Thursday, February 07, 2008




Jim Read is one of our newest members, having taken the level one course late last year. Jim lives in Reno.

Based on his refereeing at the high school tournament in Sacramento last month, Jim has been recognized as a C3 by the NCRRS.


Tonight (February 5) is the monthly meeting of the NCRRS.

We’ll be meeting from 7 to 9 PM at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island to learn more about refereeing the ruck and maul. Dinner will be provided for early arrivals beginning at six.

The Referee Development Committee will meet at six.

The hard workers of SF/GG have expanded their clubhouse, essentially doubling its size. They continue to improve their physical plant and we are fortunate to have a proper rugby facility in which to meet.


Please go to the Society Contacts page on the NCRRS website and make certain that your contact information is up to date:

If you are not there, or your information is not accurate, both the referee society and the various teams will not be able to reach you.

Thank you for taking a moment to check this. If something needs changed, let Scott Wood know:


We would like to take this opportunity inform our membership and our readership how high school games find referees.

The first thing to note is that the NCRRS does not assign referees to high school matches until the playoffs. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that high school teams are not members of the NCRFU and do not pay referee fees.

But also, the games are so many and so changeable that it would an impossible task to undertake.

There are four high school conferences. Each has a referee coordinator who works with the teams in arranging for match officials.

Their jobs are made all the easier if the teams do not insist on playing Saturdays at 1 PM. Club and college matches get first call on Society members.

Sacramento Valley: Ray Thompson
Redwood Empire: Joe Leisek
Skyhawk: Pete Smith
Bay Conference: Bjorn Stumer

If you would like to referee high school games, notify the coordinator for your area of your desire. We encourage the teams to schedule their matches so that they do not conflict with club and college matches.

When the playoffs arrive, the first criterion for assignments is: who has been refereeing high school games right through the season?


OLYMPIC CLUB 25– Sacramento 5 Lions Referee: John Coppinger

Often criticized (and generally rightly so), SF Park & Rec probably made the right call on Friday to close the Polo Fields on Saturday forcing this match to be rescheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday evening on the Field Turf on Hayward's Pepsi Field.

At 5 p.m., the kick-off took place under ominous skies, but only with a light rain falling and a good breeze blowing. Unfortunately, the 5 p.m. kick-off involved the Hayward U-19 kicking off to the Alameda U-19 for an hour's scrimmage. (Blaine Warhurst arranges for the field, works w/ the City to make sure it's available for rugby [including getting it lined for rugby], and probably pays for the field, and damn it, his kids were going to play their game and the rest of us could just wait. It’s hard to argue with Blaine and so we waited while the weather grew fiercer.)

O Club came out attacking with Sac Lions defending aggressively, a little too aggressively as O Club hit a penalty goal at 3:30 starting the scoring.

As the first half continued, the wind and the rain picked up the pace and soon the rain was moving horizontally. Kicks into the wind struggled to make any headway, while kicks with the wind resulted in scrums back at the place of the kick after the ball crossed the end-line. Both teams quickly decided that ball in-hand was the preferred option. Both teams did reasonably well with ball in-hand, but there were a lot of scrums for knock-ons.

O Club had more form to their attack and scored three tries (one converted) to take a 20-0 lead at the break.

Conditions did not improve in the second half, during which the teams played to a 5-5 draw with O Club running out the full compliment of replacements.

Seconds: Olympic Club – Sacramento Lions CANCELED

Diablo Gaels 10 – HAYWARD 24 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Saturday's a rugby deluge.

I cruised by UC Davis on my way to Danville Saturday to watch UCD take on Sac State. It was raining off and on, but at game time it was a little more off than on. It was windy and a little bit nippy. Matt Eason was there to watch JC Van Staden, Kat Todd-Schwartz was there to watch Bruce Bernstein and Don Walsh and I were there to watch.

UCD pulled out the win in the first match, and Don and I left a little before halftime of the second match.

I arrived in Danville at the Gaels Mustang Soccer fields around 6:30 for the 7:30 match between the Diablo Gaels and the Hayward Griffins. The rain wasn't really coming down as it was coming in sideways. Kind of like a cow p!**ing on a flat rock.

It let up for about 10 minutes and then it really started to rain. It wasn't causing any problem for the all weather field, but some of the players looked like they might rather be somewhere else. Oh well, we're here, let's play.

It was a typical Gaels-Hayward game, with plenty of big hits and lots of wide open play. The conditions caused a fair number of knock-ons and errant passes, so it was a low scoring affair. 12 to 5 Hayward at half and 24 to 10 at the final whistle.

By the time I got home it had stopped raining. Ya gotta love it!!!

Seconds: Diablo Gaels – Hayward CANCELED

SF/GOLDEN GATE SL 50 – San Mateo 0 Referee: Tony Redmond
Touch Judge: Eric Rauscher

For the second week in a row, I had the opportunity to referee San Francisco Golden Gate against a local team. Last week they were beaten up front by a very physical Hayward team and ended up losing 31-14. That game was played at pace on an all-weather pitch and San Francisco were simply worn down by the Hayward forwards to turn a 14-14 half-time score into a loss by conceding two tries in the last quarter.

This week, playing on their own pitch on Treasure Island in weather resembling the best that Ireland or Wales can provide (driving cold rain on a greasy surface), San Francisco took early charge of the game but couldn’t turn dominance into scores until well into the first half. While they turned over 17-0 ahead, two incidents turned the match from a contest into a rout.

The first was the yellow-carding of San Mateo’s full back who retaliated with a punch (not a great punch, but certainly worth the card) after he was high-tackled after 38 minutes. The reduction in numbers didn’t seem to make a huge difference initially as the San Mateo team exerted all of the early pressure in the second half and came close to scoring. However, after five minutes solid pressure, a knock-on 15m from the San Francisco line was quickly hacked on and then picked up by a San Francisco center who ended up scoring between the posts.

Before San Mateo’s full back came back on San Francisco scored again and the game was dead at 29-0. San Mateo kept going gamely but the San Francisco team was faster around the pitch and more clinical in execution and they ran in more tries to get to the half century.

FRESNO 59 – SF/Golden Gate 5 Referee: Dave Pope

This game started very close, with SFGG controlling much of the early action. Many early missed tackles by Fresno had Fresno pinned deep, but the young SFGG team just could not capitalize. After 10 to 15 minutes Fresno started making its tackles, and the Fresno side was much better at forcing turnovers in the tackles. SFGG ballcarriers need to learn to make the ball available to their support. Fresno scored 3 tries in the first half, two converted.

In the second half, the Fresno forwards seemed to wear down the SFGG team, and this opened things up out wide as well. Fresno scored six tries in the second half, converting 5. SFGG continued to battle to the end, and were rewarded with a nice try near the finish.

East Palo Alto 8 – Seahawks 8 Referee: Pete Smith

It was a great game that lived up to its top of the table billing. The winners would be in the driver’s seat to control the division and ultimately would make a statement to the rest of the league. Unfortunately, neither team was able to finish the other off with missed opportunities by both teams to put the game away. It was 3-3 at halftime and 8-8 at full time. Looks like I’m buying beer on Tuesday assuming I can make it to the meeting.

Seconds: EAST PALO ALTO 15 – Seahawks 12 Referee: James Hinkin

East Palo Alto Razorbacks B 15 – San Jose Seahawks B 12
Referee: James Hinkin

Both EPA and San Jose had a full complement of players for a B side game which makes this referee optimistic about the future of both clubs – both old and new. The B sides for both had a wealth of inexperience that only time will ameliorate, but time is on their side as the youth of these teams was evident. Because of these young ruggers this referee had to deal with several situations that rarely if ever come up. Not just the usual football player not wrapping or not understanding of the offside line – which happened - but this one came out of the dusty cellar to rear its ancient head:

20.9 (h) Scrum Half: Dummying. A scrum half must not take any action to make the opponents think that the ball is out of the scrum while it is still in the scrum.

This had been illegal for 25 or so years but the San Jose scrumhalf threw a scrum dummy that any 80s scrumhalf would have been proud of.

On to the game. It was a tight affair as both sides would put pressure on the other and then let the other team off the hook with a misplayed ball. The field was sloppy after all the rain and the added pounding of the A side match but the scrums were fairly stable. In fact, the first points of the match came after 10 minutes from a scrum as EPA had a put in 10 meters from their line but were pressured by a solid Seahawk scrum. The pass to the fly half was low and he knocked it on while standing in his own try zone. The alert San Jose scrumhalf fell on the exposed ball for a try. The conversion was no good. EPA rallied soon after to create a try of their own as a turnover led to a few forward phases and then the ball was spun wide for the wing to stroll in. This conversion was also missed so the score was knotted at 5 at the half.

The second half saw more of the same and more of the strangeness. Early on the EPA wing picked up a loose pass and raced untouched into the try zone…where he went down on one knee spread his arms and tossed the ball aside basking in his glory. When I failed to blow the whistle and indicate a try the San Jose players realized that he had neglected to ground the ball, picked it up and ran upfield. On the other side San Jose were awarded a free kick near midfield and neglected to realize the difference between a free kick and a penalty. The fly half sent a booming kick downfield and directly into touch and watch it come all the way back to where he kicked it from for an EPA throw in. In between all of this some exciting and energetic rugby was played. EPA took the lead when San Jose was caught with their hands in a ruck and the ensuing penalty was slotted. This proved vital. EPA was then feeling their oats as they immediately rushed down the field after the restart and scored again – this time converted. San Jose regrouped and started pressuring the Razorback’s line and kept the pressure on and were finally rewarded with a converted try. Unfortunately it was in the 41st minute and the full time whistle blew. The EPA penalty kick was the difference in an exciting match.

BA BARACUS 48 – Arroyo Grande 17 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Evaluator: Dixon Smith

A cold, grey Oakland afternoon on a dry and thus fast field. The AG contingent-16 players-rolled in noonish. Homeboys Baracus had plenty of bodies and were still miffed about the weekend previous.

It was all Baracus the first half; 22-0. Warmed by a cup of tea perhaps, AG made a go at it, scoring twice in the first 10 minutes of the second half. However, Baracus got its groove back and won 48-17.

Thanks to Dixon Smith for coaching and his comments.

Seconds: BA Baracus – Arroyo Grande CANCELED

SACRAMENTO 33 – Santa Rosa 12 Referee: Joe Leisek
Granite Bay Regional Park, Sacramento

Despite frigid, windy, wet conditions, this was a hotly contested game of fierce rivals. Sacramento proved more capable of retaining possession and displayed a keen ability to capitalize on the visitors' mistakes. The hosts' pick-and-drive style ate up lots of clock in the second half and kept the ball moving forward. Santa Rosa defended well and peeled off a few long runs, but could not penetrate Sacramento's hardy defense. The visitors did score two tries in the second half, compared to the hosts' one, but it wasn't enough to shift the momentum completely.

Seconds: SACRAMENTO 25 – Santa Rosa 5 Ref: Leisek

The Antarctic Rugby Union opened the Hypothermia Cup competition with this match played under the lights. Actually, this was a spirited game for the reserves, with several first side players participating as well (probably to stay warm). A Sacramento winger scored three of his side's tries. He is an excellent, dynamic runner and will be even better as he develops his knowledge of the game.

Humboldt – Mendocino Referee: Bjorn Stumer

Please find attached my match reports for this past Saturday: (The Humboldt Old Growth vs. Mendocino match was cancelled as Mendocino could not make it up due to snow road closures)

Humboldt High School Women 10 – Stanford U19, 10 Referee: Bjorn Stumer

Having a match scheduled in Humboldt County this past Saturday, late last week I was contacted by the coach of the Humboldt High School Women team who told me that her young ladies were excited by the fact that Stanford, who had two matches against Humboldt State, was also bringing their under 19 side to play them and would need a ref. - only proviso that the kick off time was 8:30 in the morning. Having reserved and paid for a hotel stay on Saturday night, and not being able to spend two nights away from home, even though the Humboldt coach generously offered hospitality at her house, I pondered on the offer a bit. However I could not deny the Humboldt ladies their (figurative) day in the sun, so promptly at 3am I set forth to the Redwood Empire. The whole drive up there I basked in the warmth of the good deed done, and forgot to notice the snow flurries, the warning signs, and gathering snow plows portending the beginning of a snow storm which ultimately caused the cancellation of my 2pm match.

I arrived at the beautiful, and surprisingly mud-free, Manila pitch just as the Stanford bus was pulling in. Encouraged by the fact that I had plenty time to prepare, I got out of the car and faced the morning. Very, very cold, and very, very wet nicely sums up the conditions at hand, but both sides were ready at 8:30am, with only the final lining of the pitch delaying the procedures. I was frankly surprised by the skills and determination of the hosts who gave Stanford a real run for their money. I also wondered what kind of match we might have had in dry weather as both teams liked to run the ball, maul for distance, and spin it wide. Tackling was impressive, as was the determination of Humboldt to show their mettle. As match time moved on, Stanford gained composure and their practiced drills started to bear fruits, but it was too late and the match was tied at 10 all (no conversions were attempted as the goals posts were in use at Humboldt State). It is to be noted that this score is from memory, as my match card was virtually disintegrated by the wet weather. A wonderful morning of Rugby which truly harked back to the original ethos of the sport. It was obvious that a number of the Humboldt players were sick, all present were close to hypothermia, but all gave all, and a good time was had by all.

Seconds: Humboldt State Women 0 – STANFORD 40 Refs: First half Dave Heath, second half Bjorn Stumer

Having what I thought a few hours to kill before my scheduled match, I made my way to Humboldt State's beautiful lower soccer field, to run touch for new Pelican Dave Heath. The rain kept on coming cold and hard, and Dave who did the A-Side, after hearing of the cancellation of my match, was so kind as to offer me the second half of his B-sides second match. With a good portion of the pitch resembling rice paddies, Humboldt held Stanford to 14-0 at the first half. The second half was a rout as, perhaps due to the weather or fatigue, Humboldt seemed to fold and the rest of the match had Stanford written all over it. Ably coached by our Society's friend Tina Nesberg, the visitors ran through all of their drills with skill, precision, and effect. Final score Stanford 40 (14) - Humboldt State 0. Considering the weather, a goodish number of spectators were in attendance. Who says that you cannot have outdoor fun on a rainy day!

Reno – Chico Referee: Scott Wood

Editor’s Note:
As usual, the referee had no trouble getting to the pitch but this basic feat of transportation eluded several of the rugby teams of the NCRFU.

This is pretty weak. I can see softball players being afraid to go out in the rain, but ruggers?

Shasta 10 – VALLEJO 17 Referee: Chris Tucker

The sign on I-5 read "Chains required 10 miles North of Redding". Thus was prefaced a match temperature of 35 degrees, driving rain and a vicious crosswind of 25mph. Ball handling was never going to be a strength in this match, and so convened a forwards-dominated match that the visiting Vallejo team won by merit of a stronger kicking game than their opposition. With the Shasta back 3 struggling to clear their lines, Vallejo's inexperienced but game lineup managed to put sufficient pressure on to score 3 tries and take home a hard-won victory.

For the ref, this marked a second consecutive weekend of feeling like he was back in the country of his birth, rather than in the nice, warm sunny weather that he'd grown used to. On sin-binning a repeat offender in the closing minutes, hands were too numb to find the yellow card. No wonder the knock-on count was sky high.

Finally, almost a year after taking up the whistle, your correspondent broke his duck, and got to award a mark. Wonders will never cease.

APTOS 15 – Fog 5 Referee: Preston Gordon

This game was just about the opposite from the U-19 match that finished 15 minutes beforehand. Most of the players on both teams were bad-tempered and did not play a lot of positive rugby. There were several scuffles and lots of dropped balls. The weather was even worse (continuous sideways rain and a lot of wind) than the previous match, and the field turned into a mud pit within the first 10 minutes - there was hardly any grass visible after the match.

Since the paper in my score book melted, I can't be sure that this was the score, but I think it's accurate. At the half it was 5-3 to the Fog, but Aptos scored 2 tries and a conversion in the second half, one coming off an advantage.

MISSION over Petaluma by forfeit

Referee: Sandy Robertson

While getting ready to leave the venue the referee and a Mission player went over the positives for the day.

1. Mission got a win
2. The referee made no errors with regards to law or judgment
3. Mission players made not a single attempt to educate the referee on the law's subtleties or assist him in its application

Petaluma's role in this was crucial--at the last minute they were unable to get a team to Palo Alto.

STANISLAUS 26 – Marin 5 Referee: Rob Hendrickson

Driving to Turlock for this game had the advantage of allowing me to ref the game in the mid 50's under overcast skies but no rain, which greeted me on the way back to the Bay Area.

The pitch was the Harlots' temporary rain day pitch at Turlock High which was lined in pink - the new white?

Both teams came ready to play, with the first half principally a defensive struggle until the Harlots managed to field a kick that had taken a peculiar bounce and ran it down the sideline for the only try of the first half.

Marin responded in the opening minute of the second half with a steal of a long pass out wide, and the teams then returned to their defensive battle. The Harlots managed to score 3 more tries mid to late in the second half to come away with the win.

Stanford grad school – Berkeley B CANCELED

Stanford 15 – ST. MARY’S 22 Referee: Joe Zevin (Eastern Rockies, West)

St Mary's 22 (four tries, one conversion)
Stanford 15 (two tries, one conv one penalty)

John Pohlman and his wife Eileen were wonderful hosts. Exemplary.

Seconds: Stanford 5 – ST. MARY’S 29 Referee: Tom Zanarini

Evaluator: Mike Malone
Cool and wet conditions. Tough scrappy play by both teams, sloppy in the rucks.

UC DAVIS 27 – Sac State 7 Referee: JC Van Staden
Evaluator: Matt Eason

With some good old fashion California winter rain, the stage was set for some interesting rugby.

With Davis winning the toss and decided to defend, Sac State was left with the kick-off, with the wind at their backs. Davis quickly put up the pace for the 1st half by opening with a great try, just minutes into the game. There was no love lost between these two rival, as crunching tackles, hard rucks and a lot off flying bodies was at the order of the day, which ended up in Davis only yellow card of the game for repeatedly playing the man without the ball. Despite 1 man down, Davis constructed yet another converting try, which was followed by a unconverted try close to the end of the 1st half.

The second half was another story though. Sac got the pep talk from the side and showed a lot more composure and direction in where to go with the ball and what to do with it. Which resulted into a converted try to make the score 19-7. With the rain coming down regularly, players got tired, the field got soggy, and Sac ran out of steam. Davis stretched the lead with a 35 yard penalty and another unconverted try.

Seconds: UC Davis 5 – SAC STATE 31 Referee: Bruce Bernstein

Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz

What started out pretty high spirited & caliber match in the first half when all the scoring took place; turned into a knock-on fest in the second half. Thanks for Kat's advice after match & Ray's at halftime.

Chico State 3 – CALIFORNIA 52 Referee: Joe Androvich

Seconds: Chico State 0 – CALIFORNIA 72 Referee: Chris Labozzetta

Total domination. The weather was horrible. 42 degrees with horizontal rain and mud all day. I got sick afterwards, not too bad though.

I never really got a chance to evaluate individual players due to the conditions. It was freezing and as soon as the game was over I had to hop in my car and drive back to SF. I did have fun however, and would like to do it again.

[Editor’s Note: You never heard of Chris Labozzetta: he’s brand new. Chris asked if he could ref last week and drove to Chico from the Bay Area to do two games in the worst weather California gets to experience.

[Chris will be at the society meeting tonight (February 5) to meet you!]

DIABLO GAELS U23, 17 – Humboldt State 7 Referee: Dan Wilson

Assessor: Bryan Porter

On the cold, wet, wintry day, it was good to see at least the pitch at Diablo Valley College was well worn in and torn up by the rain and high school games which played earlier in the day. The game started off spiritedly, especially by Humboldt complaining regarding the physical nature of the Gaels. The Gaels scored early with an unconverted push over try in the fourth minute. Humboldt responded with their own converted try in the 13th minute. The game was both physical and vocal with big hits on both sides, but the spirit went a little too far by a replacement scrum for Diablo resulting in a yellow card in the 29th minute. The wet and muddy conditions made the game centered around the forwards or inside centers. Not a lot of balls went outside to the wings. Diablo responded in the 40th minute with another unconverted try. Halftime score: Diablo Gaels U23: 10 - Humboldt State: 7

The second half was much better rugby on both sides. Not only were the tempers settled down, but both teams started to focus on playing smart rugby. Scrums continuously had to be moved to get out of mud pits, and both teams came close to the try zone several times. Humboldt State missed two penalty kicks more due to the weather than the kicker. Aside from a second yellow given to Diablo, the second half was a lot of good rugby. Diablo scored a converted try in the 35th minute of the second half for the only score by either side. The most exciting play of the game was a charge down by Humboldt inside the 22 meter line with three minutes left in the game. The ball landed in the try zone behind the posts looking like a sure Humboldt try, but from nowhere, a Diablo back came flying in to touch it down just prior to a Humboldt player. Final Score: Diablo U23 17 - Humboldt State 7

Thanks to Bryan Porter for giving some food for thought regarding some technical aspects of the game.

SANTA CLARA 22 – Santa Rosa JC 12 Referee: Roberto Santiago

This was a hard-fought game that rode the edge of good sportsmanship. Both sides had a tendency to talk when they should play. This was exacerbated by the SCUTS fans who acted more like the Cameron Crazies than like rugby fans, constantly screaming insults at the visiting players until the SCUTS coaches moved the sidelines back an extra five meters. In the end SCUTS prevailed by keeping cooler heads and playing better technical rugby.


Humboldt State women 7 – STANFORD 21 Referee: Dave Heath

The game was played in difficult conditions - heavy rain making the ball difficult to handle. Nevertheless both teams tried to play running rugby and contributed to a good game. Stanford scored first through their strong running centre, but Humboldt stayed in the game with some good forward drives and determined running. They leveled the scores midway through the first half with a well-constructed try as their centre burst through from the 10 metre line. Poor discipline for repeated infringements then found Humboldt down to 14 players, and Stanford capitalised on that by scoring a second converted try just before half time.

In the second half Humboldt started strongly and dominated territory and possession for the first 15 minutes with-out adding to their score. Their ill-discipline then saw a Humboldt player sent off for dangerous play and Stanford raised the siege and sealed the game with another converted try. Humboldt continued to battle doggedly and prevented any other scores with some great last ditch tackling.

As a footnote, I traveled the equivalent of the breadth of the UK to referee this game - an indication of the unique challenges that face players (and refs!) in the region and in the country!


Report by Scott Wood:

Plans were made for me to referee two matches in Reno, one on Saturday and another on Sunday. After having secured a hotel room a week prior, I received an email on Thursday from Nevada's coach that St. Mary's would not be making the drive and the game on Sunday was canceled.

Under pleasant skies, I made the journey up the hill on Friday afternoon. After a quiet evening gallivanting about the casinos, I retired for the night. I awoke early Saturday morning and made way for a light breakfast (not an easy thing to find in the land of buffets). Around 9 a.m., Reno called me to say Chico was not going to make the drive for their match.

Not to be deterred, I drove to the UNR campus to see if the UNR/UCD women's match was still on. Sure enough, I arrived to find both teams getting ready for their match. Since I was shorted two games, I offered to run touch for Phil Ulibarri.

Reno Zephyrs arrived to set up the aluminum posts and the women's game was on.

Nevada women 0 – UC DAVIS 15 Referee: Phil Ulibarri

Touch Judges: Scott Wood, Russ Wilkening
Location: Sala IM Field, Reno, NV
Weather: SUNNY, slightly cool breeze (if you're from the North Pole)

The women Aggies braved Donner Pass and arrived at UNR during a lull in the most recent weather pattern. The sky was sunny, the field was clear and the Aggies took advantage of a less-than-focused Lady Pack. With several determined runners - in particular #1 Prop Jenny Chow - the Aggies displayed good ball handling skills and quality support. The Pack could not answer the Aggie's determination although the altitude seemed to be wearing on the blue and gold late in the second half.

Thanks to touch judges Scott Wood and Russ Wilkening for quality touch control.

Reno Zephyrs – Chico Mighty Oaks CANCELED
No happiness.

Nevada Wolf Pack – St. Mary's Gaels CANCELED
Continued unhappiness.

After the women's game, Reno played some touch rugby to stretch their legs and at least get in some outdoor running and passing practice. We retired to a local watering hole--Ceol's--to enjoy good brew and food. Kudos to Reno for ensuring I was looked after.

I slept in Sunday and, after some internal debate, drove down the hill with enough time to catch the Stupor Bowl. Easy drive.

UC SANTA CRUZ women 20– Santa Clara 0 Referee: Larry Freitas

UCSC women beat Santa Clara 20-0 at UCSC's upper field, a very slick pitch. It got muddier as the game wore on.

UCSC scored all their points in the first half, failing to convert any try, though one was right under the posts. Santa Clara was very scrappy, and they should win some games as the season wears on. Their tackling was just good enough to keep UCSC from scoring in the second half.

CHICO STATE women 29 – St. Mary’s 0 Referee: Chris Labozzetta

I did go to Chico and ref the games. The Chico ladies beat St Mary's 29-0 (My score sheet got soaked, so I may be off by a few points).


Elsie Allen 3 – DEL CAMPO 10 Referee: Bruce Carter
The Fabulous Lobodome hosted this annual pre-season matchup between two of NorCal’s more accomplished and storied sides.

The mud was deep and fecund, the clouds pregnant, and the spectators-in-the-rain expecting a keen matchup. The teams delivered a bravado effort in the frozen mire.

Both Alan Petty’s Lobos and Joe Cavallaro’s Cougars labored to play a Euclidean style: the shortest distant from the ball-carrier to the try zone is a straight line which intersects the goal line at a right angle.

It didn’t take very long for the numbers on the players’ jerseys to be obscured by grime. But the mud which caused the knock-ons could not obscure them, so scrum they did.

The referee enjoyed himself as in the days of his youth, when the playing fields of Georgia were never closed on account of precipitation. Scrum piggies in the mud!

Of course, this being the Lobodome, there were some piggies of the non-scrum variety just over the fence behind the grandstands, right at home in the conditions.

Elsie Allen converted a penalty goal in the first half and went into the last ten minutes of the game with a 3-0 lead. However, CRC’s up-the-gut style finally paid off when two tries in the left corner were set up by storming runs by their props and eight man.

At the post-match festivities Coach Petty announced that by this time next year EA should have an all-weather artificial turf pitch marked out for rugby.

The referee spent an hour warming up and then, when he got home, another hour prepping his muddy kit so that it could be washed.

JV: Elsie Allen – Del Campo Referee: Alan Petty

Live Oak 30 – EAST PALO ALTO 39 Referee: Chris Fisher

EPA played a hard but disorganized game. Many late hits, not wrapping in the tackles, very ill-disciplined. Live Oak initially stated off nervous but buckled down and led at half time.

Varsity: SF/GOLDEN GATE 72 – Silicon Valley 0 Referee: Preston Gordon

Most of this match was a track meet, which was surprising, considering the conditions (rainy and windy, with a fair amount of mud on the pitch). The SFGG backs were bigger and faster than their opponents, and ran the ball even from their own goal line. One kickoff was returned for a try, and several other full-field breaks happened too. The halftime score was 36-0.

It should be noted that both sides played a great game, especially given the conditions and the one-sided nature of the contest.

Frosh/Soph: SFGG 25 – De La Salle 17

Report by Touch Judge Edward Barfels

Close game. SFGG was in better shape and scored two tries in the last five minutes of the game to win.

SFGG Junior Varsity 12 – DE LA SALLE Varsity 32 Referee: Edward

DLS's starting side was clearly bigger, stronger and faster than SFGG JV team. DLS dominated the first half and lead 22 - 0. In the second half, DLS substituted more freely and was somewhat closer. The final score was 32 - 12.


Nevada – St. Mary's CANCELED

Seconds: Nevada – St. Mary's CANCELED


Match Report: SAT 26 Jan 2008, Kick-off 1420

2ndXV Game: Berkeley RFC 5 – APTOS BEACH DOGS 17 Referee: Paul Berman

Touch Judge: John Coppinger
Venue: Job Corp Field, Treasure Island, San Francisco
Weather: Bright, sunny.
Comments: The pitch was soft under foot & now runs north south (previously east west). Two 20 minute periods played. A game of two halves. Berkeley opened the scoring in the 18th minute holding the lead into the break. Aptos ran away with the second period 3 tries & 1 conversion goal to no reply.

John Coppinger was instrumental in identifying an Aptos knock-on just over Berkeley's try line. Who needs a video ref when you've got reliable qualified touch judges in the correct position? Thank you John!

Fittingly my 172nd & perhaps final game, just 14 days shy of 5 years. At times a wild ride, spanning 2 continents & 4 countries (USA, England, Mexico & Canada) & best of all making new friends!

Point spread: Berkeley - 1 try (18th minute) Aptos - 3 tries (27, 32 & 35 minute), 1 conversion goal



4 PM Stanford – Sacramento State Referee: YOUR NAME HERE?
7 PM Maritime Academy – California Referee: Jim Crenshaw


3:30 PM San Jose State – UC Santa Cruz Referee: YOUR NAME HERE?


The New England Journal of Medicine makes it official: watching soccer can be fatal.

And, most surprising of all, these poor spectators did not die of boredom even though they were watching the 2006 world cup:

Must have been the 0 – 0 ties, of which there were seven, that got ‘em. And two of these scoreless ‘thrillers’ were in the so-called ‘knock-out’ rounds.

Only thing they knocked-out were some cardiacs-in-waiting who must have led lives of such exceeding placidity, quietude and torpor that watching soccer proved lethal for them. Perhaps better autopsies would have revealed that they died of sleep apnea.

We are reminded of the tie-breaking rules which the author uses when he has administered tournaments. Most tries; most converted tries; fewest red cards; fewest yellow cards: if all of these are the same, the first team that scored wins.

What if nobody scored, if it was zero-zero? They both get ‘credited’ with a loss. If it’s a knock-out game, the next opponent gets a Bye. Two losers, just as they deserve.

And nobody dies.


This is the best one of these things you’ll ever see. This is what bored engineers do, rather than die watching soccer:


No photo this week, owing to technical difficulties and the press of time.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris