USA Rugby

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USA Rugby
Association crest
Sport Rugby union
Founded 1975
IRB affiliation 1987
Chairman Kevin Roberts
President Nigel Melville
Men's coach Mike Tolkin
Sevens coach Matt Hawkins
Official website www.usarugby.org

USA Rugby is the national governing body for the sport of rugby union in the United States. USA Rugby states its role as "the national governing body charged with achieving and maintaining high levels of quality in all aspects of rugby."[1] USA Rugby is responsible for the promotion and development of the sport in the US and promotion of US international participation.[2] USA Rugby is a member of the International Rugby Board (IRB) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

USA Rugby has over 115,000 members, the largest segment being college rugby with over 32,000 members.[3] USA Rugby oversees 1,200 high school teams, 900 college teams, 700 senior club teams, and 400 youth teams.[4] USA Rugby administers all United States national teams: senior men's and women's teams, sevens teams for both men and women, and under-20 national teams for both sexes. The organization also sponsors college rugby for both sexes, although since the 2010–11 academic year the NCAA has designated women's rugby an emerging varsity sport. Rugby Super League is organized and sanctioned by USA Rugby as the Premier Level of Men's Club competition in the USA.

Rugby union in the United States is divided into Geographical Unions: Capital, Carolinas, Empire, Eastern Penn, Florida, Mid-America, New England, Northern California, Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Texas and True South.[5] The headquarters for USA Rugby are now located in Boulder, Colorado.

Recent Achievements[edit]

  • In 2011 the International Rugby Board gave its Development Award to USA Rugby for its Rookie Rugby program that introduced over 100,000 new children to youth rugby.[6]
  • In 2010 USA Rugby became an Olympic Sport member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).[7]
  • In 2010 USA Rugby introduced a new college department to focus on competition restructure for the college game.
  • In the 2009–10 IRB Sevens World Series, the men's sevens team finished the season ranked 10th in the world, their highest ranking ever.

Governance and Leadership[edit]

USA Rugby is governed by its Board of Directors and its Congress. The Board is composed of 9 members: 6 independent directors, 2 international athletes, and 1 representative from USA Rugby's Congress. Board members are:[8]

The Congress is composed of 27 members: 3 members from each of the 7 Territorial Unions, and 6 international athletes.[9]

Nigel Melville, former England captain, has been CEO and President of Operations of USA Rugby since October 11, 2006. One of Melville's goals at the time of his hiring was to help rugby along the path to professionalism in the US, including creating a Super 12 competition with 4 teams each from the US, Canada, and Argentina.[10]

Mike Tolkin is the Head Coach of the men's national team.[11] Matt Hawkins has been the head coach of the men's national sevens team since August 1, 2013.[12]

Peter Steinberg is the Women's Eagles Head Coach, and Ric Suggit is the head coach of the Women's Sevens team.

Geographical Unions[edit]

USA Rugby organizes registered rugby teams into twelve Geographical Unions. Each of these GU's are split in turn into Local Area Unions and State Based Rugby Organizations.[13]

The current Geographical Unions are:

International Representation[edit]

USA Rugby has been a member of the International Rugby Board since 1987. USA Rugby does not hold a vote on the IRB's 28 member Executive Council—the majority of votes are held by the 8 founding nations—although NACRA members collectively hold one vote on the Executive Council.[14] In December 2011, for the first time, USA Rugby placed a representative on the 10-man IRB Executive Committee. Bob Latham, in his role as chair of NACRA, represents NACRA on the Executive Committee.[15]

USA Rugby is a member of the North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA), one of the 6 regional unions that comprise the IRB. With over 80,000 registered rugby players, USA Rugby is the largest rugby member in NACRA.[16]

USA Rugby also has relationships with international multi-sport organizations. USA Rugby is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and interacts with the International Olympic Committee. USA Rugby also interacts with the Pan American Sport Organization, and rugby has been a sport at the Pan Am Games since 2011.

Financials[edit]

USA Rugby generally earns between $6 million to $8 million in annual revenues, with the majority of the revenue coming from (1) membership dues, (2) grants, and (3) sponsorship. Their principal expenses are (1) High Performance, (2) Men's National Team, and (3) Marketing and Fundraising.[17] In 2010, USA Rugby paid over $200,000 each to its CEO Nigel Melville and its then Head Coach Eddie O'Sullivan.[18]

USA Rugby annual revenues are below (numbers in parentheses include the components that generated the majority of revenue):[19]

  • 2012 = $10.2m ($4.3m membership dues, $1.7m grants)
    • By comparison, annual reported revenue for the 2012-13 year were 66m EUR for Ireland,[20] 61m GBP for Wales, 54m GBP for New Zealand, and 39m GBP for Scotland.[21]
  • 2011 = $7.5m ($3.2m membership dues, $1.7m grants)
    • By comparison, annual reported revenue for 2011 were C$ 8.9m for Canada, and 38m GBP for Scotland for the 2011-12 year.[22]
  • 2010 = $6.4m ($2.8m membership dues, $1.4m grants)
    • USAR Revenue dropped in 2010 due to the loss of a major sponsor.[23]
  • 2009 = $8.1m ($2.7m membership dues, $2.4m sponsorship)
  • 2008 = $8.0m ($2.7m sponsorship, $2.0m membership dues)
  • 2007 = $6.7m ($2.2m membership dues, $1.7m grants)
  • 2006 = $5.3m ($2.0m membership dues, $1.3m grants)

History[edit]

The U.S. men's national team, the Eagles, won the Gold Medal in Olympic rugby in 1920 and 1924. After that time, rugby in the U.S. stagnated while continuing to grow in other parts of the world.

Beginning in the 1960s and continuing through the 1970s, the sport of rugby union enjoyed a renaissance in the USA. This created the need for a national governing body to represent the USA. In 1975 four territorial organizations (Pacific Coast, West, Midwest and East) gathered in Chicago, Illinois to form the United States of America Rugby Football Union (now known as USA Rugby).

In 1993, the Southern California RFU, a local area union of the Pacific Coast RFU, applied to become a separate territory. This was an impetus for others around the country to do the same, changing the make-up of USA Rugby, which now has seven territories (Pacific, Southern California, West, Midwest, South, Northeastern, and Mid-Atlantic).

USA Rugby lobbied for several years for a stop on the IRB Sevens World Series, and finally was awarded the annual USA Sevens tournament beginning in 2004. The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, California, was the venue for the initial USA Sevens tournaments. In the summer of 2006, the tournament was moved to Petco Park in San Diego. Since 2010, the tournament has been held every year at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

USA Rugby is a Founding Sports Partner of the Sports Museum of America, joining more than 50 other single-sport Halls of Fame, national governing bodies, museums and other organizations across North America, to richly celebrate the history, grandeur and significance of sports in American culture. Opened in New York City on May 7, 2008, the Sports Museum of America showcases USA Rugby in its Hall of Halls Gallery, in return for their support of the creation of the Nation's first all-sports museum experience.

The rich history spanning 135 years of American rugby has been compiled in the documentary, A Giant Awakens: the Rise of American Rugby.

National Teams: The Eagles[edit]

USA Rugby is responsible for organizing the various US national teams:

Club Competitions[edit]

Rugby Super League, organized and sanctioned by USA Rugby, was the premier level of men's club competition in the USA.[24] Founded in 1996, the competition was created to provide a high level, national annual rugby competition in the United States. The competition is now defunct since 2011-2012. [25] Following the demise of the Super League, the Pacific Rugby Premiership was formed in 2013, and began play in 2014 as the top level of men's club competition in the U.S.

College Rugby[edit]

Main article: College rugby

The Collegiate Rugby Championship is a rugby sevens competition that has been held every year in June since 2010.[26] The tournament is the highest profile college rugby tournament in the US, and is broadcast live on NBC every year.

Past leaders[edit]

Elected Governance history[edit]

Election Date President Vice-President Treasurer Secretary
June 1975 Victor Hilarov Richard Moneymaker Gail Tennant Edmond Lee
June 1977 Victor Hilarov Richard Moneymaker Gail Tennant Edmond Lee
June 1979 Richard Moneymaker Fritz Grunebaum David Chambers Vacant
June 1981 David Chambers Fritz Grunebaum Joe Reagan Keith Seaber
June 1983 Robert Watkins Keith Seaber Terry Fleener Robert Jones
June 1985[27] Robert Watkins Keith Seaber Terry Fleener Tom Selfridge (resigned summer of 86, and not replaced)[28]
June 1987[29] Terry Fleener Bill McEnteer Edward Kane Dick Elliot (replaced by Ian Nixon by Dec 87[30])
June 1989 Robert Watkins W.T. Haffner Brad Sharp Ian Nixon
June 1991 Ian Nixon W.T. Haffner Bill Podewils Gene Roberts
November 1992[31] Ian Nixon Randy Stainer Anne Barry W.T. Haffner (resigned June 94; replaced by Jami Jordan)
November 1994[32] John D’Amico Randy Stainer Anne Barry Jami Jordan

In June 87, the position of Chairman of the Board was added to the Executive Committee, and Bob Watkins was named to that position.[33] Effective June 89, that position was retitled Post of Past President, and remained an appointed post until the position was dropped in 1996.

Effective January 1996, an Executive Vice President was added.

Election Date President Executive Vice-President Vice-President Treasurer Secretary
January 1996[34] Gene Roberts Tony Skillbeck Neal Brendel Anne Barry Reyn Kinzey
January 1998[35] Anne Barry Neal Brendel Tristan Lewis Barbara Fugate Pat O’Connor

Effective March 2000, the Vice President was replaced with Athlete Vice President.

Election Date President Executive Vice-President Athlete Vice-President Treasurer Secretary
March 2000[36] Anne Barry Neal Brendel Mary Dixey Fred Roedel III Pat O’Connor
March 2002[37] Neal Brendel Robert Latham Jen Crawford Fred Roedel III Pat O’Connor

Effective April 2004, the President title was replace with Chairman, and an USARRA Representative was added.

Election Date Chairman Vice Chairman Athlete Vice Chairman Treasurer Secretary USARRA Rep
April 2004[38] Neal Brendel Robert Latham Don James Fred Roedel III David Pelton Buzz McClain
March 2006[39] Robert Latham Frank Merrill Alex Magelby Thomas Schmidt David Pelton John McConnell

Effective July 14, 2006 the Governance was changed to a Model with a Board of Directors nominated and approved by a Congress.[40]

National Office[edit]

The governing body of USA Rugby established a national office, and opened it on June 3, 1988.[41] The office has been headed by:

Name Title Start Date End Date
Kirk Miles Executive Director May 2, 1988[42] December 20, 1989[43]
Roger Neppl Executive Director May 1, 1995[44] September 6, 1995[45]
Paul Montville Executive Director November 24, 1997[46] April 1999[47]
Terry Fleener Interim Director April 1999[48] June 21, 1999
Mark Rudolph Executive Director June 21, 1999[49] November 9, 2001
Dean Hahn November 9, 2001
Doug Arnot CEO December 1, 2002[50] July 14, 2006[51]
Steve Griffiths
Nigel Melville CEO and President of Rugby Operations October 11, 2006 present

