Northern California Rugby Football Union Referee Society | START REFEREEING NOW
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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 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

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 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

James Hinkin
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