking that USAR (who just went through bankruptcy and has always had some issues) was going to magically be great at this? TRRA and TRU have operated under the policy that USAR is the governing body but we have always been at the forefront of our own referee and player/coach education.
    5. Herrera: So where does that leave us with Level 1 training and courses required by World Rugby? If we have people who want to take the L1 and begin training? Can we host courses?
    6. Roche: I do not know, I will reach out to John Clavin and see where we stand with that.
      1. Update 10/27 – There have been a few demo courses in the USA since COVID, trying to determine the best course of action for returning to in-person referee education courses. There is also a new shorter referee-overview course in the works, with hopes to be released at the end of this year.
  5. Assignments
    1. Roche: I don’t know what everyone is thinking regarding assignments. It’s usually a reimbursed position like treasurer. It’s a job that requires a lot of work and it’s difficult for one person to do and it’s difficult for many people to do, so pick your difficult! Did anyone have any “this worked really well” or “this definitely did not work well” from last year or years prior they would like to continue?
    2. Bayazitoglu: Tim and I worked really well together last year with the Houston area. I know you want to take a more holistic view, especially from the top level, but it works well organizing regionally. Tim, do you want us to put our hand up again for this upcoming year?
    3. O’Gara: Yes, and the year before I did Houston, Shawn did Dallas and Scott did central. Every week we would hop on a call and discuss what worked best for everyone. Scott would also do D1, but he would take our input for assigning those individuals. So if we operated that way again, I think our regional representatives would do a good job of assigning the local matches and having Kat handle the D1.
    4. Roche: I would definitely like some input on D1, and someone to bounce ideas off of. I personally know I made some errors last year in assigning which I had learned from and were hoping to rectify when COVID hit. There’s definitely a learning curve to the assignments so I think we need to have some experienced people involved who can see problems coming and know what to prioritize. Something I did not like from last year was how long it took for the schedule to come out. Some regions were posting three weeks in advance and some regions didn’t have assignments the week of. I don’t want to get any coaches emailing me saying “we don’t have a ref for Saturday” again.
    5. O’Gara: Are we are using Sportlomo this year?
    6. Roche: We’ve already paid for Who’s The Ref for another year so we will be using that again. I will be trying to demo some individuals in Sportlomo to see if it’s usable for the following year. The unfortunate thing is there’s no distances in Sportlomo so we can’t see who is closest to which game.
    7. Roche: Mary and Cesar, how are you guys feeling about assisting with assignments this year? I know Ozzie and Tim are in.
    8. Johnson: I am comfortable and eager to help, I wanted to assist last year but didn’t know how best to participate. I feel like I know all the members in the North and how to gauge best fit for games.
    9. Herrera: I am also game to help.
    10. O’Gara: Some of the issues we had run into in the past were that referees that had no business in D1 games were in D1 games.
    11. Roche: I think that will be a bit more clarified with the HPG that we have established and clarified the requirements for.
    12. Herrera: I am working on getting that [HPG] up off the ground but am unsure of who to reach out to start that group, I know some of the big players in Central but not a lot of South or North area referees.
    13. Roche: How about all regional representatives come up with a list of people, send it over to Cesar, then Cesar can email out “Hey you’ve been identified as someone who may fit this group, here are the requirements, are you interested, etc”.
    14. O’Gara: What if we get the CMO’s input?
    15. Roche: I think that’s also another discussion, do we want to identify specific high performance referees?
    16. O’Gara: We have CMO’s who are excellent with new referees but might not give enough to referees pursuing the National level.
    17. Herrera: I do think we need to separate the CMO’s who wait to raise their game to the “next level” versus the ones who just want to coach new referees.
    18. Roche: Does someone want to take the lead on that?
    19. O’Gara: I can take the lead on that. I tried to do this last year by starting a CMO WhatsApp group but everyone has different ideas. Different ideas on even just what to put on a match report. I wanted to go for consistency and just focus on three areas, two the ref did well and one the ref could improve on. We still had a few totally debilitating reports that just essayed everything the referee did wrong in every minute.
    20. Roche: I saw some fantastic reports from Tim O’Gara.
    21. O’Gara: There were only one or two of us actually filling out the reports! I recall getting slaughtered every week with 5 page essays when I was coming up.
    22. Roche: I think that’s a big difference between CMOs focused on new referees and ones focused on the HPG. Also where we get a lot of return on the Advantage Reports. We should just see who is willing to put more effort in and raise that level.
    23. Roche: So compensation for assigners? I like what we’ve proposed for the treasurer position, half advance and half afterward?
    24. Johnson: I am good with doing it without compensation, I wasn’t really expecting any.
    25. O’Gara: Last year we actually had to switch up our system in the middle because it wasn’t working. A few years ago we just did bonuses at the end of the year if all went well.
    26. Bayazitoglu: That also allows us to solicit paid help in the middle of the season if we are not meeting expectations.
    27. Roche: I like that. I also do a bit of admin work and am happy to sweep up afterward if I notice things are falling through the cracks.
    28. Bayazitoglu: Kat you’re not accepting money now are you?
    29. Roche: Not currently, I’m not doing much. During the season I won’t hesitate to ask for a little help if I am slaving away at this.
    30. Bayazitoglu: Awesome, we don’t want you spending 20 hours a week for free labor.
  6. New Business
    1. Winter Kit Ideas
      1. Roche: Okay one last thing to toss around. Can anyone think of something TRRA branded to add to the store for the winter/holiday season? 
      2. Herrera: TRRA Holiday Sock??
      3. Roche: We might just have to make custom ones.
      4. Herrera: Where are we on kit bags?
      5. Roche: I can ask Leah, the only thing is if we go BLK kit bags, they get very expensive.
      6. Herrera: When I was in CA, I was the envy of the refs because I had the nicest kit bag.
      7. O’Gara: A few years ago we did kit bags and we preordered and got our names on them. They were $80-90.
      8. Herrera: Or the old school canvas bags?
      9. Roche: I’m not a fan but that’s just me. Patches?
      10. Herrera nods enthusiastically.
      11. O’Gara: Face masks? 
      12. Roche: Someone else mentioned that. I can explore that as well.
      13. O’Gara: What kind of patch? Like an eye patch? To cover my one good eye?
      14. Roche: I’m putting this in the minutes. Also is everyone good with sending out holiday cards again? We did it last year and it wasn’t very expensive.
      15. Herrera: Baseball hats or trucker hats?
      16. O’Gara: Did we get the boonie hats?
      17. Roche runs off camera and returns wearing a boonie hat. Roche: Like THIS?
      18. O’Gara: I have to get one of those.
      19. Herrera: Who’s great idea was that…? 
  7. Meeting Adjourned 8:20pm.