In an ongoing effort to improve the competition in the Northern California Rugby Football Union (otherwise know as NorCal), the Union is implementing new changes, protocols and penalties to improve and really sustain competition in its ranks.
Last week NorCal's coordinator Pete Smith laid out for the clubs the requirements for this coming season (which starts this weekend). There was in the protocol the usual information that clubs must be current with their dues, all players must be CIPP, and that all clubs must now have a current World Rugby Level 200 Certified coach, NorCal is also requiring a minimum of registered players per club.
Each club must have a minimum of 15 players on their roster before the season and for 7s aside only clubs they must have a minimum of 9 players. This seems totally logical and reasonable. This year NorCal is requiring that all the DI clubs have 35 CIPP players. This is the first time that the Union is really seeking to have its DI sides ensure they have a specific number of players. Most of this is to ensure that teams in DI play have sufficient players to last a long season, but also to have the numbers to also be able to field a B-Side/Second game each week. This has been an issue in past, with teams having low numbers not being able to field 2nd games or sides. NorCal requires for its DI sides to play two full games.
Also each club is now required to have a certified referee as well, (DI clubs are required to have a minimum of two referees).
This is one step to help ensure clubs have the numbers needed to play two games. The other option would be to consider playing the B-Side games first. DI could play play that game first and then have some of those B-Side players then be reserves for the A/First side. Its something that LA Rugby has been working with, and its made as an incentive for those B-Side players to play well and harder, so they can make that first side. It also ensures people hang around.
In the meantime Nor Cal has set some penalties in place to help ensure compliance. Teams not complaint with the current requirements will be forfeiting games until they are compliant. That in itself may not be a big deal for some, so NorCal has also implemented a financial penalty. Forfeiture of an A-Side match is $350 fine per game! There is a $200 fine for B-Side game forfeiture for DI teams (who are required to play a full B-Side match).