START REFEREEING NOW

HAIL, PELICUS!

PROMOTION

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.

LOOK FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENTS

The schedule and those assigned to games are posted on www.Pelicanrefs.com.

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.

REFS NEEDED – STARTING NOW

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.

CIPP REGISTRATION DUE FOR 2013-14 SEASONS

Go to USARugby.org 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.

www.USARugby.org

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

YOUTH OVER DECEIT

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?]

WOMEN’S SLUGFEST
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.

LEVEL ONE REFEREE COURSES

Saturday, November 2, in Danville

Saturday, December 7, at Bellarmine in San Jose

Saturday, January 11, in Dixon

You can find details on www.Pelicanrefs.com, or www.NCYRugby.org, or on www.USARugby.org, where you can sign up for a course.

HAIL, PELICUS!

For the Senate

Pelicus Scriptoris

WINDING UP AND WINDING DOWN

HAIL, PELICUS!

REFEREE PROCEDURES

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: me@PetesWeb.com

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

WANNA REF?

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
SMC #1 CAL #2 CAL POLY #3 SDSU #4

We appreciate your assistance in forwarding the Web Cast details.

The URL is: www.youtube.com/RUGBYMagazine1

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

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

HAIL PELICUS NO LONGER A WEEKLY

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.

CIPP REGISTRATION OPEN

For a graduate-level challenge, go to USARugby.org 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.

www.USARugby.org
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

VIRGINIA STOPOVER

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!

WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE

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.

LEVEL ONE REFEREE COURSES

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

You can find details on www.Pelicanrefs.com, or www.NCYRugby.org, or on www.USARugby.org, where you can sign up for a course.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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

HAIL, PELICUS!

For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

HAIL, PELICUS!

LONG TIME NO E

We’ve been in a long summer recess here at the HP editorial chambers, but our enthusiasm for rugby is never long buried.

We’ve been watching lots of games through the magic of Youtube – you can see essentially any game a day or so after it is played, just by searching for it. No satellite dish or cable needed, just an Internet connection or wi-fi enabled phone.

CIPP REGISTRATION OPEN AND WILLING TO TAKE ON ALL COMERS

For a graduate-level challenge, go to USARugby.org 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.

After you’ve spent an hour or so and have your head in your hands, try this:

www.USARugby.org
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

LEVEL ONE REFEREE COURSES

Sunday, October 6, California Maritime Academy in Vallejo
Saturday, November 2, in Danville
Saturday, December 7, at Bellarmine in San Jose
Saturday, January 11, in Dixon

You can find details on www.Pelicanrefs.com, or www.NCYRugby.org, or on www.USARugby.org, where you can sign up for a course.

It is best to register in advance. There is some pre-course work that you can do which will enhance your learning and make it a more profitable experience.

SOCIETY AGM AND TRAINING MEETING NOVEMBER 16

Our first society meeting of the 2014 season will be on Saturday, November 16. This will also double as the Annual General Meeting and election of officers, with a five-member board of directors to be selected by the membership.

We ask teams not to request referees on this day, and we ask our referees to set the day aside. We’ll offer beep testing in the morning for all interested referees, probably at 8 or 9 AM, with the meeting to follow and lasting until the mid-afternoon.

Plan on spending the day at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island.

WANT TO REF?

Rugby games are beginning to appear. The women are in-season, the colleges are in sevens-season, and the rest of the rugby world is awakening from its slumber.

Tournaments are popping up like mushrooms. We have two on October 12, for example (both Sevens), and we are sure that others will appear and mostly fifteens.

Please let Pete Smith know your availability over the next few months by sending him those weekends on which you could chase rugby players around with a whistle. me@PetesWeb.com

PAST TWO MONTHS

There was a lot of rugby played in NorCal since last we spoke. A particularly tough weekend was July 13, when there were two tournaments in Sacramento, one in Dunsmuir, and one in Palo Alto.

Lots of blowers were out of town. We did manage to cover three of the four, but poor Bruce Ricard had a baptism by fire: one ref with a bad knee and 36 games were played.

PALO ALTO SEVENS – July 13
Report by Bruce Ricard:

“I arrived to the pitch around 11am, I was the first referee to be there. Fewer players and less of a crowd than usually. There wasn’t a single high school team. I was planning on doing one women’s game and leaving, since my knee is injured and I can’t really run. But I did the two last women’s games of the day, and after a little break the three or four first men’s game, before my knee started to swell and I had to stop. I didn’t see any other ref until I left. Thanks to the players who took a whistle (I’m not even sure all of them could have one), and allowed the other teams to play rugby. My apologies to the players for sometimes being far from the play, and having probably missed some calls because of that.”

This is the day that one of Scriptoris’ axioms was proven: all games have a ref. We might not know who that ref was, but if they played somebody reffed.

We are grateful to these anonymous volunteers and hope that they enjoyed it.

We redeemed ourselves two weeks later when eleven referees were on hand in Palo Alto for the last rites of summer. Your scribe had lost twenty pounds since his dismal performance chasing rugby players at the end of June and wasn’t displeased with his four games on the day.

There were a series of youth tournaments as well:

DIXON YOUTH SEVENS – July 28
Report by Sam Reagle:

“Bunny emailed me last week and asked that I cover for him as referee scheduler since he would be unable to attend the final installment of the NorCal Youth Rugby Association tournament,

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which has been held every other weekend this summer in Dixon.

“This is a big tournament with 54 teams and 5 pitches. Each pitch is booked solid from 9am to at least 3pm with 3 games an hour with a hooter announcing start and end times.

“Jon Straka was the first referee to arrive followed shortly thereafter by Bob McCarty, Rich Boyer, Eric Rauscher, Favor Taueva and Mark Godfrey. That was what we needed to assign the first 2 rounds of games. Since one of the pitches was 1/4 mile away and had only varsity matches, Rich and Eric were asked to go there and stay until lunch.

“Somewhere during the second game, Anthony Nguyen, Kevin Kenny, Eugene Baker, Jeff and Zane Jury and Mike King arrived and were added to the rotation. Terry Gasciogne and Paul Bretz were there coaching and also agreed to do some games.

“In all, we had 15 referees for 90 games. Unfortunately, I was unable to keep track of who won each of the 6 divisions. One score I am sure of is that Jesuit defeated Peninsula Green 28-5 in the Varsity Gold division. Hopefully, the other referees will submit reports.”

Report by Eric Rauscher:
Five pitches, games from 9am to 2ish, then playoffs and finals. One pitch was mini sized for the true youth, the rest were full sized and lined and flagged.

Many levels were included, from U10 to U23. The bulk of it was Gold and Silver High school Varsity and JV, both boys and girls.

If you ever feel like you don’t get enough games to ref at a club tourney, show up to one of these events. I did five pool play games and two playoff games.

The level and speed of the play is amazing. If this continues on, USA Rugby could be a powerhouse on the world stage.

A couple of vignettes. I was speaking to a father of a player for Sierra. He said his son also played football, but last year the football coach said that he had to decide between football and rugby, so he and three of his friends said fine, no football.

I also watched an eight (?) year old kid walk up to his father displaying the blue ribbon that he and his team had just won in a final. It wasn’t too long ago that eight year olds didn’t play rugby let alone win championships.

Exciting things are happening at the U19 and under in Northern California. The future looks bright.

CHICO SEVENS – August 17
Report by Sam Reagle:

“On Saturday, Jim Crenshaw, Scott Wood, Rich Boyer and I buzzed up to Chico for a day of 7’s rugby. There were

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15 games on one pitch with teams from Chico & Sacramento honing their skills. Normally, 4 refs on one pitch is an easy day, but when our rankest referee politely asked if we would run teams of three all day, we jumped at the chance. The ref tent only ever had one person in it, so 15 minutes seemed like an eternity to wait before your next assignment.

“The games were fast and played in good spirit with no cards issued all day. We finished without goal posts after the second one was leveled during an exciting try.

“When it ended, we slid over to The Bear for food, beverages and camaraderie.”

HAIL AND FAREWELL

Sam re-joined us for a few months, as he and Teresa had second thoughts about retirement in Texas. But second thoughts about what used to be the Golden State are driving them back to the former Republic. Thanks again, old friend.

TRI-TIP SEVENS
Report by James Hinkin:

Tri Tip 7s
San Luis Obispo
Nor Cal Referees: James Hinkin, Pete Smith, Tim “Love Pink” Lew, Tom Zanarini So Cal Referees: Yes

I have been going to the Tri Tip 7s in San Luis Obispo nearly every year since 1995 and it keeps getting better and better. I remember years when they had trouble filling out brackets and had to use SLO Men and/or Cal Poly 3rd sides to balance them out. Today? Registration was closed a couple of weeks before the tournament because they filled up. 32 mens teams and 8 womens teams competed for honor, cow and beer.

The eponymous world class tri tip never disappoints and for a “social” tournament the standard of play is quite high, with your usual outliers. The organization is impeccable, doing what is nearly impossible in American rugby – learning and improving every year – and the fields were fantastic. Nice, green, well-mowed grass with actual posts and clearly marked with 3 inch wide rugby lines. None of this tape-some-pvc-pipe to soccer goals and thin spray-can-over-soccer-lines nonsense – these looked professionally done. In fact, there was no sign that soccer was ever played on these fields as all empirical evidence pointed towards the oval ball.

Since the lines were so clearly marked and were all present, this gave me the opportunity to call “not 5” on quick lineouts twice. The players probably didn’t appreciate that as much, though.

I drove down with Pete Smith early Saturday morning and we arrived with the first round of play already going. I immediately jumped into the mix taking on of Tommy Z’s games he generously offered while the referee schedule was updated to include us newcomers (and this happened every time a ref showed – we don’t all live in SLO). The temps were climbing so warming up was not a problem and the society stalwarts definitely earned their tri tip and beer. With games just about every hour the rotation was perfect. At the end of the day Pelican Timmy Lew took the whistle for the final.

During my second match I had the following conversation with a player at the half.

Player: What was that last penalty for?
Me: You lost your feet at the ruck.
Player: What does that mean?
Me: Has your coach ever talked about planes taking off and planes landing at rucks?
Player: Yes.
Me: Well, you approached that ruck like a Korean airliner.

There were teams that won and teams that lost. The cup winner wasn’t Los Gatos so who cares? The tri tip was fantastic, the beer tent never ran dry and the pub crawl inspired me to (unsuccessfully) relive my 20s. Many thanks go to SLO Rugby for putting the referees up in hotels. This is one of the best tournaments in the US and a perfect end to the 7s season. I only screwed up the new engagement twice so I’m ready for 15s.

NEW KIT DEBUTS
From Tom Zanarini:

The 2013 jerseys are here. Society members who have refereed 5 matches assigned by the NCRRS in the past year (NCYRA matches don’t count as they handle their own assignments ), then you are entitled to 1 (one) referee jersey. This year’s jerseys are 100% polyester, similar design to the USA Rugby Referee kit with one huge exception; ours are reversible! Gold on one side, white on the other. My last attempt to get us two colors in the same year nearly broke the bank, so a little ingenuity from Canterbury will help us look good and save cash.

Please send me an email with your size: t_zanarini@yahoo.com

I can only mail jerseys to the most geographically remote referees, so please make an effort to be at tournaments and meetings. I will be at the 3 sevens qualifiers this summer and will try to make arraignments to get jerseys down to Palo Alto, if possible.

White NCRRS shorts (Canterbury Professional model, same as our navy with pockets) are also on the way. I only ordered 20 pair as the demand wasn’t that great. I also still have some navy shorts left over. Socks are still available for those that need them. Shorts are $30, socks are $10, or a combo pack for $40 if you need both 😉

PREPPING FOR NEW SCRUM ENGAGEMENT

Here is a series of clips from the IRB to illustrate the new scrum process.
http://www.irblaws.com/crouchbindset

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Our new reversible kit is modeled by Tom Zanarini and Pete Smith, who are wearing the same jumper. It’s not the recommended look: they both seem to have lost the matching socks.

HAIL, PELICUS!

For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

SI VIEILLESSE POUVAIT

HAIL, PELICUS!

PALO ALTO SUMMER SEVENS
Report by Neil MacDonald:

A blazingly hot day in Palo Alto saw the start of this year’s Palo Alto Sevens series. Hydration, sunscreen, and finding the best available shade were the order of the day. The heat was brutal, but the rugby and the camaraderie of the valiant band of refs under Bryant’s leadership made up for it.

It was a day of firsts for me: first time I’ve had to hop from one foot to the other while waiting for a conversion kick to be taken because my feet were burning; first time I’ve had to pour water over my head at half time; first time I’ve had to pour water into my boots between matches; first time I’ve ever heard of a naked try scored…

SFGG Women 10 – SAN JOSE 19
San Jose opened the scoring in the first minute, before Golden Gate, in their first season, scored the next two for a 10-5 lead at half time. The second half was all San Jose, with pace to burn on the outside, and two tries with – that rarity in the women’s matches today – successful conversions. Whichever team finds or develops a consistent kicker stands to have a huge advantage over their opponents.

MARIN 29 – Monterey 12
Monterey opened the scoring in the first minute, but a strong Marin side scored twice for a 12-5 half time lead. Marin ran in three more in the second half to take a 29-5 lead against a valiant but outmatched Monterey team, who never gave up, and pulled back a converted try in the dying seconds.

SFGG 21 – College Park I 14
Golden Gate’s two converted scores took them out to a 14-0 lead at half time. College Park I came out strongly after the break, and closed it to 14-7, with the game hinging on the next score. Golden Gate got the try, pushing their lead out to 14 points with 2 minutes remaining. College Park came back hard with a converted try on full time, but it was too little too late and Golden Gate took the win.

EPA Bulldogs 14 – EPA RAZORBACKS III 19
As the mercury continued to climb in mid-afternoon, so did the intensity, with a hotly contested

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match between the East Palo Alto rivals. After pulling back a 7-0 Bulldogs lead to tie the game 7-7 at half time, the Razorbacks got their noses in front four minutes into the second half with the next score, and despite the Bulldogs’ best efforts, pulled ahead 19-7 with a minute left. The Bulldogs came blazing back to close the match with another converted try.

Marin 17 – BARACUS 19
Baracus were two scores up by mid-way through the first half, and looked set to pull away, but Marin came back with two of their own to trail 12-14 at half time, and added another early in the second to pull ahead into a 17-14 lead. Baracus scored the winning try with two minutes left and held on for the win, as their ref gratefully left the field to pour cold water over his head, chug a Gatorade, and stick his feet in a cooler of ice.

Report by Eric Rauscher:
Did I say it was HOT yet? It was hot. James Hinkin taught us a new trick of pouring water over your boots to cool down your feet.

It was HOT. The last time I remember my mouth drying out during a match was at the LVI. Anyway, the morning was the women’s games. There was supposed to be high school also but that never materialized. I heard rumors of a HS 7s tourney down in San Jose that same day, but only rumors. A couple of HS teams showed up so I reffed them between a gap in the women’s games.

The women’s teams that showed up (to my best recollection) were, Berkeley All Blues I, II, III, Seahawks, Stanford, Lady Razorbacks and SFGG (a first for the SFGG club). The teams played a simple round robin divided into two pools. I cannot remember who won. My guess would be All Blues.

Speaking

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of firsts, this was the first time I have been at a PA 7s and no Bruce Carter! Like an ice cream sundae with no whipped cream!

The afternoon had the men’s competition. Here are the teams I remember, Marin, Monterey, Baracus, Bulldogs, Razorbacks, SFGG, College Park, Sierra.

Once again two pools round robin, ……….. gosh a pool would have been nice ………., still no idea who won. Isn’t sevens about having fun?

The refs that showed up were, Bryant Byrnes (RIC), Bob Politico, Steve Valerio, Nome Tiatia, Neil MacDonald, James Hinkin, Sean Peters, Eric Rauscher, and John Pohlman. We did from 4 to 6 games each, some refs leaving around noon and some arriving around noon.

As was usually the case, the Pelicans were almost the last ones to leave the premises at the end of a fun but HOT day.

SI JEUNESSE SAVAIT, SI VIEILLESSE POUVAIT

If youth only knew: if age only could.
Henri Estienne (1470-1520)

Mention was made of your mostly-faithful reporter’s absence at the Palo Alto Summer Sevens.

I moved to California in 1980, because this is where the best rugby was played. I hadn’t ever seen Sevens played, and had a little trouble imagining the same game with far fewer players. The first game I played in the Promised Land was at Cubberley on Middlefield Drive, John Tyler presiding.

Sevens instantly became my favorite sport to play, and later to referee.

The Palo Alto tournament was played four times a year until about six years ago, when it went to three. I estimate that I’ve missed maybe eight out of the 125 iterations or so since 1980, four of those being excused absences due to military deployment to the Middle East.

Time wounds us all. I can’t run any more. Not run as in ten miles for pleasure after work, like I did for many years, but run as in up and down the pitch for fifteen minutes. I proved that to my own
satisfaction on the day of our banquet last month, trying to referee sevens.

This has been gradual, and thus it is harder to accept that the end has been reached. Two decades ago (Western Sevens in Denver, May, 1993, Aspen versus Denver to be exact), I was still the ref who outran the players.

But we have all played with that ref who wasn’t anywhere near the ball and blew important calls as a result. On Treasure Island that day, a player who probably scored a try gave me a look that told me I’m now that ref.

I love refereeing the game, but I love the game itself even more than that. My diary of games refereed, now more than 2600, will serve as my testament.

One more self-serving note, if I might, my proudest moment in this line of work:

I’d refereed a college final and made a bad call that denied the losing team one more possession and a chance to win. Honesty being the best policy, and especially so in a credibility-based line of avocation, I admitted it in these pages.

This is a letter I received in response:

“You refereed games of mine as a player in high school (College Park), a player in college (UC Davis) and as a coach of a college team (UC Davis). After reading your write up on pelicanrefs of the St. Mary’s v. Davis match, which I regretfully missed, I had to email you to thank you for your class. I have always appreciated you as a quality referee who I could always count on to run a good game. You do a sometimes thankless job and for you to give Davis the compliments you do and state that you made an error which you feel may have cost Davis a chance to win the game just reaffirms my belief that you are a very classy individual. It seems from reading your write up you feel fortunate to have refereed this game. You are not nearly as fortunate as the players and coaches of Northern California rugby to have you as a referee.”

And some people wonder why we do this.

GIRLS HS ALL-STAR FIFTEENS
Report by Sam Reagle:

The last weekend in June, Dixon hosted a girls HS rugby tournament. JV and Varsity select-side teams from NorCal, SoCal and Oregon battled in the heat to hone their skills and play for a championship. These were 15-a-side games lasting 45 minutes each. Sure, it was 110 degrees and 41% humidity (I checked), but none of the players complained.

Saturday 1pm
Varsity: Oregon Red Hawks 5 – SoCal Griffins 5
The Griffins scored an unconverted try in the left corner just 2 minutes into the game. Seven minutes later, Oregon answered back with a try between the posts, but missed the conversion when she caught her cleat in the grass. Who knew that the next 36 minutes of rugby would be sideline to sideline, up and down the pitch … and scoreless. There were so few stoppages that I was asked to allow a water break at scrums a couple of times to let them (and me) rehydrate.

Bunny (Dave Williamson) provided the tie-break rules:
1. Most tries
2. Least cards
3. Drop kick contest

From 15 meters out, the first girl from each team both missed and the second girl from each team both made their kicks. On the third round, SoCal missed her kick and Oregon made hers to earn the victory.

Saturday 3pm
Varsity: NORCAL PELICANS 43 – Oregon Red Hawks 17
During the hottest part of the day, these 2 teams played their hearts out. The tackling was very good, but the ball movement was even better. The NorCal varsity side was the cream of the tournament winning all 4 of their games. NorCal scored first with a converted try and again a few minutes later with an unconverted try. Oregon answered back with an unconverted try at the 10 minute mark only to have NorCal score 2 more tries before the half to lead 24-5 at intermission.

The second half was tighter with NorCal scoring first just 3 minutes in, followed by Oregon at 7, NorCal at 11, Oregon at 17 and finally, NorCal at full time. Fun game to referee except for the heat.

Sunday 12pm
Varsity: SOCAL GRIFFINS V 24 – Oregon Red Hawks 7
Separately, I’ve seen that both of these teams can score, but when they play each other, defense is the order of the day. The only score of the entire first half was by the Griffins with a converted try to end the first half.

Then, 5 minutes into the second half, Oregon powered over a converted try to tie it up. Though memories

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of their previous drop-kick contest haunted me, the last 10 minutes belonged to SoCal as they scored down the left side with tries at 11, 15 and 18 minutes.

Rod and Karen Chance hosted the awards ceremony where they recognized the tournament MVP and every player nominated by the opposing team. This was a fun tournament played in the spirit of rugby.

NEW KIT COMING?
From Tom Zanarini:
The 2013 jerseys are nearly here. Society members who have refereed 5 matches assigned by the NCRRS in the past year (NCYRA matches don’t count as they handle their own assignments ), then you are entitled to 1 (one) referee jersey. This year’s jerseys are 100% polyester, similar design to the USA Rugby Referee kit with one huge exception; ours are reversible! Gold on one side, white on the other. My last attempt to get us two colors in the same year nearly broke the bank, so a little ingenuity from Canterbury will help us look good and save cash.

Please send me an email with your size: t_zanarini@yahoo.com

I can only mail jerseys to the most geographically remote referees, so please make an effort to be at tournaments and meetings. I will be at the 3 sevens qualifiers this summer and will try to make arraignments to get jerseys down to Palo Alto, if possible.

White NCRRS shorts (Canterbury Professional model, same as our navy with pockets) are also on the way. I only ordered 20 pair as the demand wasn’t that great. I also still have some navy shorts left over. Socks are still available for those that need them. Shorts are $30, socks are $10, or a combo pack for $40 if you need both 😉

SIGN UP NOW
July 13 Sac Lions – men and women – qualifier
Palo Alto – two pitches, all day
Shasta Highlanders Sevens in McCloud (plus old boys fifteens)

July 14 Youth in Dixon

July 21 Youth at SFGG

July 27 Palo Alto – two pitches, all day

July 28 Youth in Dixon

Let Pete Smith know which adult events you can help out at. Dave Williamson handles refs for the youth tournaments.

PREPPING FOR NEW SCRUM ENGAGEMENT

Here is a series of clips from the IRB to illustrate the new scrum process.

http://www.irblaws.com/crouchbindset

PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Joe Leisek and his family were seeing the sights of Bodega Bay, and were welcomed to the Spud Point Crab Company by this handsome fellow.

HAIL, PELICUS!

For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

STILL ABOVE GROUND

HAIL, PELICUS!

SOCIETY BANQUET

Fifty-six Pelicans and guests attended our annual banquet at Scott’s Seafood in Walnut Creek, and that doesn’t count Bjorn Stumer who did all the work of organizing and then had to be out of town. Many thanks go to Bjorn for arranging such an enjoyable evening.

This may the most we’ve had a dinner that didn’t include

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a large contingent of visiting referees, and it was a satisfying end to the never-ending rugby season.

This is an awards banquet. Miscellaneous awards were presented by David Williamson, Aruna Ranaweera recognized Paul Bretz for his long service to the National Panel of USA Rugby referees, and Pete Smith handed out the Pelican awards.

It was good to see Bruce and Tina Bernstein, with Bruce having had some recent unpleasantness at a San Francisco hospital but back looking dapper, if thinner.

Your writer visited sometime-attendee John Tyler in the hospital that afternoon, and John sent his regards to the flock.

After dinner, dessert and coffee,

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the usual pattern has been for folks to head for the doors. But this night, an hour went by and most of the attendees were still circulating, sharing stories and lives, getting to know each other’s non-rugby selves a bit better.

No small number lodged for the night in nearby hotels, adding to the air of lassitude about taking one’s leave.

We are very lucky to referee with such a society, in an area with so much good rugby, with the support of our friends and loved ones.

THE 2013 PELICAN AWARDS

Rookie of the Year: Neil MacDonald
Most Improved: Bruce Ricard
Ambassador of the Society: Lee Bryant
Pelican of the Year: Giles Wilson
Scriptoris Award: Tony Levitan
TJ/AR of the Year: Rob Hendrickson
Bryan Porter Award: Bryant Byrnes

NEW REF IN TOWN

English referee Lee Johnson has recently moved to Sebastopol and will be joining the NCRRS, from the North Midlands society.

Lee worked games for us at Stanford and St. Mary’s a couple of seasons ago when he was visiting his in-laws, and now he’s moved across the pond.

Welcome!

EXCHANGE REPORT

Stephen Valerio reports from his trip to visit our good friends with the Eastern Rockies Society:

I had the pleasure of heading out to Colorado for the Tenth Annual Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union (ERRFU) Rocky Mountain Challenge. The Rocky Mountain Challenge is one of five regional tournaments in the United States where USA Rugby evaluates emerging players for its Elite High Performance Development System. Teams competed in U19, U17 and girls brackets. Many thanks to Joe Zevin for turning his house into a rugby ref dorm with refs and referee coaches from Minnesota, Texas, KC and a stray Pelican.

The tournament was played over 2 days on 4 pitches at the immaculate sports complex in Aurora. The pitches were flawless, properly sized with no overhanging trees with proper lines. A little shade wouldn’t have been bad in the middle of the day but I wasn’t complaining.

I opened and closed with 2 girls matches. Unfortunately, both were rather lopsided affairs (APEX [CO] 55-Texas 0 and Colorado 54-Texas 7), though all the teams played the match in good spirit.

In between I had a lopsided U17 match where Wisconsin pushed past Heart of America 50-7

Saturday closed with a heated U19 match where Oklahoma and Wisconsin faced off. Each side picked up yellows in the first half, but a late yellow against Oklahoma gave Wisconsin the breathing space to pull away to 24-7. Many thanks to the AR support in this match.

Saturday night the referees gathered for a nice dinner in a local Irish pub which I enjoyed greatly since I don’t get to enjoy a good shepherd’s pie as much as when I lived outside of NY City.

My first match on Sunday was a great U17 match between Wisconsin (in their great cow-patterned jerseys. I’m still not sure if they are white or black). Texas took the match 17-13. The strategic awareness of both sides was great as both teams switched back and forth from powerful pick-and-gos to swinging it out to the backs. A good match to get in before the heat kicked up.

As were approaching the end of the day a microburst hit. Not a lot of rain, but 15 minutes of intense win took out most of the tents and posts. A bit of delay ensued while the posts were re-set and then I got to AR the final between So Cal and Wisconsin. Wisconsin came back with 2 late tries to win 24-22. SoCal had a real strong side but 2 yellows hurt them in the end.

We closed out by retiring to the Frontier bar which has both kinds of music, Country and Western, before heading off to the airport. A great weekend of running rugby. Thanks to the Eastern Rockies Referee Society and Joe Z in particular for the invite and games.

NEW KIT COMING?

From Tom Zanarini:
The 2013 jerseys are nearly here. Society members who have refereed 5 matches assigned by the NCRRS in the past year (NCYRA matches don’t count as they handle their own assignments ), then

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you are entitled to 1 (one) referee jersey. This year’s jerseys are 100% polyester, similar design to the USA Rugby Referee kit with one huge exception; ours are reversible! Gold on one side, white on the other. My last attempt to get us two colors in the same year nearly broke the bank, so a little ingenuity from Canterbury will help us look good and save cash.

Please send me an email with your size: t_zanarini@yahoo.com

I can only mail jerseys to the most geographically remote referees, so please make an effort to be at tournaments and meetings. I will be at the 3 sevens qualifiers this summer and will try to make arraignments to get jerseys down to Palo Alto, if possible.

White NCRRS shorts (Canterbury Professional model, same as our navy with pockets) are also on the way. I only ordered 20 pair as the demand wasn’t that great. I also still have some navy shorts left over. Socks are still available for those that need them. Shorts are $30, socks are $10, or a combo pack for $40 if you need both 😉

NCRRS CONTINUES TO LEAD

From Paul Bretz:
Wonder if you could do some advertising for a program that Matt Eason and I have created. We have created a referee coaching development site that is geared toward referee and referee coaching development. The premise is simple: Review videos of referee performance from the perspective of a referee coach. Each week there will be a new video to review, observe and document performance, and comment on the how best to develop the referee. The target audience is referee coaches. In coming weeks we will have more classes soon and we are in the process of developing a best practices class which will provide referees coaches with forms, coaching resources etc.

Access is simple: go to http://rugbyrefsworld.com

DIXON YOUTH SEVENS

Report by Giles Wilson:
Not having refereed sevens in a while and having had some time on my hands, why not go up to Dixon to spend a day with youth sevens? I picked the right day, overcast all day, warm but not hot.

I ended up helping with the U10 and U12 games, for which facilitate is probably a better word than referee. Not having had any experience with these games, my first was not quite what I expected – I’ve never worked with “uncontested lineouts” before. There were players who seemed to be 6 or younger – and they competed well, both ball in hand as well as in defense.

It is great to watch the look of joy on these boys and girls faces as they made a break and the determination to make a tackle on a bigger player when on defense. Priceless and if you haven’t volunteered for one of these events, it will remind you why we all started to play this game.

I ended up refereeing players from Santa Clara Youth, Seahawks Youth, Raptors (Concord area), Pleasanton, Danville and Bowling Green (as well as combination teams). All of the teams had a mixture of levels while Bowling Green had players from 6 to 16 who all wanted to play as much as possible and seemed to prefer “playing up” against bigger opponents – many of whom they defeated with room to spare. They displayed selflessness in offense and defense, timing and spacing – hopefully their home life will allow them to develop.

My last game was West Lin Girls on tour from Oregon against Dixon; the former were obviously having a great summer tour while the Dixon girls had skill, size and pace. One player demonstrated an incredible sidestep, at pace which West Lin couldn’t touch – reminiscent of Gerald Davis; a 90 degree change of direction at 90 miles an hour. Dixon scored almost at will but couldn’t keep a clean sheet, final 37 – 7.

Overall a well-organized event, a number of referees, run on four fields plus an undersized field for the U10/12 – youth rugby has come a long way and seems to be going places. Now we just need to keep these players “in the game” into their adult years.

FATHER’S DAY PASSING

Steve Waldo died on June 16. Steve was a four-time mayor of Brisbane, one of the founding members of the Hastings RFC, and he was one of the fourteen referees that the Rhinos produced. (Not bad for a team known primarily for singing.)

Steve played and refereed in the seventies, one of the golden ages of NorCal rugby.

A friend and former teammate urged us to remember his intelligence and kindness. A friend to all, a father of four, he passed away on Father’s Day, dying peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.

We all get to live, and we all have to die. Leave it to a rugger to show us how to do it best.

SIGN UP NOW

June 29 Palo Alto sevens – two pitches, all day
SFGG sevens – men and women – qualifier

July 6 Olympic Club – men and women – qualifier

July 13 Sac Lions – men and women – qualifier
Palo Alto – two pitches, all day
Shasta Highlanders Sevens in McCloud (plus old boys fifteens)

July 14 Youth in Dixon

July 21 Youth at SFGG

July 27 Palo Alto – two pitches, all day

July 28 Youth in Dixon

August 10 Beach sevens in Monterey

Let Pete Smith know which adult events you can help out at. Dave Williamson handles refs for the youth tournaments.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Our Most Improved Referee struts his stuff.

HAIL, PELICUS!

For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris