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