Thursday, July 16, 2009




The first-ever women’s club Sevens national championship tournament will be played on Treasure Island, August 15-16, and hosted by the SF Fog.

This is the same weekend as the men’s event.

However, USA Rugby is not sponsoring this championship, which is good news for the Pelican Refs: we will be privileged to provide the referees for the tournament!

It will be a busy and fulfilling weekend for us: we’ll also be supplying the ARs/In-goal judges and 4/5/6 officials for both tournaments.

We will need to have at least twenty of our membership working that weekend, given that ten will be running at any one time. Please make plans to help us out.

Those coming from out of the Bay Area: we can arrange either billeting or hotel rooms. But we need to plan this in advance, so respond now with your availability.


Our neighbors to the north reasserted ownage in this keen rivalry. The pathetic quality of the web feed was the would-be spectator’s first clue that there might be better ways to spend Saturday afternoon – like refereeing Sevens.


Referees: Phil Akroyd, Rod Chance, Chris Tucker
Also seen carrying a flag, Ray Thompson

I arrived bright and early at a new pitch just north of Mather Field AFB in Rancho Cordova. Pitch was well lined (thanks to Dan Rose) and posts looked good too. The pitch is in a bowl, creating a natural grass stadium effect, perfect for spectators to watch the proceedings.

The Air Force obliged with a fly-over just before kick-off (one of a large number, as the pilots played touch-and-go all morning) and we were set to go. The only slight disadvantage was that one of the teams (Islanders) who had entered did not show, so we were down to graduating CB players, Lancers and a Barbarians side, for about 25-30 players all told. Nevertheless, there was plenty of enthusiasm and a whole lot of fun had by all.

Which is not to say that the rugby couldn't improve -- a scrum that went together out-of-phase (tight heads became loose); a scrum-half who repeatedly put the ball in from the wrong side, even when corrected by the opposing hooker; and (my personal favourite, awarded by Phil) a disallowed try (almost touched down under the posts, all except for the key ingredient of downward pressure on the ball) were highlights on the amusement calendar, but when the players went at it, the pace was fast, the tackles were fierce and the conversion drop-goals were more accurate than I've seen in a while.

After 6 matches in various team combinations, enough was enough, and we departed to watch the Eagles get crushed. Thanks to Justin Prichard, new coach of the Sac State men, for starting what we hope will become a fixture on the Sac Valley calendar. And to all the 15 or so local teams who didn't field a team, get your butts in gear and come on out on the 25th, you have something better to do than play rugby???


This was more like it.

The first iteration of the Palo Alto Sevens, played on June 27, competed with both the Fog Fest and the Olympic Club’s Oysterfest. We might have thought NorCal sevens was dying on the vine.

On the 25th, O Club brought three sides. Hayward, East Palo Alto, the Fijian Barbarians, Diablo and Vallejo were other strong men’s teams, along with numerous youth sides that returned. Missing in action this summer so far are San Mateo and Golden Gate.

A referee corps ten-strong kept the side-to-side and end-to-end action flowing.

This year’s sole Pacific Coast qualifier will be held in Flagstaff, Ariz, on August 1, while the final running of Palo Alto will be July 25.


The 24th Tri-Tip Sevens will be played on the lovely pitches of Damon-Garcia Park in San Luis Obispo on September 12.

NorCal teams are invited to participate, and the Pelican Refs are always welcome as well:

Four for Sevens
There’s shade, food, beverage and camaraderie to be had at the Palo Alto Summer Sevens: Mike Gadoua, Scott Wood and his betrothed Danielle, and Joe Androvich (who looks as though Roberto Santiago’s Bacon Explosion that he ate might have just gone off).


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris