Monday, May 14, 2007




There are alumni games in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara May 19. Please respond if you would like to referee.

Monterey is also hosting a touring side from England on Wednesday, May 30, at 5 PM. If you’d like to play hooky, get off work early and enjoy a mid-week game on the Monterey Peninsula, let us know.


The Olympic Club and Hayward both won through and will be in opposite semi-finals for the men’s D1 championship. O Club beat New Haven and Life University. Hayward won over Baltimore Chesapeake and Pearl City.

The other semi-finalists will be the Austin Blacks and Cincinnati Wolfhounds.

San Mateo defeated Long Island but then lost to the Austin Blacks in the quarter-finals.

The Sacramento Lions lost to Pearl City in the round of sixteen.

In D2, the contestants will be Raleigh, Tulsa, Los Angeles RFC and Red Mountain, which is a Pacific Coast team.

[correction] Mission defeated Louisville in the national semi-final and will be defending their title against the Boston Irish Wolfhounds third side in D3.

These playoffs will all take place in conjunction with the Super League final the weekend of June 9-10; not a bad weekend to plan to be in San Diego!


Here at The Pelican Desk, we’ve been burning the wicks late into the night since early in the New Year. We average about a hundred rugby e-mail a day for the first third of the year, but by now it has tapered off to ten or twenty.

Getting home from four trips to Stanford in barely over a week, we were tempted to throw down the kit bag, the laptop, the overnight bag and the video equipment container and declaim to Mrs. Scriptoris, “Well, the season is finally over!”


But it’s not over. In addition to the alumni games already referenced, the women’s Grizzlies will be playing two Sunday morning matches at Rocca Field on Treasure Island in the next few weeks: against the SoCal Griffins on May 20 and against the Midwest Thunderbirds on June 3.

Jim Crenshaw will referee on the 20th and Dana Teagarden on the 3rd. If you would like to run touch for either of these excellent games, please let us know.


Jesuit will be defending the national high school title in Salt Lake City this coming Friday and Saturday.

Pete Smith and Aruna Ranaweera will be among those referees fortunate enough to work this event.


The single best thing to happen in Pacific Coast refereeing in this writer’s memory occurred over the past season: a written charter was approved and implemented to provide for the election of PCRRS officers and define their conduct of office.

For the first time in at least twenty years, there is a defined process for referee advancement that is not dependent upon the opinions of non-evaluators. No-one is in a position capriciously to bar promotions, or to insist that Referee A cannot be promoted without the simultaneous promotion of Referee B.

The woeful under-representation of Pacific Coast referees on the national scene should be remedied within three to five years. We certainly have plenty of good referees working up and down the tables, only needing a good match and a fair shake to show their stuff.

Here in Northern California, things are even better. More than a dozen Pelicanrefs were up to the task of refereeing in the best Division One competition in the USA. Witness the fact that four of our teams were in the top sixteen nationally, three of those in the top eight, and two of those are in the top four.

The flock is flying higher:

Our members received a total of 42 above-grade evaluations since October. A number of them were promoted; we are chagrinned to admit that we do not keep track of the number of promotions. Some were promoted twice.

Paul Bretz, Pete Smith, Lois Bukowski and Aruna Ranaweera have all received national appointments this year.

Dixon Smith, Bryan Porter, Mike Malone and David Williamson all do national-level evaluations, including reporting on USA Panel referees.

A number of folks have officiated in one capacity or another at USA and IRB sponsored events. In addition to those already listed, this group includes Scott Wood, John Coppinger, Matt Eason, Rich Anderson, Joe Androvich, Giles Wilson and Bruce Carter.

One of our members, Giles Wilson, is president of the NCRFU and another, Matt Eason, is RDO for the PCRRS.

This does not even begin to address the work many of our members do to promote rugby in Northern California in a great variety of ways.

So, what should we do about this most propitious situation that we find ourselves in?


Mark your calendars for the NCRRS 30th Anniversary Banquet! The site is still being selected, but will be in either San Francisco or Oakland/Berkeley.

