Florida Rugby Union
Plan for the Future
These are difficult times for the world we live in and for rugby both in our country and internationally. We at the FRU want to assure the Florida Rugby Community that we are financially strong and have the funding to ensure that all of our members will be able to continue playing rugby once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
USA Rugby Bankruptcy Filing & Insurance
As you may be aware, USA Rugby has filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, and we have been contingency planning for a number of months now both internally and with others around the country. We still do not have the exact details on exactly how the re-organization will work nor are we sure what will be approved by the court as USA Rugby moves forward. However, we do know the major ways this does/could impact us;
Insurance- USA Rugby blanket liability and medical coverage are what allows to us rent fields for both matches and for practices. We have been investigating a number of options to ensure we have insurance moving forward,
Option 1) USA Rugby continues their current plan which we are covered under and no changes needed. We are getting exact clarification on this from USA Rugby.
Option 2) We are currently getting quotes from insurance providers to be active once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Option 3) A national bodies form around competitions of play, for example, the all Club Rugby would gain insurance together nationally, the same for Collegiate and Youth/High School. This is likely only in event that USA Rugby does not make it out of the Chapter 11 process.
Beyond the end of the normal CIPP/Registration cycle which ends on August 31st we are unsure exactly how insurance will look. We are continuing to plan for options both regionally and nationally. Once we have a clearer idea of the exact path we communicate this to all of our members.
Registration, like insurance player/coach registration, is currently done nationally via USA Rugby. We have to wait and see exactly what is going to happen on this front from a National standpoint. We are well situated on this front if we are forced to do this regionally, Florida Youth already does their own registration locally and if needed we can transition to their new provider SportLomo very quickly due to Evan’s experience working with this program.
National Championships- all National Championships this year are currently canceled. Depending on re-organization over the summer we could have a very similar process to National Championships or we could more regionalized championships. Again this is very hard to determine at this time we are actively involved in the discussions around this on a National front.
With the USA Rugby suspension of play until May 31st, this effectively ends any chance of any more 15s rugby before the summer 7s season. We have decided as the FRU board that the Spring 2020 season has been officially canceled and no further play will happen as it relates to the spring 15s competitive season. This is not the conclusion of the Spring season we would have liked but we feel this is the only option available to us.
We are not able to confirm exactly when play will be allowed to continue for rugby, obviously, we are closely monitoring the impact both USA Rugby situation and the COVID-19 situation. There is a very high chance we will be forced to delay and/or cancel the Summer 7s season; we will work with the tournament directors to look at other dates but we are unable to confirm any changes at this time. We would love to see all of the 7s tournaments happen over the summer and will do what we can to help adjust dates once the suspension is lifted.
Our General 7s Policies have been updated, to better reflect how our current 7s season works.
All-Florida Representative Teams
Congratulations to those selected to this new program put forth this fall/spring by the FRU. We are excited to see that several teams took the time and initiative to vote for their players or even at times, the opposing team’s players as the best player of the match. Given that this is a new program, there may have been some confusion on deadlines and participation that we anticipate will improve with time. To clarify, for the 2019/2020 season, we implemented a voting process that club admin/coaches would use to enter a player of the match for forwards and backs. The winning team was allowed to enter a third player as an overall player of the match. The universal adoption of this process has been slower than expected. All players who were listed on D2, D3, D4, and Women’s all received votes by their respective club admins & coaches. If some deserving players did not make the list, then please get with your club coaches and make sure they adopt the process for the 2020/2021 season. Hopefully, moving into 2021 and 2022 we will could this tool as a way to select an All-Florida Select Side.
Return of All Florida Day
We are excited to announce that we are intending on bringing back All Florida Day Tournament for a date during Fall. We are unable to confirm an exact date and/or location until we have a clearer understanding of when the COVID-19 suspension of play will be lifted. Our goal is to provide an exciting single-day tournament that would allow the whole Florida Rugby community to come together to celebrate the return of 15s rugby for the season.
We will continue the endeavor to keep everyone informed on the USA Rugby situation and any insight we have on when Rugby will be allowed to return to playing after the pandemic.
Kerri O’Malley, on behalf of the FRU Board & Administration