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05 March 2013


I don't understand how there is any material difference between "...-Pause-Engage" and "...-Set". Maybe it is one second faster.

It seems that this new deal of not withdrawing the touch won't change the distance between the front rows, but it should see an increase in pre-engagement skullduggery. I doubt that it will have any effect on injuries among experienced players (that may not be so true at lower levels of the game). However, I suspect it will wind up causing more failed scrums and restarts, etc.

Congratulations to BYU and the other top universities for developing players because USAr is all but out of the business of doing so. Same with the TV broadcast agreement.

How will the teams like USAr's plan to host college championships at Bowling Green's open rec fields? Championship venue? If you thought Texas A&M rec fields were underwhelming and hard to get to, wait until they drive across Ohio to arrive at intramural-ville.

Team notices just went out. Buy your airline tickets, rent those vans, purchase hotel rooms and meals. Come one come all to the USAr National Championships sponsored by Emirates Airlines.

The D1-AA and D2 Championships are being held in Bowling Green's soccer stadium. You will recall they hosted a Round of 16 there two years ago and it was the best championship venue USAR has had for a collegiate round of 16 in recent memory, complete with a local television station broadcasting the quarterfinal game between BGSU and Florida.

Penn State lost 100-0 to Cal. Is that an accurate portrayal of the gap between these two programs or did Cal take PSU's challenge personally? That score was shocking.

The Nat. College Final Four is being held in Bowling Green's Mickey Cochrane Soccer Stadium - seats 3,000, lockers rooms & showers for teams, parking is right next door, hotels right across the street, sweet 16 held there in 2011, attendance was 2,200 based on income figures. And all the games were broadcast. And yes, there are intramural fields near the stadium - lots of room for warmup. Call Florida, Maryland, Brown & Michigan and ask how they found the situation. So "USAR at its Best", you got your info where.....?

Nice facilities Roger - very impressive.
But its sill in Bowling Green though!

Whats that saying about putting lipstick on a pig?

So...USAR still sucks?

Great article is there any chance I can take it and copy it onto my own blog

Test = Alex Goff
Surprised you had the couresy to ask Alex, isn't that what rugby mag does all the time?

I must have contracted the rugbymag disease just talking about them!

Which is greater each year?
a)the number of points scored by the Eagles or
b)the number of typos on rugbymag.com

anyone see the Cal vs PSU match. PSU that weak or Cal that strong?

Penn State put an 89-0 drubbing on 2012 small college finalist Cal Maritime last night (Wednesday). Suggests that Penn State is a competent rugby team.

Bruce Carter

Cal and Life are the best teams in the country with ASU and BYU biting at their heels. Pity they won't be playing each other this year.

I doubt anyone suggests that PSU is not a competent rugby team. Many teams lose 100+ to Cal. But is there any team out there doing less with their resources than PSU right now? Paid coaching, admission spots, excellent facilities, on campus field, 40k student population, excellent and affordable university. American rugby NEEDS more elite programs like Cal to produce great rugby teams and players. and it would be nice if a recognized college brand other than Cal was able to do it. so wtf is going on in happy valley?

If you look at the caliber of high school rugby player that PSU brings in on a yearly basis, it is not that inferior to what Cal is bringing in. So the question of why they lag so far behind Cal with all of the advantages you mention above is a reasonable one.

@East Coast

Yes, Army is doing less with more.

Ohio State has gone from an annual top 10 team to never in the top 25.

They should be charter members of the category you're creating.

Yes they should. I wouldnt say Army has the recruiting ability that PSU does though. A kid either wants to go to Army or he doesnt. Rugby probably is not going to be a major factor in that. Ohio State has admission spots and full time coaching? Then they belong in the same conversation.

Unless something has changed recently Ohio State doesn't have admissions slots and their coaches aren't university employees.

Navy & Army should both be in that category.

Navy/Army rugby programs, just like their football programs have a ceiling. Unless top rugby recruits want to go to military academies, then they are SOL.

PSU comes close to Cal in almost every category except alumni/money. Cal has millions. PSU also probably cant get as many kids into the school as Cal can. Cal's fields/facilities are better and they are also in one of THE HS rugby hotbeds in the country. But I dont think those things that Cal has over PSU should make for a 100 point difference in a match. Is it the winter weather? is the east coast winter the big factor here? Every elite team but BYU plays in warm weather (Cal, BYU, SMC, ASU, Life)

While psu looked absolutely gassed (esp in 2nd half) vs smc (most teams looked gassed tho when they play the gaels...) on a warm false-spring day, monday was one cold night at witter. psu should hv been right at home on monday. Cal/byu/asu/life/smc are in a different echelon, definitely. Could be the late spring that leaves east teams playing catch-up, but its prob a bunch of factors: local recruiting base, coaching that can develop promising recruits, rugby culture committed to being the best, total commitment to fitness, a local rival playing at a high level you can benchmark your club against and strive to match ... & the weather too.

I dont know about ASU but Life, Cal, and BYU have full time coaching which makes a big difference. The part time program coaches cant compete with-cant produce the same end product-as a full time coach whose sole focus is growing their program and improving their craft.

Add admission slots that allows recruiting top HS/foreign players further widens the gap.

As stated above, the military academies like NCAA sports will get limited top recruits for obvious reasons, and no foreign based players due to citizenship.

ASU has the SA connection and anyone who knows anything realizes what a difference a few foreigners makes in terms of level of play. Same is true for BYU. I would imagine Life has a ringer or two.

And that's what separates these 4 teams from the rest of the pack. Full time coaching + top recruits = strong program.

All of which PSU has. Plus it is a better school than byu and much better school thsn life/asu. Quite the puzzle. Are top recruits really choosing schools not named cal over psu? Ferrel has freat experience and I don't think anyone would question that he isn't coaching competent rugby. Just a bad recruiter?

American rugby needs psu to be producing eagles. Flat out.

psu big but not fast - psu needs to get quicker.
Not quick enough vs smc or cal. No one could get around the corner.
Nifty interior pass play at pace to #12 was nifty the first couple of times but nvr worked against cal/smc - & that was best play that i saw (may hv worked against cal maritime it sounds like). Otherwise for phases, psu #9 was passing to backs catching it flatfooted w/o any forward momentum on receipt, esp in 2nd halves. They'd end up going backwards, esp on the cal game. So not fit enough nor quick enough to hang w/ the elite. Find some quickness & commit to fitness & i'd guess they'd hang better. Coaching seemed right to me on the day - head coach was engaged. The cal game was an outlier though - cal was playing with ferocity - that plus skill/strength/speed, is a tough beast to deal with. Psu was not ready for that level of commitment IMO prob cuz they havent seen it much before.

Any chance the Cal was playing its 13th game of the season vs PSU its 1st or 2nd making a difference?

Winning is fun you whiner. And you're saying that accounts for a 100-0 difference? cmon. I think it just takes time for a program to adjust to getting those kind of resources. Obviously byu/life/asu have adjusted 10x quicker but cal's had their advantages for decades and psu just got there a few years ago. maybe more time or maybe with different people they'll get there.

Army/Navy/USAFA can have foreign and have had foreign players. There was a Tongan playing for Army in the NIT, whoops I mean CRC, either last year or the year before last. By Tongan I mean a guy from Tonga not the East Bay. There is even a link (gasp!) on the West Point website: http://www.usma.edu/admissions/SitePages/Pros_Cadets_International.aspx

Right...but again, a player, international or not, either really really wants to go to a rigid military academy or not.

Money, full time coaching, and recruiting are all clearly important. But fitness is also a huge factor and the easiest change to implement in any club. Many program have no idea what elite fitness looks like (especially the "keg rugby" programs). Hopefully with expansion of rugby camps and the Olympic Development Program there will be more published fitness testing results so that the rugby community will have a better understanding of how fast and strong top rugby athletes are.

I don't think that the "keg rugby" programs are interested in the type of rugby we are talking about on this page. But they are just as important to the game and it's development as the "elite" programs.

Another good, well attended college event which has nothing to do with USAr.

Stadium, well known university rugby teams, fans, trophy.

No need for USAr travel grants, scheduling, commissioner, college director, CEO etc.

These aren't even great teams, which proves the product doesn't need to be foreign students verses long in the tooth students. For example this match outdrew Ark St vs Life 10-1.

This match was created with nothing from USAr. A local ref was more than up for the responsibility. Why do so many college teams wait for USAr to tell what they can and can't do? We need to get these leaderless tax collector out of college and high school rugby.


Two D1A teams who care so little about USAr's leadership of the college games that they are more than happy to have their focus on the ACRL. The ACRL teams created the ACRL with no assistance and more importantly, no requests or permission from USAr.

These D1A teams don't care where USAr ranks their conference (D1A-D1AA) because they aren't even planning to participate in the USAr national championships. Their conference championship which they own, not USAr, is their collective focus, along with the possibility of a bowl game down the road.

VTech qualified for the USAr college 7's this past Fall and declined, choosing the non-USAr owned CRC as their preferred college 7's national championship. Navy has selected the Varsity Cup as their Spring XV national championship. Both teams signaling they are joining the group of well know college teams which are done with USAr's management of college rugby.

As discussed on the RM pod cast, Navy has the full weight of the Naval Academy behind their hosting of a double-header Varsity Cup quarter-final to be held at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. USAr has never had an event staged at this perfect for rugby stadium. It now appears they never will as colleges go their separate ways from USAr.

At what point do college teams not interested or not intending to participate in the USAr championships stop paying taxes to USAr? At what point are these tax funds invested back into the college game instead of funding salaries of employees doing nothing for the growth of the game?


A million dollars in ANNUAL college dues to USAr gets college rugby nothing but poor ineffective management.

What if this million dollars was invested locally each year back into college rugby? Tens of thousands of local-regional dollars target invested in what the teams know would bring them return on investment. Nationally, a million dollars per year invested, year after year, back into the college game.

Do you think college rugby would miss paying the salaries of the Todd Bell's, Rich Cortez, Kevin Battle, Tam Brekenridge? Or a whole office full of Boulder employees. What does a $275k CEO do for college rugby? Zero. Then why are college kids funding his salary? If these people didn't exist would college rugby be worse off? No, college rugby wouldn't miss them a bit. College rugby wouldn't know they were gone. These well meaning staffer haven't done a thing for college rugby. Every positive thing happening in college rugby is being done outside these employees.

What if the USAr Board of Directors didn't assign a Board member to look after college rugby? Boy, this would be rough, NOT!

Why is USAr charging high school and college students for the right to play the game? Why are these students required to subsidize insurance rates for adults and the national team?

Change of direction is needed.

Agree that strong conference administration will make a difference in the development of rugby. Some conferences have been trying to arrange regional TV deals on their own. The conferences can work together(some already are)to organize interesting and profitable cross conference match-ups. A USAR National Championship is not needed to grow the game. American football makes plenty of money from conference and bowls and develops many elite athletes without a national playoff system.

why does USAR charge to play? we pay for ref separately. we pay for coaching courses separately. I understood insurance was only a small percentage of the total dues amount. are we really requiring students to pay for union salaries?

The only thing that is stopping some conferences from leaving USAR altogether is the referee situation. If they solve this, then you watch the exodus.

pay the refs. create a pool of good refs that agree to assignments through the ref managers. this needs to be a pay for services arrangement where the refs get paid for the service.

USAR doesn't provide many details on their collections and spending. Well managed conferences could encourage their members to hold off paying their CIPP until they get the answers they want. CIPP Sequester (CIPP-quester)

USAR is never going to show what they do with the money in any detail. Just large categories of spending, no real information. This is because its all a bad sham, which will only be fully understood once this administration is replaced.

@calling the IRS
The IRS and the Department of Treasury have no problem with USA Rugby.


The only people who can force change at USA Rugby are the members and conferences. If the members and the conference don't act then nothing will change.

Even if you pay the refs, where do you replace them, train them and help them to become better? Without it coming through USAR there will be no support from the IRB down. The refs are the key, I just don't know it would work unless every conference did the same thing.

A mass boycott of Cipp dues on 1st August would leave them in a pretty pickle though!

The full ref cost should be paid by the teams, which includes a fee for the ref. This includes ref managers and development. This is a cost the teams should pay. Even if the development fee is paid to USAr.

This is better than paying USAr a million dollars in dues which they waste on themselves.

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