Monday, May 26, 2008




The Grizzly U23 team will host the Tonga U20 team at 6 PM on Tuesday evening, May 27, at Stanford.

The Grizzlies feature players from the Pacific Coast’s highly ranked collegiate teams.

The Tongans are on their way to the junior world championships in Wales and pasted the SoCal college all-stars on Saturday.

Jim Crenshaw has been appointed to referee this match.


The annual season-ending banquet of the NCRRS will be held at the Bull Valley Inn in Port Costa.

Cocktail Hour from 5:30 to 6:30, to allow everyone to arrive in time for dinner at 6:30.

RSVP to Paul Berman if you will be attending with the number in your party and menu choices:

Prime Rib
Smoked Chicken
Grilled Halibut
Pasta with Prawns in Marinara
Vegetarian Pasta

The restaurant will be completely ours for the evening.

House wine both red & white will be provided with dinner, and JC Van Staden has donated two cases of Peltier Station.


The longest-running Sevens tournament in the USA resumes next month at Cubberley. There will only be three weekends this summer because the national club finals will be hosted by SF/Golden Gate, August 9-10 at Treasure Island.

Mark your calendars and make your plans to attend. For referees, these are our days in the sun, the time we spend together running around and picnicking afterwards.

June 28
July 12
July 26


Don Pattalock to Ontario (Canada), June 13-15

Tom Zanarini to Cape Fear Sevens, July 4-6

John Pohlman to Alberta, June/July (dates TBA)

East Midlands, September 17-29

Bruce Carter
Preston Gordon
Tom Zanarini
Bruce Bernstein
Scott Wood


Let us know if you can referee on June 21:

NorCal old boys versus Nevada old boys in Dunsmuir – this one’s a party

Campbell Scottish Games


The IRB has sent a Guide to the new Laws which will be effective beginning after this summer’s Sevens season. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE WILL NOT BE IN EFFECT FOR SUMMER SEVENS.

It is also posted on the USA website in the Referee section.

The following is from Peter Watson, the USA laws guru and should be considered authoritative:

Pulling Down a Maul
* The explanatory notes refer to pulling down an opposing player. The actual wording of the Law simply refers to pulling down a player in the maul. While most of the time a player trying to pull down a maul will do so by grasping an opponent, it is legal to pull down a teammate who is part of the maul.
* I cannot emphasize enough that the maul can only be pulled down legally by grasping a player's torso (shoulders to hips). Any taking out of legs is still illegal and dangerous. The referee must be aware of how the maul is taken down.
* Safety of players is one of the major concerns of the IRB. The IRB has undertaken injury surveillance in NZ, Australia and South Africa. The IRB has taken advice from a risk management consultant. The results were such that the risk of injury as a result of the introduction of the ELVs was not increased. This injury surveillance continues. In four years of experimentation at the Cambridge Laws Laboratory under the auspices of the RFU there were no injuries as a result of the pulling down of the maul. The Law was framed around their experiences.

Quick Throw-ins
* Although the Law is not clearly worded, the throw-in must reach the five-meter line before being played, regardless of the direction it is thrown. This means that a player cannot throw the ball to a teammate who is standing five meters back, but only one meter from touch.

Please feel free to contact Peter with any questions.


JESUIT 20 – Christian Brothers 5 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Touch Judges: Jackie Finck and Scott Wood
Fourth Officials: Ray Thompson and Jake Rubin

Another excellent match played by up in the hotbed of high school rugby, as Jesuit hosted Christian Brothers to determine who would represent the Pacific coast in the singe school high school championships. Temperature at the 4pm kickoff was 104 degrees, certainly a little on the warm side for a 15-a-side match. A slight breeze may have saved the day, but we stopped every 10 minutes and any other opportunity I could come up with, for water. A large crowd encircled the pitch with slightly more Jesuit fans than Christian Brother supporters. CB pressured Jesuit from the opening kickoff, but couldn't seem to find the goal line. Jesuit took advantage of a CB turnover to score an unconverted try about 15 minutes into the match. Jesuit seemed to gain momentum from the try and the cheering from the sidelines, controlling the rest of the half. They scored another unconverted try at about the 30 minute mark to make it 10 zip at halftime. I told both coaching staff's and the captains we would be having a full 10 minute break to get water and cool off, but both teams lined up for the kickoff with only 6 minutes gone. Obviously they couldn't stand the wait, so we kicked off the second half.

The second half showed renewed vigor from the CB side. Jesuit was on their heels for a good portion of first 30 minutes, with CB scoring an unconverted try about 15 minutes in. Only a very strong defense by Jesuit saved them from giving up a couple of more tries.

The heat started taking its toll, with mistakes and turnovers coming a little more often by both sides. Jesuit kicked a ball deep and was touched down for a dropout by CB. A couple of CB player's gave each other the 'let's kick it to the weak side and have a run' look, but the captain and center for Jesuit read the signal, caught the kick and was in untouched. The conversion was missed, but the damage was done. One could see from the the body language of the CB players that they were in trouble. Jesuit took advantage of the momentum shift, and scored in the corner about 5 minutes later with a nice break and overlap. Unfortunately the CB fullback neck-tied the Jesuit player as the try was scored, earning the only yellow card of the match. On the last play of the match, frustration over losing and maybe for some remarks from the fans got to one of the CB flankers. He was spotted by one of the touch judges punching an opponent, earning him the only red card of the match. Jesuit kicked the ensuing penalty kick to touch as time expired.

Final score: Jesuit 20 Christian Brothers 5

Many thanks to Scott and Jackie for running touch and to Ray and Jake for their #4 duties and to all 4 of them for keeping me out of trouble, great job all of you!!

Congratulations to Christian Brother on a great season!!

And congratulations and good luck to Jesuit at the national championships!!

UCSC Women 12 – UCSC ALUMNAE 15 Referee: James Hinkin
A fun and spirited game saw the alumni win it with a try in injury time.

UCSC Men 26 – UCSC ALUMNI 43 Referee: James Hinkin/Scott Carson
After two 30-minute periods the alumni were leading 29 – 19. Both sides were eager for more so the whistle was given over to Scott Carson for a final 15 minute period. The alumni managed 2 more converted tries to a single converted try for the students for a final of 43 – 26.

Note: The devolution of the referee is complete. After starting his career as a winger he stepped on for the final period in the front row as hooker. I guess it had to happen as time marches on.


Last week we recounted the Olympic Club’s incredible victory over Aspen in the national playoffs. They were down by ten with two minutes left and won by thirty-three.

We wondered which referee was fortunate to have this match. And here’s a delightful and entertaining answer from an eye-witness:

Richard Parker was the referee for this match and as a Richard Parker fan, he did a great job with this game.

The person that saved O Club’s season is Dave Pelton. Dave was the TJ. This happened right in front of me.

There was no time left, the ball was spun out the Kamal Mokeddem on the wing who broke down the sideline. As Kamal was being taken into touch, he played the ball back inside to the fullback. The fullback was then tackled about 3-4 meters past where Kamal had gone into touch.

The fullback rolled the ball backwards, but it was also going towards the touch line. Kamal had gotten onto his feet and with one foot in touch, nudged the ball back in field before it had made it to the touch line. The crowd on that side was screaming that the ball was out because Kamal was ‘clearly in touch’, but Dave made the right call and did not raise his flag.

The crowd was right, the player was in touch. But Dave was even more right because the ball he played was not in touch.

The O Club scored the game-tying try on that possession, forcing overtime, and as they say the rest is history. If Dave blows that call, Richard blows his whistle and the O season is blown.


These will be decided May 31-June 1 at the only non-collegiate rugby stadium in the USA. Good luck to Reno and the O Club.

Reno - Michiana

Brandywine – Detroit
Wisconsin – Red Mountain

Olympic Club – Glendale
Pearl City – Life

Super League:
Belmont Shore – NY Athletic Club


No photo this week. The Senate adjourned to Hawaii for the past ten days and saw not one rugby ball nor one pelican to photograph.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris