Tuesday, January 16, 2007




Pete Smith has been promoted to B1 by the Pacific Coast Rugby Referee Society.

This is great stuff!


If you are a NorCal referee, please respond with your availability to referee and to travel on the following Saturdays:

February 10 (IRB Sevens in San Diego, with about eight or ten games in NorCal)
February 17
February 24
March 3


The NCRRS has heretofore discouraged its members from claiming travel expenses in their quest of refereeing nirvana. This was to conserve our funds to provide financial support for our training and exchange efforts.

However, in light of the increasing number of distant fixtures, with four to six games each weekend in Humboldt/Redding/Arroyo Grande and many more in Mendocino/Chico/Reno/Fresno, this has changed.

The Board of Directors would like to encourage referees who travel more than two hours (one way) to file for reimbursement of expenses.

There are two ways to do this, at your discretion:
  • Actual expenses
  • The IRS mileage rate for volunteers, currently 14 cents a mile
Actual expenses can include economy hotels, non-gourmet meals and gasoline.

Be aware that if you claim a tax deduction for your rugby activities, reimbursed trips must be excluded from such claims.

Please do not overwhelm our treasurer, Jim Crenshaw, with frequent claims. Keep receipts and records to submit monthly or seasonally.

We hope that this policy will ease the miles for those who are repeatedly touring the spectacular landscapes of NorCal rugby.

An editorial by Bruce Carter

The IRB has mandated comprehensive involvement of all referees in the engagement of scrums.

This was done for two reasons: to reduce the number and likelihood of cervical spine injuries and to reduce the number of resets.

If you analyze the requirements in depth, what they are intended to do as much as anything is to make it clear who is at fault when things do not go exactly according to plan.

Early returns indicate that the referee is still often at fault. To wit: many referees, even at the IRB level, are playing fast and loose with the requirements.

The referee is to say four words, and only four words, and precisely these four words: Crouch. Touch. Pause. Engage.

There is no latitude for ‘grouping’ the commands, placing the word ‘and’ between any two of them. You can’t say ‘hold’ instead of ‘pause’. You say, Crouch. Touch. Pause. Engage.

The players in turn are expected to crouch, and touch, and pause, and engage.

The only possible exception would be when something unusual or unsafe occurs. Then you have to blow your whistle and either start over or give a free kick.

There is no allowance for variation or individuality here. The goal is to have every scrum, at every level from high school freshmen in the pre-season to the World Cup final, controlled precisely the same.

I have found that teams will comply. The calls do not have to be adapted to the situation, or the inexperience, or the decades of experience, of the front rows.

Several accommodations are required on all of our parts.

Referees should require both front rows to crouch on command, under penalty of a free kick. Thus, it becomes incumbent on the referee not to say ‘Crouch’ until both packs are visibly prepared to crouch. There’s no reason you can’t ask, “Ready?” if necessary before initiating the sequence, but once the sequence begins it is inviolable.

Bear in mind that teams are now going to be crouched longer than they used to be before engaging. Don’t string it out. Give them a consistent and predictable cadence. If anyone jumps the gun at any point, free kick them.

Only the worst sort of referee feels the need to demonstrate being in command at the expense of the game or the players. You are, in fact, in command. You prove that you deserve to be so by awarding free kicks for unsafe engagement practice, not by making crouched players wait for your call.

I tell the front rows, “If you do it the same way every time, I will call it the same way every time”, by which I mean a predictable and metronomic cadence.

I believe that coaches also need to change their approach to the engagement.

In the past, players crouched into the ‘locked and loaded’ position, ready to close the gap on a hair trigger. This is no longer advisable. Players in such a position of isometric exertion for several seconds will fatigue as the tally of scrums mounts, and will possibly be at a disadvantage to their opponents.

It is now better to crouch ‘casually’, assuming the position but not the potential. The cue to tensing and preparing for the violence of the collision is now the instruction to ‘Pause’.

This should be practiced from the first use of the scrum machine to every scrum in Thursday’s scrimmage. I would suggest crouching before the Rhino, relaxedly, touching, then tensing up on the command ‘Pause’.

The gap can then be closed with alacrity and the engagement won or lost at the command to Engage.

In 1997 when the referee’s involvement in the scrum engagement was first introduced, there was open dissention among referees and players. It was about three years before this was universally adopted and applied, even here in Northern California.

Such a slipshod approach to a key safety application is no longer acceptable. Paddy O’Brien has made it clear that World Cup appointments will be predicated on compliance. I would like to emphasize that so will those in Pelicanland.


There will be a high school Tens tournament at Elsie Allen from 10 AM until 2 PM.

There is also a women’s college tournament at Stanford, with fourteen knock-out games and the championship. This is a high-level event with several national-caliber teams.

At present, we have three referee listed for each and could use about three or four more.

Please let us know if you’d like to help out.


Thirty-six, count ‘em, thirty-six Pelicans were in attendance. We’ll put this up against any other domestic referee society for pride of place:

Rich Anderson
Chris Arnold
Edward Barfels
Bruce Bernstein
Paul Bretz
David Buckey
Bruce Carter
John Coppinger
Jim Crenshaw
Matt Eason
Deb Hart
Rob Hendrickson
Mike King
Rachel Lawton
Tony Latu
Joe Leisek
Mike Malone
Tom Martinez
Chris Parkhouse
John Pohlman
David Pope
Bryan Porter
Aruna Ranaweera
Sam Reagle
Sandy Robertson
Jake Rubin
Ray Schwartz
Dixon Smith
Pete Smith
Bjorn Stumer
Michael Taylor
Ray Thompson
Kat Todd-Schwartz
Mike Villierme
David Williamson
Scott Wood


Matt Eason taught a Level One referee course in Sacramento this past Sunday. Thanks to Matt for giving up his ‘day off’ to help some folks get started!

Mike Malone and Dixon Smith offered both the Level One and Two Evaluator Courses in San Francisco Friday through Sunday. Six students attended, including Lois Bukowski, Bryant Byrnes and Kat Todd-Schwartz.

All of them are now certified as level one evaluators. They can earn level two certification by completing two acceptable written evaluations.

Such dedication is what keeps our society flying higher and higher!

The student group subjected Chris Parkhouse to the Death of a Thousand Evaluations on Saturday in his SFGG U23 – San Jose State match. Thanks for falling on that grenade, Chris.


Wednesday, 3 PM
CALIFORNIA 48 – Humboldt State 12 Referee: Chris Parkhouse
Touch Judges: Pete Smith, Bruce Carter
Referee Coach: David Williamson

Chris sends his thanks to David Williamson for the following game summary:

This was the season-opening game between last year’s Division 1 collegiate champion, and a semi-finalist for the collegiate Division 2 championship. The weather for the 3 pm game was clear and cool (about 50 degrees F), with a westerly wind about 10-20 mph. The fully-sized, fully-marked field was in excellent condition.

The game began as a close contest: Cal scored an unconverted try at 6 minutes, and Humboldt responded with an unconverted try three minutes later. Cal then pressed repeatedly inside the Humboldt 22, but the Lumberjacks’ goal-line stands prevented another score until halfway through the first period. Cal closed the half with three more tries (converting two) for a 29-5 lead. In the second half, the teams surged back and forth until Humboldt scored a try at 55 minutes. Cal responded with tries at 57, 72 and 73 minutes. Both teams played expansively with a variety of methods: kick-and-chase, spin to the backline, and pick-and-jam.

The teams observed a sporting spirit with virtually no foul play. Cal started its first 15, but liberally substituted in the second half. Humboldt also substituted numerous players.

Thursday, 7 PM
Maritime Academy 15 – LAMORINDA GAELS U23, 25 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
On an extraordinarily cold Thursday night, a late (or last) pre season match. Although the Maritime boys are fewer in number, this year's team has more grit. Which was needed against the new Gaels' U23 lads, a somewhat unpolished but very athletic side; lotta ''DVD Football'' shirts were to be seen.

The Gaels scored first, but it was only 10 to 8 in their favor at half. They began to roll it up in the second half, but then unfortunately the cards came out. Three Gaels were sin binned the latter part of the game, two for repeated infringements. Regardless, this was real rugby – a match contested and played with fervor and for a large measure of skill.


Kern County 25 – FRESNO 29 Referee: Sam Davis

A nice ride down to Bakersfield a bit over 3 hours ;-) arrived to a very nice pitch with ropes, poles cushions, and very well marked. Greeted both teams and it was decided that we would play 3 30s so everyone would get to play. Fresno drew first blood with a multi phase attack that started on their 30 meter line. They were able to convert 7-0 at the 10 min mark. Kern had a number of new players that have great speed and developing their skill at rugby. The mistakes they made set up the next Fresno try which was under the post. It looked like Fresno was going to dominate the game Kern did not let up they capitalized on a Fresno off sides and got on the board with 3 points. Both teams moved the ball up and down the field it was Kern pressure that forced Fresno forward to bobbled the ball, Kern's Fly half was there to scoop it and won the foot race to bring the score to 14-8. Fresno kicked off 2nd half and stole the ball and scored. Kern came back and answered with deep tackle off a ruck stealing the ball passing it out to score in the corner. It was a fun hard hitting game both teams had a number of new folks which made the game sloppy at some time. All in all everyone had a good time Fresno had 5 trys and converted two for 29 Kern had 4 trys one conversion and one penalty kick. 25. The Party was great food, beer, and friends!


Lamorinda Gaels U23 – SANTA ROSA JC Referee: John Coppinger
The referee’s scorecard is in his kitbag, which is in his wife’s car, which is at the airport.

He clearly recalls that the Santa Rosa JC won big.

DIABLO GAELS 29 – SF/Golden Gate 18 Referee: Rob Perle (Met NY)
Evaluator: Bryan Porter

Seconds: DIABLO GAELS 36 – SFGG 8 Referee: Rich Anderson

OLYMPIC CLUB 35 – Sacramento Lions 26 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
I headed for Hayward's Eden Park for the Olympic Club's match-up with the Sacramento Lions Saturday morning, hoping that the temperature would be warmer in Hayward that Sacramento's morning low of 24.

It was warmer when I got there but it was still chilly.

The match was supposed to start at 2:30, but as of 2:15 we didn't have any goal posts or spectator restraints. They showed up at about 2:16 or so, but it took a little while for the Hayward guys to get it set up. Seems one of the posts was broken and nobody noticed it until they started loading it on the truck. That precipitated a trip to some home improvement store for the necessary parts to fix it. We finally kicked off about 2:45 or so.

The O-club seemed to control the first half scoring a penalty goal, an unconverted try, and a converted try in the first 30 minutes of the game. The O-club seemed to usually have just the right number of players at the break-downs, while the Lions seem to get tackled without support, try to hold on to the ball to wait for the support to show up and get penalized for holding on.

Late in the half, the Lions scored a converted try, only to give up another converted try to the O-club just before halftime, making the score at half, Olympic Club 22 Sacramento Lions 7.

The second half started much as the first, with the O-club scoring a penalty goal about ten minutes in.

The Lions started getting it together after that, scoring a converted try and then an unconverted try. It looked like the Lions were headed for another try, when a pass bounced off one of the Lions directly into an O-club defender’s hands, who was at full speed. We were off the other direction, just like that. The Lions’ fullback made a great open field tackle, but the O-club support was there and a couple of passes later, the O-club scored in the corner.

They missed the kick, but the momentum had shifted, with the O-club scoring another unconverted a couple of minutes later. The Lions came back with a converted try with a couple of minutes left, but it was 'too little too late' as the O-club held on for the win.

Seconds: OLYMPIC CLUB 22– Sacramento Lions 19 Referee: Mike Gadoua

Seahawks 10 – SAN MATEO 43 Referee: Paul Bretz
San Jose hosted San Mateo at Watson Bowl. The half time score was 7-3 in favor of San Mateo. However San Mateo was in full control, dictating the pace of the game by mauling and keeping the ball tight. In the second half San Mateo was able to open the game up and scored 6 tries to San Jose's 1. Final score 43-10.

Several weeks ago I had requested this match as it was Tom Phillips' going away party. Tom is leaving for a year to hang out in New Zealand. What a party it was. Several referees were in attendance, Pete Smith and his wife, John Pohlman and his wife, Ray and Kat Todd-Schwartz, Bruce Bernstein, and faces from the last 25 years of rugby in the bay area.

