Tuesday, November 27, 2007




In this busiest of months for evening and seasonal events, don’t forget to set aside next Tuesday evening for the regular meeting of the NCRRS.

We will be meeting at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island from 7 to 9 PM. Dinner will be provided beginning at 6.

Society REO David Williamson has put together another informative and entertaining syllabus for the 2008 season. This session will cover During the Game, Laws 7-12 and 22.


These courses are offered primarily in the autumn. Invariably, the week after the last one we get half a dozen requests for another from widely scattered point of the compass. So: if you know someone who’s been talking about taking the course, put them on to this one:

The Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society will host a Level 1 Officiating Course for all persons interested in becoming rugby referees on Sunday, 2 December 2007, at the Bay Club, 150 Greenwich Street, San Francisco, CA. The course will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m., while wrapping up at the conclusion of an open book law test at approximately 5:00 p.m. The course fee is $35/student. Persons wishing to register for this course should contact Mike Malone at mgmalone@comcast.net or (415) 472-2091.



Wednesday, November 21

Having read Aruna's report from the prior NCRRS exchange and heading Bruce Kuklinski's advice, I was well prepared for cold and rain ("have your winter woolies packed plus some wet weather gear"). Much to my delight, it was clear and sunny for most of our time on Vancouver Island. Paul Berman and I traveled north to Victoria, BC, for the annual Pelicanrefs exchange. We were supposed to meet in Seattle for the short flight to Victoria but Paul's plane from Oakland was delayed. Apparently he had made the dash to the gate but was denied boarding and had to wait for the next flight. After an uneventful trip, I was met at the airport by my host, Keith Morrison, and, having ascertained that Paul would arrive well after noon, we toured the local area and enjoyed lunch in Sidney at a pub overlooking Haro Strait. After a bit of a delay in customs, I'll leave that short-story to Paul, we drove to Victoria. Keith provided a tour of the city prior to dropping Paul off at Bruce Kuklinski's.

Thursday, November 22

Keith and I collected Paul for the drive up to Shawnigan Lake School. The views were tremendous. We stopped at Goldstream Creek to watch salmon in their final minutes of life spawning in the water as sea gulls feasted on the sashimi smorgasbord. After a brief stop overlooking the Saanich Inlet, we arrived at Shawnigan Lake School, a private coed boarding school for grades 8 to 12, for the Vancouver Island Junior Boys' Championship. What a sight! Rugby pitches on three terraces with a clubhouse overlooking the featured field. Keith introduced me to several Shawnigan coaches who wanted to pick my brain as they are touring Northern California this coming March(?) with matches at Jesuit and Lamorinda, and possibly SFGG and/or De La Salle.

Due to a recovering knee injury, my assignment for the weekend was to referee-coach some of the local talent. The first match I watched pitted #3 seed Brentwood against #6 seed Claremont. Matt Ward, a young up-and-coming referee with a lot of potential and former guest of Joe Leisek, had a good run in which Brentwood had a decisive 36-10 victory over Claremont (more about Claremont below). The next match featured #1 seed Shawnigan Lake School against #8 seed Vic High, refereed by Dave Hopps. Dave has a good feel for the flow of the game and facilitated a match in which Shawnigan dominated Vic High 71-0. We drove back to Victoria where Bruce hosted us for dinner at St. Michael's University School prior to drinks at a local pub.

Friday, November 23

We returned to Shawnigan Lake for the second day of the Junior Boys Competition. Another beautifully clear and sunny day, albeit a little cooler, for rugby. This time I watched Ashley Anderson referee #6 seed Claremont versus #7 seed Ladysmith. Due to the low angle of the sun, surrounding trees, and global warming, the ground was too frozen to play on so we relocated to the upper-upper field. Kudos to the groundskeeper for lining the pitch in record time. In less than 45 minutes, he had marked out a pitch in accordance with the Plan as if he were filling in a template. Unfortunately, there was not time for installing posts so it was decided the touch judges would act as uprights with the tops of their flags representing the crossbar. Ladysmith, featuring a Gregan-like scrum half, appeared to be the dominant team but went into the break with a paltry 5-0 lead. At halftime, Claremont must have eaten Wheaties with Red Bull as they came out on fire for the second half. Claremont got the ball out of lineouts and scrums much quicker. With quick ball, their wing (also a football quarterback) was able to exploit the defense scoring one try and setting up another. With less than two minutes remaining, Claremont was awarded a penalty just outside Ladysmith's 22 and elected to go for a penalty goal (remember, no posts, only TJs). The ball was straight and high enough to avoid any controversy and Claremont won 13-12. After the match, we returned to the main pitch to watch Paul referee a quarter-final match.

We returned to Victoria where John De Goede, along with his lovely wife Krista and Big BBD Digger, hosted dinner at their house. Joining us were Keith, Bruce, Ashley, and Sam Langridge, another local referee. Great food and conversation last well into the evening.

Saturday, November 24

Woke up to an overcast sky and a forty percent chance of sharing Aruna's experience with precipitation. Off to the pitch for an 11:30 a.m. match between hosts University of Victoria Women and Nanaimo Women. Unfortunately, the visitors only traveled with nine so U Vic graciously loaned players and it was agreed they play three 20-minute chukkers. Rob Rodvik refereed this affair, his twelfth match ever, and got in a good run as U Vic put up 58 points to nil.

Paul had the next match, a Div 1 quarter-final between U Vic Norsemen and Port Alberni Black Sheep (whose city was hit by TWO tsunamis in 1964 during the Good Friday Earthquake). I will leave the details of the match to Paul. From the "It's a Small World" department: Paul pointed out the U Vic coach was a former Cal assistant coach. Additionally, I noticed that the Port Alberni coach looked very familiar. Being cursed with short- and long-term memory issues, I could not place him. After the match, I approached him and he said, "You look familiar. Do I know you?" To which I responded, "I'm from California." As soon as he said "I'm Jaz. Did you referee in Hawaii?” it clicked. All it takes is a key to unlock the door for the memories to return. Jaz Purewall and his team, some of whom were playing on this Saturday, participated in the Hawaii Harlequins 40th Anniversary Tournament at which Bruce Carter, Dixon Smith, Peter Hansford, and I refereed. Unfortunately, we had to get Paul off to the Velox ground for him to run touch for John De Goede.

Velox hosted Cowichan in a bottom-of-the-table "love fest" which started with off-the-ball niggling and went downhill from there. Exciting stuff to watch from the far-side spectator's section. Paul may write more about this. After the match, we retired to the Velox clubhouse for warm conversation and cold beer.

Dinner that evening was at Irish Times Pub, located in a building constructed in 1896 for Bank of Montreal. Due to certain undisclosed logistical issues, Keith and I went to Darcy's Pub for a pint before joining everyone. This crowd of never-strangers, just people whose name we have yet to hear, included Keith Morrison, Bruce Kuklinski, Paul "Sergeant York nee Captain America" Berman, Sam Langridge and friend Colleen, Chris Brown, and John and Krista De Goede. Great food with excellent conversation during which we solved whirled peas and cured cancer but forgot to write down how. We parted ways with open invitations extended to all who venture into Northern California.

Sunday, November 25

Keith and I had brunch in a local cafe then toured about town where I was shown the sites and soul of Victoria. Still no rain or snow but definitely beautiful vistas. We picked up Paul and returned to the airport where Keith debriefed Paul on the previous days, then through customs (twice for Paul), flying off to the mainland and back home looking forward to the next opportunity for an exchange.


I had a good time reffing the NY 7's. Got picked up by Jem McDowall at the Ramada NYer @ 7:30 AM this past Saturday to begin reffing at 8:20 AM. Started with a Men's Social game immediately followed by a Collegiate (Mens) game. Then a few hours break for me to check out the Premier games, see Taisho an iRB panel ref from Japan ref, and talk to an old buddy from the Long Island Rugby Club who was their VP & had his 18 year old son play for their Premier team.

Got back to reffing 4 more games in afternoon--all Men's Club, a notch below the Premier & almost every team, except maybe one was from Canada, who were all very good both at rugby at being border-line illegal with their style of play.

Then watched every final game in the stadium, which was artificial turf & featured a team from London made up of pros winning and a women's team of combined New Zealand & SoCal players winning the woman's bracket.

Had a great dinner at a new rib place called Hill County with 3 local refs, along with the Japanese ref, who flew just to ref the tourney & the week before helped the US 7's team practice in Florida.

Hit the party at Connelly's & the next day saw the high temp for the tourney was 38 degrees.

Also had a good time shopping, going to the MOMA, and seeing more old friends (about 5) and family.

I would recommend that anyone go ref this next year, as NY Rugby Club will continue to strive to make it better. Thanks for my opportunity to go & ref, Bruce Bernstein


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:


This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.


ARROYO GRANDE 24 – Cal Poly 3rds 5 Referee: Paul Phillips

The AG side was much older and had more experience over CP but CP stuck with them in the 2nd half. A few penalties resulted from lack of experience but overall a very well played match by both sides. Both sides were lead by their number 9s as captains. AG's captain, Ben, kept his players in line. Jack for CP had his hands full just trying to lead his team but did an admirable job.


For the first time in his working life, beginning with delivering newspapers at age ten, Pelicus Scriptoris now has the weekends off.

Something most people take for granted has now come to pass for PS. Expect to see him and his ref-cam at Sunday events in the future.

He remembers the days of refereeing the circuit, flying home from Boston, Florida and even Winnipeg after doing a game on Saturday to work on Sunday, not to mention the tournaments foregone.

Simple economic analysis led to this: the practice does better when he’s there and the difference is more pronounced on weekdays than it is on weekends. Through our efforts do we improve our lot in life.


We have wrestled with whether to include this link, a sad tale involving one of our friends.

But many in the Pelican community know the protagonist, and all others need to realize the gravity of the task we are entrusted when given control of a match of rugby football. It is a position of responsibility and an honor to receive, not to be taken lightly. Nor should the participants ever be shown anything other than respect by the referee.


Those who used to enjoy Herb Caen’s namephreaks will appreciate the chairman of the disciplinary hearing.

This is also a good time to remind folks that HP is e-mailed to you as a Blind Copy - so you might as well resist the temptation to send out clever comments to everyone: they won't get them.

Thank you to Kurt Oeler of Gainline.us for this helpful solution!

Skip and Barb and a Player to be Named Later
Pelicus Migratus lived up to his nomenclature, dropping in for an overnight visit at HP headquarters in Salinas last week.

Skip and Barb Vaughn also had some news to impart, semper bonis avis indeed: while consulting avian omens before departing on their California adventure, a stork flew by on the favored right side.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris