We have a busy weekend of rugby meetings for our community. Make sure your team sends its necessary representatives.

REFEREE SOCIETY MEETING – SATURDAY

The Wisconsin Rugby Referee Society is holding fitness testing and a general membership meeting this Saturday, February 28 in Fond du Lac. You can RSVP to the event via Facebook here.

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. - Fitness training, Beep test
Address: Marian University, 45 S. National Ave., Fond du Lac, WI 54935

1 p.m. – 3 p.m. - WRRS Annual General Meeting
Address: Moraine Park Tech College, Room O102, 235 N. National Ave., Fond du Lac, WI 54936

UNION MEETING – SUNDAY

All Wisconsin Rugby Football Union member teams must send at least one representative to this Sunday's Spring General Meeting held on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. You can RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

You can view the previous meeting minutes here.

11 a.m. – Breakout Meetings
12 p.m. – General Meeting

The meeting will be held at Union South, just a few blocks from Camp Randall Stadium.

Union South
1308 W. Dayton St.
Madison, WI 53715

Specific meeting rooms are still being confirmed. The Union South offers several options for food, coffee, etc.

Parking Recommendations: Union South does have a pay parking ramp underneath the building. However, nearby neighborhood streets (Monroe St., Regent St.) will have free or less expensive parking options. Please also be aware that there is a UW Men's Basketball game at the Kohl Center starting at 3 p.m. Due to our start time, this shouldn't inconvenience our attendees. Just a heads up to give yourself plenty of time to park, etc., in case you of early pre-game revelry.

Six Nations: For attendees interested in watching Six Nations matches that morning, Cooper's Tavern on the Capital Square will be showing the games. Address is 20 W Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703. You will want to drive your car to reach Union South, due to the distance.

IS THAT OLD KNEE BRACE ILLEGAL?

USA Rugby shared updated Guidelines for approved equipment and clothing this week. We've posted this to our WRFU website and recommend that all players, referees, and administrators read this to ensure your teams stay in compliance when dressing for games.

HIGH SCHOOL GAME MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES

We have added links to the USA Rugby Game Management Guidelines for adult games, high school games, and sevens to our news section here.
You can also find these links on the USA Rugby website under Referee Resources.

We encourage you to read and share these guidelines with your teams.

WINTER TRAINING MOTIVATION

This week, we're checking out a motivational training video from England Women's Rugby on basic movements for a good workout. This would be a great video to share with players new to fitness. Check out "England Women Fitness Masterclass". Have a training resource to share? Let us know.

We're sharing educational opportunities to consider this week and pass on to your teams. Here's what is happening around our rugby community ...

WOMEN'S 7s HIGH-PERFORMANCE CAMP

Based in Little Rock, Ark., the new and notable American Rugby Pro Training Center is seeking coaches' recommendations for female rugby 7s players to be considered for their upcoming camp April 9-13. Learn more here. This would be a great opportunity for Wisconsin athletes in high school and older.

About the ARPTC: "USA Rugby's former Women's National 7s Team Head Coach, Jules McCoy, launched the American Rugby Pro Training Center in Little Rock in Fall 2014. As a designated USA Rugby National Development Academy and Olympic Development Academy Program Member with several rugby pitches on site, local government and business support and a fully equipped gym, the training center located at the Greater Little Rock Rugby Complex is perfect for hosting elite level men's and women's rugby players and tournaments."

Need More Women's 7s? The upcoming Atlanta 7s is just around the corner, March 14-15.

REFEREE COURSES

There are two upcoming referee courses in our area in the next few weeks. On February 28, there will be a Level 1 Officiating Course in Sycamore, Ill. (Note – Same day as Wisconsin Refs Meeting. See below.)

Closer to home, there will also be a Level 2 Officiating Course in Stevens Point, Wis., on March 7-8.

Don't forget that you can also sign up for Assistant Referee and Touch Judge courses online too. Add these extra educational certifications without leaving home!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS – REFEREE AND UNION MEETINGS

We'll continue to offer you friendly reminders in the coming weeks and updates on the details of each meeting, but be sure to mark down in your calendars for the Wisconsin Rugby Referee Society (WRRS) meeting on Saturday, February 28 in Fond du Lac and the Wisconsin Rugby Football Union (WRFU) Spring General Meeting in Madison on Sunday, March 1.

You can RSVP to the Ref meeting here via Facebook and RSVP here to the Union meeting here.

Related News: We have posted the WRFU Approved Meeting Minutes from March 2014 and the Draft Meeting Minutes from December 2014 online. Check them out here.

WINTER TRAINING MOTIVATION

This week, we've got a video freshly posted from Irish Rugby TV for training ideas and motivation – "Irish Rugby TV: In The Gym With Quinny And The Ireland Team." Try this workout soon to kick start your winter fitness.

Have a great fitness or training resource to share? Let us know.

SHARE WRFU NEWS WITH YOUR TEAM

Help the WRFU keep all of our community members updated on what's happening in rugby here and across the country. Please be sure to share our newsletters and social media updates with all of your teammates and rugby network. Better yet, encourage others to sign up for our email newsletter and follow us on our social media channels. Thank you!

usar equipment coverUSA Rugby shared an update this week to provide greater information and clear guidelines on protective equipment and clothing.

Protect Equipment and Clothing Guidelines 2015

Please share this information with your teams and the rugby community.

From the Guidelines:

"Rugby is expanding quickly at all ages and with that comes more cross‐over from other sports and activities. Players and coaches are bringing new techniques and skills from these other sports but with them come some protective gear that is not allowed in rugby. This document is meant to clarify what is allowed and not allowed in the sport of contact rugby.

A couple items of note:

• There is no difference for the game of Sevens, Tens or Fifteens; illegal is illegal

• If you have a question, contact USA Rugby for a clarification. The easiest overarching guideline to know if something is permitted, is anything with plastic or metal of any kind is not allowed.

• There are different policies for men and women, but very few differences. Chest padding is allowed for women, but not men. Hijab headscarves and cotton one-­seam tights are allowed for women for purposes of religious modesty. Best practice is when the headscarf is worn under a scrum cap.

• Please do not waiver on these banned items; they are for the safety of all players. If a player cannot play without a banned item, they should not be playing contact rugby until healthy enough to participate without that item.

• Banned items identification falls to every player and coach to police their own athletes and teams. The referee is only there as a final word on the item.

If you have any question on specific items you can contact USA Rugby's Referee Department, Marc Nelson at . Please do not contact USA Rugby 5 minutes before a match, do this at least several days before your match to question an item. More information available at http://www.irbplayerwelfare.com/reg12. And also http://usarugby.org/laws-­‐guidelines."

Lots of rugby to pay attention to this week for our community. Let's see what's happening in rugby ...

LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL AND VEGAS SEVENS

Wisconsin has a number of local players playing for selects teams at this weekend's Las Vegas Invitational. You can watch the updated scores and standings online here.

Reina Anderson – Atlantis – Girls Elite International U19s
Megan Bird – Atlantis – Girls High School 7s
Matt Drziewicki – Elite Selects – Men's Elite 7s
Grace Hove – Midwest Thunderbirds – Women's Collegiate 7s
Ben Landry – Serevi Selects – Men's Elite 7s
Sarah Thomas – Stars Rugby 7s – Women's Open 7s

The Vegas Sevens will also be aired on television as the international matches kick off. See the viewing schedule here. Celebrate Valentine's Day by watching rugby on NBC from 1:00-3:30 p.m. on Saturday and catch some more on Sunday afternoon, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

SIX NATIONS

This weekend's rugby viewing opportunities continue with the Six Nations matches. See the schedule and more information here. Viewing parties for Six Nations matches are held at Cooper's Tavern in Madison and The Irish Pub in Milwaukee.

NEED A LAST-MINUTE VALENTINE?

Check out this fun Rugby Love Project created by the Chicago North Shore Women's Team. Rugby valentines for you to share.

REMINDER: WRFU and REF MEETINGS

Now just four weeks out, make sure your team has representatives set to attend the WRFU Spring meeting on Sunday, March 1 in Madison. You can RSVP to that here on Facebook. For Six Nations fans, please note that we're also organizing an opportunity to watch that morning's games in downtown Madison near the UW campus prior to the meeting starting.

That same weekend, alert your team's referee contacts that the Wisconsin Rugby Referee Society has fitness testing and a meeting in Fond du Lac on Saturday. You can RSVP to that here on Facebook.

WINTER TRAINING MOTIVATION

This week, we're checking out a motivational training video from our northern neighbors, the Canada Women's National Team. Check out "Not Giving In." Have a training resource to share? Let us know.