Monday, April 17, 2006




We will be meeting at the SF/Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island this Thursday, April 20, from 7 to 9 PM. There will be food and drink available from 6 PM for those who arrive early.

Paul Bretz and Mike Malone will be the featured speakers.

The Referee Development Committee will meet at six.

There will be a special bonus for all who attend: THE 2006 LAW BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED, ONLY SIX MONTHS LATE. All Society members can pick one up for free.


John Pohlman will be our exchangee to the Aspen Ruggerfest in September.

Congratulations to John! We know John will have a great time and represent the flock well.


This tournament, now in its second year at Stanford, now has a website and Dan Hickey would like for you to have a look at it:

We will need touch judges for this event May 13-14.


Super League:

The season is just past the halfway point, with every team in the Western Conference having played four of seven matches.

SF/GOLDEN GATE is now in sole possession of second place. The top four qualify for the playoffs.

Division One:

The Competitive Region playoffs are this weekend and next. These playoffs serve to reduce the current seven territories back to the original four (prior to ten years ago). These are really the ‘old’ Pacific Coast playoffs.

Four teams from SoCal and four from the current Pacific Coast play against two opponents from the other area. After these games, a complex algorithm rank-orders the eight teams and the top five move on to the national round of sixteen, played May 13-14.

This weekend, OLYMPIC CLUB hosts Huntington Beach and SAN MATEO hosts Las Vegas. These games will probably both be played in Hayward Saturday evening. HAYWARD is playing at Back Bay.

Division Two:

This weekend in Arizona is the Pacific Coast playoffs.

SANTA ROSA plays Tempe, paired with Red Mountain and Valley.
BARACUS plays Oregon Rugby Sports Union, paired with Old Pueblo and Provo.

The winner of each pool advances to the nationals May 13-14.

Division Three:

Also in Arizona, MISSION plays Bend and STANISLAUS plays Scottsdale. The winner of those winners advances to the nationals, also May 13-14.

Colleges: The winners of each of the four-team brackets list below will advance to Stanford May 5-6.

Women’s College Division One:

Stanford and California are both in Gainesville, Fla, this weekend for the sweet sixteen.

STANFORD plays West Chester, paired with North Carolina and Princeton.
CALIFORNIA plays Air Force, paired with Central Florida and Navy.
CHICO STATE will play Army in State College, Penn.

These teams are paired with Northern Iowa and Penn State

Men’s College Division One:

CALIFORNIA will be playing in the sweet sixteen at home this weekend. They face UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. They are paired with Clemson and Navy.
UC DAVIS plays Penn State at West Point, NY, this weekend. The other half of the draw there is Dartmouth – Ohio State.

Women’s College Division Two:

UC SANTA CRUZ will play Denison University in the round of eight at Sanford, Fla. They are paired with Northeastern and Mary Washington.

Men’s College Division Two:

Also in Sanford, HUMBOLDT STATE will play Georgia Southern, paired with Coast Guard and Salisbury.

High School:

This weekend there will be quarterfinals in Tier One and Tier Two.

These cannot be assigned until the pairings are confirmed.

This, by the way, is a major pain the neck. No-one is in charge and there is squabbling with respect to several of the standings, who’s the home team, what day they ‘ have’ to play, etc.

We cannot vouch for the veracity of these pairings, notwithstanding our usual caveats about our execrable fact-checker. The problem here is the people who are responsible for knowing the high school standings use words like “I think” and “I’m not sure” in communicating them to us, or they disagree about whether the lower-rated team should travel.

Of course they do. Conference champions host second-place finishers in Tier One, and third-place teams host fourth-place teams in Tier Two.


As always in rugby, the home team is listed first:

Jesuit – Silicon Valley
Elsie Allen – Hayward
Live Oak – Vacaville
Lamorinda – Montgomery

Burbank – Peninsula Green
Sonoma – Golden Gate
Aptos – Rio Rugby
De La Salle – Santa Rosa


Marin 12 – GOLDEN GATE 33 Referee: Bruce Carter
Touch Judges: Steve DiSalvo, Bill Cody/Mike Gadoua
Videographer: Susan Pease Gadoua

The final game of the regular season found Golden Gate trying to get off the schneid. They went through the first half of the season undefeated but then had lost three games come springtime.

It was a drizzly and dreary day in what would have been the shadow of Mt. Tam, had the sun appeared in the past six weeks. But the artificial playing surface of Redwood High School in Corte Madera was in perfect shape for this match.

The referee was supported by his old friend Septenae; Septenae’s wife Susan working the camera; and some with the deepest bonds of all, those going back to the rugby-playing days of the Hastings RFC, Artie and Susanne Fisher and Bill Travis.

Late-season high school rugby is an especial joy to referee. The players have learnt their lessons: they play to a plan, possession is reliable, and the ball tends to go left or right as the referee anticipates – depending on where the offense has momentum and/or more players than the defense.

The players know what number they are wearing and they respond to the referee’s suggestions that they roll away, release, keep their hands off the ball or mind the back foot.

Rugby flows from the pump that coaches have spent months priming.

The season always ends too soon for many teams. It ends just when it is becoming more fun for everyone involved, particularly for superannuated referees who don’t do as many post-season fixtures as they used to, alas.

But this ref, on this day, was in bed with his Muse from the first whistle to the last. The players listened; proactive advice led to productive play. Up and down the pitch they ran.

Even when a brawl inexplicably broke out in the second half, it was directly between Scriptoris and Septenae, two of the most experienced and reliable witnesses to be found in the refereeing kingdom. And the camera, of course, was running…

Cards were issued (one yellow, two reds for those curious about such matters) and the ruggers that remained on the pitch, as so often happens, were those who wanted most of all to play.

All of us fortunate enough to know her love this game.

JV: Marin – SF/Golden Gate Referee: Steve DiSalvo
Referee Coach: Bruce Carter

Berkeley 10 – LAMORINDA B 12 Referee: Steve Jarmek

In a hard fought match, Lamorinda beat Berkeley by converting a 2nd half try, breaking a 5-5 halftime deadlock. The venue was moved to the brand new artificial turf field at Campolindo High School, a welcomed change from the mud-slide conditions of the past few months.

Other games that were scheduled (no reports received):

Elsie Allen – Santa Rosa
Montgomery – Sonoma
Rancho Cotate – Windburg
Mother Lode – Cougars
Davis – Del Oro
Christian Brothers – Jesuit II
Jesuit I – Rio Rugby
Islanders – VACAVILLE
HAYWARD – De La Salle Referee: Pete Smith
Piedmont – Lamorinda
Alameda – Tri-Valley Referee: Lois Bukowski
Antioch – Oakland Military

Chico State women 2 – Sac State
Stanford women 2 – Santa Clara Referee: Sandy Robertson


Talk about a tempest in a teapot, showing a red card to a coach.

There is not now and never has been any basis to do so. No basis in Law, no regulations or rulings, nothing in the bylaws or guidelines or operating procedures of any rugby administrative body.

The Laws of the Game (available to read and/or download at authorize referees to issue red and yellow cards for players during a match.

Showing a red card to a non-participant, or after the conclusion of a match or after you have abandoned it, has no more meaning than showing a red card to your boss or the traffic cop who stops you for speeding.

This is not to say that referees cannot file reports containing complaints about the behavior of non-participants during or after a match, or players after a match. The USA Guidelines on the game give referees that authority and empower disciplinary bodies to take action on that basis.

If you have a problem with the behavior of a non-participant, by all means file a report and describe the action, along with your response. According to time-honored practice, you can eject someone from the playing enclosure. But if they don’t leave, you can only ask the team in question to help you enforce your ban and then abandon the match if this is not done.

The showing of a red card has certain automatic implications for participants: automatic and mandatory suspensions, lack of appeal, etc. The showing of a red card to a non-participant, or after a match, or by someone other than the referee, has no implications whatsoever. It is a bad form of theater.

It is also highly inflammatory and will tend to escalate any situation. It is not to be recommended.

To repeat, non-participants are not immune from action by the ref. But that action is limited to asking the perpetrator to desist, asking participants to help enforce the request, abandoning the match if necessary, and filing a report to the disciplinary body that has jurisdiction over the match.

The report should of course describe the behavior, the steps the referee took to remedy the situation, and the response of the other party or parties.

We don’t make this stuff up. There was a ruling on this specific issue made and announced three years ago:


A jigsaw puzzle where the image on the pieces moves, even while you are trying to assemble them:



From Easter Parade, copyrighted lyrics by Irving Berlin:

On the avenue, Fifth Avenue,
The photographers will snap us
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.
Oh, I could write a sonnet, about your Easter bonnet
And of the guy I'm taking to the Easter Parade.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris