Monday, October 01, 2007




A major benefit of refereeing in the NCRRS is our exchange program.

We have the funds and the willingness to send out at least a couple of dozen referees per year, both as a reward for service to the Society and for advancement opportunities.

There is also a lot of fun to be had making new friends on exchange, and it is one of the distinguishing qualities of our sport.

All that is lacking at the moment is someone to coordinate these activities.

Kat Todd-Schwartz has done a very good job the past couple of years, but now has found that the crush of business prevents her from continuing in the role. We are looking for a volunteer to take over the position.

Prospects should be Pelicans flock members who derive satisfaction from helping others. They should be able to anticipate upcoming exchanges to aid in the selection process, to track who’s been on exchange and who has hosted, and should be committed to helping us increase our number of exchange partners. This involves interacting with counterpart officers of various other referee societies.

Please let us know of your interest in this key position.

Our next out-going exchange will be Bjorn Stumer, who will be refereeing in Richmond, Virginia, on October 20. The game has been scheduled for an 11 AM kickoff so that everyone can watch the World Cup final together afterwards.

And speaking of which: we have two exchanges in November that can accommodate two referees each, both at Thanksgiving. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN EITHER OR BOTH:

Vancouver Island Exchange: Fly up on Wednesday, November 21. Referee the island high school championships Thursday and Friday. Do a club match on Saturday. Enjoy the beauty, the billeting and the best foreign exchange only three hours from home.

New York Sevens Exchange: the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The earlier you travel, the more time you have to spend in the Big Apple. Lots of top clubs attend this one regularly, including Samurai, and it is a highlight on the US rugby calendar.

As always, going on exchange is cheap: our society pays for your travel and the receiving society either hosts you or pays for your ground expenses on their end.


No referees made themselves available for the Humboldt State men’s and women’s alumni games last Saturday. We note this fact with sorrow. Your writer’s excuse is that he works until nine PM on Fridays and again at 9 AM on Sundays, and he lives almost 400 miles from Arcata.

October 6: REFS NEEDED

Three games in Chico: Old Boys v. Silverhawks, men and women alumni games

One game in Fresno: Fresno v. Stanislaus

Even if you are a beginning referee and are not level one certified, you are welcome to referee in the pre-season. Don’t be shy – chime in if you’d like a fun run.

October 13: Pelican Refs annual training meeting, Society AGM and election of officers. This will be at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island and will run from 9 AM until 3:30 PM.

October 20: The Harlotfest lives! Four to six referees are needed.

October 27: The Stanford Tens, the Baracus Tens on Treasure Island, and at least three more games of which we are aware. This will be a very busy weekend – please try to make yourself available.


So far we have four new members who have affirmed their availability for Stanford. This is very encouraging! Come on down and meet Tony Redmond, Tom Zanarini, Randy Boose and Roberto Santiago.

Let us know if you would like to referee on any of these dates.


Six months after his second career-ending injury, Pelicus Scriptoris resumed his career.

The first career-ending injury stopped him from playing in 1988. Would that it had come several years sooner: he might have ascended to the refereeing heights.

But this one, the Achilles tendon that tore so publically at a society training session, this merely threatened his prospects for a prolonged and enjoyable post-panel career.

The orthopod who treated him said he’d have to take a year off. But in this case the standard Rugby Rehab Formula seems to have worked perfectly:

(Advice that applies to normal people)/2 = Advice that applies to rugby people

(or multiply by two, as seems appropriate to the advice given).

SF FOG 17 – Sacramento Amazons 10 Referee: Bruce Carter

Another perfect day on the Bay: low seventies, no clouds and no wind to stir them if there had been.

Alas, the referee’s mind has been playing tricks on him: he thought there was a tree that truncated the Jobs Corps pitch. Finding out this memory is false is the only symptom of middle age whose advent has yet been pleasant.

There was also the Treasure Island Festival in full cry, with a very good cover band playing two blocks and a hundred decibels away. Folks were jammin’ on the touchlines.

They were jamming on the pitch, too, a fast and hard-hitting game that provided a good test of determination and discipline. The team that could work a game plan against committed defense was going to win this one.

There were several long periods of goal-line defense in each half, both at the north end, each team being tested and forged in the crucible of the in-goal.

Linda Kilmartin ran in two tries for the Fog in the first half, both coming on movements in which Center Bridget Madell, who scored their third try in the second period, was instrumental.

The Amazons scored two tries in the second half, sandwiched around three held-up-in-goal calls in the same sequence.

Scriptoris was accompanied by his wife, Penelope Pelicus. Her namesake waited twenty years for Odysseus to come home from the Trojan War, while Mrs. Pelicus was patient for the fifteen it took her once-and-future husband to fight his own wars.

Having a spy incognito on the sidelines is sometimes a good thing, as in this case wherein she reported the following overheard conversation:

“This guy is pretty good.”

“He ought to be – he’s the head of everything.”


…where our motto is, “We watch every game so that you don’t have to.”

If you can only catch one match from the past ten days, the Wales-Fiji match was an absolute crackerjack bout of rugger. After about twenty minutes the announcers kept saying, “This one has everything.”

We can think of a few things it didn’t have, like gridiron grandiosity and panty-waist soccer injuries, but it certainly did not lack for enterprising, entertaining and thrill-a-minute play with lead and momentum changes galore.


September 24, 2007

Open Letter to:
Shasta Highlander Rugby
Pelican Refs
Northern California Rugby Football Union

Gentlemen and Ladies,

Andreas and Kristina Mittry have lost their son, and the Shasta Highlanders and the rugby world have lost one of our own. Andrew Mittry left us Saturday afternoon, September 22, as a result of injuries suffered in an automobile crash on Tuesday morning September 18th, while on his way to work in Santa Rosa. Andrew was 20 years old. Andrew was a fine young man, with the world in front of him. He played for the Highlanders the last two years and was going to play in Santa Rosa this year. He will be missed by his many friends. Please remember him, Andreas and Kristina and the family in your thoughts and prayers.

A fund has been setup to defray the costs of the hospital bills. Donations may be made to the “Andrew K. Mittry Donation Fund” c/o North Valley Bank, or mailed to the Shasta Highlanders, P.O. Box 494831, Redding Ca. 96049-4831.

Pete Ray
President, Shasta Highlanders RFC


Our Society’s best friends, Sue and Murray Felstead, have their first grandchild!

Evie Tayla was born of Kate and Ian last Friday, and all are doing well.

We are absolutely chuffed to find that English babies are delivered not by a stork, but via an alternative avian.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris