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25 March 2013


Pretty sure that problem cuts both ways. Too few of the Old Boys have found constructive outlets to stay involved in Rugby, and too few teams have encouraged diverse means of staying involved in the sport. Plenty of senior sides would be better served by enforcing retirement at 30 to allow fresh blood to step in, while providing a transition to coach/ref/admin/Match Sec'y/Pitch maintenance/treasury/fundraising/sponsorship etc... and then use those same resources to further propogate Youth/U19/Collegiate sides. Golf/Sailing/Tennis/Cycling all follow these models of 'lifetime sports'.

This will all happen when we get away from the idea that the players involved with the game from the home side are setting up the field before playing. When they retire they have this attitude of 'I had to do it, why shouldn't they?'

Players should be playing and nothing else!

Facilities play a big part in keeping the rugby community together. Having a "place" means the club can have events where the community can meet. If we don't have a place, we've never have a bar, food and monkey bars for the kids. If a team has a wall where they can hang a team photo from 30 years ago, there is a likelihood the players in that photo will come around on Saturday. No wall, no photos. No photos, less likelihood of a sustainable community.

The reality in the US is that few clubs will ever have their own clubhouse where they can hang photos. Websites, Facebook, twitter, tumblr and many other applications can do a great deal to manage the club community, promote the teams, and raise money through sponsorship and donations.

I love it...blame the guys over 30 for not making the a-side or the guys who have stopped playing for having to line the fields on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Mere excuses from thoses that find themselves on the b-side because they don't possess the will to do what it takes to put themselves on the a-side. Keep whining!

^^^ That was a bizarre non-sequitor.


I was replying to Mike (enforce retire at 30 so "younger guys" can play)--why not make them retire by being better and training harder, if you are 22 and can't beat out a 30-35 (or older) year old, made you should take up jarts. I was also replying to Danny Boy who apparently doesn't like to line the pitch and blames the old boys for having to do so. Instead of airing his club's dirty laundry here, why doesn't he make a suggestion at the club AGM with a plan that can be implemented to involve the old boys to help with the lining of the pitch.

100's of men's club teams are under-achieving right across the board.

The squabble over young guys and old guys is a smoke screen conversation for how flawed US club rugby is. Coaching sucks, player medical care sucks, grounds/facilities suck, ties to the greater community suck. Team communication, finance etc all suck.

There might only be a handful of clubs on the upswing with 100's worse today than ever before.

Agree "100's of men's club teams are under-achieving right across the board" And they can't blame USAR for their problems.

"There might only be a handful of clubs on the upswing with 100's worse today than ever before. "

This I don't agree with. I see quite a few clubs doing things better and better, especially in the areas of community outreach, sponsorship, and especially in developing youth rugby and growing the game. And it's most definitely NOT restricted to D1 clubs.

Every club can do quite a lot more to improve, but I'm pleased to see how many are on the right path. Of course, too many (even D1 clubs) are not on that path at all, but I think progress among rugby clubs is very encouraging.

Where there is improvement, there is youth. The betters clubs will come from areas where there is an abundance of U19 teams.

And vice versa.

Every club should be running, or trying to start up, a youth program. Good for the sport, and good for your club in the long run.

Danny Boy, et al--

I think you nailed it. I am involved with a DIII club that after years of swimming in debt, we are finally in the black--not by much but at least we started the year in the black for once. Coincidently we are fielding a U-19 team for the first time this spring (we have run a U-15/U-17 sevens program over the last two summers). Furthermore, we had our first non-losing season in five years. We still have issues regarding player commitment and dues paying but we are a DIII team.

Not sure of your background but you are doing the right thing.
The life-blood of a club is the youth program. Sure, not all the youth will go on to play for the club after they go to college but the bugger the program the more kids will stay on.

My old club in the UK had 200 kids under 15 years old running around their fields on a Sunday morning. Many get poached to professional clubs but most don't and go on to make the Men's team successful.

Youth team's (and their parents) are key.

Another issue is that some of us older guys have moved from the original home club and have no connection to the club in the new area. Many clubs are very tough on someone moving in from another area. I will be more blunt, the current 20 something to 30 year old has no idea what comardie used to mean for rugby clubs.

correct USAr cannot be blamed for how messed up the clubs are. However USAr can very much be blamed for the college rugby mess and how poorly the US is at international rugby.

Typo comaraderie

Old Boy--Good point. Most of the guys playing on my club now haven't played on another club (aside from a few in college) and have lost whatever comaraderie existed plus never picked up on certain rugby traditiions that have existed with other clubs (like clapping off your teammates after a match). They almost immediately assume that someone who is older isn't worth a crap and have to reminded that they are playing DIII rugby and no of them are getting called up to the Eagles anytime, ever.

So we all love to trash on USAR, but I think our northern neighbors have it even worse. For the Lions Rugby Showdown, Rugby Canada managed to agree to all USA players for the US leg and and all Canadian players for the Canadian leg. Then they managed to screw up the Canadian leg, leading to USAR stepping in for a second American leg with zero Canadian players in either. This is also the union that hosts internationals (and RWCQs in the past) in a public park in Edmonton so it really shouldn't be much of a surprise.

Canada's game hosting might suck but they are outperforming the US on the field consistently in both 15s and Sevens.

Rugby Canada in general is a joke. Their national teams have been better than us but it's largely because rugby has historically been more popular in Canada than it has been in the US and their youth and age grade rugby has been far more developed. That is changing. We'll see if their success at the senior level continues in the future. Wouldn't be surprised if that changed as our U20s kicked their ass twice in Canada last year and comprehensively outperformed them in the JWRT. It's only one data point, but as youth and high school rugby continues to grow here, we're only going to get better.

Canada's always been better than us, but they've been just as badly left behind in the professional era as us as well. In the early 90s they reached the RWC quarterfinal (where they had a creditable loss to NZ) and had a legit win against a Wales side that was a few months later to win the 5N. They really seemed like they were on the verge of joining the big boys in world rugby, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way.

Eagles get into the cup quarter-finals!
Boy, do we need those points...

While it was great to pick up the points from getting into the cup quarters, that first day could actually be negative in terms of us getting out of the relegation zone. Basically it's us against Scotland for 12th place and they not only also made the cup quarters but they finished on top of the group. That means they get to play France next while we play New Zealand. Better root for France...

Eagles got into the Cup QF because they were in a weak group, which is fine. However, you can't count on the draw to get points. I really don't see the quality in this Eagles 7s program to make much of a run for any metal in Rio, and frankly I think Canada will end up there and not us. Ramifications include NBC and the USOC taking their foot off the accelerator with regards to rugby until the next Olympic cycle.

What you saw in the Figi match are the benefits of the residency. The USA team beat Figi because they were as fit or maybe even fitter than the Figians. No way USA wins that game before residency. So that was a great thing to see. It is coming. It is a matter of time.

England, Scotland and Wales will take part at Rio under the Great Britain banner while players from Northern Ireland will be given the option to play for Ireland if the country qualifies.

This means the US moves up two spots in the Sevens rankings for the Olympics.

Yes, those 3 will play together but Asia will get an automatic qualifier and Brazil will likely automatically qualify as well so it's basically a wash.

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