Tuesday, July 31, 2007




The featured speaker for our Sevens conference Friday night on Treasure Island, Pat McNally, will not be able to arrive until about 9 PM. Pat says that his material can be covered in an hour.

We will have drinks and snacks for attendees. Because of the late start, we are going to open up the offer of a hotel room for Friday night for anyone who wishes to attend the conference and referee the Sevens in Palo Alto on Saturday.

The hotel is the Courtyard by Marriott in Foster City. Please let us know if you wish to take advantage of the convenience and the camaraderie.


This Saturday will be the fourth and final running of the Sevens at Cubberley on Middlefield in Palo Alto. Games will run on two fields from 9 AM until about 4 PM.

This is be the last tune-up for our three national entrants, Hayward, SFGG and the Olympic Club.

Sevens Referee Guru Pat McNally will be on hand to evaluate and coach our talent.

Please come and join us, and stay for the picnic!


Our annual pre-season conference will be held at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island on Saturday, October 13.

Mark your calendars now. David Williamson is planning another cohesive syllabus for referee training for the 2008 season which will begin on this day.

We will also have our Annual General Meeting and election of a new two-year Board of Directors.

The current Board is Bruce Carter, Joe Leisek, Dixon Smith, Pete Smith and Scott Wood. If you are interested in standing for election, or wish to put another up for the Board, the process is informal: it needs only nomination on the day and support amongst the voting members.


We received by post today a package from Steve Sivyer of Milwaukee, a referee with the Midwest.

In April of 1989 when your scribe was a young ref working his first national appointment, Steve was the senior referee assigned to the event, a B1. The two roomed together and the future Scriptoris borrowed much in the way of both wisdom and method from Steve.

They were not to meet again until the international conference which the NCRRS hosted in June of last year in San Jose. At that point Steve said that he was retired from the whistle.

The post contained a t-shirt from the 1989 event and the following note, which attests to the power of a well-organized and enthusiastic group of referees:

Dear Bruce:
A year ago in June your society rejuvenated me to continue refereeing.


Stephen Sivyer


Bryan Porter will be traveling to New England on an evaluator exchange, probably October 13.

Joe Leisek will be refereeing a RSL East Coast autumn league game in Boston September 15.

Don Pattalock will travel on our exchange with Virginia, probably in early November.

The announcement of this year’s Aspen exchange is pending availability of the nominee.

Origami Pelican
Got some time on your hands during the dog days of summer?

Why not try replicating this gem, made from a single sheet of paper?


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, July 24, 2007




Seven people signed up for a room after the Sevens conference at Treasure Island. We have four doubles at a hotel in Foster City, about halfway between Treasure Island and the matches at Palo Alto the next day.

Each room has two queen beds but also a sofa sleeper, so we have room for some others who may want to join.


Three NorCal teams went through to the Nationals at the sole PC Qualifier for 2007: Hayward, Golden Gate and the Olympic Club.

OPSB and Haggis made the trip to Palo Alto to try to qualify, while San Mateo, San Jose and Sacramento also competed.

With three teams advancing, the semi-finals were the key games. In these, Hayward beat the O Club 21 – 7 while Golden Gate, down 5 – 14 at the half, came back to defeat Haggis 19 – 14.

Don Pattalock, in his first season as a referee, was assigned the championship of the national qualifier. We can report that he did not make any mistakes whatsoever and there were no complaints about the job he did: the teams decided not to play.

As both were advancing, Hayward and Golden Gate flipped a coin to decide the two higher of the Pacific Coast seeds (#7 v. #9), Hayward winning.

However, the third place game had to be played for the #13 spot.

OLYMPIC CLUB 14 – Haggis 12 Referee: Pete Smith

This was an exciting, close game throughout.

Referees for the qualifier pool were: Pete Smith, Jim Crenshaw, Mike Gadoua, Don Pattalock, Aruna Ranaweera and John Meyers, here on exchange from the South.

All games were provided a team of five as well as an official scorekeeper.

Touch judges and in-goal judges were drawn from the pool refs as well as the refs on the ‘B’ pitch: Sam Reagle, Sandy Robertson, John Pohlman, John Coppinger, Bruce Bernstein, Isaac Caselis and Bruce Carter.

The scorekeepers/sin bin minders were Dixon Smith and Jake Rubin.

The final weekend of the 2007 Palo Alto Summer Sevens will be August 4, one week before the nationals will be held in Washington state. This will be the last chance for the NorCal teams to tune up.


2007 NAWIRA U19 rugby tournament
George Town, Cayman Islands
July 6-15, 2007

July 6 – Friday

I took a red-eye from San Francisco through Charlotte and Miami to get to Grand Cayman. En route, Cayman Airlines treated me to a view of the green (not red!) Cuban countryside. I was greeted at the George Town airport by Dave, a former Barbados coach, and Aaron Christie, a Jamaican referee who I had met as touch judge at the IRB San Diego sevens in February. All the NAWIRA (North America West Indies Rugby Association) officials stayed at the Comfort Suites hotel near Seven Mile beach, on the west coast of Grand Cayman. Air-conditioning? Check. Wireless internet? Check. HBO? All good.

In the afternoon, The Director of Officials, Roy Harvey (Canada) and Tournament Director Niall Brooks (British Virgin Islands) briefed the officials and outlined their expectations for the tournament. The four referees for the tournament were: Aaron Christie (Jamaica), Larry Mendez (Trinidad and Tobago), Alasdair Robertson (Caymans), and me (USA). The Cayman referee society provided touch judges and number 4/5 officials. USA and Canada take turns sending referees to NAWIRA events, so next month’s NAWIRA senior tournament will include a Canadian referee, but no one from the US. NAWIRA Tournament news, including official match reports are at: www.nawira.com

The winner of the 2007 NAWIRA U19 tournament will play in the 2008 U20 World Trophy, which is like a Tier B World Cup. USA and Canada have already received automatic bids to the U20 World Cup. The top team(s) from the 2008 U20 World trophy will play in the 2008 U20 World Cup. The U19 NAWIRA tournament featured two groups of three teams. Group A: Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados; Group B: Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico. Matches are 35-minute halves with no over-time.

In the evening, we visited the Cayman Rugby Club, which has a nice clubhouse and excellent field. All matches were played there. The original clubhouse was destroyed in 2004’s Hurricane Ivan, but has been rebuilt. They have a locker room with showers, large bar, and big screens with Setanta. Locals, mostly of British descent, show up at the clubhouse in the evening. I even ran into a few Americans who recalled their rugby glory days in the 1970's-80’s.

July 7 – Saturday

We watched most of the Australia versus South Africa Tri-Nations match on Mediazone. (What is that strange new outfit the Wallabies are wearing?)

Barbados 9 (0 tries), Trinidad & Tobago 5 (1 try)
Touch Judges: Alasdair Robertson (Caymans), Ben Cullen (Caymans)

I refereed the first game of the tournament, a contest between Trinidad and Barbados at 3pm in 90F degree heat and humidity. This was a very scrappy game with little continuity: lots of knock-ons. For all matches, the referees had open channel mics, so the touch judges could hear us at all times, which was very convenient. Additionally, the touch judges had transmitters that allowed them to talk to the referee if necessary. Unfortunately, someone mistakenly plugged in my open channel mic into the PA system for the first 5 minutes of my game, so I had to alter my communication style (talk less and lower volume) to avoid creating a cacophony! (Someone unplugged it soon after.) Trinidad played better rugby, but Barbados’ fly-half was able to land difficult long-range penalty kicks, which won the game. The end of the match was dramatic: leading 9-5, Barbados kicked a penalty with no time left on the clock. The ball hit the upright and bounced into the in-goal area where it rolled towards the corner-flag. The Trinidad winger scooped up the ball just before it went out and sprinted down the touchline towards the opposite goal-line. None of the Barbados players could catch him, but as the ball carrier passed halfway, I turned to see my touch judge with his flag up near the 22m. Match over: Barbados won, to Trinidad’s dismay. Overall, I found the style of play more choppy and unpredictable than what I am accustomed to in USA.

In the 5pm match refereed by Larry Mendez (Trinidad), Cayman beat Mexico 21-3.

July 8 - Sunday

At 11am, Roy Harvey held an officials’ meeting to discuss the previous days’ play. Feedback included peer reviews using a checklist designed by Roy. Video of matches were provided for those with PC access. Feedback for my match was positive, but I was asked to provide bigger secondary signals: not a problem.

In the evening, we checked out the famous Seven Mile beach just outside of the hotel. The water is very warm, just like Hawaii, and the beach is narrow. The beachfront was lined with tourists watching the sunset. Overall, Grand Cayman is a tiny island (population 40K), so "downtown" George Town is small. There are many 20-something Canadians living here: apparently it's too cold up north... However, the Cayman dollar is worth US$1.25, so food is expensive. My Caribbean counterparts recommended that I try Jerk Chicken, a local dish. At 11pm at night, the outside temperature was about 80F.

July 9 - Monday

I was touch judge for both matches. Aaron Christie (Jamaica) refereed the 3pm match, in which Guyana beat Barbados, 19-11. Alasdair Robertson (Caymans) refereed the 5pm match, in which debutants Mexico upset Jamaica, 3-0.

July 10 - Tuesday

Officials’ meeting at 11am.

July 11 - Wednesday

Alasdair Robertson (Caymans) refereed the 3pm match, in which Guyana beat Trinidad 31-14. Guyana qualified for the final as the dominant, unbeaten team in group A.

Jamaica 22 (4 tries), Caymans 9 (0 tries)
Touch judges: Larry Mendez (Trinidad), Mark Fagan (Caymans)

I refereed the regional grudge match at 5pm in front of a sizeable, vocal crowd. Jamaica was clearly jolted by their shock loss to Mexico on Monday, so they were hungry for a big win. Jamaica led 7-3 at half and was easily the more aggressive team: their speed out wide was impressive. The Caymans played a more conservative, pick-and-drive style of rugby with a fair amount of kicks for territory. In the end, Jamaica won 22-9. Jamaica needed to win by 11 to qualify for the final, but apparently, neither team properly understood this (some of them knew), so the wrong team (Caymans) celebrated after the final whistle! The organizers quickly announced that Jamaica had, in fact, qualified for the final from group B. This devastated the Cayman supporters, but they showed character by applauding the Jamaican team during its victory lap. I was quite tired after this match: lots of up and down running in the sun.

July 12/13 – Thursday/Friday

Officials’ meeting at 11am. Roy Harvey announced referee assignments for the finals on Saturday. (IRB rules require at least two days rest between the last pool match and the final.) The NAWIRA officials were quite pleased by the announcement that Rugby sevens is to be included in the 2011 Pan-Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

I later went sightseeing by car with Roy Harvey (Canada) and Niall Brooks (British Virgin Islands) around the coast of the island towards Rum Point. Geographically, Grand Cayman reminded me of the west coast of Sri Lanka at Negombo, which is a tourist area similar to the drier parts of Maui. Cayman sits atop a mountainous plateau in the middle of the Caribbean, so a few hundred yards from shore, the ocean floor drops vertically by about 6000 feet!

I went scuba diving off the west coast. Cayman is rated as one of the top scuba locations in the world: there are dive shops all over the island. The ocean floor is beautiful: lots of tropical fish 40 feet down. Warm water is key: no wetsuit required. (Another positive: no sharks.)

July 14 - Saturday

The Director of Rugby Canada, Pearce Higgins, flew in as match commissioner for the finals. The officials went over the tournament rules for a tied match, which would prove very important later in the day. The finals were advertised widely in local radio and newspapers.

We watched most of the New Zealand versus South Africa Tri-Nations match on Setanta at the Clubhouse. (Have the All Blacks peaked too early again?)

Aaron Christie (Jamaica) refereed the 5th place match at 1:30pm, in which Trinidad beat Mexico, 12-6. Larry Mendez (Trinidad) refereed the 3rd place match at 3pm, in which Caymans beat Barbados, 18-7.

Championship Match
Jamaica 14 (2 tries), Guyana 14 (2 tries)
Jamaica won 4-1 on penalty kicks
Touch Judges: Aaron Christie (Jamaica), Jeremy Channon (Caymans)
Assessor: Roy Harvey (Canada)

The much-anticipated final kicked off at 5pm in front of a large crowd of locals and players from the other four teams. Unbeaten Guyana was slightly favored over Jamaica, but the question on everyone’s minds was which Jamaican team would show up: the one that lost to underdog Mexico, or the one that eliminated the host Caymans? From the first whistle, it was clear that Jamaica was here to play and that Guyana had the talent to match. This was an entertaining match with lots of open field running and passing: clearly, the top two teams in the tournament were on the field. Jamaica led 7-0 at half, but would later rue not finishing two more try-scoring opportunities. Both teams tackled like there’s no tomorrow. Jamaica added another converted try to lead 14-0 midway through the second half. Guyana clawed back through their forwards and scored twice off penalty taps to tie 14-14 with 3 minutes left in the match. Both teams scrambled to break the stalemate, but at the final whistle, the score was tied!

As the large crowd waited in hushed anticipation, according to tournament rules, a 5-kick penalty place-kick shootout was held using a format similar to soccer. Both teams made their first kick. Jamaica made their next two, but Guyana missed both. With Jamaica leading 3-1, the fourth Jamaican kicker landed his kick to seal a famous Jamaican victory, 4-1 on penalty kicks. The jubilant Jamaican fans stormed the field as the Guyanese contingent fell to their knees in dismay. www.nawira.com

All teams were awarded NAWIRA medals, but the evening belonged to the Jamaicans who—I am told—partied late into the night. All six teams milled around to congratulate each other: it was a healthy display of sportsmanship by everyone involved. A large crowd of players and supporters stayed on at the Clubhouse. People seemed happy with the final match and Roy Harvey (Canada) said he would provide an official assessment report by mail. Video DVD of all matches will be provided eventually, courtesy Cayman RFU.

July 15 – Sunday

After bidding farewell to my NAWIRA friends, I flew back to USA and arrived in San Francisco at night: drove back to San Jose along 101. (I have to go to work on Monday? Yikes.) Overall, the NAWIRA trip was a fun, productive, educational experience: much thanks to USA Rugby for nominating me for this referee assignment.

Aruna Ranaweera
USA Rugby

July 18, 2007

Stylish Mailbox USED
Keep checking your in-box – mailboxes bring all measure of delights!


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, July 17, 2007




We would like reserve the hotel rooms for those who will be attending the Sevens conference at Treasure Island on August 3 and the Palo Alto Sevens on August 4. So far we have six takers for rooms.

Pat McNally and Al Caravelli will be the featured speakers, two men well worth listening to and particularly on the topic of Sevens refereeing.

If you plan to attend both of these events and you live more than an hour from either site, the Society will pay for rooms.

Please let us know if we need to leave the light on for you.


John Meyers of North Carolina will be visiting on exchange this weekend to help out at the Palo Alto Sevens at Cubberley.

This weekend will also be the sole national qualifier event for the Pacific Coast in 2007. We need to provide a team of five for all of the games in the qualifying bracket, so please make your plans now to attend. Even if you are not keen on refereeing the summer game, we’d love to have you work the touchline and in-goals.

Two things to do: let us know you’ll be there and start thinking about your contribution to the post-play picnic!


The second annual Touch tournament at Rocca Field was the occasion for a lot of fun and a great day in the middle of the Bay.

It was also the occasion for a couple of injured folks to run around with a whistle for the first time in a while.

About twenty teams participated on the three smaller fields into which the main pitch was divided for the occasion. With six a side it was still very crowded out there, putting a premium on intercepts in order for teams to be able to score.

Touch emphasizes handling and elusiveness, even more than does Sevens. Not surprising to see teams from Golden Gate and former Cal players doing so well.

There was also a netball tournament at the clubhouse, with plenty of food and drink. The weather cooperated – the fog lifted before noon but the breeze never rose. It was perfect tanning weather.

Referees coming off the injured list were Tina Nesberg and Bruce Carter. They filled out a corps comprising Mike Gadoua, Eric Rauscher, Tony Wells, Arona Paloma, and a couple of Aussies who knew the game better than the refs and agreed to take the whistle for some of the big matches.

A television dirigible was seen approaching in the early afternoon, promising unprecedented exposure for the sport of Touch in the United States, but alas, it was merely tacking into the wind, trying to get back over AT&T Park.

SF/Golden Gate found the best way to reduce expenses at tournaments: it the home team wins, no prize money need change hands. Their 7-a-side team began the day practicing for the Pacific Coast Qualifier and then won the Touch event.

Report by Eric Rauscher:

“What a Blast! It was so much fun!

“The morning started off overcast and with a chill wind blowing. It did however clear up enough later on so that I was able to get a rather nice sunburn.

“Touch (as it was played that day) is sort of like a cross between Sevens and Rugby League but with touches instead of tackles. It is a very fluid and fast game. The teams were comprised both of male and female, with the age ranges being from about 10 to mid 50s. Twenty-four teams were divided into three groupings, two social and one competitive. I decided to watch a couple of the competitive games first (never having seen the game played) and wisely chose to ref only the social games. The first two games had a steep learning curve, but after that it got easier with each successive game due to becoming more familiar with the rules. The general level of play increased for each of the teams as they also became more familiar with what was expected of them.

“After the final games, many of the players and refs took advantage of the clubhouse bar. All in all a very enjoyable day and I look forward to it again next year.”


Report by Bjorn Stumer:

"Pelicans in the City"

Pelicans Jake Rubin and Bjorn Stumer flew the Society's flag at the San Francisco Golden Gate's Grand Rugby Banquet, an annual rugby extravaganza designed to bring the club members together to raise funds for youth rugby. The sold out event was a great success with present and former members of the club enjoying great fellowship, free flowing libations, and a wonderful dinner. Many familiar faces were found in the crowd, and the Bald Eagles were well represented with a table where Jake and I sat for the evening.

Beyond the customary speeches and awards, a fundraising auction was held to raise funds for youth rugby. Among the prizes a Canterbury Crusaders jersey signed by all the members of the squad, as well as a US Eagles jersey, also signed by the players. The after dinner speaker was legendary English player Dean Richards. With 48 English caps, 6 British Lions, and a presence at 4 World Cups, Richards is undeniably one of rugby's all-time legends. He also proved to be a genial fellow, good sport, and excellent speaker (one never imagines what goes on behind those international doors!). Currently he successfully coaches London Harlequins, though he confesses to be a country lad at heart, and is rumored to be in line for further duties when his country comes calling.

Overall a fabulous event. Mark your calendars for next year!!


Aruna Ranaweera sent along a word postcard last week after refereeing two of the preliminary games at the NAWIRA U19 tournament.

“It's been fun refereeing here, but I'm pretty tired from yesterday's exciting match in which Jamaica beat Caymans 22-9. Lots of back and forth running in the sun. Jamaica needed to win by 11 to qualify for the final, but apparently, neither team properly understood this (some of them knew), so the wrong team (Caymans) celebrated after the final whistle! The organizers quickly announced that Jamaica had, in fact, qualified for the final. www.nawira.com.

“I'll be refereeing the final: Jamaica vs Guyana on Saturday evening. Should be a very good match. Both teams like to run out wide: lots of speed. Larry Mendez (Trinidad) will referee the Barbados vs Cayman 3rd place match, and Aaron Christie (Jamaica) will referee the Mexico vs Trinidad 5th place match.

“All matches are played at the Cayman Rugby Club, which has a nice clubhouse and excellent field. The original clubhouse was destroyed in Hurricane Ivan, but has been rebuilt. They have locker room w/showers, large bar, and big screens with Setanta. Locals, mostly of British descent, show up at the clubhouse in the evening. I even ran into a few Americans who recalled their rugby glory days in the 1970's.

“All the officials are staying at a hotel near seven mile beach. Roy Harvey (Canada) and Niall Brooks (British Virgin Islands) are taking us sightseeing by car today. The island is tiny, so "downtown" George Town is small. There are many Canadians living here: apparently it's too cold up north... “

And how ‘bout that final on Saturday:

Guyana 14-14 Jamaica
(Half Time: 0-7)
Jamaica win 4-1 in penalty shoot out
Referee: Aruna Ranaweera (USA)

Penalty shoot out? What did we send them, a SOCCER ref?

And, ahem… about that tied score…

Saint Padre Pio Mother Pelican
Saint Padre Pio Mother Pelican blesses you and yours, which is a nice thing to have in your favor when the time comes.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Thursday, July 12, 2007




On Saturday, July 14, SF/Golden Gate will host their second annual Touch Tournament on Treasure Island.

Twenty-four teams have signed up. There will be three pitches in action from 10 AM until about 2 or 2:30. Games will be started and stopped by a hooter, so all trains will run on time.

TOUCH IS EXCELLENT FOR BEGINNING REFS so please do not be afraid to volunteer. We need about a dozen refs. The rules are very simple – they will be forwarded to you – there are no scrums, rucks, mauls, lineouts, tackles or kicks to referee. You referee touches, turnovers, and tries.

It is a lot of fun and excellent for fitness work.

Bruce Carter will be there to help coordinate things and keep the refs apprised of the rules of the game. Please respond if you will be able to help out.


The Senate adjourned to Alabama over the past ten days, for the purpose of re-integrating the wife of a certain Centurion into his extended family. Notwithstanding certain prejudices about this part of the world, we were in fact in an area without: a wireless Internet network; cellular phone reception; broadcast television reception. And to top it off, we forgot our laptop and couldn't even establish a modem-based lifeline to the bigger world.

Ah, bliss.


The only report we received on last Saturday’s event was from Paul Bethe, who was here on exchange from the Met NY society:

“Everything worked out just grandly. Pete (Smith) was an excellent host, especially the part where he got me well sauced before dropping me at the airport so I would sleep soundly on the red-eye home.

“The rugby was excellent. It was a much smaller and more lackadaisical approach to a 7s tournament than I am used to back east – but the rugby was much better. There were 5-6 teams playing a standard of rugby that out east will only be seen by 4 teams – and they only go to qualifiers, not just your regular 7s local tournament….

“David (Williamson) mic’d me up for my first match, which turned out to be my toughest of the day – San Mateo vs. San Jose where San Mateo’s 12-0 halftime lead evaporated to SJs better fitness, and they came back to win 14-12. He gave me coaching at the time, and also this morning in my Inbox, with a DVD on the way.

“All in all, an excellent exchange that we should continue.”


Mike Gadoua, our Sevens Specialist, attended the best two-day Sevens in the USA at Cape Fear this past weekend:

Cape Fear Sevens Pre-Tourney Report
July 4, 2007; 10am
Le Croissant - San Rafael, CA

While no Sevens games could be found in the SF Bay Area, I did manage to participate in a meeting at the North Bay rendezvous location, Le Croissant. The initial purpose was the transfer of the NCST (Nor Cal Sevens Tent) to Dave Williamson. However, an invitation went out to discuss Rugby's effect on world issues, politics, religion, etc. Which was accepted by a small group from the tight-knit Hastings Old Boys (the team that gave so many referees to California rugby and that has a strong presence in the North Bay). Pat Faulkner, Steven Perl, Dave Williamson and I, enjoyed a fine brunch and made progress with world events. Of course, we were seated at the original table where Bruce Carter and I, accompanied by our brides, first inaugurated Le Croissant. The meeting was deemed a success and possession of the NCST was transferred to Dave Williamson, who will be in Palo Alto this Saturday. I will trek out to the Cape Fear Sevens - more to follow.

Cape Fear – faces in the crowd:

Skip Vaughn and wife picked me up at the airport; he did the talking.

Talked to Al Caravelli for a little bit.

Ran into Toshi (Paloma) who was there visiting relatives. He thought that he would get a game with OMBAC.

Sam Davis was there, taking his daughter Sarah to visit an east coast law school.

(Jason) Raven ran to say, hi, surprised that I was there, played scrum half with OMBAC.

I was pretty much assigned to the women's division, they had an abundance of B refs from the local area and the premier games were spread out.

Major teams at Cape Fear:

Charlotte (who all have accents)
They had Raleigh in that Division, perhaps to fill out the bracket.

Cape Fear Sevens

Final: NOVA 43 to NYAC 5 - and it was that close!
It was an East Coast Final between two powerhouses. (OMBAC had sacrificed a half time lead to work in all of its players against NYAC. OMBAC was ahead 17 at the half. Rested players for the Second half and lost 19 to 17.)

I had flown into Wilmington Friday afternoon and was picked up by the Vaughn family. The temperature was not very hot, but the excessive humidity kept you soaked. The four fields kicked off on time thanks to John Meyers' exceptional organizational skills. Meyers and his crew provided an excellent tourney. The games went smoothly until about 12:30 when we enjoyed a show of thunder and lightning. After about two hours the games continued, as did the rain. Sunday saw a little bit more rain, no lightning. The games were fantastic great Rugby played by OMBAC, NYAC, NOVA, Charlotte, Kenya, Bahamas, Purple Haze, MARFU, West and Mid-West and other teams kept the spectators entertained with great Rugby. The tourney is highly recommended for Sevens refs.



On Friday evening, August 3, national Sevens referee maestro El Siete, Pat McNally, and USA Sevens coach Al Caravelli will be presenting a joint referee/coaching session at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island.

All referees who are interested in the world’s fastest and best game should plan to attend.

With the final weekend of the Palo Alto tournament the next day, the Society will arrange for hotel rooms Friday night for anyone attending both the conference and the tournament who lives at least an hour from either venue.

There will also be a national sevens camp (for players) at Stanford August 4 and 5.

McNally and Caravelli are traveling together to tournaments in every territory this summer and giving this presentation. It should be a worthwhile evening.


Day 1 Results & Summary
Trinidad & Tobago 5 – BARBADOS 9 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
(Half Time: 5-3)
A very hot and sunny day greeted Trinidad & Tobago (“T&T”) and Barbados at the South Sound rugby pitch, home of the Cayman RFU, for the opening game of the NAWIRA 2007 U19 Tournament. Three penalties from Ben Petit, the Bajan inside centre and main play maker, gave Barbados not only a victory over their close rivals T&T, but also their first win at U19 age level. T&T lead at half time after a try by Kirby Hosang, only to fall behind to the boot of Petit in the second half. T&T, controlled much of the game. However, they could not turn possession into points despite being camped inside the Bajan half for large periods of the game. Barbados managed to withstand the pressure with some strong defense and resound determination, in order to register their inaugural U19 victory. Barbados will play former U19 Caribbean champions Guyana on Monday, knowing that another victory will put them in the final and only a step away from what may have seemed the impossible twelve months ago.

Cape Fear VII Corps
Referees at the Cape Fear Sevens:

Gavin Curtis, Skip Vaughn, Curtis Ethridge, Septenae, Kurt Franciskovich, David von Kolnitz, Dan Drasher, Pete Paulsen, Larry Clark, Ed Ward, John Muir, Tevis Vandergriff, John Meyers


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Monday, July 02, 2007




Matt Eason, Pacific Coast Referee Education Officer, announced the promotion of Aruna Ranaweera to B2 last week.

This is timely. Aruna will be working an IRB event next week, and it might have been unseemly for the USA to send a B3 to such an event. But, then again, Aruna refereed a Super League game this season as a B3.

However fortuitous, the timing is coincidental: this promotion was earned according to the PCRRS guidelines and awarded only after the receipt of the necessary above-grade evaluations.

Congratulations to an over-achieving Pelican, a good friend, and someone whose accomplishments will give us vicarious satisfaction.


Please let us know if you will be working any of these events:

July 7 – Palo Alto Summer Sevens at Cubberley

July 14 – SF/Golden Gate Touch Tournament at Rocca Field

Remember the Golden Gate banquet on Friday, July 13, in North Beach. If you would like to attend, as several members of our society plan on doing, contact Robbie Flynn:


July 21 – Palo Alto Summer Sevens at Cubberley


On Friday evening, August 3, national Sevens referee maestro El Siete, Pat McNally, and USA Sevens coach Al Caravelli will be presenting a joint referee/coaching session at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island.

All referees who are interested in the world’s fastest and best game should plan to attend.

With the final weekend of the Palo Alto tournament the next day, the Society will arrange for hotel rooms Friday night for anyone attending both the conference and the tournament who lives at least an hour from either venue.

There will also be a national sevens camp (for players) at Stanford August 4 and 5.

McNally and Caravelli are traveling together to tournaments in every territory this summer and giving this presentation. It should be a worthwhile evening.


El Siete sent along this message for distribution to those who are interested in refereeing Sevens:

“Greetings and Salutations,

“I have survived the first two weeks of the Summer Sevens Tour and I am pleased with our progress. It's been a great opportunity to work with some great people and make new friends. I have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from players, coaches and referees so I think we might be on the right track. We held our first referee/coaches Sevens presentation last Friday in Washington DC and it should be the first of many.

“I would like to share my impressions of the first two Tournaments and have our referees look out for and work on the following areas:

“1. Dangerous Play - By far, the most common comment I have been getting from coaches is we need to stop the dangerous play and get it out of the game. Due to the high speed, the sudden change of directions and the necessity of having to make all of their tackles, dangerous play is ever present in Sevens and must be eliminated. Tackles above the shoulders, shoulder charges, late hits, collar tackles, and "slingshot" or "hammer throw" tackles must be dealt with firmly and immediately. Don't try and be a nice guy and just manage it, or try and talk your way out of it, penalize it EVERYTIME and card it if necessary. As far as cards go, per the IRB, we are to judge each tackle individually. So go with your gut, if it looks ugly it probably is, then yellow card it, IMMEDIATELY. Keep in mind that a yellow card has a major affect on a game so don't give them out indiscriminately. But our players deserve a fair and honest game and dangerous play has no place in it.

“2. Work the 10 –After a penalty is given, get the offending team back 10 meters. I've noticed some (but not all) of our referees are still in a Fifteens mode and give very deliberate primary and secondary signals at the mark. In Sevens, almost all penalties are taken quick, so give the mark, get out of the way and get the offending team BACK 10 METERS. DON'T give them a chance to slow down the non-offending teams ball. Devote your attention to preventing further penalties, not to running over and indicating a particular spot of grass.

“3. Scrum binding - There are still a couple of teams that are having the two props bind on each other and the hooker comes in like a number eight. This has been discussed many times, all teams are aware of it and they know better.

“4. Saying "Ruck" and only "Ruck" (or "tackle" or "maul") at the appropriate time - don't try to over-verbalize and go into a long-winded explanation at the breakdowns (i.e. "get hands out of there Blue"). One word, loud and clear, once. At this level, they know exactly what they are doing, so expect it.

“5. Demand stable scrums - We don't have to go on and on about it, so get the positioning right (straight), make sure every prop binds on his/her opposite number and don't allow any popping up or boring in. Manage it once and then penalize, set your standard. Don't have to be a tyrant about it, but be demanding. Again, don't try and be a nice guy and just continue to manage it, or try and talk your way out of it. Don't be a jerk, but be firm and demand it.

“As always, let me know if you have any questions, comment etc.

“See you on a pitch somewhere soon.

“Paddy Mac



As you celebrate the Fourth spare a thought for the Founders, who conceived of what has become the longest-lasting democracy on Earth, who shed the blood and pledged the treasure to bring it into being, and who yet were so unfortunate as to live before the time of William Webb Ellis and thus never to know the pleasures of Rugby Union Football.


Our salutation has been converted to a new font, one we found on the Internet during some idle moments at ‘work’. The font is named Pelican. [Webmaster's note: this font is currently being researched for addition to the blog]

It is very attractive in larger sizes but does not show to best advantage when reduced.

QE I the Pelican Wearer
This historical delight comes to us from the mother country, from the Walker Art Gallery of the National Museums in Liverpool.

'Queen Elizabeth I - The Pelican Portrait' c1574
Nicholas Hilliard (1547 - 1619) attributed to Oil on panel, 78.7 x 61cm

Have a look just above the carpal-metacarpal joint of Good Queen Bess’ left thumb.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris