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The Northern California DI club league starts play this coming weekend with a new wrinkle in a slightly adjusted league.

With San Mateo sadly out of the league, NorCal is down to six teams. However, with Old Puget Sound now in DI after the dissolution of the Super League, that Seattle-based club is without a league of its own (being the only DI club north of Sacramento).

So the Northern California league and USA Rugby came up with a workable solution. OPSB has five league games, two against favorites San Francisco Golden Gate, two against Olympic Club, and one each against the East Palo Alto Bull Dogs and Sacramento Lions. SFGG and Olympic Club have agreed to travel to Seattle for games.

(Note, Olympic Club has reportedly pulled out of these fixtures and have also announced they are not prepared to start the season.)

This gives OPSB a legal, six-game league season, and how they fare will dictate where they fall in the playoffs. (The deal means OPSB does not play the two teams that finished 1-5 in NorCal last year, the EPA Razorbacks and the Barbarians.)

With the NorCal fixtures, the Elite Cup (their second match with SFGG counts for both), and a series of matches against Canadian competition as well as a friendly against BYU, OPSB has a very busy spring.

Meanwhile SFGG, EPA Bulldogs, Olympic Club, and Sacramento Lions will be joined by the Barbarians and EPA Razorbacks to round out the NorCal DI league.

This coming weekend, OPSB travels to Treasure Island to take on SFGG, the Razorbacks play the Barbarians, while Olympic Club plays the Sacramento Lions in the state capital.

O-Club against Lions is perhaps the most compelling game as it begins the rivalry between two clubs looking to challenge for those elusive playoff spots. With SFGG and OPSB favored to finish 1st and 2nd (if OPSB sticks to form they should take the #2 seed into the Round of 32 against the Southern California squads), the remaining five teams will battle for two playoff spots.

2013 NorCal DI Schedule (with OPSB added)
Jan 5
Olympic Club at Sacramento Lions
EPA Razorbacks at Barbarians

Jan 12
EPA Bull Dogs at Olympic Club
Barbarians at SFGG

Jan 19
EPA Bull Dogs at Sacramento Lions
EPA Razorbacks at SFGG

Jan 26
EPA Razorbacks at Sacramento Lions
SFGG at EPA Bull Dogs

February 2
EPA Razorbacks at Olympic Club
Sacramento Lions at Barbarians
OPSB at EPA Bull Dogs

Feb 16
SFGG at Olympic Club
EPA Bull Dogs at Barbarians

Feb 23
Olympic Club at OPSB
SFGG at Sacramento Lions
EPA Razorbacks at EPA Bull Dogs

March 2
Olympic Club at Barbarians
Sacramento Lions at EPA Razorbacks
EPA Bull Dogs at SFGG

March 9
Olympic Club at EPA Bull Dogs
OPSB at Sacramento Lions
SFGG at Barbarians

March 16
Barbarians at Olympic Club
Sacramento Lions at EPA Bull Dogs
SFGG at EPA Razorbacks

March 23
Sacramento Lions at Olympic Club
Barbarians at EPA Razorbacks

April 6
Olympic Club at SFGG
Barbarians at EPA Bull Dogs

April 13
Olympic Club at EPA Razorbacks
Barbarians at Sacramento Lions

April 20
OPSB at Olympic Club
Sacramento Lions at SFGG
EPA Bull Dogs at EPA Razorbacks