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Delinquent NCRRS Dues

The following is copied from an email sent to known club contacts:

This email is going to the clubs listed on the Northern California Rugby Referee Society delinquent dues list as of today, Tuesday, 1/7/14. A copy is being sent to the NCRFU Executive Council, the NCRRS President, the NCRRS Scheduler and the collector of NCRRS dues.

As was mentioned in my email yesterday, all clubs must be financially compliant with both NCRFU and NCRRS by tomorrow, Wednesday, 1/8/14. “All clubs must have paid their $345 dues by this Wednesday or there will be no matches for those clubs. Additionally, all clubs must make arrangements and have made a payment to the NCRRS by Wednesday. Non payment of NCRRS dues means NO referee and a forfeit by the club or clubs.”

The clubs listed below are out of compliance with the Northern California Rugby Referee Society for either 2013, 2014 or both. In agreement with NCRRS, NCRFU and USA Rugby, if a clubs compliance is not met by the end of business tomorrow, Wednesday, 1/8/14, the clubs will not be assigned a referee for this weekends game, nor any future game until compliant.

To ensure compliance, you must contact Jim Crenshaw of the NCRRS. Please contact him to discuss how to become immediately compliant.

Phone: 530-867-0599

If there is an “X” under a year, you are out of compliance for that specific year.

Club Name 2013 2014

Baracus X
Chico Mighty Oaks X X
Colusa County X
EPA Bulldogs X
Humboldt Old Growth X X
Marin Red X
Mendocino X
Modesto/ Stanislaus X
Monterey Bay X X
Sacramento Blackhawks X
Sacramento Capitals X
SF Fog X
Santa Rosa X
Sierra Foothills X
South Valley X X
State of Jefferson X
South Valley X X
State of Jefferson X
Vacaville Old Dogs X X
Vallejo X

Norcal Triple Threat X X
Sacramento Amazons

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SF Fog X X
West Bay Angels X X

Dan Wilson
Treasurer, NCRFU

NCRRS Development Portal

The Northern California Rugby Referees Society has long been known to provide the best referee training in the United States. In that tradition we have created a new development Portal which provides online instruction on rugby law and best practices.
All referees affiliated with NCRRS or NCRYA are asked to go to the following site:, click the link “NCRFU Referee Development Portal” and create a new user account. Once your account is created you’ll be asked to provide an enrollment key. The key to access the portal, AKA class, is pelicansrule  (note all one word).
All NCRRS members desiring to receive coaching and evaluations will need to create an account, access the site, and take the law exams posted on the site. The focus of the quizzes is law knowledge and development, not assessment and mastery. Each quiz is roughly 10 questions and is focused on one specific law. Referees not happy with their score can retake the quiz. Each quiz has access to the law book to review prior to taking the test. The questions developed come from the New Zealand Level 2 yearly exams.
Periodically scores will be reviewed. The results of the quizzes will be used to determine referee society meeting agendas.
Currently the site will only be hosting law quizzes. Plans are in place to use this site as a means to provide online referee development for referees that are unable to attend the society meetings.
This portal is an excellent opportunity for developing referees to become more knowledgeable about rugby law and best practices. NCRYA referees not involved with Pelican Refs are invited and encouraged to participate.
Feel free to contact Paul Bretz ( if you have any questions,




The NCRRS Annual General

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Meeting will be held at the Golden Gate clubhouse this Saturday, beginning at 10 AM and lasting probably until 3 PM.

The ‘beep test’ will be offered at 9 AM for those who would like to see where they fall on the fitness curve. This is a requirement if you hope to make the B panel (or above).

Morning refreshments will be available at 9:30. Plan to arrive then, and if there are traffic delays you’ll still be on time.

This is also a year for elections. Every other year we elect a five-member Board of Directors, who in turn select the president of the society.

The incumbent president is standing down after 14 years, so there is a seat open for those who might be interested in helping to further the best referee society around.

Our Society has had only four presidents in almost forty years. We’ve been blessed with hard-working volunteers. Now is the time to step up if you’d like to give back to rugby and refereeing in this way.


If in doubt, sit it out – that’s the latest advice from the IRB medical folks.


Pete Smith tries to assign our matches, but he needs the raw materials to do so.

As an example, go to and click on Assignments. For November 23 you’ll see a need for about 15 refs and only four listed as available. We don’t query each potential referee about each weekend: there are several score referees that would need to be asked.

Consider this your query: can you referee November 23, and 30, and December 7 and 14? If you can, let Pete know: me

Then, come December, start thinking about January.


Stanford hosted two Sevens tournaments this past Saturday, national qualifiers for women’s and men’s teams, the men’s event doubling as a conference championship. There were eight teams in each tournament, with 40 games in toto.

Cal won the women’s qualifier, their second such victory, over Stanford. The automatic bid then falls to Stanford.

San Jose State won the men’s Pacific Western 7s Championship. They will also be making the trip with the Cal and Stanford women and the St. Mary’s men to the national finals in North Carolina November 23-24.

We had a dozen Pelicanrefs on hand at one point or another during the course of the day, all privileged to work with good teams and players at a well-organized event.

As a bonus, as the final game ended the Eagles were leading the New Zealand Maori at halftime, live on the bigscreen in the clubhouse. It was as close to a famous victory as the Eagles have come since they almost beat Fiji in a world cup way back when – 2003?


D3 Pre-season friendly

SF FOG 34 – Mendocino 10 Referee: Preston Gordon

30 minutes of tens following that

USF 80 – SF Fog 0 Ref: Gordon


The Modesto Harlots hosted a round-robin of games at a lovely venue in Ripon on November 2. The centerpiece was a veterans game featuring several generations of Harlots filling out both teams.

Life West was the dominant team on the day, the chiropractic school in Hayward being well-organized and well-coached by Dr. Tez Molloy.

One team that was expected scrubbed at the last minute. Bits and pieces of other teams appeared.

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Jerseys were mixed and matched and rugby proceeded apace.

Glimpses of the other world were seen that day, the day after All Saints Day. As a result, it is believed that the Harlot spirit remains abroad in the rugby world, and that a re-animated Harlot Fest will once again bestride the Earth next year.


Go to and renew your CIPP membership for 2014. You’ll need to print out the liability waiver to send to our treasurer, Jim Crenshaw, when you send in your $10 annual Society dues, even though it doesn’t give you an apparent print option.

Click REGISTER which is over to the right, near the top.

Click on Unions

Scroll down and click on Former Pacific Coast Union

Click on Northern California

Scroll down to

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Northern California Rugby Referee Society and click on REGISTER.

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


Saturday, December 7, at Bellarmine in San Jose

Saturday, January 11, in Dixon

You can find details on, or, or on, where you can sign up for a course.


Blast from the past: Donal Walsh in his salad days. Anyone recognize any of the players, or even which team?

Thanks to Matt Eason for trolling Facebook to procure this picture.


For the Senate

Pelicus Scriptoris




Neil MacDonald not only enjoyed his trip to Virginia, as detailed here in our previous edition, but he did well enough to earn promotion to C1 in front of a national evaluator.

If you’re thirsty, this would be a good week to run into Neil.


The schedule and those assigned to games are posted on

Click on Schedule across the top, then go to the various dates on the tabs.

If you’ve told Pete you’re available, your name is almost certainly there.


This weekend, October 26-27, finds us with three tournaments and at least one ‘regular’ game to cover, work for about 25-30 refs and assistant refs in all.

And of course, there are not that many referees who have let Pete Smith know that they are available. It’s a volunteer organization and you need to volunteer for particular weekends – Pete cannot write to people individually to see whether they can help out. There are about 70 refs who are sometimes available in NorCal – that’s a

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lot of special attention needed to find out who is ready to run.

So: send an e-mail to Me listing the weekends that you’re available for the next month or so, and remember to update it every few weeks.

ESPECIALLY in you are a new referee! This is the time of year to get started. Don’t be shy. You’ll be paired with someone who can give you advice, feedback, and confidence. Come January, that’s not nearly as easy to arrange.


Go to and renew your CIPP membership for 2014. You’ll need to print out the liability waiver to send to our treasurer, Jim Crenshaw, when you send in your $10 annual Society dues, even though it doesn’t give you an apparent print option.

Click REGISTER which is over to the right, near the top.

Click on Unions

Scroll down and click on Former Pacific Coast Union

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Click on Northern California

Scroll down to Northern California Rugby Referee Society and click on REGISTER.

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


UOP 48 – Alumni 32 Referee: Bryant Byrnes

Tied at 32 with 20 minutes left, but the kids have more gas in the tank.

[Editor’s Note: How ‘bout the referee?]

Report by Bruce Carter:

I arrived at the spectacular UC Santa Cruz pitches with my favorite AR (and grandson), having driven the last few miles behind a SEAHAWKS YOUTH RUGBY bumper sticker, obviously fellow Pelican Stephen Moore. The teams were warming up and doing complicated drills, compared to what rugby teams did back when I was playing in the Pleistocene Era.

We were met by New Ref Stephen Kenny, a student at Cal State –Monterey Bay, new to us as a result of

an injury. Those of us selfish graybeards who watch a young referee like this hope such injuries don’t heal sufficiently to allow contact sports.

Later, we were joined by John Pohlman, whose in-laws were entertaining themselves while he absented himself to do a couple of games, spelling the rest of us who did four each.

I’ll have to look at my diary – I’ve been to this event many times and always enjoy it. A high percentage of the players are

brand new and as keen as that implies: blocking, bear-hugging the ball on the ground, tackling opponents while the ball is dead, etc.

But they all, uniformly, adapt quickly to the referee’s instructions and even apologize unnecessarily.

I told young Stephen, look, I know it’s your first game, but as far as most of the players are concerned, you’re Craig Joubert. Actually, they don’t know him either. You’re just the ref and they’ll react accordingly.

It’s a lot of fun to watch a new ref quickly get his sea-legs and then become part of the game, and then to watch how rapidly the sophistication of the questions that he poses increases.

My own games were very enjoyable, especially the final.

CHICO STATE 15 – UC Davis 7

AR: Ben Bravo

Mary Triantafyfllou has some athletes, some rugby players, and some who are both. This, the stronger of the two sides they had playing on the day, did not concede any points all

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day until nearing the end of the first half of this, their fourth game.

That was one to remember: a Davis player made what looked like a solo break, but the opponent who hauled her down from behind slowed things just enough that a would-be supporter became the key link when the being-tackled player threw the ball back over her head. The linking player passed in turn and they were between the posts, tied up at that point.

Chico State then took points from a dead-center penalty for a cushion and later scored an insurance try.

On the way home for us, the sun set on another Slugfest, emblematic also of the start of a new season’s worth of great NorCal rugby.


Saturday, November 2, in Danville

Saturday, December 7, at Bellarmine in San Jose

Saturday, January 11, in Dixon

You can find details on, or, or on, where you can sign up for a course.


For the Senate

Pelicus Scriptoris




This is the time of year when games are appearing here and there, small tournaments and whatnot, often on relatively short notice.

If you are contacted by a team and asked to referee them, forward the request to Pete Smith:

There are several reasons for this:

· Someone else may have contacted Pete, and there may already be a referee assigned. Shocker: teams don’t always work off of one page

· If you ‘assign’ yourself, your liability coverage is void. Assignments need to go through channels. There might be a referee about to go on an important exchange who needs the game. There might be a referee who needs this particular type of game to help with development

· One or both teams may not be in compliance with USA Rugby and the NCRFU. That might be the reason they’re calling you on the QT

· It is not good for a referee’s reputation to become known as one who steals games from the common pot


The schedule is becoming more heavily populated each weekend. If you want in on the action, let Pete know. Tell him which weekends you are available over the next month or two. He can’t read your mind, but he’d love to know you are available.

This weekend is a good example. We’re sending referees to three Sevens tournaments and an alumni game of fifteens. If you didn’t let Pete know you can run, then you’re probably not running.

In which case, watch:

We are pleased to announce The West Coast Collegiate 7’s will stream Semi-Finals and Finals on the Internet due to the Nationwide interest.

Pool # 1 Pool # 2 Pool # 3 Pool # 4
USD #12 Sac St #11 Oregon St #10 UCSB #9
Colorado St #8 UC Davis #7 Long Beach St #6 UCLA #5

We appreciate your assistance in forwarding the Web Cast details.

The URL is:

Start Time: 2 PM, This Saturday, October 12, 2013
Thank you for your consideration.

Andy Doukas
Central Coast Athletic Club
West Coast 7’s Rugby


I’ve been sending out mostly-weekly Hail Pelicus editions since March 2000. That’s a lot of birds.

It wasn’t my idea: Brian Gildea had been in the habit of collating the match results of a previous weekend and sending out a précis under the NorCal Notes rubric. He did this for several years on his own initiative, and when he moved to Boston there was an uproar for it to continue. So I began to do something similar in response.

It became my on-going love letter to NorCal rugby refereeing, and I have had many pleasurable hours composing it.

But, alas, hours are more precious to me now than they have been the past dozen years. And I can’t begin to pretend to devote the time necessary once the January seasons start and the 500 e-mail days resume.

Lucky for us all, technology has changed tremendously in the interval. I’m guessing – and hoping – that someone reading this can propose a relatively simple manner of having referees post scores with or without brief match reports for everyone who is interested to access them. And I’m confident this can be done without one person spending 15-20 hours out of Sunday-Monday-Tuesday to make it happen.

I will continue to chime in as my Muse moves me, but I am no longer requesting match reports and won’t be making any effort to cover the waterfront. So: HP no longer the e-mail of rugby record.


For a graduate-level challenge, go to and renew your CIPP membership for 2014. You’ll need to print out the liability waiver to send to our treasurer, Jim Crenshaw, when you send in your $10 annual Society dues, even though it doesn’t give you an apparent print option.
Click REGISTER which is over to the right, near the top.
Click on Unions
Scroll down and click on Former Pacific Coast Union
Click on Northern California
Scroll down to Northern California Rugby Referee Society and click on REGISTER.

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


Report by Neil MacDonald:
329 years ago, the first visitors to Virginia from the British Isles landed in Virginia. It took several expeditions before any level of success, or even survival, was achieved. Landing in Norfolk after a week-long road trip, I was hoping for a little more success on the first visit.

I was met by the eminently hospitable Jeff Anderson, who took me to my accommodations in the sumptuously decorated Founders Inn, set in beautifully landscaped grounds. After Jeff took me out for a wonderful steak dinner, I settled down for some rest ahead of my match on Saturday.

Refueled by the Founders Inn breakfast buffet, I met my evaluator Mark Koiwai, who the Virginia society had kindly flown down from DC when their own evaluator was indisposed. Jeff took us out for lunch en route to the match. The field in Lafayette Park was very well prepared and marked, and we arrived after a series of women’s matches had wrapped up, to find the teams warming up on the field.

The Match: NORFOLK BLUES 35 – Raleigh Vipers 3
Mid-Atlantic Conference D1
Referee: Neil MacDonald
AR: Jeff Anderson
TJ: Tom West
Evaluator: Mark Koiwai

Raleigh and Norfolk have a strong rivalry. I’m told recent matches between these sides have tended to be one-sided affairs with Norfolk winning by handsome margins. Norfolk was coming into this match off a loss to Schuylkill River the previous week (after being 14-3 up) with a 2-1 record in league play, while Raleigh, having crushed NOVA 67-5 the previous weekend, was sitting 1-2.

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Norfolk won the toss and opted to play into the wind in the first half. A penalty goal from right in front of the posts put Norfolk 3-0 up, early, after Raleigh infringed at the breakdown. The feisty Raleigh team set up camp in Norfolk’s half for much of the rest of the first half, and went through phase after phase, but the Norfolk defense held. A hotly contested 40 minutes of rugby finished with the teams separated by just 3 points.

Refreshments at half time clearly revitalized Norfolk, who came out hard with the wind at their backs in the second half. Forced into touch in goal in one corner (thanks Jeff for being right there to see it!), and held up in goal near the posts, Norfolk were coming really close without extending their lead, thwarted by stalwart Raleigh defense. Finally, Norfolk got their first try from a scrum right in front of the posts. A loose ball on halfway was scooped up and run 50m into the corner for a second score. 15-0 Norfolk.

Raleigh wasn’t lying down though, and came back with sustained pressure to score out wide and close the lead down to 10 points, with enough time to come back. From the kickoff, Norfolk knocked the ball back, and after a few phases spun it wide for a darting run through the midfield to score. Another Norfolk try followed quickly, taking the score to 29-5. Earning a penalty in front of Raleigh’s posts, Norfolk opted for the points. Raleigh rallied and pushed hard before their attack broke down with a kick going dead to end the match.

The final score belied the competitiveness of the contest and the intensity which Raleigh brought to the match. Thanks to both sides for a match played in good spirits. Thanks to Jeff and Tom for their help, and

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to Mark for making the trip down to watch my game.

Saturday night saw another wonderful meal with Jeff, this time at Rockafeller’s, a seafood restaurant overlooking a yacht harbor in an inlet in Virginia Beach. Calamari and shrimp, followed by crab-stuffed flounder washed down with great local beer, in Jeff and Beverley’s great company.

On Sunday, after a leisurely breakfast at the Inn, my gracious and attentive host Jeff took me for coffee and dropped me at the airport, very kindly with his copies of Paddy O’Brien’s and Andre Watson’s biographies in my bag.

We’ll look forward to taking very good care of visitors from Virginia to NorCal in the spring.

Thanks to Jeff for his wonderful hospitality, and to the Virginia society and the NCRRS for this great opportunity. If you have the chance to go on exchange to Virginia don’t hesitate. Just be prepared to put on a couple of pounds while you’re there!


BERKELEY ALL-BLUES 63 – San Diego Surfers 7 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: Jordan Bruno, Bruce Ricard
Performance Reviewer: Kat Todd
Sunny skies, but a wet field at St. Mary’s. In a match-up between the 2nd and 3rd placed teams in the WPL red division (the WPL consists of 2 divisions of 4 teams each), the home team dominated most phases of play especially in the 2nd half, collecting 11 tries on the day. Jordan and Bruce did a nice job as AR’s and Kat Todd provided helpful post-match feedback.


Saturday, November 2, in Danville
Saturday, December 7, at Bellarmine in San Jose
Saturday, January 11, in Dixon

You can find details on, or, or on, where you can sign up for a course.


Photo: (L-R): Tom West, Neil MacDonald and Jeff Anderson in Norfolk, Virginia, following Norfolk Blues v Raleigh Vipers


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris