Wednesday, June 22, 2011




See you at Scotts in Walnut Creek this Saturday? It’s not too late to make plans to attend the NCRRS banquet and awards ceremony. Just let Bjorn Stumer know:


This Saturday will be the fun-filled Olympic Club Oysterfest in Marin County, a festival of touch.
If you think touch is what you used to play at practice before the coach blew his whistle, think again. This is a sport with its own world cup, which as a matter of fact starts June 22 in Edinburgh.

The rules are easy to learn for the official. We could use a few folks to help out.

Saturday, July 2 JUST ADDED:
SFGG Sevens at Sheeran Field

Sunday, July 3:
NCRYA Sac Valley Sevens – youth and high school, in Dixon
Need about a dozen refs

Saturday, July 9:
Palo Alto Summer Sevens
Todd Phillips Memorial at For Pete’s Sake
Old boys fifteens, a round-robin with five teams

Saturday, July 16:
Dunsmuir Sevens and annual Old Boys match
For Pete’s Sake Sevens

Sunday, July 17:
NCRYA Sac Valley Sevens – youth and high school, in Dixon
Need about a dozen refs

Saturday, July 23:
Palo Alto Summer Sevens

Sunday, July 24:
North American debut of the IRB Refereeing Sevens course
At the Doyle Family Rugby Clubhouse at Stanford

Saturday, July 30:
Nevada Sevens in Reno
Marin Highlanders HS Sevens in Corte Madera

Saturday-Sunday, August 6-7:
USA Rugby Club Sevens Championships at Sheeran Field, men and women

Saturday, June 18
Report by Stephanie Bruce:

Tournament report:
It was a perfect day in Santa Rosa for a rugby tournament. For Pete's Sake pitch is in good condition and visiting teams loved the rustic wooden uprights. The tournament kicked off about 10 minutes late (Not bad for rugby time, not great for 7's rugby time), and went smoothly for the length of the tournament.

4 Men's teams (SFGG, Rosa, Sac and "Mixed Bag" - a compilation of local players) and 6 Women's teams (Two All-Blues teams, Sac, Stanford, Glendale, and San Diego) competed. The NCRFU ref's were represented by Steph Bruce, Sam Davis, Bjorn Stumer, Eric Rauscher and Bruce Ricard. We were also joined by Ramey Marshall, who we hope will be joining the union, and a late addition of newcomer Scott Griffin.

The men's bracket was fairly evenly matched, with a mix of very athletic newcomers and seasoned sevens players. At the end of the tournament, the boys were not ready to stop playing and we were able to give Scott a few "king of the pitch" halves after the Championship game.

After the round-robin portion of the women’s tournament, Berkeley Gold was at the top of the standings having narrowly defeated the Surfers during pool play with 3 wins and no losses. Head to Head results set the rest of the seeding to Surfers, Glendale, Stanford, Berkeley Blue and Sacramento. Stanford was under-represented and decided to fold out of the knockout rounds so Berkeley Blue and Sac combined to play San Diego in the semis while Berkeley Gold played Glendale. Both Berkeley Gold and Glendale won convincingly to make the finals. The final match started off close, but the Surfers showed their sevens’ experience in the last game of the day and took the match 19-7.

By Stephanie Bruce:

When I arrived in Calgary, I was promised that there would be no shortage of matches for me, which was an understatement. I was picked up from the airport and was on a pitch reffing a U15 club match within the hour. Useful to be aware that Canada (as well as Australia) employs a Mayday* provision in their U19 laws, where extra precautions are taken during scrums. I was not aware of this, so while thankfully no one was injured, one of the coaches was a bit flustered at my "nonchalance" at checking that players were alright in a collapsed scrum. A lesson learned quickly though.

That evening we had a late dinner at a restaurant next to our tournament lodgings and I met many of the refs that would be working the ASAA Alberta High School Championship over the next two days. Refs came from the local area as well as from Edmonton (4 hours away) and Saskatchewan (6 hours away).

The first day of the high school tournament started early. While winter may be a dark time in Calgary, by the beginning of June the sun comes up at 4:30 in the morning. Even with blinds drawn, I was waking up at 5 every morning.

Calgary rugby has an impressive location with a large clubhouse (one of the largest I've seen), and four regulation sized fields (with a fifth one on the way). All fields were in use as there were 32 teams competing in the tournament, comprised of two tiers of girls and boys teams.

As to be expected, there was a range of experience and athleticism in the tournament, but overall I was impressed with the skills and proficiencies of the High School teams. Interesting to note that although the participation of rugby in Canadian high schools is high, there are still hurdles created by more established sports. Due to The Track and Field Championships overriding the Rugby schedule, teams from the Calgary and Edmonton city districts were unable to compete due to a school blackout for exams. Judging from the quality of the rural and suburban schools competing in their place, I am sure the level of the city schools is comparably quite high.

By the end of the first day I had reffed three 40 minute matches, and ARed another three. There was a little socializing on Friday night for the referees and I was presented with two Rugby Alberta referee jerseys which I excitedly wore the following day. Saturday was the finals and I reffed the Tier 2 girls consolation and the Tier 1 Girls Championship (60 minute matches), and ARed the Tier 1 Boys Championship and Tier 1 boys consolation.

Although the matches were abbreviated (so as to fit within the time limits imposed on U-19 players), the scores were not:

Day one
Tier 2 Girls: Beaumont 0 – Highwood 33
Tier 2 Boys: McNally 0 – St. Francis Xavier 29
Tier 1 Boys: Strathcona Comp 52 – Lloydminster Comp 0
Day two
Tier 2 Girls Consolation: Springbank 46 – Frank Maddock 5
Tier 1 Girls Championship: Raymond 44 – Sturgeon 0

As if to give me the true scope of Canadian weather, day one of the tournament was a gorgeous sunny and mid 60’s day, punctuated by the mosquito happy hour at 4pm.

Day two, in contrast, was drizzly and in the low 50’s. Luckily the real rain held off until after the final match of the day.

During the tournament I was fortunate to be reviewed by a few of the referee coaches and received helpful feedback on my approach and positioning as well as a forthcoming analysis of the Championship match and assessment of my overall performance at the tournament. Thank you to Bjorn Stumer and Mike Laporte each for facilitating the exchange, Mike L. and Jared Morrison for the reffing assessments, Andrew Petti for organizing the tournament, and to Danica, David and Lisa Robinson for hosting me on Saturday night.


The Senate adjourned to Las Vegas with Penelope for a five-day weekend around the Midnight Sevens. The Sevens was canceled but the weekend proceeded.

Walking out of the Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian we heard our name called and turned to see Aruna Ranaweera, in town for a friend’s bachelor party.

That makes two refs, and no rugby, in Sin City, a potentially bad combination.


It was nice to hear again from Joe Leisek, who was the first to clue us in to this delightful 'news' article.
All sports officials have been blamed for a lot of things, but this one takes the cake:

We are once again mindful of Ecclesiastes 1:9:
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris