Summer Ball

So I think we’ve just about recovered from what was a very lively and entertaining evening. Feedback from Martin Corry was that he had a great time and really good to catch up with lots of old faces. Pete Gould is still counting the cost of each glass of champagne that he drinks from his Jereboam that he won in the auction. Overall it seemed a great success and feedback has been fantastic. I’ve no doubt that we’ll look at doing it again next year and no doubt it will be bigger and better….For those that missed it, chat to those that went, no doubt you’ll come next year! A massive thanks to all that helped me organise and if we do it again, we’ll need a lot more helpers!!!

We have several more Social events coming up so keep an eye on the website!

 

COYW!!

Vets report: Cranbrook away (friendly)

Cranbrook Vets 10- TWRFC Vets 54

A reading from the (less than) sacred scriptures 

And it came to pass, in the second year of the reign of King Creesius the lusty, that the Lord God commanded the ancient men of Tunbridge to battle the heathen men of Cranbrook. For Cranbrook were an brutish and ungodly rabble unpleasing to the Lord. 

And so, verily, the men of Tunbridge wandered to that far and distant land; robed only in cloth of finest blue, provided by an strange man of hideous appearance whose loins were girded heavily as to maketh his pants seemeth fat. 

And, hark, a whistle blew and the Spirit of the Lord descended- so as to maketh them all keen unto a man. And they did take the fight to the heathen heartily, the Baldock running hard, his knees lifted high, his chest stuck out, until the breath runneth from his lungs and his rounded belly dragged upon the earth. And he was joined in the warrior pack by an assortment of blessed disciples; Milo, Tiggy, Craney, Gray, Fatpants, Kenners, Mac, Croker and an dodgy looking chinaman named Taz.

And these mighty men did battle hard, singing hymns of love unto the prophetess Emily, and did provide much ball to the glory of God. And they were inspired by the oldest amongst them, an ancient man whose years span eight and fifty, and Maynard is his name. And he is an miracle. And he also played the day before, despite his crumbling form, for the seconds. And he is an hero of the vets. 

And lo! A giant then appereath from amongst them, Andrew by name, of the tribe of the Northern of Irish, who smashed the heathen aside to put the first points on the scoreboard. And then did a fishy prophet of the Lord, one Bob-eye Jee, kick the conversion. And the Lord was mighty pleased. 

And the whistle bleweth again and the men of Tunbridge returned to battle. And lo! A pretty angel did appear in the backs, sent by God, and his face was brilliant white and his buttocks rounded and firm. And he did score an brilliant try by using a dummy, scissors and pop. And Beamooooo was his name. And Bob-eye Jee did converteth again and the men rejoiced heartily…for it was now 14-0. 

And Beamoooo was joined amongst the angel host by other fair beings of smooth face and effeminate nature. And their names were Hacker, Daley, Webster, Wratton, Derbyshire, and Hughes. And an angel that was fallen stood amongst them, an demonic and evil being, whose leg was deformed. And Riggers was his name. And he was an horrid abomination before the Lord. And the men of God turned their faces from him. And none would speak of him. 

At his command the enemy rallied and the heathen respondeth with an glorious try- straight from the kick off- the ball sailing into the hands of a winger to frustrate the will of the Lord. But the men of Tunbridge were not afraid for a midget did then rise up from amongst them. And the midget did score an third try. And the people of God asketh him to stand before them. And Milo was his name. And the Bob-eye Jee did kick once more and the Lord was mighty pleased. 

But lo! What awful play is this? An calamitous and embarrassing knock on from an hairy and brutish man, Mac, whose anger spilleth over and who did provide for the heathen many penalties with his loutish play and angry visage. But the problems were overcometh when a soldier of the Lord, fleet of foot, did outsmart the enemy on the flanks. And Wratton was his name. But the try was not given for an monstrously foolish and ignorant man, named Croker, did raise his flag and call for a line out. But the soldier of the Lord was not dismayed and scoreth again and this time it stood. And the Bob-eye Jee kicketh but this time the ball striketh the post and the Lord was displeased. And Riggers did laugh for he is evil. 

Now there stood on the field an crippled man whose arm the Lord had healed; an copper man, strong of back but wonky of eye. And he did stand behind the pack to play scrum half for his healing was so recent. And Tiggy was his name. And he did try a fancy boxed kick and verily did make himself look like an arse. And riggers did laugh at his misfortune, for he is a vile and evil being, and wants to return at 9. 

And there was on that field of play also an greedy man who did run mazily through the heathen hoard to score under the post in the second half. And Charlie Hacker was his name. And he did convert his own try for the fishy prophet, Bob-eye Jee, was taking a breather. And the Tiggy also scoreth an try and the Hacker kicketh that also. 

And behold! The Bob-eye Jee did return to battle and was tackled naughtily by heathen swine. And the fury of the Lord possessed him and he did breathe mightily through is nose, red of face and awful stroppy. And he did smash his opposite man and whinge a plenty. And the heathen laughed at him and scored another try in return. 

And the battle drew to a close and the Lord proclaimed his delight in them all. And the men of Tunbridge did stay for a beer and also won the drink off. And then did they travel to the home of the fishy prophet, Bob-eye Je, for a festival of sausage cooked on a brazier of silver. And the men enjoyed their ‘bit of sausage’ and danced into the night. And two disciples of the Lord, Tiggy and Laurence, did attempt to entertain them all with gripping tales of a constabulary nature which sent them all to sleep.

And the Lord looked down on the mighty vets that day and saw that they were good. And he proclaimed this a year of jubilee and commanded them to go forth into the world of Kent and claim a cup of finest gold…the season has begun. 

Here endeth the lesson. 

What makes a stud legal?

As a regular ref I am increasingly seeing in the youth game (and to a lessor extent senior game) with players arriving for games in studs that are not legal and/or safe to play in.

As a ref, I hate it – My choice being to enforce the (entirely reasonable) letter of the law and not permit the player to take place in a game, or overlook it – and potentially take a degree of personal liability for permitting a player to take to the field in studs I know to be illegal (under Law 4).

The purpose of this blog – is to help parents (& players) make an informed decision and purchase legal rugby boots.

The RFU has published guidance on studs as part of their FAQ on player welfare, which states “Blades and studs are currently both acceptable as footwear for rugby (as long as they comply with the IRB regulations below). There is not currently a kite mark for rugby boots; manufacturers self certify their studs or blades against regulation 12 to check that they cause no more damage than traditional studs.”

In general if you are purchasing a boot advertised as a rugby boot from a reputable manufacturer/outlet you are probably OK. If it is advertised as a football boot – more checks are required. The final responsibility is with the players to ensure that they play in safe boots.

LAW 4 deals with players’ clothing – which includes footwear.

4.1. All items of clothing must comply with World Rugby Regulation 12.

4.3(j). Additional items are permitted. These are: Studs, including those of moulded rubber, on the soles of their boots.

4.5 A player may not wear:

b.Any sharp or abrasive item.

g. Any item that is normally permitted in law but, in the referee’s opinion, is liable to cause injury.

4.6 The referee has power to decide at any time, before or during the match, that part of a player’s clothing is dangerous or illegal. If the referee decides that clothing is dangerous or illegal the referee must order the player to remove it. The player must not take part in the match until the items of clothing are removed.

6.4 The match officials must inspect the players’ clothing and studs for conformity to Law 4.

Studs/cleats of player’s boots must conform with World Rugby Specifications (Regulation 12).

Conical or cylindrical stud

The key requirements are:

  • Must not be longer than 21 mm
  • Must not have any burring or sharp edges
  • At least 10mm diameter at the end
  • All edges of the studs/cleats should be finished smooth and rounded to a radius of not less than 1mm.
  • Must be made of a material that maintains these characteristics through the game (Nylon has been found previously not to be a suitable material due to its propensity to burring)

Note: There is no allowance for any differences based on age or boot-size. This photo is of my 5-year old’s (size 13) boot, demonstrating that even tiny boots can fit a legal stud  (and yes – I  have stolen the idea from someone on rugbyrefs.com and added a 10mm spanner to my kit bag).

 

Blades and non-cylindrical studs

The standard effectively is that…

  • The shape and dimensions of other stud/cleat designs should be such that they present a no greater risk of injury to another player than the stud/cleat shown in figure 1.
  • The plan view cross-sectional contact area of the stud/cleat shown in Figure 1 at a plane 2 mm below the tip is 78 mm2. Other studs/cleats having the same or greater contact area might be expected to give satisfactory performance dependent on minimum stud/cleat width in any direction.
  • All edges of the studs/cleats should be finished smooth and rounded to a radius of not less than 1mm.

Clearly this requirement is much vaguer – and at pitch-side is a judgement call.  I run my hands over the boots and see if feels sharper less/comfortable then a conventional stud (although by the time I have run my hands over a whole teams boots – they all feel pretty uncomfortable).

Some examples

Disclaimer – This list was compiled based on the images presented and is intended to be illustrative – it is not a definitive ‘approval’ of a particular boot type, or a recommendation or endorsement of any product.  In many cases studs can be replaced so an illegal boot could be made legal through stud replacements and visa-versa.

It is thankless duty of the ref. to interpret this (somewhat vague) guidance on the day. I also fully reserve my right to deem a boot at legal/illegal on the day based on the boot’s actual characteristics. You can also expect a degree of variance in interpretation between refs.

Conical studs

1. Legal (provided no sharp edges or burring).  These are the defacto standard – against which all others are measured. 2. Potentially illegal – the studs look like they might not be:

  • >= 10mm diameter at the end
  • Suitably rounded (the end is ‘flattened-off’)
3. Legal (provided they are 1cm at the end and do not have any sharp-edges or burring). Nothing requires the stud to be of a single material. 4. Potentially illegal – although the end is of sufficient diameter it looks to have a non-rounded edge at the tip.  The requirement for a conical stud is a radius of >= 1mm.

Blades studs..

These are far more subjective – and each referee is likely to base their judgement on the ‘feel’ of each individual boot. My advice would be to go with conical moulded studs or specifically search for boots marketed as rugby boots.

5.Legal (provided >=10mm diameter, no sharp edges or burring). 6. Probably Legal (& Sold by Lovel as Rugby boots) provided that there are no sharp edges and burring. 7.Hard to call – The cross-area of each  seems less than ‘standard’ and the design could have sharp angles. 8.Potentially illegal  – The cross-area of these seems less than ‘standard’ and the design has a possibility of sharp angles.

 

Looking ahead to another Vets season…

Last season the mighty TWRFC veterans continued to impress (themselves) by not only reaching the final of the Late Red (old farts) Cup again but also, and just as importantly, by turning out Saturday by Saturday to ensure the club gets four sides out. Yes; from the 4s to the 1s the mighty Vets are ever present at the senior level, willingly setting aside false teeth, sock garters and anusol tubes, to don the blue and white (or pink, silver and black on vets days) and bring glory to the club. That last season’s vets final was played by an army of crumbling men, most of whom had played the day before, spoke volumes. 

This year the aim is twofold. To finally lift that accursed cup and to avoid all and any fixtures to Thanet away. Oh and we also aim to keep the beer flowing….old school drinking sessions are in. Rob Harrison, by contrast, is out (of the closet).

For the uninitiated the vets is primarily a social side, comprised of men of varied ability, where all are welcome (except for Rigby!)

As captain I strive to give everyone some minutes on the pitch. Not always easy given the huge level of gorgeous talent available.

So if you are over 35, enjoy your rugby. drink beer (and can put up with shoddy banter on Whatsapp)…If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them… maybe you should join “the vets team” 

I love it when a plan comes together!

First game- a friendly at Cranbrook. Sunday September 9th. Dress Code ‘loud and proud’ followed by a party. Get in touch if you want to get involved.

Not my favourite system…

Membership renewal is once again coming round, which means once again we are all going to get to test our wits against the (awful) GMS user-interface.

Progress last year…

Last season we cutover the youth section (the vast majority of our members), and now have almost 1,300 active members according to GMS.

The process itself was not entirely painless for anybody signing up, and it certainly wasn’t painless for Michelle and I as we dealt with the many ‘features’ of GMS.  In fact only about half of people trying to sign-up for membership were able to complete the process without our help.

This season I am quietly hoping that it’s going to be MUCH easier:

  1. The vast majority of data issues have been resolved (I personally merged >150 duplicate records)
  2. Most parents should have their username & password, and for those who have forgotten hopefully they will have updated their email, so they can reset their own password.
  3. Senior players are more likely than parents to know their username/password and have better data quality.

Even so, it’s a lot of work – so why would we do this?

There’s a few reasons for us choosing to move our membership onto GMS…

  1. At this point we have separate processes for tracking senior players, youth section and vice-president memberships. Some of our process are also manual which can introduce errors, and goCardless is a payments platform not a membership system. This makes pulling together an accurate list of all paid-up members time-consuming.
  2. In either case, we are required (as part of our RFU accreditation) to keep some data with GMS current, it’s the system used for player registration, qualifications, etc.   Anything else we chose to use for membership would cause us to have to duplicate data that is held in GMS.
  3. Having a single source of the truth which is provided and maintained by the RFU takes a lot of the burden from TWRFC in remaining compliant with data privacy regulations and GDPR… There’s still much improvement required in GMS in this regard, but we can see the RFU are working on it.

Speaking of GDPR & Data-Privacy, what are you doing about that…

We’ve released our privacy statement

The youth exec are planning to move all Youth TWRFC communications to happen via mail-groups (probably on googlegroups).  This will give us a consistent approach, which automatically hides the email addresses of our members, and also includes an opt-out link on each email.  A side benefit of this is that the club will (for the first time) have an easy way of communicating to it’s youth parents.

Martin

A new website…

I don’t have much to write as I am really testing out the blogging functionality, hopefully this post will in the fullness of time be replaced with something that is a little more content-rich and interesting.