Rugby Bits & Bytes

• Yesterday was busy … over 200 hits! I think that might be a record …

• A rugby club in New Zealand is bucking tradition and becoming alcohol-free to foster better community relations. The coach says:

“I told them the rugby club should be much more vital to the community than just providing a leisure pursuit and to achieve the aims I wanted to achieve.

“I wanted it to be New Zealand’s first alcohol- free rugby club. They only needed about 90 seconds to agree.”

Doolan believes alcohol has played a large part in crime and drug use in the area and has seen research that suggests domestic violence spikes during the rugby season.

• Lee’s blogging about her friendships with her teammates, but not sure if she really knows them outside of rugby.

Rugby is such a different experience from other sports. I think something about it “pre-qualifies” people – you know that if you meet a woman who plays rugby, most chances are they’ll be easy-going, fun to talk to, and pretty down-to-earth. You and your teammates face similar struggles and already share a lot in common – we all play this crazy sport called RUGBY. The fact that we all like the sport, the camaraderie, the personal achievement, and the fulfilment we get from being on a team is enough for a friendship with even the most unlikely people. The people you meet along the way is part of what makes this sport great.

• And Rachel’s got a black eye from the NRU-MARFU games.

• Amy’s added some more to her Best of the West update at her own blog, On the Verge.

• And here are few requests for help for U-19 programs. One’s from Tom here in Wisconsin for an upcoming camp …

Coaches and experienced players are invited to assist as The Wisconsin Rugby Union and Marquette University will present for the 5th year, “Skills, Drills and Thrills, Youth and Elite U-19 camp” in Milwaukee, July 20,21, and 22nd, 2006.

The three day, boys and girls camp, cumulates with games of sevens played at the Milwaukee Sports complex, home of the 2006 All-Star Seven’s National Tournament to be held the last weekend of August. Some of the players at the Marquette camp will be invited to play in a half time match at the National Tournament. The students are housed on Marquette’s campus.

The goal of the camp is to help athletes advance and/or identify their strengths and to accumulate data that is shared with Local, Territorial and National coaching staffs. The goal is to inspire athletes to play to their highest individual levels. In addition to the experienced players, the camp also provides half day instruction to the novice players. The camp also works with the National Youth Sports Program to provide rudimentary instruction to 100 plus inner city youth.

An additional goal of the camp is to prepare the player for the journey of our sport. With the rise in high school rugby, the need for higher level instruction and focus is obvious. High school rugby is a beginning, not an end. To that extent, the camp delivers a strong message that a rugby player is an athlete first and that there is rugby after high school.
The Camp has enjoyed quality coaches such as Pete Steiberg, Martin Gallagher, George Betzler and David Fee and dozens of experienced volunteers each year that help us deliver that message. We expect nothing less in 2006.

Please mark your calendars and contact Tom Schmitt at Wirugby@aol.com for additional information. Volunteers may contact Kathy Cebe kathy.cebe@marquette.edu to register.

A few of my teammates have volunteered at this and enjoyed it.

Also, the national U-19 girls’ team is looking for some financial help.

The USA U19 Women’s National Team is looking for support in funding its upcoming tour in June to Colorado.
They will train and compete in the NASC’s as well as two test matches against the Canadians. The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is being made available to the squad and will be a tremendous opportunity for them. My goal is to make this unique experience as small of a financial hardship as possible. To that extent we are looking to create a program to give to all the players as well as extra copies for them to take back to their local clubs and regions. In the program, I will give each team space to provide an informational background on their club and current
contact information. An example would be…

Mauston Crusaders was founded in 1981 as a Division 1 Womens Club. Since then our club has enjoyed success as both a team and in individual players. Our team has sent 12 representatives to the National Womens Team and many more to the territorial and local levels. We have placed in the top 16 in the nation 6 times and have won the national championship once. We play a competitive spring and fall season and put together a travelling sevens side for the summer. If you are interested in playing, please contact our coach at jeffrey.noe@mu.edu or our team president Jane at 608-547-9964.

Feel free to add any unique program details to personalize it, such as if your college side offers scholarships. To get your entry into the program we are requesting a minimum of $200. For a minimum donation of $300, we will use your money to sponsor a meal and read your information out loud to draw attention to your club. Or if you have a representative in Boulder for the NASC’s they are more than welcome to come to a specific team meal and introduce themselves to the team.

As the tour begins in 6 short weeks, I would like to have all your information in hand before Memorial Weekend (May 27th) in order to create the programs and send out the information before high schools break for the summer. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions or concerns. Checks can be made out to USA Rugby.

Thanks,

Jeff Noe
USA U19 Women’s National Team
Manager
500 S. East Ave.
Waukesha WI, 53186
608-547-9964

And just an update for any D-II south teams, I pulled this off of the South Women’s listserve. Some interesting info on how D-II teams are trying to work with the same schedule as D-I women’s club teams.

Ladies,
Hello. My name is Nancy Campbell and I am the 2006 USA Rugby South (USARS) Women’s Division II (DII) Coordinator. I’ve been a little absent here in the first few months of the year, but have cleared up the questions I had and am prepared to start communicating with the DII clubs on a more regular basis. You will find me to be long-winded, but please read my emails carefully so you do not miss anything important.

In 2005, USA Rugby (USAR) made the decision to change the calendar of events as related to the Women’s Division I (DI) Championships and National All-Star Championships for 2006. The Fall season has been designated as the “club competitive season” with USAR DI Playoffs and Championships occurring on Oct 28-29 and Nov 11-12. There are many reasons for this decision. I would be happy to discuss these, but will not address them here. Suffice it to say that it was well-thought out and input was gathered from many areas of women’s rugby in the USA.

One of the goals of the territorial Women’s DII Coordinators is to prove that DII clubs are a viable competitive division and deserving of a official USAR Championship recognized and administered by USAR. In working towards these goals, a similarly well thought out decision was made that all DII league play, playoffs, championships, eligibility requirements, etc. should attempt to mirror the DI attributes as closely as possible. To this end, the DII teams are also having their club competitive seasons in the Fall.

Information on Fall 2006 dates for the DII club competitive season are forthcoming. You will need to work around this when scheduling your Fall season. However, Danita Knox (USARS Women’s Director) and I have much to do to implement this calendar change. Please bear with us as we gather information and make decisions. Your patience and assistance are the keys to success. First we must gather some information:

a) Please send current club contact information to me (ndenni01@flastatealumni.org) as soon as possible. Please limit this to one or two people. I need name, phone numbers, email addresses, and club web site. Even if you are but a ‘twinkle’ of a club, I want to know who you are. All of these people should be on this YahooGroup to facilitate communications. If you are on the YahooGroup and are no longer a
club contact, please let me know ASAP who is your replacement.

b) Each club must officially declare their status as DI or DII by August 1, 2006. Please send this information to me (ndenni01@flastatealumni.org). I will happily accept it early rather than late. Failure to declare a status defaults to DII.

Please watch this YahooGroup in the next week for more information on:
– USARS Women’s DII Playoffs and Championships
– USARS Senior Women’s Select Side

Thank you.
Nancy Dennis Campbell
USARS Women’s DII Coordinator
ndenni01@flastatealumni.org

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