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After the debacle of the premature announcement on October 3, the clubs
involved have continued to meet, with change coming a little more
Among the issues is the makeup of the USA Rugby committee overseeing the Elite Cup.
In 2013 an ad hoc committee was formed to oversee the Elite Cup, and after the season was over, the USA Rugby Club Strategic Committee agreed to make the Elite Cup Committee a standing sub-committee. The original makeup was Jim Snyder (who oversees clubs for USA Rugby), Club Strategic Committee chair Alan Sharpley, and another Club Strategic Committee member, Gary Lobaugh. In addition, two representatives of the Elite Cup clubs, Gary Heavner of Old Blue and Tim Zern of Seattle-OPSB, were also on that committee.
The West Coast clubs told Snyder that they wanted changes in the committee makeup. Snyder cannot make those changes on his own (it would be disturbing indeed if one USA Rugby employee could unilaterally make changes in who sits on a committee), but he told the clubs involved that if they joined the Elite Cup, they would have enough votes to make changes. What USA Rugby reportedly proposed was two Elite Cup reps be added to the committee, giving clubs a 4-3 majority.
The clubs, however, haven't accepted that plan, and according to various sources seemed to want the changes implements before they joined the Elite Cup.
On the other side, USA Rugby offered a have-cake-and-eat-it-too scenario, saying that clubs who wanted to be in the Elite Cup could do so, and also play in the West Coast league. West Coast games that were between two Elite Cup clubs would count for both leagues, and games involving a team not in the Elite Cup would be West Coast league games.
That proposal has not been accepted, or rejected, as far as we can tell.
The upshot is this: We will see a West Coast league of some sort, involving, most likely, seven Western clubs.
Seattle-Old Puget Sound Beach has decided to stay with the Elite Cup and committed to travel across the country to play Old Blue, Boston, NYAC, and Life (whether they travel to call four is to be determined - it is unlikely).
A small number of clubs within the West Coast group really are angry at USA Rugby. Some are also angry at the Glendale Raptors for sending out a press release that jumped the gun on a few details. Certainly Glendale tried to use RUGBYMag.com to trap clubs and USA Rugby into commitments they had not actually made.