CINCINNATI, OH – The Midwest Rugby Football Union hosted their Annual General Meeting on Saturday, February 12, 2022 in Cincinnati, OH. The meeting was a return to in-person business after missing 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The meeting was attended by all Local Area Unions and a number of member clubs.
Here are the highlights of the meeting:
- General – Al Lucas provided the group with an update of the USA Rugby National Office and the Senior Club Council. These organizations are maturing coming from the bankruptcy and reorganization with many of the issues of the past being remedied. Al Lucas wants the Union as a whole to focus on ‘Competitive Excellence’ on the field. The goal is to improve the Union’s quality of play across all divisions. This will be accomplished by investing in the Union’s High Performance (HP) Program, the Thunderbirds, and investing in the development of coaches and referees. Dan Houlihan provided updates from the Union’s Administrator, Training & Education and Eligibility updates. The Midwest Referee Society reviewed their membership numbers and called for a growth in referees as well further developing their current pool. Dan Houlihan was also formally elected as the Secretary for a term of two (2) years.
- Competition Updates – Lou Raymond reviewed last year’s 7s and XVs seasons and highlighted how well the Union rebounded from loosing 2020 to COVID. While not fully back, most Unions and Leagues are performing a lot better than expected from a player retention perspective. HP Manager Gary Lobaugh provided a detailed review of the Thunderbirds reboot in 2021 and proposed an aggressive 2022 schedule that will strive to answer the Union President’s call to improving the level of play in the Midwest. The Competition Committee will be voting on a Men’s League Restructure in the next few weeks. Prior to the meeting, clubs were permitted time to offer comment on the plan. Preliminary straw pooling indicates support for the restructure. Qualifying 7s Tournament dates and locations will be announced in the next week or so. Finally, the little information that’s currently known regarding 2021-22 National Championships was shared with the membership.
- Discipline & Compliance – Megan Braun revealed a new, streamlined disciplinary process and announced that the Union expects only nominal changes to our COVID-19 Safety Protocols for the spring of 2022.
- Financial Information – Tim Cowley reviewed the 2021 financials which once again showed the Union to be in a solid financial position with significant reserves. The 2022 budget was presented and approved unanimously. The Union has struck a deal with Hudl offering a significant discount to member clubs.