Trying to make some time tomorrow for collegiate finals, so only a few items...
One thing that makes it easier to get away is the flagship Division 1 matches are evening contests, which reflects the many games squeezed into the program.
In the Southern hemisphere, where night matches are disliked because playing conditions deteriorate, they scheduled thusly to accommodate TV. Here it feels more like jamboree rugby, an approach likely to dilute our best domestic 'product' in any number of ways, from field condition (too many curtain raisers) to atmosphere (afternoon barbeques replaced by blustery evenings).
Jamboree events contrast with the union's scheduling internationals simultaneously but separately from club or 7s championships. The decision making suggests where Boulder thinks its growth opportunities lie, and where it is trying to economize.
By the by, anybody else miss last year's webcasting?
Update: USARFU's ESPNU contract prohibits the union from its own webcasting of playoff matches, according to a union official. In effect, USARFU is expecting the sports network will reach more viewers, at a cost of less matches being available.
ESPNU's broadcast schedule (all times Eastern):
Men’s championship: Wed, May 20, 9pm
Women’s championship: Wed, May 20, 7pm
Regarding a query about trying to find sponsors on behalf of the New Zealand RU, chair Kevin Roberts reiterated that USARFU and the NZRU have a formal partnership (a 'special relationship') and noted 'we look whether we can uncover any joint commercial opportunities.'
'My only rugby commitment is USA Rugby,' he said in an email.
NorCal's referee society is on the verge of surpassing 50 reservations for its annual dinner, and may have to change venues. The catch: six weeks remain before the event. The catalyst for such enthusiasm must be the society's monthly training sessions and other continuing efforts, although free fare can't hurt.
Also looking forward to Saturday's San Francisco Golden Gate-Chicago Lions game. To my mind, the winner becomes second favorites, behind inconsistent finals performer Belmont Shore, in the Super League title chase.