Thursday, August 25, 2011




The Sacramento Capitals and Peroni are sponsoring a Tens tournament at Danny Nunn Park this Saturday, August 27:

We have a deep and abiding need for referees for this event.

It’s been rough lately: two weeks ago (see below), we had two refs for a six-game fifteens tournament. Last weekend, a 57-year-old man had to do six games of Sevens including a quarterfinal and semifinal.

Let us and Bryant Byrnes know if you can help out:

Also this Saturday, the SF Fog will host the All Blues in a women’s pre-season game at 11 AM on Treasure Island, with Preston Gordon to referee. Their seasons start the following weekend.


Want to start your Labor Day weekend with some rugby?

Your choice:
Sevens at the Pleasanton Highland Games
Fifteens at the Bloomfield Cup in EPA
We also have a women’s league match. The Triple Threat are at home, ‘home’ being either Chico, Sacto or Davis (not sure yet).

Saturday 8/13
Report by Preston Gordon:

Burton High School, San Francisco
Bjorn Stumer and I showed up for the festivities around 9am, just in case things kicked off on time. As it turned out, we spent most of the next 2 hours watching the dignitaries, musicians, and families get ready for the opening ceremonies. The 3 flag raisings were great, as they were accompanied by the anthems for the United States, American Samoa, and Samoa proper, sung by a youth choir. The Reverend's remarks were memorable as well.

Partially because of the delayed start, we decided on 20-minute halves in each game. This would give us enough time to do 6 round-robin games among the 4 teams in attendance: East Palo Alto Bulldogs, East Palo Alto Razorbacks, San Mateo, and the Bay Area Chiefs (formerly/aka Samoa United). A final was also on the schedule, but as it turned out, the 6th game had the two best-placed teams, so we scratched the 7th and played 25-minute halves.

Bjorn refereed the first game. I did the second, San Mateo vs EPA Razorbacks, which ended up in a 12-12 draw (7-5 at halftime). The game moved pretty well, but clearly everyone needed to get the rust off as there were a lot of dropped balls and several interceptions. Mose Timoteo did the third in order to give Bjorn and I a break. Bjorn did the 4th. I did the 5th, Bay Area Chiefs vs San Mateo, which again was a low-scoring affair. San Mateo was up 5-0 at the half and held on to win 12-5.

After a 20-minute break to let the crowd build - I'd guess a couple hundred were in attendance - and the players (and me) get a rest, the two East Palo Alto teams contested the final. It was a hard-hitting, fairly good game, but both teams kept the ball tight from the rucks and despite a few line breaks, the only score in the first half came from a Bulldogs penalty goal at 23', even though they had a 1-man advantage due to a yellow card a couple of minutes earlier. The second half was largely the same, and with the players starting to tire a bit I asked the captains to refocus their teams on the objective with about 10 minutes left. That seemed to work well, and in the last minute of the match each side scored a converted try for a final result of 10-7 to the Bulldogs.

Bjorn and I, and Sam from Santa Rosa, were able to AR off and on throughout the day. This was a good day of rugby in the sun, and the Samoan community in the bay area is obviously very strong. The organizers did a good job with the rugby at this event, the food offerings were impressive (and tasty, although I had to wait until I was done reffing), and it's well worth the trip to referee it - see you there next year!

Saturday, 8/20

The Sacramento Lions did a very good job in hosting their first sevens tournament and are hoping to make it an annual event.

We can safely say from the referee perspective (the best perspective from which a pitch may be seen) that this would be a good idea.

Will Niupalau and Aaron Frederick did a good job organizing and keeping everyone happy.

Twelve teams competed for the men’s title, which was won by the EPA Bulldogs over the home side. The Bulldogs have now won tournaments at fifteens and sevens on consecutive weekends.

Four U19 teams vied for the cup which was taken home by the San Mateo Warriors.


We have a suite of upcoming IRB courses that you should be interested in:

Level 1 Officiating
August 2: Bellarmine College Preparatory School, San Jose
November 6: somewhere in Sacramento
December 4: Elsie Allen HS, Santa Rosa
December 4: Lamorinda (East Bay)

We will also be offering the TJ/AR courses, but are still nailing these down.


Keep the Pelicans in the forefront of USA rugby refereeing. It takes good refs, which lots of areas have, but it also requires dedicated and talented referee coaches and evaluators.

You can do this while you are still refereeing.

Coaching of Match Officials Course
October 16: Cal Maritime Academy, Vallejo

Evaluator Course
October 28-30 (Friday evening-Sunday morning): Cal Maritime Academy

Please think at least twice about how you can best give back to the game we love. If you’d like to attend any of these, please reply or simply register at

By Brian Gildea:

Hail Pelicus!

Hope you are summering well. Hope your shifts are not too early for the next two months so you can stay up late and watch the RWC.

Sounds like the sevens this summer were fantastic.

At the Leinster Branch seminar....with over 160 attendees including Alain Rolland...the two law messages that came out were:

1) The Barrel Roll is OK as long as it is not around the head/neck.

2) If a maul forms and then collapses, the defending players are not required and should not be told to do anything. The defenders are entitled to hold on to or lie on the ball without fear of penalty.

Joe Schmidt, the Leinster coach, presented on how teams scout referees and was hilarious. Interestingly, he said that the turn-around in the Heineken Cup final occurred when Leinster decided to match Northampton with the "arrowhead" scrum.

Enjoy the RWC.

We might need to open a Pelican branch in Dublin. Marcus Williamson is going to the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin starting in September.


Propus Celtus


Point 2) is worth emphasis.

We've seen too many refs 'try' to produce ball from collapsed mauls, which is when these 'penalties' occur.

(Non-intentional) Collapsed mall = turnover = dead ball.
And: the ball is dead even if it takes the ref a moment to get to the whistle.

The only penalties that can occur during dead ball are for foul play, punching, abuse, that sort of thing.

Seven for Sevens
It was a sunny day for Sevens in Elk Grove last Saturday.

As usually happens, it was not possible to assemble all of the officials at any one moment. Anthony Nguyen had left when the photo was taken, just prior to the quarterfinals, and Sione Tanoa (who did the U19 final) was preparing to play with the Sac Lions.

Eager: Eric Rauscher, Phil Akroyd, Eugene Baker, Jim Crenshaw, Liz Palmer, Mark Godfrey.
Lazy: Bruce Carter


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris