Some highlights from the BCRU mini meeting that was held at the Chateau Victoria last Sunday and other VIRU Tidbits.
I think we can be excited about what is going on to improve rugby.
- BCRU, with the addition of new office staff, has agreed to manage the VIRU Fall League Statistics. (League standings and tables.)
- They have also agreed to do BC Wide scoring races in all leagues except the 3rd Division and Junior Rugby. This will come later. As long as we can keep the flow of game sheets going into the BCRU, they will compile the stats and league tables and post them on their website most likely by the Monday late afternoon. They will also send out e-mails to respective address' with this up to date, printable information. It sounds like they are completely revamping the current system that we see on "e-sports" which is attached to the BCRU website. This will eliminate a huge amount of work for the VIRU and perhaps make it more efficient and fallible.
- Website: We have had obvious communication mix-ups over the years do to our limited abilities in the communication areas. Andrew and I have suggested we build a VIRU Website where all schedules, minutes, notices can be accessed by those interested. This will be addressed at the next meeting. Further to this, the BCRU have indicated that they can "piggyback" a VIRU website onto their website and perhaps create the website for us.
- The new BCRU Publicity Man, Andrew Smith, (formerly from U-Vic Comms.) if I understood it right, will apparently be sending news releases to the various media outlets including the TC. It is felt the this weight may help us in getting more stuff in print. It will be up to the clubs here etc. to gather and submit the articles to Andrew where he could polish it up and then move it on. I still believe the VIRU needs to firm up a Publicity Person (paid) to look after our local needs.
- The VIRU is going to be presenting the historic Cups this weekend and immediately take them back. There has been too much damage done to these historic artifacts in the past and we cannot risk further damage and loss. With this in mind, for the Barnard and Times Cup presentations this weekend, the VIRU will also present a "bullet Cup" that the winning teams can take and use to do what they do when celebrating their win.
- Despite some misgivings and a couple of hiccups, the season went pretty well for all Divisions this fall. The number of games played this fall as compared to the past is up by 23 matches or +20% in the same period of time. This can be attributed to Round 2 in the 1st Div Men where each team got 10 games this season as opposed to 7 in the past. This accounts for 12 more games + and addition final (Cowichan Cup) for a total of 13 additional matches this year as opposed to last year in this Division alone. If you also count the additional teams in the Women's Division and Men's 3rd Division Rugby this past fall saw another +13 games for an overall increase of 23 total senior games. I think the balance shown between the clubs in this weekend's finals shows that almost every club has something to look forward to on Championship day.
- The VIRU added 4 new senior teams and 1 new club to the VIRU mix this fall, despite the loss of 1 team for a net gain of 3 teams. Saanich Peninsula is our new club in the league and have a very good start and may perhaps place a team in the 1st Div. next fall according to what was said at the meeting on Sunday. Saanich put two new teams into the leagues along with Port Alberni placing a new women's team in and JBAA coming back into the 3rd Div League once again. Our only loss was the JBAA women, who are still on the horizon and perhaps something can be resurrected there.
- The 3rd Division was the best we have seen competitively for many years. With 9 teams involved it was pretty robust and who was entering into playoffs was only determined on the last weekend of play.
- Women's rugby got lots of games which, although the 8 teams were perhaps 4 different levels, was a success as many new players got plenty of field time which is the goal.
- We are not happy that Island Rugby will maybe lose 12 top performers to Wales this Spring. It was discussed that a better solution would be a carded team here. There was also some discussion on a more equitable way of dispersing these players throughout the league would be good for rugby and our domestic competition. The Wales issue, although it affects VIRU member clubs directly, is out of our hands frankly as it is up to Rugby Canada to disperse these players as they see fit.
- There has been a recognition that the BC Senior Men's side have been underperforming. The BCRU is trying to identify the shortcomings and are well on their way to a more coordinated path for elite players to move from the club level to Rep Rugby.
- The BCRU is doing okay financially. Jeff Sauve, BCRU CEO, in my opinion has been doing a great job. This year there was an unexpected amount of grant money injected into the BCRU which has stabilized finances considerably. This has allowed the BCRU to expand the office staff by one. I think this position (Communications) is a key one for us to move the sport forward.
from John James.