Wednesday, October 07, 2009




Dave Ellis is the newest Pelican, having registered, paid his dues, and signed up for the Level One and TJ/AR courses that will be taught later this month at the Maritime Academy.

Dave has been coaching Shasta/Redding most recently. Before that he coached in Santa Rosa. And all along he's taken up the whistle when the occasion demanded.

We are happy to have a Far Northern California cousin!

There are a number of tournaments to be played over the next two months. We encourage all of our newer referees to attend - these are perfect for novices and beginners: short halfs, not as much at stake, senior referees to act as Assistant Referees and plenty of referee coaches on hand. PLEASE REPLY WITH YOUR AVAILABILITY FOR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS. Nobody knows you're ready to ref unless you send in the dates.


Budd Bay has canceled their scheduled trip to Sacramento to play the Triple Threat and the Amazons this weekend.

That leaves the Reno Tournament as the only game in town. Eight refs for four pitches. Any help would be appreciated, and you’d get something out of it, too!


For those who would like to get a run in the weekend of our annual conference, the Women’s Slugfest will be held on two pitches at UC Santa Cruz beginning at 9 AM on Sunday, October 18.


Sacramento State was scheduled to play Southern Oregon University on Saturday. We had a referee and two ARs appointed.

But Southern Oregon had only a handful of players registered on the USA Rugby website and admitted that they wouldn’t have fifteen certified by game day. So they scrubbed the trip after being advised that no-one would ref it.

Southern Oregon is scheduled to play Chico State, two sides, on October 24. They will need thirty players registered by then.

Please do not think we are picking on SOU just to be mean: this is a cautionary tale for our NorCal teams: you need a roster’s worth of players listed on the USA CIPP database and the match card in order to be able to play a game of rugby.

They’re all gonna be registered by the time the league seasons start; why not sign them up now?

Speaking of which:


Badgering our membership does not come easily, and the creative juices sour at running the same item week after week.

But with only about half of our active membership on good terms with USA Rugby, the badgering will continue until morale improves:

Go to
Click on Registration ’09-’10 just below Welcome in the column on the left.

Take the first option: Create/Renew Individual Membership. Go from there.

REMEMBER to print out the liability waiver. This needs to be signed and submitted in hard copy to our treasurer, Jim Crenshaw, with your $10 annual NCRRS dues.


A volunteer is sought to assume responsibility for holding and distributing our selection of NCRRS kit. Joe Leisek has mid-wifed and nursed this project, which is quite a task.

There are many aspects to running a successful referee society. The ranks of workers and leaders (usually the same folks) need constantly to be refilled to sustain our progress as a whole.

If you would be willing to help out, please let us know. Regular attendance at our training meetings is a must in order to be able to distribute the materials. Your first day on the job would be October 17, the date of our annual meeting.


Sac State PROBABLES 49 – Sac State Possibles 10 Referee: Chris Tucker
This should read Sac State 28 - 27 Southern Oregon in a nail-biter in front of a sizeable crowd out enjoying the early Autumn weather, with the home team coming from behind as time expired. Of course that would require the Raiders to have registered more than 3 players with USAR, and as it was the 40 or so hopefuls who turned up to play divided into those likely to make the team vs. those with a chance of doing so.

The Probables did not make a good start -- the Possibles won a scrum off a knocked-on kickoff, and spun it right to the outside centre, who collected the easiest try he'll ever get, through a defensive line with a 10 yard hole in it. I ran through behind him and gave the try. 5-0 after 2 minutes. Thereafter the Probs warmed up and started putting together more possession, and gradually overcame the stubborn defence of their teammates-turned-opponents. 17-10 after the first 30 minute period became 37-10 after 60 and 49-10 after a third period of 20 mins to round out the afternoon. But some of the Possibles showed well and wouldn't surprise if they get their starts.

Overall it was good practice for both the players and the ref -- speed is a lot faster than the women, and there are many more bodies around on the floor than 7s, most up to no good! And Sac State should show well this year if they can build on a good start.

SF Fog 0 – SAN DIEGO SURFERS 74 Referee: Pete Smith
No report received.

Sacramento Amazons 7 – NORCAL TRIPLE THREAT 54 Referee: R. Scott Wood
ARs: Eugene Baker, Rod Chance
Location: Chorley Park, Sacramento
Weather: Perfect
Norcal was present with plenty of numbers; Amazons fielded 13 to start. The pitch was in relatively good condition, especially considering the ground squirrel-created craters and burrows that must have served on the set of Tremors surrounding the field. Norcal kicked off and the Amazons maintained possession for a bit demonstrating great resolve and a talented attack. Unfortunately, the hosts lacked numbers and/or adequate supported and lost the ball when isolated. Norcal scored six tries (five converted) in the first half. Sacramento depleted its ranks at the 25th and 30th minute with two sin bins, professional foul and penalty try, respectively. However, they were able to bolster their ranks to 14 before the end of the half.

Amazons opened the second half by immediately scoring a try. Norcal, having put in a handful of subs to give members playing time, scored two converted tries. The second half opened up more space and possession ping-ponged. Knock-ons and forward passes finished off the game.

Thanks to both teams playing with great spirit and tenacity. Kudos to the Assistant Referees for their input. A tip of the hat to my fiancee/chauffeur/#1 fan in the sun for her company and feedback.

San Jose State scrimmage Referee: John Pohlman
After five months off from 15 a side rugby I was "back in the saddle again". Sorry but I always wanted to use that saying.

San Jose State was having a scrimmage. It was encouraging that SJS had the numbers to play a scrimmage. Head coach Dean White is building a program which should compete very well this year.

I arrived around 10:00AM for a 11:00 AM start. The goal posts were up and padded. The field was mostly marked. What surprised me was Dean still had not arrived. Last year Dean would have been the one organizing the field. Players were showing up on bicycles, skate boards and foot.

SJS has 41 players already CIPPed. I think that is more than the Pelicans.

Dean has two assistant coaches. The coaches had hoped for a modified touch tackle format. I was opposed to the format. Players have a hard time moving from touch to tackle and back. So we agreed to three 20 minute periods of tens. This gave the three separate sides two games each. I was asked to be a bit instructional in my enforcement of the laws. After cleaning up players on the ground, the only thing a player on the ground can do is either move away from the ball or get to your feet, period. We then started working on arriving through the gates. The player mix was freshman to senior with beginners mixed in with veterans. The players responded great. Even when my calls did not go their way, players responded with discipline. Good stuff, guys.

After the tens was over, I suggested we play at least 15 minutes of 15's, hey everybody seemed to be having fun. The coaches totally agreed. We settled on two 15 to 20 minute periods. The time was left to my discretion depending on play, fatigue and disciple.

So we played two 20's. I think it ended in a 12 to 12 tie. But since it was unofficial, I feel I skated on buying beers for my fellow referees. I may need a ruling prior to our Pelicans preseason training camp in two weeks though.

The SJS program looks to be taking another step forward. I urge the alumni to get involved and support a competitive program.

Chico State Alumni Game Referee: Jim Roberts
No report received.

ALL BLUES 34 – Minnesota Valkyries 17 Referee: Davey Ardrey
ARs: Pete Smith, Bruce Carter
Referee Coach: Bryan Porter

This was a physical and entertaining match, with lots of big hits and hauled-down would-be breakaways.

Both teams feature WNT players and pretenders thereto. Eagle Coach Kathy Flores was on hand to scout them.

Counter-rucking was a theme. The Valkyries often blew completely through rucks, but usually with a solo player acting alone. The ruck simply bound up again like a self-sealing tire and the player was offside. Two at a time would have won some turnover ball.

The All Blues were never headed, but spent most of the game from five to twelve points in the lead, the Valkyries always threatening. The final score was the largest margin of the match.

Unfortunately most of the spectators arrived about the time the match ended due to two factors: an incorrect starting time posted somewhere (not Pelicanrefs) and work on the Bay Bridge narrowing the west-bound lower deck to three lanes. (Funny how it was closed for almost a week last month and supposedly they caught up on maintenance.)


The San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club presents: The Grand Rugby Banquet
Featuring Guest Speaker: Wallaby Legend John Eales

Eales played lock for Queensland Reds and Australia
55-cap reign as captain of the Wallabies
Won the Rugby World Cup twice in his illustrious career, first in 1991, and later skippering his country to victory in 1999

St Gabriel’s School
2550 41st avenue
Saturday October 17
6:30 PM
Proceeds to benefit Bay Area Youth Rugby

Tickets include three course dinner, wine and entertainment
To Purchase a seat or table
Tickets: Individual $125 or Table of Ten $1200
Contact: Paul Keeler (415) 362 1010

This will be in the evening after our AGM. If you’d like to attend and sit at a ‘referee table’, let us know and whether you’ll have a guest. It’s for a good cause!

Ball Boy Heaven
Referee Davey Ardrey with ball boy Benjamin Bruce Bravo, Sunday morning on Treasure Island, a fine occasion for an aspiring rugger.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris