Wednesday, January 21, 2009




Please let us know which of the Saturdays in February you can referee, and whether you can do a road trip:

Y/N If Yes, Travel? Y/N
Feb 7
Feb 14
Feb 21
Feb 28


USRFF to Honor Doc Hudson and Pat Vincent at Annual Dinner

The U.S. Rugby Foundation will be honoring two of the early contributors to rugby in the United States, Miles "Doc" Hudson and Pat Vincent, at its Annual Dinner on Saturday, February 14, 2009 at the Hotel Solamar in downtown San Diego.

Doc Hudson took over the reigns of the rugby program at the University of California at Berkeley in 1938. He remained at the helm of that prestigious program for the next 37 years compiling an impressive win/loss record of 339-84-23. Several of his Cal teams were considered by many to be some of the best that Cal ever fielded, including those in the 1950s that played the likes of the New Zealand All Blacks, Australian Wallabies and a combined Oxford-Cambridge side.

Pat Vincent was the captain of the New Zealand All Blacks in 1956. He coached the Saint Mary's rugby teams from 1968 until his unfortunate passing in 1983. The foundation that Pat set during his time in charge is credited for the successes that Saint Mary's has enjoyed since then.

"The Rugby Foundation looks forward to honoring these two gentlemen who put so much of themselves into seeing that rugby took hold in the U.S.," said USRFF Chairman, Bob Watkins. "It's important that true rugby men like Doc and Pat are recognized for their efforts. It should be a wonderful evening and I hope that we see many of those players that were influenced by Doc and Pat."

In 2007, the USRFF honored Dennis Storer, the first ever U.S. Eagles coach while last year, Keith Seaber, a long serving USA Rugby administrator, was honored.

In addition, USA 7s coach, Al Caravelli, will take a few moments out of his busy weekend to stop by and provide his insight of Day One of the USA 7s.

If you would like to take part in the USRFF's Annual Dinner, tickets are still available. Tickets are $125. A cash bar will be open from 7:30-8:00 pm with dinner starting at 8:00 pm.

Reserve your spot at the USRFF Annual Dinner:
Click here


Thursday, January 15
UC Davis 13 – BYU 60 Referee: John Pohlman
Assistant Referees: Phil Akroyd, Ray Schwartz
Referee Coach: Jim Crenshaw
Assistant Referee Coach: Chris Tucker

When I travel around the US referring and talking with other referees from around the country, most referees are pretty jealous that I get to referee in Northern California. The Pelicans run one of the best crews in the country and have some great contests each week. That may be the reason some unions believe we are a bit elitist.

Well when I looked are my January 2009 schedule, all I can say is "show me another Union where a C-1 referee can call the top three Division 1 Rugby teams in the county".

Last Saturday Cal, Thursday BYU and January 31 St. Mary's. All I can say is "Sweet".

This Thursday #12 UC Davis hosted #3 BYU. The game started at 6:00pm with temperatures in the 60's at a well-marked and well-lit Hutchinson Field.

When I arrived around 5:00 both teams were warming up.

I was expecting a strong game from both teams. Davis coming off a 54 to 7 win over Chico. This was BYU's first game of the year.

Well, the speed of the game caught me by surprise. I think it surprised Davis throughout the game. The BYU forwards looked to have at least a ten pound weight advantage per player. Unfortunately for Davis, BYU also seemed to have a step or two in speed.

Five minutes in Davis fullback Harrison slotted a penalty. The penalty was for BYU losing their feet at the tackle/ ruck. I gave two yellow cards for repeating this offence.

BYU got their first try when #13 Lasik scored. Three minutes later BYU score another. Harrison slotted another penalty 15 minutes in. BYU scored three more trys in the first half. Davis answered with an intercept try of their own.

First half score BYU 31 Davis 13.

The second half started with BYU's captain #8 St. Pierre scoring. At 14 minutes St. Pierre was binned for repeat infringements. He 'thanked' me later; it was his first time in the bin. It did not slow down BYU. They scored three more tries while he was in the bin. BYU made some substitutions and finished the scoring with one more try.

For a final score of BYU 60 Davis 13.

BYU is very talented. Very fast. They started seven foreign born players ranging from South Africa, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji. BYU's stand out players included captain St. Pierre, USA. Hooker and Kiwi Lawrence. Lawrence totally controlled the scrums. He could drop, pop and drive. All legal to control the scrums. Thanks for your continued safety. #9 Davies, South Africa also stood out.

Davis lost most lineouts and had very few unpressured possessions.

Like I said super fast game. Loads of special scores. Good discipline from both sides. Thanks for my assistant referees and great coaching.

Elsie Allen 10-a-side 10
Referees: Tom Zanarini, Mike King, Chris Labozzetta
Report by Tom Zanarini:

5 teams competed in the pre-season Elsie Allen 10's tournament to gear up for the season: Lobos (2 teams), Montgomery, Santa Rosa and Windsor. The new field at Elsie Allen has been mentioned before and it is very nice. The field turf is great to run on and the extra rugby markings are a nice touch. Regulation goal posts are placed on the in-goal line as well. Thanks to Alan Petty for hosting and thanks to all the coaches who participated in the event.

The format was 15 minute matches with no halftime, uncontested scrums and lineouts and no scores were recorded. 3 referees rotated 2-on, 4-off. Lots of rugby rookies took part in the competition and the teams played with great enthusiasm. It seems most Pelicans don't get to run around much with the U-19's but after this weekend I would highly recommend it. They were a great bunch of kids and I'll be happy to referee a regular season match. I don't want to get all Whitney Houston, but the more support we give our time and support to the younger rugby players, the better the rugby will get in college and club levels.

Stanford 7 – BYU 64 Referee: Paul Bretz
Assistant Referees: Eric Rauscher, James Hinkin
Videographer: Bruce Carter


Referees: Paul Bretz, Bruce Carter, Preston Gordon, Scott Griffin, Rob Hendrickson, James Hinkin, Mike King, Joe Leisek, Richard McGrath (visiting from Sydney), Dave Pope, Eric Rauscher, Sandy Robertson, Robertson Santiago

There was frost on the ground each morning after your writer arrived from his 85-mile drive, and mid-to-upper seventies by the afternoons. It was two Rugby Days.

The Stanford Invitational features women’s D1 college teams from all across the West and California playing on three pitches over three days. New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon and Oregon State joined eight teams from the Golden State to play 39 games.

A brand-new referee got his first two runs, Scott Griffin who used to play for the Olympic Club. Scott said he ran into Ray Schwartz somewhere and mentioned the word ‘referee’, hence his arrival. Thanks, Ray!

Richard McGrath, visiting San Francisco on business, also capable handled a couple of matches. Richard will be running touch for the Cal – Nevada game this weekend, and will go home assuming that that Steuber Rugby Stadium and Witter Field are typical of US rugby facilities.

Stanford won the tournament but not without setbacks. They lost their first game to Oregon, 5 – 10, but won out from there.

New Mexico arrived on the heels of a dominant autumn season in the west and won every game by large margins until the semi-final:

Semi-final: STANFORD 21 – U. New Mexico 15 Referee: Bruce Carter
Assistant Referee: Preston Gordon

Coach Shannon Robinson has his Lobos playing with precision. They played Jonathan Griffin’s defending national champions to within four minutes of the third-place game.

Both teams had strong running games and knew how to counter-ruck. Equally strong: they scored three trys each, New Mexico’s coming on an intercept by their #12 to put the visitors ahead 15-14 with four minutes remaining.

Stanford however scored again with #11 eleven notching her second try, one down each touchline. The difference was Stanford’s kicking, #10 not missing a one.

Stanford went on to defeat Chico State in the final.

Eric Rauscher’s games:
I ended up reffing three games over the weekend.

UC SANTA BARBARA 31 – Humboldt 5
The first half of this game was quite enjoyable. The tackles were clean and the rucks were short and penalty-free making for a flowing game. Humboldt only had two subs to put in while USCB had thirty new legs due to unlimited subs and a large team pool. This shows in the score, but Humboldt played all the way through and scored their try in the 36th minute.

STANFORD 14 – UC Los Angeles 0
I was honored to ref this game. Unlike the first game, UCLA put in 15 subs, but the Stanford side was just too strong and talented. UCLA did hold them to just two converted tries so that was quite respectable.

CALIFORNIA 7 – Colorado 0
This was the game between the teams with the least number of wins. [Editor’s Note: Nay. This was the seventh-place game, in a tournament with thirteen entrants. Could have just as easily been called the Bowl Final.]

I must say that it was admirable that both teams stayed to play this game when they just as easily folded tent and gone home. The teams were evenly matched and played up and down and back and forth across the pitch, but the total points scored was only 7. Once again, I thought it a good game bravely played by both sides.

Roberto Santiago’s games:
Sun. 1/18 Stanford Invitational Day 2

OREGON 10 – Oregon State 5
Another great weather day down a Stanford's rugby fields. Oregon played Oregon State in one of the early games. It was a fairly pedestrian match with both sides using solid technique to compensate for a lack of speed and power. Oregon Seemed to have slightly better athletes and slightly more cohesion than their rivals from Corvallis. In the end Oregon was able to make one more break. It's a nice contrast reffing two well coached disciplined sides after the chattiness of the clubs I've had the past two weeks.

STANFORD 40 – UC Santa Barbara 0
Wow. So I guess Stanford's pretty good. They certainly had more speed than any of the other clubs I saw that day. Stanford also has better on-field chemistry than any team I've reffed in a good long time. UCSB had some athletes, but you could tell that they hadn't been playing together for too long. At times Stanford made this one look like a Globetrotters game. For their part UCSB never hung their heads and never showed any less fire from the first horn to the last. Both teams had the lowest most technically efficient scrums I've can remember seeing as a ref.

Thanks to all involved in the tournament for a fine morning of rugby. It was just the way to work out the soreness from a previous day of Rugby. I don't what I'm supposed to do Monday though.

Rob Hendrickson’s games:

UCLA 20 – Humboldt 0
UCLA kept the pressure on Humboldt for most of the game, although possession and territory were pretty evenly divided. The ref should have awarded Humboldt a penalty try late in the game when the ball was kicked forward by Humboldt and into UCLA's in-goal and the UCLA center instinctively played the Humboldt player instead of diving to ground the ball for a 22 meter drop out.

UCLA 26 – UC Davis 0
UCLA managed to hold enough back in reserve from its earlier game to outplay UC Davis and go on to score 4 tries. Davis has some real talent but may be in the the process of rebuilding in this early season play.

SFGG SL 60 – Sacramento Lions 20 Referee: Joe Androvich

RENO 43 – Olympic Club 37 Referee: Don Pattalock
AR's: Phil Ulibarri, Adam Mick
Fortunate Fan: Sam Reagle

Reno's first match in D1 following a 2 division promotion was an all out exciting match against the Olympic Club in Reno on a gorgeous day. A total of 11 tries were scored in the match.

Not sure if OC took the debutants lightly, but the first 20 minutes it was all Reno. 2 of Reno's trys came off of a charge down and a miscue between OC #8 and 9. OC then decided to play some rugby and countered with a try of their own and 3 penalties. Half time score: Reno 22 OC 16.

The second half started off in the same fashion that the first half ended; physical rugby. Reno's captain was binned for a dangerous tackle and OC quickly took charge and scored 2 trys in the right hand corner. When it looked like Reno was out of gas, they found some life and scored from a forward dominated drive up the touch line. Then, with the score 29-30 in OC's favor, Reno's 12 sidestepped a tackle and scored.

The back-breaker for the OC came with 4 minutes to play and a kick by Reno turned around the OC wing and bounced within inches of the touch line; with 2 Reno defenders bearing down and the 14 other OC players shouting "man on" the OC wing somehow failed to tap the ball into touch, a Reno defender toed the ball ahead, gathered and scored under the posts. With 1 minute left, OC mounted a steady attack and scored a consolation try at full time. OC dominated the set pieces, but Reno's size superiority dominated the contact. Reno at full steam with ball in hand will be a scary proposition for everyone.

Seconds: Reno 5 – OLYMPIC CLUB 54 Referee: Sam Reagle
TJs: Russ Wilkening, Linda Manning

On yet another beautiful day in Reno, a hundred or so spectators and I had pitch-side seats for an absolutely phenomenal A-side game refereed by The Donny where the outcome was in doubt right up to the final whistle.

The second-side game was well-played also, but not so dramatic. The first 20 minutes were pretty even, but after that, OC took over the game with 4 converted first half tries and 3 long-range penalty kicks to go into the half up 37-0. In the second half, when OC scored their second try to go up 49-0 with about 15 minutes to go, the score was no longer most important. It was apparent to this observer that OC wanted a shutout and Reno didn't want to be shut out. Starting in their own end with about 7 minutes to go, Reno moved the ball first to the right, then back inside where a missed tackle sent a forward storming up the left side with several OC players in pursuit. They caught him about 5 meters out but were unable to keep him from reaching over the goal line to ground the ball. OC scored at full time to end the game.

Side Note: Brad Bachelder, the young B-side scrumhalf for OC scored a hat-trick. On his first try off a scrum in his half, #8 picked up, passed to Brad who outran the Reno defenders to score between the posts. On another, the ball laid in-goal and he was first to it. Well done!

SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 22 – Hayward 20 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Assistant Referee: Chris Tucker

Seconds: Sacramento Capitals – Hayward
Not played?

SEAHAWKS 44 – SF Golden Gate D2, 28 Referee: Preston Gordon

Seconds: Seahawks 15 – SFGG D2, 17 Ref: Gordon

Berkeley 18 – MISSION 50 Referee: Brian Schnack
Referee Coach: David Williamson

For Berkeley, this game started last year after what they felt was a game lost by some bad calls toward the end. 10 months later, in 2009, I pulled up to the pitch at 1130 to see Berkeley hitting the sled and running back-line drills. They were up for this. Mission showed up at a steady drip thereafter, and was ready for 1 pm kickoff.

Berkeley applied pressure early and took advantage of Mission playing the ball off their feet and not through their hands. After an early Berkeley penalty conversion followed by a Mission try, Berkeley parried with a solid long kick to space which took a good hop, into Berkeley hands for a last sprint and a try. 10-5, Berkeley.

The rest of the game rolled to Mission, with the latest round of big, fast youth keeping the ball in their hands, pounding and passing for scores. Berkeley kept fighting, but couldn't get consistent, sustained phases.

Berkeley got in another good try, and was putting in some good hits, but Mission won a fast, physical game.

HUMBOLDT 12 – Fog 7 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
With the most beautiful day I ever seen up North, a good natured crowd on the sidelines, and a Manila Park pitch in Arcata for once free of mud, a good day of Rugby was guaranteed. Following the cancellation of their match the previous week, this was the first match of the season for the Humboldt Old Growth (Hogs) and a bit of rust appeared here and there against an ever improving San Francisco FOG side. The first half was a very even affair with a numbers of penalties given for various infractions. The only difference being that Humboldt put six points on the board, while the FOG missed the posts. At the whistle the score was HOG 6 - FOG 0.

The FOG came back fighting in the second half scoring a fine converted runaway try from a set piece. However Humboldt would not be denied on the day and scored a converted try of their own. The match was often fought within the 22 of each side, a testimony to the close nature of this match, the determination of the players, and the strength of both defenses. A great match played within the spirit of the game followed by the legendary Humboldt hospitality. Final score Humboldt 12 (6) - FOG 7 (0).

STANISLAUS 26 – Mendocino 0 Referee: Scott Wood
Mendo thought they would travel down with 13 to play on Saturday. Unfortunately they only showed up with ten players. The Steam Donkeys proposed playing short until the Harlots scored four tries (apparently to fulfill an additional bonus point) then borrow players to put the teams at even strength. Stanislaus did not have a problem with that so why should I. It took the hosts 20 minutes to score four tries. Short-handed they may be, but Mendocino defended well while the Harlots' backline had problems passing or holding on to the ball.

Official Score: 26-0

Scorecard reset as Stanislaus loaned players to Mendocino so both teams were playing 14 on 14. Lots of fun and frivolity. No hard feelings. No bitter resentment. Just Rugby. Halftime score: Stanislaus 39 Mendocino 0

The second half featured more scoring by Stanislaus but Mendocino never gave up. They defended as well as could be expected. Final score: 82-0.

Play of the game: Normally I do not mention conversion attempts but one particular attempt merited such. The kicking duties rotated among several players throughout the match. Harlots scored a try in the corner and Nick French elected to attempt the conversion. Taking the ball back to the 22, he sized up the distance and angle and proceeded to nail a beautiful kick inside the upright. Of memorable note is not only that Nick is a prop's prop, his conversion was made off a drop kick. Well done!

Petaluma 17 – CHICO 47 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Yet another lovely Saturday in Sonoma. Sixteen Leghorns showed up to mix it up with considerably more of the visiting Chico men.

It had the makings of a 80 -0 rout. Chico scored within the first two minutes, twice more shortly thereafter, and knocked one on in goal. But the locals get a converted try and a penalty and buck up a bit.

At half it is 26-10. Petaluma comes out and gets seven-and now it’s a nine point game. It stays close for 20 minutes-and then the deluge. Good spirit and a fun game.

SHASTA by forfeit over Aptos Referee: Ray Schwartz
This is a crying shame – the ref drove up on assurances the road team would make the trip and the home team geared up and prepped the pitch.

We don’t want to paint with too broad a brush: we are told that ten Aptos folks made the trek. But no game eventuated and a ref was wasted who could have been gainfully employed elsewhere.

Marin 17 – VALLEJO 27 Referee: Roberto Santiago
Referee Coach: Mike Malone
The weather shone beautiful and bright over the Marin City recreational pasture on Saturday as Marin hosted Vallejo in DIII action. Vallejo took control early on with a try off a Marin miscue. Vallejo added a converted try a few minutes later for a 12-0 lead. Marin came back to cut the deficit with two penalty kicks. Vallejo came back with another try at the end of the half which saw the score at Marin 6-Vallejo 17.

Marin hit two more penalties in the second half and looked like they might be on their way to a win. One minute and thirty seconds after Marin cut the lead to 12-17 Vallejo stormed back with a converted try to give themselves 12-24 advantage. Both teams began subbing players in the second half and it showed in the play.

Vallejo's subs seemed nearly as inclined towards punching and shoulder barging ball carriers as they were towards tackling. The result was one yellow card though upon reflection and discussion with other refs there should have been more cards given.

Vallejo tacked on some insurance when after their first penalty for foul play, while a minute was being given for a Marin player who'd had his wind knocked out, the Marin side couldn't find a way to stop riding the ref. Despite his best attempts to warn them, though he appealed to the captain (who did his best), the ref was left with no choice but to turn the penalty around. Vallejo converted the penalty for a 12-27 lead. Marin scored a try late in a goal line sequence.

UC DAVIS 48 – Nevada-Reno 7 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Under sunny skies, UC Davis was the more disciplined and cohesive team. Davis also dominated the scrums and skillfully off-loaded the ball in contact to lead 24-0 at half. Both teams struggled with handling errors, but Davis maintained decent structure. Against the run of play, UNR intercepted to score a consolation try at full-time. Davis won easily, 7 tries to 1, but they seemed disappointed with their performance.

Seconds: UC Davis – Nevada NOT PLAYED

Chico State 17 – ST. MARY’S 84 Referee: Rich Anderson
St. Mary's attacked hard and early, scoring several long tries in the first half, finally running up the halftime score to 63-0. The combination of Chico's continued hard play, and some St. Mary's second half substitutions, produced a more equal second half. Thanks for Rod Chance for putting down his camera and George O'Neil for TJing on a beautiful afternoon.

Seconds: Chico State 12 – ST. MARY’S 73 Referee: George O’Neil
The day was set for a mid-winter match in Chico with the temperature in the high 60's. The Gaels of St Mary's came out with a fast and skilled attack leading to six first half tries. Chico State was well spirited but could not keep up with the all around speed of the St. Mary's team, leading to a half time score of 40 to 0. In the second half Chico scored two tries put together from cohesive multiple phase play. The Gaels added five more tires with a final score of 73-12.

MARITIME ACADEMY 70 – UC Santa Cruz 5 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
The Keelhaulers hosted the Slugs to a spirited match under clear skies and on a firm pitch. The score was 29 - 0 at halftime, although the play for the most part was much closer than the score would indicate. While the Slugs pressed the Keelhaulers several times deep in their own territory, the Keelhaulers definitely dominated in all phases of play, including in particular their support even on breakaways. Their kick and chase had the Slugs on their heels for a good portion of the play, and they were constantly alert for turnover ball opportunities. The Keelhaulers will be a team to watch this year.

Seconds: MARITIME ACADEMY 44 – UC Santa Cruz 0 Ref: Hendrickson
Following the A side, the B sides played 30 minute halves, with a very close first half (Cal Maritime 5, UCSC 0), followed by a defense that simply got too winded in the second half, leading to a 44 - 0 final.

SANTA CLARA 44 – Diablo Gaels U23, 32 Referee: John Coppinger
Diablo Gaels U23 were dangerous when they spread the ball wide and had their big backs attack the smaller SCU back-line; however, Santa Clara dominated set play and rucks to provide good attacking platforms for the forwards and backs alike. The Santa Clara backs, while smaller than the DG backs, were just as fast as their opponents and were able to exploit overlaps to account for a number of scores.

At the half, the score was 31-19 in favor of Santa Clara. Although each side scored 13 points in the second period, the second-half score line flatters Diablo Gaels as Santa Clara missed a number of penalty kicks in the second half. The penalty count was very much in favor of SCU as DG struggled with staying on-sides and discipline.

After the match, the Santa Clara B met College Park in a scrimmage. Chris Kron refereed the match.

SIERRA JC 79 – U of Pacific 0 Referee: Scott McConnell
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Sierra were well prepared and had good numbers, UOP showed with only 8 players so Sierra loaned them all there subs which allowed both teams the full compliment. Both teams were well spirited and wanted to play good clean rugby. Sierra obviously had a better grasp of the game and quickly started running in points, where UOP struggled to hold possession and turned the ball over at the break down often. Sierra took advantage of UOP’s lack of fitness and posted 36 unanswered points in the first half and 43 in the second 40 making it a 79-0 game. On two occasions near the end of the game UOP came close but knocked on close to the line. Sierra's kicker put over 7 from 12 conversions. Overall a great day and as always rugby was the winner on the day.

St. Mary's women – SF FOG Referee: Mike Gadoua
The Fog won handily but we do not have the exact score.


Report by Tony Redmond:
Thanks for the chance to go to SLO. The weather was wonderful over the weekend and we enjoyed ourselves in Morro Bay. In any case, here's how the matches went:

Friday night:
CAL POLY 35 – UC Santa Barbara 5
The game was a Friday nighttime fixture played on a pitch at Cal Poly's campus in San Luis Obispo that was not good underfoot in parts. Like most college games, both teams gave their all and the first 10-15 minutes were played at high pace. The tempo settled down after that and Cal Poly steadily took control based on a very solid platform established by their pack. Their front five were extremely solid and dominated scrummages and their back row were active and very quick around the field. The score was 21-0 at half time as Cal Poly scored three good tries, all of which were converted by their full-back, who bisected the posts each time despite kicking off the ground without a tee (in the old fashioned way). Cal Poly scored another two goals in the second half separated by a consolidation try for UCSB. This try was scored close to the posts but we experienced the unusual sight of the attempted conversion being charged down fairly by two Cal Poly players, much to the chagrin of the kicker.

San Luis Obispo RFC 5 – PASADENA 30
Action moved on Saturday to the Damon Garcia Sports Ground in San Luis Obispo for the first league match of the season between the local club and Pasadena. The weather was beautiful (over 80 degrees) and the ground was very good underfoot. However, the groundsman had clearly gotten some wires crossed when they had put the posts in the ground as they were placed in the dead ball line! Both teams agreed that we could go ahead with traffic markers placed in the appropriate positions in the goal line and the proviso that kicks would be advanced 5m to allow for the extra distance to the posts. The first half was pretty typical of an opening fixture with many knock-ons. Pasadena was the more organized team and led by 0-16 at the break (2 tries, 2 PG). The second half was much the same standard and although SLO scored, their opponents crossed twice for converted tries. Two yellow cards were given in the second half: the first in the 52nd minute to SLO #8 for persistent infringements on the deck (both teams conceded many penalties for failing to stay on their feet with SLO #8 being a major offender). The second yellow card was for dissent in the 77th minute when SLO #22 just would not keep his opinions to himself. It's unusual to have to resort to dealing with dissent so strongly, but when players don't respond to first a penalty for a comment and then keep on talking after the original penalty is moved 10m, there is really little more that you can do but to put the player in the bin to reflect on life, love, the universe, and the sins of rugby referees.

Paul Phillips did a very nice job of looking after me as a representative of the Southern California Referees.

Thanks all for the experience to add to my rugby memories.


Cougars Jamboree Saturday 17th January

Perfect day, high 60’s with a field packed with players and spectators, and of course 3 NEW refs, and 2 semi new.

With coaches like Joe Cavallaro and Terry Gascoigne next to the field, made it no walk in the park for first time refs, but they triumphed. With Phil Akroyd kicking the day off with back to back games, Danny Kaufmann took over and after a shaky start, he reacted very well to some bleacher advice and stepped up a level to an almost perfect start. Even Mr. Cavallaro thought it was “pretty decent”.

Mark Godfrey, “the old man” took over, and despite a few “speed” limitations, and freshmen players, handled himself respectfully in his first ever game as ref. Then the youngster Bally Gutierrez opened himself up for some good old fashioned commentary from the side line, but nothing he could not handle. Rich Boyer finished up the day that looked like a pretty good success, both scrimmage and referee initiation.

Thanks to both coaches and players that helped us build our pelican flock.

Commentating out of the bleachers – JC Van Staden


Sam Reagle shocks us all with this admission of gross incompetence:

“I forgot to mention this to you at the society meeting last week. On the 10th, I watched John Fox anchored the Chico BoatRace team and win by 3, yet wrote it wrong in Hail Pelicus. Shasta was game, but grossly outdrunk. How do I right this wrong?”

Sam is hereby required to re-certify at the next Level One BoatRace Officiating Course.


If you click on the ball it will change color. Nothing to it:

Dave Pope controls the Chico State – UCSB game at the Stanford Invitational.

Photo is courtesy of David Barpal. Have a look at his website: one of your recent games might be there!


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Pelicus Scriptoris