Tuesday, October 17, 2006




While bad news mounts with wings of eagles, good news often travels by snail.

Bryan Porter, NorCal and Pacific Coast evaluator, was appointed as a national evaluator this past July.

Our referee society, its members, and the rugby players of Northern California continue to benefit from the dedication and accomplishment of worthies such as Bryan.

Congratulations to our dear friend.


Level One Referee Course: November 4, San Francisco; Dixon Smith

Level Two Referee Course: November 11/12, San Francisco; Bruce Carter

Touch Judging Levels 1-2-3: November 18, Sacramento; Bruce Carter

Touch Judging Levels 1-2-3: December 2, San Francisco; Mike Malone

Please let the instructor know soonest if you are interested in any of these.


Our annual pre-season conference was held at the SF/Golden Gate RFC clubhouse this past weekend. More than thirty Pelicans attended!

The program was arranged by RDO David Williamson, who could not attend due to a prior commitment. We would like to remind those who attended to write to David with comments both pro and con about the various aspects of the training:


Special thanks are due to Joe Leisek, who did the legwork for the site, the food and the speakers. We would also like to thank the speakers and the coaches panel (pictured below).

We also greatly appreciate the professional facilities and the support of the SFGG rugby club.

The primary topic of the day was the Tackle.

Bruce Carter reviewed the Law, grade-specific criteria for refereeing the tackle, and the pertinent provisions of the IRB Aide Memoire for referees.

Joe Androvich and Paul Berman discussed their approach to refereeing tackles.

Dixon Smith encouraged peer coaching, the rising tide that lifts all boats in a referee society.

Paul Bretz gave a video presentation and a participatory session on the approach to the tackle in terms of mental checklists, materiality and positioning.

Joe Leisek moderated a coaches panel on what we can do to promote better rugby at various levels of the game. Mike Purcell (Davis) and Mike Caravelli (Golden Gate) addressed the high school game; Ellen Owens (Cal) spoke about the women’s game and along with Jonathan Griffin (Stanford), collegiate rugby; Harry Batten (Diablo Gaels) presented the men’s game.

We were especially pleased to have some new referees: Joe Androvich and Steve Jarmek, who began whistling midway through last season, and Jackie Finck who is brand-new.

Favorable birds have been sighted, which bode well for the new season.


Fijian Independence Day was October 10. This is a date that Sevens referees have marked on their calendars, because it portends the advent of the highest-quality Sevens tournament that graces the NorCal season.

We do not mean to slight any of the other excellent tournaments that we are fortunate enough to officiate, but this event consistently features a very high level of competition indeed.

To illustrate, the Las Vegas team that won the Tonik money tournament July 8 and finished second in the Air Pacific Marist event August 5 lost in the quarter-finals this weekend.

The Diablo Gaels took home the $3000 first prize.

Magnolia Park in Rohnert Park was the setting for this year’s movable feast. Hundreds of people were present for patriotic events and a variety of sports.

But the rugby held center stage!

On Friday Mike Gadoua, Bruce Carter and Tony ____, a Fijian referee, were privileged to referee fourteen excellent matches. The level and spirit of play were top-flight.

Saturday’s knock-out rounds found Bruce off at the society meeting, wondering who scheduled this thing for such a date!! Mike took the lead and had most of the fun, assisted by Tony and Isaac Caselis.

Report by Mike Gadoua:

Cup Quarter Finals

HAWAII (BYU students) 26 – Kadavu (Peninsula) 0
DIABLO GAELS 21 –Sacramento Lions 12
DUIBANA BLUES 20 – Las Vegas Blackjacks 0
HAYWARD GRIFFINS 21 – Barbarians (North Bay area) 10


DIABLO GAELS 21 – Hawaii 5
DUIBANA BLUES 12 – Hayward Griffins 5

Cup Final: ($3,000/$1,000 prizes)

DIABLO GAELS 5 – Duibana Blues 0

Of the four pools competing in the two-day event, anyone of the top eight could have taken the Cup with only a slight change in circumstance, play, wind, etc.
Each team possessed the caliber to compete in the tourney. The favorites going into the tourney: Blackjack and Griffins (last year’s champs), were knocked out by their opponents taking advantage of brief lapses in judgment.

In the Cup Final both teams displayed excellent defense. Every counter-attack save one was thwarted. In seconds, the players on both teams could transition from attacking on the opponent’s 5-meter line to playing organized defense on their own 5-meter line. Despite the persistent offense, this game was defense dominated. Diablo held on to their 5 point lead for the last 16 minutes of playing time.



Report by Isaac Caselis:
I ref'd an old boys game for the first time in Petaluma at the Fiji Day tournament. The game was well played by both sides.....both sides were fit enough to play the 20 minute halves. Again, the touch judges were a problem because they were more interested in watching the game then being a touch judge.

Overall the tournament was well run. Mike Gadoua saved the day by taking lead in the more difficult games. All games were fast paced.


SoCal Exchange to UC Davis Games

SoCal sent up two referees on exchange for this past weekend. DeLyn Barclay flew into Sacramento and was hosted by Jim Crenshaw. William Caulfield flew up Friday and stayed with John Pohlman that night. Both refs then met in Davis for the pre-season games and evaluation by Matt Eason and rookie assessor Kat Todd-Schwartz.

Matt Eason handled the 11:00 a.m. match which was an intra-squad between Davis B and C side players when USF failed to show up. One of the Davis players was able to reach a friend on the USF team about 10 minutes before game start time; that player reportedly advised that their coach had quit and there were not enough players to travel on Saturday. Of course, it would have been 'nice' for someone to communicate that to Davis. However, the intra-squad was three 20 minute periods, enabling the newer players to still obtain decent game experience.

UC DAVIS 22 – Humboldt State 17 Referee: DeLyn Barclay (SoCal)
Referee coaches: Matt Eason, Kat Todd-Schwartz

DeLyn handled the A side UC Davis v. Humboldt match. Davis won 22-17. Davis dominated the first half, scoring all 22 points. However, Humboldt turned the table in the second half, shutting Davis out altogether. Obviously, such turnover was not quite enough to win the game.

The last four minutes were a nail biter, with Davis holding on. It wasn’t that Davis played poorly against a Division II team; it was that Humboldt played like a Division II team determined to win the national championship.

UC DAVIS seconds 17 – UC Santa Cruz 0 Referee: William Caulfield (SoCal)
Referee coaches: Matt Eason, Kat Todd-Schwartz

Bill handled the B side UC Davis match versus UC Santa Cruz. Davis prevailed again although this was an evenly matched game throughout. Santa Cruz looked much improved from earlier in the year and have a stronger back line.

All parties then retired briefly to a local fraternity house for refreshments (typical college fare: hamburger patties on bread slices). The referees then proceeded on to more grown-up fare at the Riverside Clubhouse in Sacramento. William Caulfield retired for the evening at the Todd-Schwartzes before proceeding on to San Francisco for various Sunday activities.

Fog – Mendocino
Fog seconds – San Diego

Mendocino is a new team in the third division this year. The San Diego team is also new. The Fog were kind and resourceful enough to referee these games themselves so that our referees could attend the society conference and AGM.


The IRB Sevens series will be returning to Southern California in February, being played in San Diego at PETCO Park on February 10/11.

On the Thursday and Friday immediately before, February 8/9, a high-level club sevens tournament will be held in conjunction with the IRB gala. SoCal has requested referees to help out with this event.

If you would be interested, please let us know. You will need to plan the time off work, of course. They are looking for good referee support for what should be a well-played event.


The Harlotfest will be played October 21 in Modesto. Four referees should be able to cover it. We have two at present, and one maybe. If you would like to work this unique event, please let us know. Motel rooms will be available Friday and/or Saturday if you wish.

There are eight games elsewhere in addition to this tournament. We need help!


There will be three tournaments on October 28, lots of opportunities for running around and having fun. We need more help!

There will be one tournament at UC Santa Cruz on November 4, and three games at Stanford on Sunday, November 5.

On November 18 there are three good games in San Luis Obispo that we need to cover.

Please let us know if you would like some pre-season rugby.

Coaches Panel

The Coaches Panel was a highlight at the autumnal flocking of the Pelicanrefs.

Left to Right: Mike Caravelli, Harry Batten, Jonathan Griffin, Ellen Owens, Joe Leisek, Mike Purcell


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris