Editorial: Same Issues, New Process?

September 15 2016

What's the Beginning of Rugby in BC Without a Little Backroom Political Jostling

posted Sept 15 2016
[ed. comments below]

What's the beginning of rugby in BC without a little backroom political jostling. BC Rugby CEO Annabel Kehoe called a hasty meeting with the BC Premier clubs on Wednesday to go over the ground rules for eligibility likely prompted by Rugby Canada releasing a list of centralized players and which clubs they would be assigned to.

Baillie Kyle Westshore
Bowd Gradyn UVIC Vikes
Buydens Hubert Castaway Wanderers
Cejvanovic Admir Burnaby Lake RFC
Dala Nanyak Castaway Wanderers
du Toit Guiseppe UVIC Vikes
Howard Eric Not in RCCP until Jan 2017
Kelly Will Not in RCCP until Jan 2017
Keys Conor UVIC Vikes
Mascott Alex UBC
McMullan Aidan UVIC Vikes
McRorie Gordon UBCOB Ravens
Moor Dan Castaway Wanderers
Nott Oliver UVIC Vikes
Parfrey Patrick James Bay AA
Staller Brock Meralomas
Thiel Jake Abbotsford
Wadden Adrian James Bay AA
Tiedemann Andrew Castaway Wanderers
Barkwill Ray Castaway Wanderers

Apparently one outcome of the meeting was to look at ending relegation this season, so all teams going into the Premier qualifying could get into Premier in the spring. With changes in the constitution the BCRU feels it can make this decision without going to the AGM for a vote but just through the CEO and the Board. I'm sure there are some BC Rugby constitutional experts who will look at that closely.

If competition changes can be made without membership voting, then look for some serious lobbying on other matters such as removing the Canada player restrictions. Currently clubs are restricted to playing only 3 Canada players and a total of 4 imports or Canada players. The details are at:

http://www.bcrugby.com/page/show/1936775-rules-of-competition - Section 8.5

This has been a constant battle between south island teams and mainland teams. South Island teams, in particular CW and James Bay, have wanted to abolish this rule as they are the major beneficiaries of Rugby Canada's largess in this regard. Most other clubs outside of the south island have seen it as a necessary restriction to balance the competition.

The first test comes on Friday with CW already publishing their roster which includes more than 3 Canada players. It doesn't look like Westshore will contest this as their thinking seems to be a thumping in the short term is worth the long term benefits of accessing Canada players and not being relegated. I'm not so sure other clubs will be as accommodating and that's where the all star administrators will battle it out for their clubs behind the scenes. I don't envy the Competition Committee this year.

It could be an interesting season if the BCRU changes rules on the fly without going through the traditional AGM membership voting but instead relying on the CEO and Board. Both JBAA and CW have members on the board but I would be surprised if they have the numbers to carry a motion to remove the Canada player limits. But then again the consensus process sometimes carries on the strongest personalities.

Stay tuned for the lineups on Friday.

Pemberton Holmes
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