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ USA Rugby, 2010 Audited Financial Statements, http://www.usarugby.org/#cc=[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Brand%20Resource%20Center\\Content\\Home\\20907F3F-1296-66EA-DD8E-5E2AF35B49C0\\21D94194-12C3-6D38-DF2C-6844DCDD2CBETemplate:View:EditLiveContentTemplate:Tab:View
  2. ^ USA Rugby Football Union, Consolidated Financial Statements, December 31, 2010
  3. ^ USA Rugby, 2010-2011 Membership Data, http://www.usarugby.org/#cc%3D%5BApplication%5D%5C%5CStructure%5C%5CContent%5C%5CBrand%20Resource%20Center%5C%5CContent%5C%5CHome%5C%5C20907F3F-1296-B111-B8B9-B9B5BDF7BA96%5C%5C23181D59-1321-B9FB-311E-BB2647C1C2BF%7B%7BTab%3AView%7D%7D
  4. ^ USA Rugby by the numbers, USArugby.org. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "USA Club Rugby: Geographical Unions". http://usarugby.org/. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  6. ^ IRB Awards, Thierry Dusautoir IRB Player of the Year, October 24, 2011, http://www.irb.com/history/awards/newsid=2060050.html
  7. ^ Universal Sports, USA Rugby named Olympic Sport member of USOC, September 27, 2010, http://www.universalsports.com/news-blogs/article/newsid=493882.html
  8. ^ USA Rugby, Governance, http://www.usarugby.org/#cc%3D%5BApplication%5D%5C%5CStructure%5C%5CContent%5C%5CBrand%20Resource%20Center%5C%5CContent%5C%5CHome%5C%5C20907F3F-1296-66EA-DD8E-5E2AF35B49C0%5C%5C20907F3F-129C-3DB7-096D-04AA3AB59358%5C%5C21D94194-12C0-DA0C-DDAD-B69389F24FC0%7B%7BTab%3AView%7D%7D
  9. ^ USA Rugby, Governance, http://www.usarugby.org/#cc%3D%5BApplication%5D%5C%5CStructure%5C%5CContent%5C%5CBrand%20Resource%20Center%5C%5CContent%5C%5CHome%5C%5C20907F3F-1296-66EA-DD8E-5E2AF35B49C0%5C%5C20907F3F-129C-3DB7-096D-04AA3AB59358%5C%5C21D941C5-129D-B952-AD38-12D51E99120E%7B%7BTab%3AView%7D%7D
  10. ^ Guardian, Nigel Melville on his American challenge, October 12, 2006, http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2006/oct/13/rugbyunion.comment
  11. ^ USA Rugby, Men's National Teams, http://www.usarugby.org/#cc=[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Brand%20Resource%20Center\\Content\\Home\\20907F3F-1296-67BD-B97F-842B448A46E7\\23181D59-134B-5319-F060-CE40C1E783BA\\20907F3F-129A-9F7E-0EE8-58746527276FTemplate:View:EditLiveContentTemplate:Tab:View
  12. ^ http://www.usarugby.org/mens-sevens-news/item/hawkins-named-men-s-eagles-sevens-head-coach
  13. ^ "USA Club Rugby: Geographical Unions". http://usarugby.org/. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  14. ^ International Rugby Board
  15. ^ Gainline.us, IRB vote propels american to top committee, December 14, 2011, http://www.gainline.us/gainline/2011/12/irb-vote-propels-american-to-top-committee.html
  16. ^ http://www.irb.com/unions/union=11000012/index.html
  17. ^ USA Rugby, 2010 Audited Financial Statements, http://www.usarugby.org/#cc=[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Brand%20Resource%20Center\\Content\\Home\\20907F3F-1296-66EA-DD8E-5E2AF35B49C0\\21D94194-12C3-6D38-DF2C-6844DCDD2CBETemplate:View:EditLiveContentTemplate:Tab:View
  18. ^ USA Rugby, 2010 Audited Financial Statements, http://www.usarugby.org/#cc=[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Brand%20Resource%20Center\\Content\\Home\\20907F3F-1296-66EA-DD8E-5E2AF35B49C0\\21D94194-12C3-6D38-DF2C-6844DCDD2CBETemplate:View:EditLiveContentTemplate:Tab:View
  19. ^ USA Rugby Financial Statements, http://usarugby.org/about-usarugby/financial-statements
  20. ^ Irish Rugby Football Union ANUAL REPORT 2012/2013
  21. ^ ESPN scrum, RFU posts record £153m revenue, November 15, 2013, http://www.espnscrum.com/england/rugby/story/206137.html
  22. ^ Scottish Rugby Annual Report 2011/12.
  23. ^ http://usarugby.org/documentation/about/financials/2010_Audited_Financial_Statements.pdf
  24. ^ U.S. Rugby Super League, About RSL, http://www.premier-rugby.com/page/show/468964-about-rsl
  25. ^ U.S. Rugby Super League, History, http://www.premier-rugby.com/page/show/468962-history
  26. ^ Philly.com, PPL Park to host rugby college championships, November 10, 2010, http://articles.philly.com/2010-11-10/sports/24952526_1_sevens-rugby-top-priority-2-day-event
  27. ^ Rugby Magazine Vol 12; No. July 5, 1986
  28. ^ Rugby Magazine Vol 13, No. March 2, 1987 and March 87 issue of The Eagle (USARFU publication)
  29. ^ Rugby Magazine Vol 13; No July 5/August 1986
  30. ^ December 87 issue of The Eagle (USARFU publication)
  31. ^ November 92 AGM Rugby Magazine Vol 18, No. 11; 21 Dec 92
  32. ^ AGM 11 – 13 Nov 94; Colorado Springs, CO as reported in Rugby Magazine Vol 20, No 11; 19 Dec 94
  33. ^ Rugby Magazine Vol 13; No July 5/August 1986
  34. ^ AGM 6 Jan 96 in Atlanta GA as reported in Rugby Magazine Vol 22, No. 1; Feb 96
  35. ^ 17 Jan 88 AGM at Atlanta, GA as reported in Rugby Magazine Vol. 24 No. 1; 30 Jan 98
  36. ^ March 3–5, 2000 Board meeting reported by Rugby Magazine Vol. 26. No.4; April 28, 2000
  37. ^ USA Rugby Official Minutes from March 1–2, 2002 AGM at New Orleans, LA
  38. ^ USA Rugby Official Minutes from April 2–3, 2004 meeting in Philadelphia, PA
  39. ^ USA Rugby Official Minutes from March 3–4 April 2–3, 2006 meeting in
  40. ^ Official Minutes USA Rugby Board Meeting July 14, 2006
  41. ^ Rugby Magazine Vol 14; No. 4 April 88
  42. ^ Rugby Magazine Vol 14; No. 4 April 88
  43. ^ Rugby magazine Vol 16. No. 1; 22 Jan 90
  44. ^ Rugby Union Magazine Vol 3 no. 3; July/Aug 95
  45. ^ Rugby Magazine Vol. 21 no. 8; 18 Sep 95
  46. ^ USA Rugby Touchline - Vol 6, Iss 1 Spring 98
  47. ^ USA Rugby Touchline - Vol 7, Iss 3, Spring 99
  48. ^ Rugby Magazine Vol. 25, No. 3; 15 April 99
  49. ^ Rugby magazine Vol. 25; No. 6; 17 July 99
  50. ^ Rugby Magazine - Vol 28, No. 11; December 2002
  51. ^ Red Terror, Doug Arnot to Step Down as CEO of USA Rugby, April 16, 2006, http://redterror.blogspot.com/2007/03/doug-arnot-to-step-down-as-ceo-of-usa.html

External links[edit]