This will be the first day of the Palo Alto summer sevens, so it’s the one time we won’t be having our justly-famous post-Sevens picnic.


The oldest continuous summer Sevens in the United States will be played this year on June 23, July 7 and 21, and August 4.


The Third Annual Pacific Coast High School Invitational was held at Stanford this past weekend.

Frank Merrill, Ray Schwartz and Paul Simko have labored to improve this tournament each year. The fact that two NA4 games were played in conjunction on Saturday only added to the luster.

Teams from the Pacific Northwest, SoCal and NorCal played on three pitches for more than twelve hours Saturday, and then finished up on Sunday.

The was the first event administered by the new Pacific Coast referee executive. Dave Pelton was at the club championships in South Carolina, but Matt and Eason and Jon Moore were on-site.

Referees were invited from around the PCRFU and from SoCal. A number of Pelicans also devoted their weekend to running touch for the referees, so that teams of three were provided to all matches.

The PCRFU and a number of donors ensure that a barbecue in Masters eucalyptus Grove is provided free to participants and supporters Saturday afternoon.

Ed Todd took advantage of the assembled rugby teams to invite four young refs from across the USA to work as part of a focus group for the weekend. Joe Androvich was one of these, as well as Dave Bryant from Indiana who refereed a couple of games here two years ago.


Both US teams won on Saturday and are currently sitting first and third on the table. A good crowd was on hand, augmented by those attending and playing in the high school event. You can read about these games on the various rugby websites.

Pete Smith ran touch for the Falcons – Canada West match.


The first-ever May meeting of the NCRRS was attended by 17 members and a number of guests last Tuesday.

Two of our Canadian guests gave informative and worthwhile presentations. Alan Gray of their Panel went through a laundry list of pointers a tips, learned through experience and presented in the hope of helping others avoid having to learn things the long way.

Trevor Arnold, the RDO for Rugby Canada then spoke about the role of the fourth, fifth and sixth officials. With Pelicanland being fortunate enough to host so many high-profile events, this was welcome intelligence indeed.


Get out your calendars and start planning. We will need refs for the following:

June 16:
- Try for Other women’s Sevens tournament in Sacramento
- Three-team round-robin (fifteens) at the Campbell Highland Games

June 23:
- Fog Fest on Treasure Island – Harlot-style fifteens on three pitches, all day long
- Palo Alto Sevens
This will be a day when we need everyone. The Fog Fest could use about ten refs, while the Sevens always require twelve to fifteen. Look at it this way: run around all day and get a good appetite for that evening’s
- Society Banquet

July 7:
- Palo Alto Sevens
- 4th Annual Old Boys: NorCal versus Nevada at the Dunsmuir Railroad Days
This one looks like a great rugby excuse for a summer weekend in the Mount Shasta area.

It is an excellent place to bring the family for a summer weekend getaway: lots of fishing, hiking and whitewater sports; lots of campsites, RV parks and hotels in the area.

However with the Railroad Days event and a 10,000 person run/walk event going on in Mt. Shasta City that weekend, it is suggested that the referee make arraignments early.

Let us know if you are interested, and here are some links:
Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort :
Railroad R.V. park:

July 22:
- Palo Alto Sevens

August 4:
- Palo Alto Sevens

September 1-2:
- Reno Tournament – back from the dead and ready to dance! This used to be one of the highlights of the year, and there’s no reason it cannot return to its former prominence.

Your writer remembers refereeing the final one year where the Monterey Bay Rebels defeated Aspen, just two weeks after Aspen had won their own tournament.

We have sent inquiries as to the date of this year’s Tri-Tip Sevens but have not heard back yet.

If anyone knows of any other Sevens tournaments to be played in Northern California this summer, please let us know.


It’s happening again – we had a number of great photographs to choose from, but our computer and our camera are once more not on speaking terms.

Picture a sunny day, rugby in the background, and smiling referee friends all around…


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris