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This year marks the beginning of a new DI club system, one that requires a viable league to have at least seven teams participating, and for those teams to play home and away.
The new format also calls for the winners of the eight leagues to send their champions to the national quarterfinals.
Of course, as of the latest count, there are only seven leagues: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Texas, West, Southern California, and Northern California. One of those, the West, is down to four teams.
So that might leave a door open to one or two other teams to make the national quarterfinals, but teams in the CR4 (the new name for the Texas region) have voted unanimously to ask USA Rugby to bring back the Round of 16.
"If you had asked these clubs about the Round of 32, all would have been fine with getting rid of that," said Dallas RFC president Jeff Kolberg, who is in support of bringing back the Round of 16. "Eighty games were played over the years and the road team won three. So, fine, get rid of it. But if we'd been asked, we would have said keep the Round of 16 - but the thing is, nobody ever asked us."
Kolberg said the Round of 16 weekend is "one of the best weekends in American rugby" as it brings a large number of teams to one venue, and attracts fans as well.
"They told us the reason for getting rid of the Round of 16 was because they wanted the finals weekend to be just one game, and that it would save money," said Kolberg. "I don't think it saves much money for teams that qualify."
A letter has been sent to chairs of the various Competitive Regions, asking for support of an initiative to bring back the Round of 16.
Kolberg is looking for more CRs to voice their support of the initiative, and added that club representatives should contact their CR chairs to voice their opinions.