Northern California Rugby Football Union Referee Society | ON-LINE AR UP FOR GRABS
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Neil MacDonald has earned promotion to C2. The timing is a bit odd, given that he worked the Pacific Coast playoffs last weekend, but it was felt that he was refereeing well enough, at the end of his first season, to do those playoffs despite his grade.


Boulder, CO – The USA Rugby Referee Department is excited to announce the advent of online Touch Judge & Assistant Referee courses! These courses will allow participants from all over the country to create a collaborative learning environment and become USA Rugby certified.

This is the perfect opportunity for parents, coaches, and players to get involved and to learn more about the game from the comfort of their own home!

Using instructor led discussion, video clips and other course materials participants in the Touch Judge courses will learn when the ball is in touch, Touch Judge signals, places of throw in, positioning and Seven-a-side variations. Participants in the Assistant Referee course will learn how to adjudicate foul play, signaling and reporting, positioning, and how to use communication systems. The courses will culminate with a brief quiz to validate the participant’s certification as a USA Rugby Touch Judge or Assistant Referee.

Courses will be offered monthly in order to fit your busy schedule! It will be given over consecutive evenings, the second Tuesday and the next day of every month at 5:00pm PDT. Each session will last approximately two hours and will be taught by an IRB certified Educator. The cost of the online Touch Judge courses will be $25, as will the Assistant Referee course. Please note that space is limited, so sign up early!

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Brittany Jacobs or Tim Cornelius.

Email: Brittany Jacobs – (303) 539-0300 x111


Tim Cornelius –
(303) 539-0300 x135


We’ll be gathering at Scott’s in Walnut Creek on Saturday, June 22, to celebrate the season gone by and for the presentation of the annual Pelican Awards. Drinks at six, dinner at seven. Free for society members, guests for an amount to be announced.


SF/Golden Gate will be hosting OPSB this Saturday at 3 PM in the Elite Cup semi-final. This should be a very good match, and as far as we know there isn’t any other rugby going on to compete with it for your attention and attendance.

SFGG in the Elite Cup
St. Mary’s in D1A
Santa Rosa in men’s D2
SFGG and Sierra Foothills in D3

ST. MARY’S 58 – Cal Poly 24 Referee: Tim Luscombe (USA)
ARs: Bruce Carter, Tom Wright
St. Mary’s will play Life College in North Carolina for the title on May 18.

Curtain Raiser:
Seconds: ST. MARY’S 53 – Cal Poly 50 Referee: Bruce Carter
AR: Tom Wright
It was hot this past weekend, mid-eighties in Moraga for our noon kickoff. Looking over the athletes warming up, I said to Tom, “This could easily be a hundred-point game. The offenses should be clicking this time of year, and the defense might not be as keen in a B-side match. Let’s just hope it’s close.”

Shoulda made book.

It was like refereeing eighty minutes of Sevens. Neither team ever had a lead of more than seven points. It was a ton of fun to referee

The Stanford women came in third, losing the semi-final on a last-play penalty to Norwich.

The California men came in second, losing on a last-play drop-goal to BYU. This was a very good game and you can find the entire thing on-line.

No NorCal teams are alive at this point, with both East Palo Alto teams having lost in SoCal and the Sac Lions having lost at home to OMBAC.

Snake River beat Santa Rosa for the D2 title. Both teams advance to the nationals.

SFGG beat Sierra Foothills for the D3 title. Both teams also advance.

D2 Semi-Final: SANTA ROSA 16 – Oregon RSU 13 Referee: Neil MacDonald ARs: Preston Gordon and Rich Anderson
Referee Coaches: Mike Malone and Mike King
On a scorching day by Treasure Island standards, Santa Rosa met Oregon Rugby Sports Union from Portland for a place in Sunday’s D2 Final. Santa Rosa were in their rose jerseys, and ORSU were in kit that appeared to have been inspired by an explosion in a Crayola factory, offering me a bewildering menu from which I eventually selected blue, the colour of most of the side with the number on it. In a match of physical committed rugby (three blood subs in first half alone), pacy backlines, and both teams willing to run straight and spin the ball wide, Santa Rosa’s penalty kick and converted try edged ORSU’s two penalty kicks at half time. Led by their battering ram captain whose eyes lit up every time he got the ball and had a chance to run over a defender, ORSU rammed in a try and converted it in the second half, but in the end it wasn’t enough to overcome Santa Rosa, who eked out the win by 3.

Credit to both teams for a fast and exciting game, and thanks to Preston and Rich for ARing. Always a treat to have colleagues watching your back and covering the touchlines, and very much appreciated. Thanks too to Mike and Mike for taking the time to watch and coach.

D3 3rd-4th playoff: CORVALIS 22 – Budd Bay 5 (Half time 7-5) – Ref: MacDonald ARs: Frank Merrill and Tony Levitan
Both teams had clearly restrained themselves on their Saturday night in the Bay Area, and despite a rumour of mixing teams and playing a friendly, they came to play rugby. Or at least 30 minute halves of rugby – perhaps there had been some beer imbibed the previous evening after all. A tightly contested first half saw the difference between the teams a single conversion – a great kick from out wide by Corvallis captain and #15. Late in the game, Corvallis racked up three unconverted tries to stretch their lead and put the game beyond Budd Bay’s reach, in a scoreline that belied the competitiveness of the game. Thanks to both teams for a fun match played in good spirits, and to Frank and Tony for their services on the touchline – which neither of them expected to be providing until about 15 minutes before kickoff!

Report by Eric Rauscher:
The NCIT this year was held again at the very nice Cherry Island Soccer Complex just north of Sacramento. The fields are all grass surrounded by grassy little raised areas with trees planted along the tops. Give the fans a place to sit in the shade and be able to get a great view of the games.

There were eight pitches used all Saturday and Sunday. The level of play at this event is noticeably superior to that of the KOT, the beginning of the season tourney, but is much smaller. At the last second I was asked to ref one of the first games on Saturday, but since we were handed 3×5 index cards listing the teams, the time and the field which doubled as a score card to be handed in (a great idea by the way for a tourney), I failed to separately note down the info about the game. If I tried to remember it, I would I am sure make a mistake so there we are. I likewise was asked to do a gem on Sunday at the last minute, but this time I transferred the info (Game report below). I spent the rest of the time doing ref coaching.

JV Gold: Danville Oaks 14 – GRANITE BAY 19 Referee: Eric Rauscher ARs: Ray Schwartz, Andrew Ngyuen, David Williamson and others. Thanks to all those that stepped in to fill in ARing during the game. We were under-staffed and did our best to cover championship games (of which this was one). Since I found out that I was doing this game about five min before, I did not have time to round up ARs, but people drifted over to fill in as they could.

The game itself was as they say “a cracker”. Both teams were skilled and fast and motivated. The play was fierce, but never spilled over into aggressive activity. This was the type of game I wish that both could have won, they both deserved it. Although it was a “JV” game, the skill level that the players displayed was astounding. This only bodes well for American Rugby. I have the feeling that most of the players on both sides have been with the clubs for a number of years in “youth rugby” before playing at the High School level and it shows. They don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what they should be doing, they just do it, and do it well. My congratulations to both sides for a game well played and a pleasure to ref.

Report by Jim Crenshaw:
Friday, Saturday and Sunday are rugby days!!
I had the pleasure of doing 4 matches over the weekend.

Friday evening was hot and muggy in Sacramento for the start of the Northern California Invitational Tournament (NCIT)! Jesuit squared off with C.K. McClatchy at 5pm for the first of the 4 matches played Friday evening.

Temperature at kick-off was in the low 90’s, no breeze and humid. Fortunately we had plenty of scoring and the associated water breaks after each score to keep everyone hydrated!!

Jesuit scored 2 tries early to take a 12 point lead, with McClatchy breaking through to get within 5 a little over the 25 minute mark. Jesuit scored another try, McClatchy answered with a penalty kick, but Jesuit finished the first half scoring with another try. Score at halftime Jesuit 24 – McClatchy 10.

The second half was a back and forth affair with Jesuit scoring first and then the teams trading scores the rest of the way. Unfortunately for McClatchy their second score was only a penalty kick and their third score was an unconverted try, while Jesuit tallied 3 converted tries. Final score Jesuit 45 – McClatchy 25

Mendocino 20 – SF FOG 25 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Saturday I jumped into the old jalopy around 10 am and headed off over hill and dale around the north side of Clear Lake to Ukiah, to ref Mendocino playing the Fog.

The 2 pm kick-off meant another mid 90’s match and both sides thought it prudent to play 4 20 minute periods to make sure we had enough water breaks. This was more a tale of 2 halves, with the Fog scoring 3 tries to 1 for the Mendo gentlemen and lady in the first half, but Mendo coming back in the second half scoring 3 tries.

Unfortunately for them the Fog scored 2 tries in the second half to hold on for the win.

It seems neither team has a kicker, as none of the tries were converted! Final Score Fog 25 – Mendocino 20

Sunday morning it was back the the NCIT for the final day of fun with the U-19 festivities! My first match I reffed pitted Sierra against Peninsula Green against Sierra.

The first half was a back and forth affair, Sierra scoring an unconverted try, then the teams trading penalty kicks, first Pen G and then Sierra, and Sierra finishing the half with another unconverted try making it 13-3.

The second half was all Sierra scoring 4 tries. Final score Sierra 39 – Pen Green 3.

The last match of the day was the boys Varsity Gold match pitting the Sacramento.

Islanders against Granite Bay. The Islander’s won the toss and elected to kick off. This resulted in an Islander no-wrap tackle and yellow card, for a less than auspicious beginning to the match!

Cooler heads prevailed and things settled into a fine match. The Islanders scored first but couldn’t convert with Granite Bay answering with a converted try.

The teams traded scores, first the Islanders to make it 10-7 then GB (14-10) and then the Islanders (15-14) about half way through the half.

The rest of the half belonged to GB, with an intercepted pass, with the Islanders threatening near the GB goal, turned into an unconverted try for GB. GB then scored a converted try near the end of the half to make it GB 33 – Islander’s 15 at halftime.

The second half was a back and forth affair with the teams trading scores throughout the half. GB started the scoring to make it seem like they were going to make it a runaway, but the Islanders weren’t about to give up.

Some shoddy tackling by GB and some inspired play by a tenacious Islander team led to to 2 tries in succession by the Islanders making it GB 40 – Islanders 27.

GB fought back with an unconverted try that the Islanders answered with one of their own to make it 45 – 32. Within 2 converted tries the Islanders stepped up the pressure, but some mishandled passes led to a final try by GB. Final score Granite Bay 50 – Islanders 32

Many thanks to Andrew Lin and Kevin Donnelly for running touch and keeping me out of trouble, they did a great job as my AR’s!!!

I owe you guys!!!!

Also many thanks to Dave Williamson and Ray Schwartz for keeping track of the substitutions and to Dave for the excellent feedback after the match!! One last thank you goes to Rob Salabar, Mateo Medrano, Jerry Ahlin, and the rest of the many folks who helped put on a very well run tournament.


The IRB Refereeing Sevens course will be taught at SFGG on Saturday, June 8.

Bruce Carter and David Pelton are the instructors.

Sign up now on the USA Rugby website:


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

James Hinkin
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