Wednesday, September 10, 2008




Remember to set aside Saturday, October 4, for the first Society meeting for the 2009 season.

We will be meeting at the SF/Golden Gate clubhouse from 10-4. REO David Williamson has planned another informative and entertaining program, and we will also have our Annual General Meeting.

Joe Leisek will be moderating his ever-popular Coaches’ Forum again, and lunch will be provided.


SF/Golden Gate 31 – CREGGS RFC 36 Referee: Don Pattalock
Assistant Referees: Eric Rauscher, Preston Gordon

A beautiful day at TI, 80 degrees with a slight breeze; however, the visitors from Ireland thought it was an oven. SFGG hosted the tourists with a mixed side, 1-2 RSL players, several D2 players and a bunch of U23’s. The visitors, traveling a little short, were helped out by 2-3 local Gaelic Footballers (who can block better than the 49ers!). The hosts came out hot and scored 2 quick tries. The visitors, clearly disappointed in their performance, managed to score a well worked try. At the stroke of half time, the score was SFGG 26 Creggs 17, a penalty is awarded to SFGG at midfield, instead of kicking to touch, the captain elects to tap and go, Creggs’ captain (#2) steals the ball in contact and proceeds to lead an attack which results in a try. Second half was decidedly preseason, sloppy at times, frantic at others. The final 2 minutes saw SFGG, down by a try, in a full swing attack within Creggs 22 throwing everything they had at the visitor. Creggs stood tall and repelled the attack to hold on for the win.

ALL BLUES 59 – Belmont Shore 7 Referee: Preston Gordon
Assistant Referee: Eric Rauscher

Because SFGG's main pitch is being re-seeded, this took place at the Job Corps field a little further up the island. We kicked off just after 12:30 for 4 20-minute periods with open subs, as requested by the coaches. The opening quarter of the game was fairly even, with both sides working off a little summertime rust. The All Blues did a little better with support play and passing, and ended up with 4 converted tries by halftime. Belmont Shore did well but couldn't quite match their opponents.

The second half was about the same, and the All Blues scored 5 tries, 3 of which were converted. Belmont Shore put one across the line towards the end of the match through some good recycling, and converted it, leaving the scoreline at 59-7 to the All Blues. I think that flatters the winners a bit though - this match wasn't really that lopsided.

This was the first match under the ELVs for everyone on the pitch, myself included. I thought everything went pretty well - the 5 extra meters of space at scrum time seems to create more attacking opportunities. I don't recall many of the others having an impact either way.

Thanks to Eric Rauscher, who showed up to touch judge, or rather, be an assistant referee. He and I stuck around to assist Don with the first half of the SFGG-Greggs match that happened right afterwards. That was a great game (36-32 at the half) and I would have stuck around for the rest of it had I not had family waiting for me. Next week's match should be a cracker!


We like to make at least two trips a year to the Central Coast, one for fifteens at Arroyo Grande’s lovely pitch, and another for the Tri-Tip Sevens at San Luis Obispo’s Damon-Garcia Park, with four pristine pitches.

We also like to describe the scenery on the ascent along the Salinas Valley, salad bowl to the world, and of the descent on the La Cuesta Grade, into the microclimate of Pismo/Moro Bay/SLO.

But alas, this trip was made entirely under cover of darkness, both coming and going. A description of the amber glow the Pelicanmobile’s dash and the turning of the odometer cylinders would have to suffice.

The event was to consist of Tour Prep for Tom Zanarini and Bruce Carter, England-bound next week. Tom’s wife Colleen came along, who will likewise be traveling to Northamptonshire.

In a surprising near-first for rugby referees attending tournaments, when we presented ourselves at the Motel 6 we were expected, by name, and the rooms were already paid for. No guessing as to whose name the rooms would be under was required. Full marks to the SLO RFC.

Saturday didn’t dawn. The fog got a few shades more translucent between six-fifteen and seven. Headlights were necessary to negotiate the few miles to the pitch. Lots of folks out running and biking in this college town, even when classes have not resumed after the summer.

A referee ‘tent’ was provided – see this week’s photo. Tom forlornly held it down for a time, wondering as more and more teams arrived where the other referees were. In the end there were a dozen men’s teams, for women’s, and six refs. Only two pitches would be needed, so six refs is perfect! Sean O’Connell was the referee in charge.

The fog stole away on little cat’s feet before the first kickoffs and didn’t shelter us again.

Belmont Shore, having finished second at the nationals last month, might have thought to have this one in the bag. However, after trailing to Cal Poly’s second side twice in a pool play game, they lost to Cal Poly’s main side in the final, giving up three unanswered tries in the second half.

Among the women, the SLO Beaches, augmented with players from a variety of SoCal teams, defeated the San Francisco Fog 12-10.

Afterwards, the barbecue was ready and the pub crawl was cued up. The Pelicanmobile was also aching to get back on the open road, so we retraced our steps footsore but fulfilled.

Report by Kat Todd-Schwartz:

This past weekend I traveled to Philly to attend Pumpkinfest, an annual women's tournament hosted by the Philadelphia women. After the success of this year's Champagne Classic in San Diego in focusing on the development of female referees, the East Coast decided it was time to focus on the development of female referees as well. Therefore, approximately 20 female referees were invited to attend the two day tournament and attend a day of clinic instruction as well. When I learned of the focus of the tournament, I naturally decided that, as a referee coach who happens to be a female, I should attend! Fortunately, the tournament organizers and USA Rugby agreed, and the Pacific Coast agreed to send me out.

National Panel Manager, Richard Every, hosted a one day instructional clinic on Friday, and the tournament was held Saturday and Sunday. The tournament ran for four hours on Saturday, before being rudely interrupted by the remnants of Hurricane Hanna. The park service shut us down as of 1:00 p.m. Fortunately, the bad weather blew through by early evening, and we were able to resume matches the following morning starting at 8:00 a.m. We were able to make up the prior day's matches and hold the play-off matches as scheduled. Beantown beat the New York women in the final officiated by LuAnn Campbell of SoCal.

I was lucky to work with National Panel assessor Peter Simpson of New York and former National Panel referees Jem McDowell (NY) and Dave Peters (SoCal) who attended to pass on their knowledge to the referees as well. Ken Muir of North Carolina was present in a coaching capacity as well. NPM Richard Every ensured he watched every referee personally for at least a half over the weekend and gave them individual feedback.

Brand new National Panel referee, Dana Teagarden (recently promoted to the National Panel with our own Pete Smith) attended as a peer and mentor to the referees and spoke on Friday about her experience in attaining her current status. Dana expressed reservation in holding separate female referee development clinics, with the concern that separate does not mean equal.

Overall, the experience was extremely positive for all who attended, and the teams expressed amazed appreciation at having all female referees for the tournament and teams of three for each match (and almost always a referee coach for every match). With representation from all unions, and often more than one referee from each union, I sadly realized both NorCal and SoCal are very short in the number of female referees we have and are developing."

Report by Scott Wood

Kate Myers picked me up from Portland International and gave me a $0.25 tour of Portland and Lake Oswego before we went to Casa de Myers. Ron and Ronnie (growing taller by the second) arrived shortly thereafter. After receiving a wonderfully handcrafted set of Pokemon cards (and detailed explanation of the characters) from Ronnie, his father and I loaded up the car for the short (four hour) drive to Bend. Note to those traveling in the Pacific Northwest: the VFW operates coffee stands out of camper trailers at rest stops--the coffee is tasty and free (please donate to this wonderful public service). We finally arrived at John Chunn's house for a nightcap before turning in.

We left early to grab breakfast at Jake's Diner. If you ask for "a little gravy" on your hash browns, make sure you get it on the side as "little" must mean "quart" in diner-speak. Off the pitch we went. This is the third Cascade Classic I've attended (missed the last two). Again the tournament was held at the J Bar J Ranch. The organizers had mowed the fields, vacuumed the goose droppings, and painted the lines in accordance with The Plan. Teams and referees were briefed on the ELVs and then the games started. On hand were Davis Double Deckers, Bend Women, Bend Men, Portland Pigs, ORSU, Boise(?) Lions, Humboldt Old Growth, Reno Zephyrs, Budd Bay, Santa Rosa RC, and OIT (Oregon Inst of Technology). Two 20-minute halves (running time) were played for each match.

PORTLAND PIGS 20 – Humboldt Old Growth 17 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Team supplied

This was a tale of two halves. Humboldt borrowed players and was competitive for the first half (17-5) where the Pigs lacked continuity. The second half was a different story. Humboldt began committing penalties around their 22 finally losing a player to repetitive team infringements. The Pigs scored and converted a try to tie the game with enough time for a restart. They received the ball, spun it wide, and raced down the field. A tackle/ruck ensued on the 22 where a Humboldt player entered from the side and flopped down sealing the ball. No advantage was available so the whistle was blown. The Pigs elected for a penalty goal which was easily slotted to win the game.

OREGON RUGBY SPORTS UNION (ORSU) 43 – Budd Bay 7 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Team supplied

I had rested about 20 minutes talking with Bo Rodman when a player came up to ask who was assigned to their match. Ron was refereeing a match so Bo offered up my services (thanks) and back to the pitch I went. Budd Bay (Div 3) defended well against ORSU (Div 2) for the first twenty minutes to trail at halftime 7-12. Then the wheels fell off. ORSU carried, passed, kicked and grounded the ball to score an additional 31 points in the second half to finish the match with a comfortable 43-7 victory.

Tournament Final:
RENO ZEPHYRS 33 – Portland Pigs 0 Referee: Scott Wood
Touch Judges: Ron Myers, John Sowins

I overheard Portland's coach say during his pre-match speech that they could tire out their opponent by spinning the ball wide. Unfortunately, two problems occurred: 1) You need possession to do so; 2) Reno is extremely fit and fast (they ran 50-meter sprints during their warmup). Nonetheless, Portland competed valiantly for the entire match. Reno would exploit gaps, pass and run left the bomb or kick the ball right (and vice versa). Halftime: 19-0.

The second half had more of the same. Both teams competing well with occasional penalties for tackle infringements. At full time, the Pigs managed to march down the field and were attacking within five meters of the goal line. Reno's penalty count began to escalate. After three attempts to score (and a similar number of penalties) Reno went down a man (sin binned for professional foul). Portland again tried to stab the ball in but Reno was not giving any respite. A final effort resulted in a knockon to finish the match.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Ron assigned me to the final so I went to watch the semi-final matches. Reno was playing Boise(?) Lions. As the Lions were preparing for a lineout, some of the Reno players were calling out defensive plays in Tongan. A Lions jumpers asked, "What are you guys saying? I don't understand you." To which Reno replied, "We don't know."

Ron and I returned to Lake Oswego via Wall Street Pizza in Sandy, OR. Their primary ingredient is garlic. I highly recommend this place.

Slept in for Sunday is a day of rest. We had breakfast then Ron took me on the other $0.25 tour of Portland. We first stopped at Powell's City of Books. This bookstore is like Cody's in Berkeley (born 1956, died 2008) was--only on steroids. It occupies an entire city block and even contains some non-liberal reading material.

After filling our brains, we went to fill our bellies at Voodoo Doughnut ("The magic is in the hole"). While I stayed true to my love of a maple old fashioned, other offerings include, but are not limited to the Voodoo Doughnut (gingerbread-shaped doughnut, with a pretzel stabbed through its abdomen and red jelly "blood" filling), Triple Chocolate Penetration (chocolate doughnut, chocolate glaze, and cocoa-puffs), Grape Ape (raised doughnut with vanilla frosting and grape powder), Neapolitan (chocolate doughnut with vanilla frosting and strawberry Quik powder), Tex-Ass doughnut (free if you eat it--and keep it down--in 80 seconds), and the bacon-topped maple bar.

We drove to Forest Park which includes over 5,100 wooded acres making it apparently the largest, forested natural area within city limits in the United States. Then back to pick up fixings for lunner (the other side of brunch) at Kenny & Zuke's. Returning to the Myers' Castle, we let food coma and exhaustion kick in for the remainder of the afternoon before I had to fly home.

Thanks to Ron, Kate, and Ronnie for hosting me and to Bend Rugby for putting on the Cascade Classic.


Two recent books about rugby that the Flock might appreciate:

''Playing the Enemy'' by John Carlin. Nelson Mandela and the World Cup
''Stuff White People Really Like'' by Christian Lander, with a section on rugby


Registration for participants in USA Rugby, WHICH INCLUDES REFEREES, is now open for 2009. As a matter of fact, your 2008 registration expired with the turning of the calendar from August to September.

We are abashed to say that several referees who received appointments last season do not appear to have registered last year. (However, we realize that some register as players or as coaches and do not appear in the ‘Referee’ category.

Click here. Select the top option, Create/Renew Individual Membership.

Note that you can register as a player/ref/coach/administrator for no additional cost.

Your ‘team’ is the Northern California Rugby Referee Society.

When you get to the page with the liability waiver, either print it or save it as a file. Either way, you have to send a signed copy to Jim Crenshaw along with your $10 NCRRS dues in order to be a member our society, a registered member of USA Rugby, and in order to have liability coverage. The coverage will come in mighty handy if you are facing a lawsuit as a result of something that happened in a game – there’s no deductible!

NCRFU Referee Society
c/o Delta Supply
1248 E. Oak Ave #D
Woodland, CA 95776

Referee Central
Tom Zanarini holds down the officiating fort at the Tri-Tip Sevens.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris