Alex Goff’s tackled the new High School Championships and dug for a few answers in his article – What Gives with HS Nationals?. Worth a read if you have a subscription.
USA Rugby says there will be a Girls National Championship along with the Boys, because Sponsors prefer the dual package. The Memorial Day weekend served to give the teams one less day of school missed, but it may cause grief/expense for travel. Additionally, this will be held in addition the Girls National Invitational Tournament … so I’m not sure how that will work out. From the article’s summary:
So the outline appears to be as follows:
1. A Girls Nationals will be added, probably eight teams.
2. Boys Nationals will be at the same venue as the girls and might possibly be split into two competitions: Single-School and U19 Club.
3. The Memorial Day Weekend dates will not change, because the two major complaints about that weekend, cost and playing on Sunday, can be successfully explained away. The cost, especially, may not be as bad as some might fear, says De Jong, and cost-mitigation is a possibility, says Melville.
4. The three-day weekend allows teams to play three full games. The crick in this plan is the need to have the boys, at least, play their first round on Friday. This bounces them right back into missing school (Friday classes at least, but probably Thursday as well) to attend the tournament. However, this is mitigated by the fact that the boys would have fewer games to play, and with the right venue could start fairly late in the day, perhaps allowing teams to only miss Friday.
5. The three-day weekend plan allows for significantly more rest time for the players, which has always been problematic for an organization that continually professes to care about player safety.
– Alex Goff
Good news for the high school programs to have an officially sanctioned national championship. How about the D-2 Women now?