Seahawks – San Mateo Referee: Joe Androvich
Referee Coach: Tom Martinez
No report received.

MENDOCINO 25 – Shasta (formerly Redding) 13 Referee: Paul Berman
Venue: Eagle Peak Middle School, Redwood Valley (just north of Ukiah)
Pitch was well laid out and firm under foot
Weather: Sunny and clear, wonderful for this time of year

Comments: The drive north on HWY 101 was beautiful, particularly beyond Santa Rosa. It's incredible to see the growth in vineyards, the gift of Bacchus along the sides of the freeway, grazing cattle, green hills and clear blue sky.

I felt wonderfully privileged to referee a Shasta team comprised of veterans and youth, playing a youthful new Mendocino club.

Both clubs moved the ball well between forwards and backs.

Shasta's lock D. Batdorf had a strong game at the line-out. Shasta's hooker Kyle Barthel had an excellent game carrying the ball forward. Captain and scrum-half Brian Peterson guaranteed his side good ball. Shasta's pack dominated the final 20 minutes of play.

Mendocino were ably led by their powerful fly-half and captain Jason Page. Their centers M. Freeman and J. Blackwell each intercepted back line Shasta passes to score tries in each half. I was astonished to hear for many, this was their first season in the sport. Their full-back S. Swenson was accurate with his boot, kicking 2 penalty goals and 2 of 3 conversion attempts.
Score at the half 15 -8.

A match played in fine spirit by teams most keen to play good rugby.

Points spread: Mendocino – 3 tries, 2 conversions, 2 penalty goals, Shasta – 2 tries, 1 penalty goal

CHICO WILDCATS 29 – Vacaville Old Dogs 3 Referee: Scott Wood
Dateline: Chico, CA:
Weather: “Ice cream sales in Hell have fallen off”
Pitch: Full-size, lumpy and gopher-laden

Chico spectators turned out en masse to watch the home side defeat Vacaville. Both sides entered the match 1-0 in the first of two season meetings. Vacaville's only points came off an early penalty goal. Poor tackling technique and marginal tactical discipline led to Vacaville receiving two back-to-back sin bins for repeated team infringements. Chico managed to capitalize off the two-man advantage to close the half 7-3.

The second half opened up with Chico scoring off an overlapping pass to James Knox who dotted down his try with a textbook headfirst dive-and-slide in-goal. Vacaville's technique improved in the second half. Chico fell victim to its own lack of technical discipline. Poor tackling as a team led to two of Chico's players in the sin bin, albeit not at the same time. Vacaville lost several attacking opportunities due to losing the ball in contact as Chico maintained pressure on defense. Chico put together numerous multi-phase plays utilizing backs and forwards and a good amount of speed to finish the match 29-3.

APTOS – Monterey by forfeit
The Monterey team has ‘gone social’, forfeiting all league fixtures.

Reno – East Palo Alto POSTPONED
East Palo Alto could not assemble a traveling squad. The match was postponed and will be rescheduled.

BERKELEY 33 – Petaluma 8 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Referee Coach: Jake Rubin
Berkeley won 33-8 holding Petaluma scoreless in the second half. Both teams could have played a lot better & undoubtedly will.

Thanks to Jake for helping me & I will use what he told me into the next game & season. In one sense it was bad being looked at in my first match of the season & on the other hand I can use it for the rest of the year.

Fog 3 – MISSION 45 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Mission kicked off its 2007 season with a win over SF Fog at TI, in a game which was closer than the score might suggest. Both teams moved the ball well, but Mission's backs were able to get the ball out wide and with numbers leading to their 3 first half and 4 second half tries.

Fog seconds 0 – STANISLAUS 79 Referee: Paul Smith
Pitch: Job Corps Field, Treasure Island

Arrived for the first time on the very nice pitch on Treasure Island to referee what I though was SF Fog B vs Mission B. A beautiful sunny day like we only have here in Nor Cal.

It turned out the opponent was Stanislaus instead of Mission.

The coaches requested a game with two 30 minute halves instead of the normal 40.

My first surprise of the day was lining up for a boot check before the game, when I noticed a number of members of the gentler sex kitted out to play for Fog. I was told by Ken Bousfield (coach of the SF Fog). that the B side was a co-ed side by the request of club members. Co-ed rugby, hmmm. I always wanted to play co-ed naked rugby :-).

Fog kicked off to Stanislaus and I got on my bicycle. Lots of fast running by Stanislaus to start the day with a big pack breaking a large number of tackles and good support play by the number 8, the first try of the game was scored within 2 minutes of the kickoff. This was a hint of things to come, with a much more experienced, and much larger and stronger Stanislaus dominating the play with good solids rucking, with a maul or two tossed in for good measure. Not much set play either scrums or line-outs, with Stanislaus keeping the ball in hand and showing good support play with backs and forwards swapping positions. The few line-outs were dominated by Stanislaus, who were much larger, and had a number 8 that was boosted very well, dominating all of the line-outs except when the Stanislaus hooker did not throw the ball in straight. Surprisingly the Fog handled the scrums pretty well, especially considering they were probably giving up about 50 lbs per man, ummm person in the scrum, and about 4-5 inches of height (one of the second rows for the Fog was a young lady about 5'9" and all of 140 lbs or so. Half-time ended with a very lopsided score 34-0 to Stanislaus. Only problem I had was when the right wing for the SF Fog was penalized for not rolling away from the tackled player and playing the ball on the ground. I was explaining to the player what he was penalized for when I was told the player was deaf (I thought he was just ignoring my instructions to roll away and hands off :-) Fortunately he understood my signals when I finally got his attention.

The 2nd half was more of the same, with Stanislaus running away with the game, scoring within the first 3 minutes again. The Fog B side was definitely spirited. But lack of size and some poor tackling led to a final score of 79 - 0 to Stanislaus. Overall it was a great run. Only blew one call badly with a brain misfire on a ball held up in goal by Fog, and I awarded the scrum put in to Fog instead of the attacking Stanislaus. The guys looked at me for a moment and then decided to play on. Happily the miscue did not have a large impact, with Stanislaus winning a tighthead and the number 8 crashing over for a try, but I sure felt stupid (I really do know MOST of the laws). Overall a great day, especially so early in the season to test out the legs. Need more cardio work, but overall not bad. I'd give myself a B- score for the day.

Paul "The Seahawks have provided the most refs in Nor Cal" Smith

Editor’s Note:

The Hastings RFC produced twice as many referees as the Seahawks have:

Ed Todd A2/USA
Bruce Carter B1/USA
Dave Peters B1/USA
Dave Jaquint B3
Dave Brown C1
Mike Gadoua C1
Mike Malone C1
Dave Williamson C1
Mark Haesloop C2
Chris Nolan C2
Jake Rubin C2
Waldo Waldo C2
John Cullom C3
Mike King D

Not to denigrate the former Seahawks corps, but ask yourself where the NCRRS would be without the contributions of these fellows.

SFGG U-23, 62 – San Jose State 5 Referee: Chris Parkhouse
Evaluation by Level Two students

This friendly game proved to be a very one-sided affair. A really beautiful afternoon in the Bay Area, played under clear blue skies. SFGG opened the scoring within 3 min 30 sec of the kick of with an excellent conversion by their No 18 from just inside the touchline. This was followed with another 3 mins later that was also converted. The Spartans pulled a try back before SFGG ran in another 3 tries before half time. SFGG played a lot of expansive rugby spinning along the back line for most of the first half. They went in at half time 33 - 5 to the good.

The second half was a continuation of the first as the home side ran in another 5 tries. Two tries towards the end were opportunistic and really capitalized on their superior fitness. The first was a quick tap penalty inside their 22, followed by a series of slick passing moves that took them the entire length of the field to score between the posts. The second was from a deep kick just outside the 22 of SFGG that was chased down by the wing of SFGG catching the full back in possession. SFGG had men in support and again a quick series of passing and unselfish play by No 18 resulted in another score. It is truly unfortunate that SFGG U23 is not in any formal league as they would be a handful for many teams.

SAC STATE 31 – Stanford 26 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Referee Coach: David Williamson
At CSU Sacramento

On a cold but sunny day, Sac State and Stanford met in their NorCal league opener. Stanford opened scoring early with an opportunistic steal and run down the sideline, but as the match progressed, it was clear that the two teams were fairly evenly matched. Kick-and-charge was a popular ploy and both teams also looked to spin the ball wide. Stanford scored one more try off a forward-drive, but knocked on another and missed a penalty in front of the posts. In contrast, Sac State were more efficient in the red zone, as they ran in three well-crafted tries to lead at the half, 17-14.

In the second half, there was still precious little between the teams, but Sac State showed more experience, particularly in the set pieces and pick-and-drives. Midway through the half, the referee had the misfortunate of injuring his calf by stepping into a random pot-hole near the 22m, but continued officiating with reduced mobility. Each team scored a pair of tries in the second half for a late score of 31-26 in favor of Sac State. Sac State almost put the match out of reach with another try, but dropped the ball near the cornerflag to the groans of the local crowd. Stanford had several brief possessions with time winding down, but could not take advantage. In the end, Sac State were deserving winners, 5 tries to 4. Much thanks to Dave Williamson for coaching advice.

Seconds: SACRAMENTO STATE 43 – Stanford 12 Referee: Sam Davis
Referee Coach: Matt Eason

UC Davis 15 – CAL POLY 19 Referee: Tony Latu
Weather: very very COLD

After a long drive to the City of Davis, I arrived very early and watch Sam Reagle refereeing a women college game. But before I walked outside, I wore layers of clothes and pretend that I'm in Alaska. After Sam's game I have to walk back to the car and took off my ski clothes and switched to my ref. attire. I wish I could ref in my Siberian clothes.

Few smart remarks were thrown at me: which team are you playing for, you've been for the hour or so, and my favorite...not that cold, yeah right.

Anyway, I was glad that the game started at 12:55. And the coach from Cal Poly was right when he said that this is a pre-season game. The first twenty minutes was played like a pre-season by both teams. The last twenty and the second half were for real.

Davis was leading 15-14 with 5 mins. to go, but CP played until the end. With no time remains, CP was attacking inside the ten. Maul was formed and suddenly Davis came out with the ball. They passed out wide and was knocked by their winger. His opposite number picked up the ball and ran to the corner flag. They missed the kick, but they won the game.

Well Done Gentlemen.

Seconds: UC Davis 13 – CAL POLY 22 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
A great match between two evenly matched sides marred by repeated infringements by both teams. Davis in particular exhibited a propensity to join rucks from the side, while both teams enjoyed playing the ball on the ground.

The match was going Davis' way all along, when two long runs by Cal Poly next to the touch line, and ensuing tries, saw the visitors run away with the game.

CALIFORNIA 33 – St. Mary's 12 Referee: Pete Smith
Touch Judges: Chris Arnold, Rob Hendrickson
No report received.

Seconds: CALIFORNIA 90 – St. Mary's 0 Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judges: Rob Hendrickson, Chris Arnold

A fair bit of one-way traffic. Due to front row personnel shortages, St. Mary's requested uncontested scrums. Cal's use of the ball was as fast as any team in Northern California, and this was their reserve side! The home side scored nine tries in the first half, the first coming at about 1:22, then seven tries in the second half. St. Mary's came close three times, including once when a player lost the ball forward on his way to touching it down in goal. Special thanks to Rob and Chris for staying to run touch.

Mike Strain let me into the Field House to change right after halftime of Pete's game. I was all alone, so I conducted a self-guided tour. Quiet inside, with muffled cheers and loudspeaker music from outside: it was the perfect soundtrack.

The lady who took our photo at Treasure Island back in September, Eileen, was there. You know, she is so proud of that photo. She reads HP every week...and even congratulated me on my marriage!

The best part: She keeps the photo she took in her wallet. She made sure to show me.

California women – UC Santa Cruz Referee: JC Van Staden
No report received.

UC Davis women 7 – SACRAMENTO AMAZONS 44 Referee: Sam Reagle
Conditions: Nippy

It was a brisk 26 degrees when I arrived at UCD for the scheduled 10am Kickoff using Daniel Fahrenheit’s scale of setting zero at the coldest winter he'd ever seen and 100 at his own body temperature. Personally, I prefer Anders Celsius’ scale based on where water freezes and boils, but I digress.

By game time, it had warmed up to almost freezing, there was a small crowd gathered and both teams were ready to play. I recognized many of the Amazon players from their high school days at Burbank and a few of the UC Davis players from last year.

From the opening kickoff, Sacramento dominated play. The Aggies were playing well, but didn't really match up with the strong running by the Amazons. The bright spots for the Aggies were several strong goal line stances that prevented Sacramento from scoring on several occasions. At the end of the first half, Sacramento had the lead 24-0 and was never really pressured.

The second half was more of the same until the 53rd minute of play. The Aggies gained possession around midfield and played brilliantly with strong rucking and crisp passes to score a try just left of the posts. It was a work of art not to be repeated on this day, but surely will give them hope for the future.


Stanford 5 – SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SELECTS 35 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judges: Sandy Robertson, Mike King
Videographer: Bruce Carter

Stanford hosted some premier women's teams this past weekend.

In the opening match Stanford faced a older and experienced Select side from Southern California.

The talented Southern Cal. team kept it tight and powered over Stanford 36 to 5.

Southern California's pack was too big and kept to their game plan of keeping possession and driving forward with their experienced pack.

Belmont Shore – All Blues Referee: Sandy Robertson
Touch Judges: Mike King, Ray Schwartz/John Pohlman
Videographer: Bruce Carter
No report received.

Stanford 0 – ALL BLUES 38 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Touch Judges: John Pohlman, Sandy Robertson
Videographer: Bruce Carter

On a sunny but chilly day, and on perfect pitch, I enjoyed a rare opportunity. The best Women's Club versus the best Women's University side faced off in a single 40-minute period. Age and treachery prevailed, ... mightily! Stanford showed lots of guts and skill. I was especially impressed by center Melissa Smit. But recent Stanford grad Victoria Folayan mixed in seamlessly with Kathy Flores' veteran group. Captain Courtney Warner, and Eagles Stephanie Bruce and Laura Cabrera were just a few more reasons the Lady Cardinal were denied possession and left grasping at air consistently.

SOCAL 19 – Belmont Shore 3 Referee: Bruce Carter
Touch Judge: Ray Schwartz
Videographer: Sandy Robertson

The SoCal side was led by a contingent of Scottsdale Blues players. This game was a pleasure to referee after the previous refs had softened up the players in terms of the new scrum engagement process.

There were no resets, no collapses, and no penalties. One threat of a free kick took care of everything.

STANFORD 31 – Belmont Shore 21 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judges: Ray Schwartz, Sandy Robertson

In the closing match Stanford faced another Southern California team, Belmont Shore.

Belmont's pack was not able to control possession and the Stanford backs produced a 31 to 21 victory.


ALL BLUES – SoCal Referee: Rob Perle (Met NY)
Touch Judges: Pete Smith, Sandy Robertson
It appears that the All Blues won by five. We do not have a score or any other form of report.


Varsity: SILICON VALLEY 29 – Live Oak 17 Referee: Chris Fisher

Freshmen: Silicon Valley 19 – LIVE OAK 27 Ref: Fisher


January 17, 6:30 PM

California – UC Santa Cruz Referee: Joe Androvich
Referee Coach: David Williamson

Would you like to run touch after work? Drop us a line.


Tim Wills writes from the latest stop in his peripatetic life:

“My wife and I have re-located from Alaska to Newcastle, NSW. Just a short report on summer referee training that occurs every Saturday mornings. Last Saturday we started with a 30 minute run followed by stretching, next came 20 minutes of ultimate Frisbee, ending with a mandatory 10-wave body surfing session. Life is rough here in Aussie. If any refs plan to come down this way they will always find a bed at my house as well as plenty of games to go around in season. These guys are very organized with an 80k bank account and a very regular exchange program. Keep in touch.”

Good Crowd

There was simply no way to get everyone in the frame at the same time without a fisheye lens at the NCRRS meeting January 10.

We can play a little Where’s Waldo. You are looking for:

Someone who is sleeping
Someone who is too deep in thought
A bright and shiny life-saver
America’s newest B1


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris