Tuesday, September 04, 2012



We'll be back and forth with sevens, fifteens and tens for the next two months at least. Check the calendar on Pelicanrefs and make your plans.


It is time to register with USA Rugby for 2013. Old registrations expire on August 31.


You need to register here. Your 'club' is the NCRRS. Print out the waiver, sign it, and mail it along with $10 dues to:

Jim Crenshaw
c/o Delta Supply
1248 East Oak Avenue, #D
Woodland, CA 95776

Then you'll be current with NCRRS and USA Rugby for the coming twelvemonth.


Time to boil your whistle and step up to the plate; let us know if you’d like to sign up for any of these.

Sunday, September 9:
NorCal hosting Seattle, 1 PM, in Chico

Saturday, September 15:
Sacramento Lions Tens tournament, with women’s teams playing either tens or sevens. Two refs so far. Need another six or eight.

Saturday, September 29:
St. Mary’s Sevens – need four or five refs
SF Fog hosting Emerald City Mudhens

Sunday, Sept. 30:
NorCal hosting Mudhens in Santa Rosa


REO Preston Gordon has announced that our first meeting for the 2012/13 seasons will be on Saturday, November 17 at the SFGG clubhouse on Treasure Island.

Ed Todd will be a guest speaker, and the ever-popular Coaches’ Panel will also be featured.

Mark your calendars now, starting at either 9 or 10.


We will be hosting Level One match officiating courses at the following dates and places. Spread the word!

Sunday, October 7 in Dixon
Sunday, November 4, in Moraga
Sunday, December 2, in San Jose

Registration is available at www.USARugby.org, click on Officiate the Game.


August 18
THE LONE REFEREE: Chico Sevens Tournament
Report by Anthony Nguyen:

I had an excellent time at the tournament up in Chico. Here's how it went.

I was able to make it up to Chico for this relaxed tournament and was expecting no other referees except myself. I found that there were two other non-society referees who were able to relieve me when needed. The 94 degree weather made the relief much appreciated.

The games were scheduled to go from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. I unfortunately had to leave a bit early but was able to get many games in. A good number of teams were there, some from Bay area and some from Sacramento. The general tournament atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. All the teams wanted to enjoy themselves playing and have a nice day under the sun. I racked up some 6 games, some good, some ok. Apart from the fact that I was somewhat lacking in fitness, I felt I did a nice job.

When it was time for me to leave, every player from the hosting team was very gracious to me. Chico definitely gave great hospitality from the moment I got there to the time I had to leave. Will be hoping to return soon!

August 25

The Lazy 5 Regional Park was the site for the newly-moved-to-August Reno tournament, which has been a feature of the autumn calendar in the NCRFU in one guise or another for at least thirty years (with stops in Truckee and Gardnerville along the way).

Four men’s teams and five women’s competed on two pitches.

Referees were Rich Boyer, Bruce Carter, Rob Hammack from SoCal, Lee Salgado, Jen Tetler, Stephen Valerio and Giles Wilson.

September 1
SF Fog – NorCal Triple Threat Referee: Preston Gordon
No report received at press time.

Scottish Games in Pleasanton, with 3 one-hour games.

“I would like to send out a huge thank you to Jordan Bruno and Stephen Valerio for officiating three matches at our 4th Annual Scottish Scramble Rugbyfest at thePleasanton Scottish Highland games held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

“The teams included: SFGG Se├▒ors, Modesto Harlots, SF Fog, Diablo Gaels, the Ptown Ruggers, and many more players from various clubs. The matches were handled with good solid leadership, keeping control of the game at all times, and proving themselves experts in our sport! Great job gentlemen!

“Ken Burnthorn”


John Compaglia has announced a new set of procedures that clubs are to follow to demonstrate compliance with the various operational guidelines that keep our sport responsible, safe, and growing.

Note that the referee is involved in ascertaining that the clubs involved have the requisite materials.

In conjunction with the new NCRFU GU - Constitution and By Laws, the Union is establishing policies and procedures for member clubs. These will commence September 1, 2012 with the operation of all matches. Each club must display items a - d in a binder to the referee prior to the match.

If, a - c (USA Rugby mandated), d (NCRFU/NCRFRS mandated) is not provided to the referee or not complete, the club is to be reported by the referee to the NCRFU Disciplinary Committee, Harry Batten.

This is in compliance as mandated by USA Rugby requirements for referee and players safety. Match Safety Protocol is mandated by both NCRFURS and NCRFU.

Important, if a club is not current in dues, the Union will notify the Society not to assign a referee to the match.

A Club, not in good standing, delinquent dues after specified dates in Interim Match Policy 1.1f, will be considered a match forfeiture, points deduction and points awarded will be determined by the DC.

1.0 Interim Match Policy

1.1 Men's & Women's Clubs - Competitions

1.1a. A Club must have ( 5 days of match, a current USA Rugby CIPP Roster with 15 CIPP registered players and paid USA dues
1.1b. A Club must have a Designated Coach shown on USA Rugby CIPP Roster
1.1c. A Club must show a Certificate of Insurance for the match venue from USA Rugby Insurance carrier
1.1d. A Club must show Signed Match Safety Protocol
1.1e. A Club must have a Signed Game Management
1.1f. A Club must pay NCRFU dues by September 14, if Women's Club and December 31, 2012, if Men's Club.
1.1g. A Club is ineligible to compete in an NCRFU competition or request referee services, if dues not paid in full.
1.1h. A Club is ineligible to compete, if it has not paid NCRFURS dues.


Here’s something that may be of interest to our HP audience from Preston Gordon

I've been watching some of the early season games in the European professional competitions, partly to get a look at how the new 3-part scrum engagement commands are working. Here's an interesting note I found: in one of the Top 14's second round games last weekend, Castres-Grenoble, there were 46 penalties awarded. That's a record for the French season, and it sounds like the game was pretty ugly, with 2 penalty tries and 5 yellow cards (2 of those actually went to the same player, turning into a red). An article is here: http://bit.ly/PnqJiR

The penalty counts in that league's first two rounds seem to be higher than usual, but from the games I've seen, the referees aren't looking for penalty offenses at the scrums any more than they used to be. The 3-part engagement ("Flexion-Toucher-Jeu" in French) works just fine, and the front rows are not left waiting an excessively long time to come together. Crouch-Touch-Set ought to be no problem; we'll find out this weekend with the start of the English Premiership season.

However, the French broke another record by issuing 22 yellow cards in their competition's second round of 7 games - http://bit.ly/OpRO7D - let's hope that this trend is just a result of early-season adjustments.


You will have seen that the French use the word for ‘play’ as the call to engage. They don’t say ‘s'├ętablir’ or ‘attendez’ or anything as counterintuitive as ‘set’.

It’s not that long ago that we were all saying: crouch-touch-engage. It’s what the players want to hear.

At the Reno tournament, my first experience with the new cadence, I found it easy to say, and the players of course engaged at the first audible anything that came out of my mouth.

But watching other refs do games it seemed ridiculous: ‘Why are they saying set?’

If the players are going to engage at the next word after ‘touch’, why can’t that word be ‘engage’?

Oh, well. In tennis love means nothing. In rugby, ‘set’ means ‘don’t stay set’.


Ron Myers forwards this link of New Zealand soldiers honoring a fallen comrade:

Your editor believes most rugby people think of the Haka as having specifically to do with rugby, only because that's the context they first saw it in, but of course it's a much bigger cultural ritual.

When I was peace-keeping in Egypt the out-going New Zealand contingent welcomed their replacements on the tarmac with a Haka. I asked one of the guys whether they had to practice it - he said no, not really, they learnt it as schoolboys.

I saw the second-funniest Haka I've ever seen last Saturday. (The first was a 'gay haka' done by the Hoodz, a SoCal touch team that was dressed as the characters from the Village People.)

The Highwaymen were at the Reno tournament. (The highway in question is I5.) They had about thirty guys, most wearing kilts (no underwear) and face paint.

Before their first game they had a haka - a Polynesian fellow took the lead, the rest arrayed behind in the usual fashion.

He would say something threatening in what sounded like Maori, and then the chorus would repeat it. It slowly became clear that it was gobbledy-gook: he began slobbering and stuttering and looking like Joe Cocker in full cry.

They would all slobber and stutter and spazz out behind him.

They then all put their hands on their hips and started gyrating as the leader sang out:

"Da le a tu cuerpo alegria Macarena..."


Lee Salgado, Rich Boyer, Stephen Valerio and Jen Tetler enjoy the day at the Lazy 5 in Sparks, Nevada.


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