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Well all the talk is of THAT red card.

I got a letter from one ready complaining about the sissification of the sport. Refs weighed in – I am on a referee discussion group and if you ever want to see a regular stream of invective about incompetent referees, check out what refs have to say. They are brutal.

There was a lot of talk about how Alain Roland was wrong to red-card Sam Warburton during the Wales v. France World Cup semifinal. There was nothing in it. He didn’t pile-drive the player, just let him fall … blah blah blah.

Never mind that Paul Emerick was suspended for five weeks for a similar play, and a Georgian player seven weeks.

Here’s the thing on that red card – referees have been told that any tackle where the ballcarrier is tipped beyond horizontal and either driven or dropped to the ground is a red card, no exceptions. If the tackler, while holding his victim in mid-air, returns said player to a more upright position, and then completes the tackle, no foul.

Warburton tipped the Frenchman over, and let him fall on his head. He could have paralyzed the guy. It had to be a red card. Referee Roland had no choice, and he made the right one. The IRB, in suspending Warburton for three weeks did the right thing too.


Let’s Talk College 7s
Now I need to give a disclaimer her. RUGBYMag.com is owned by the same company that owns the USA 7s and USA 7s CRC.

While many might think the new USA Rugby National Collegiate 7s Championships is in competition with the CRC, that has no bearing on how we report on it. We’ve eagerly reported on the collegiate 7s events this fall, and kept readers abreast of the qualification for the December national championships.

I kept to myself my own doubts that USA Rugby’s event would be on TV, in a stadium, or anything more than a bunch of fields somewhere, because I didn’t want to sound small and negative (OK, this time). And even if USA Rugby's event was awesome beyond belief, I think that happening could only be good news.

But … it doesn't look like it's going to be awesome beyond belief. As you can see and hear on this site, (go here) the USA Rugby committee in charge of overseeing this new championship is fed up with inaction from the USA Rugby Board and leadership. No money, no venue, no TV, no webcast (!). Teams are balking at going, because the timing isn’t great, neither is the cost, and now there won’t be any payoff.

At least at the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championships last June, teams got on network TV. They got to play in front of over 17,000 fans over the two days. What will the USA Rugby tournament look like?

Apparently the Men’s Collegiate Competition Committee doesn’t think it’s going to look too good.

And Here’s Why This is Needless
USA Rugby, reportedly, now has the rights to the term “Junior Olympics.” Now, Junior Olympics can be whatever they want – U15s playing touch, or a U25 sleect side 7s competition. It can be a tournament, or a camp.

So … did the USOC tell USA Rugby that they needed a collegiate national championships right now? Or did the USOC say they wanted to see a national pathway competition for young 7s players? Because if it was the latter, USA Rugby was perfectly positioned to develop a collegiate select side 7s competition, or an age-grade select-side 7s competition, combining college and high school.

It was on a platter for them. And still is.

Some Personal Stuff
I got a letter the other day accusing me of ignoring a certain high-profile player because I didn’t like him personally.

“If this is true,” said the letter (and the only source of the accusation was the writer and his friends shooting the breeze)
, “then you need to put aside your personal feelings for the good of the game.”

I thought I’d mention this because it comes up a lot. But I don't report on anyone based on whether I like him (or her) or not. Now, I have plenty of people not want to talk to me because they're mad it me for some reason, but I will talk to anyone. 

And also, if I write something not very nice about your college team, it’s not because I hate that school or didn’t get accepted to that school … I really don’t care who wins or who doesn’t. I want all teams to play to their potential, behave in a sportsmanlike manner, and for their coaches or captains to call me back when I call them. That’s all.

Some Style Stuff
Can we agree on how to post league standings? I strongly feel there has to be one way to record standings and box scores.

Some thoughts:
1. Don’t list games played in standings. The English do this and it’s silly. We can add; we don’t need to know the games played total.

2. It’s Wins, Losses, Ties. No draws (English again), and listing ties second is also English style. In the USA we list ties last. That might seem a little counterintuitive, but ties are considered an afterthought in all sports except soccer.

3. Bonus Points should be listed in the same place and the same way in every standings. BT is Bonus for 4 tries. BL is Bonus for a close loss (7 or fewer points).

Leagues that use different bonus points should use more descriptors, such as B25 for scoring 25 points or more, which is how NY State does their system.

4. Box scores should all be the same. Below is how I would do a box score and standings. I would respectfully ask everyone in the game to do them the same.

Barbarians 25
Tries: Wilson, Hadley 2
Convs: Chase 2
Pens: Chase
DGs: Taub

Steelheads 18
Tries: Fagan, Becker
Convs: Dunn
Pens: MacDonald 2


And he's how I would do standings:


Ivy League

W

L

T

Pf

Pa

Pd

BT

BL

Pts

Dartmouth

6

0

0

298

41

257

1

0

25

Princeton

4

2

0

193

87

106

4

1

21

Brown

4

2

0

113

43

70

3

2

21

Harvard

3

2

0

168

85

83

3

1

16

Penn

2

4

0

75

128

-53

0

1

9

Yale

2

4

0

52

152

-68

1

0

9

Cornell

1

5

0

78

281

-203

2

1

7

Columbia

1

4

0

53

171

-118

0

0

4



I know I would be a happier person if everyone did what I wanted.

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