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Thursday, October 22, 2015

ACRA Pulling Out Of Fall Post-Season

Citing a deteriorated relationship with U.S.A. Rugby the American Collegiate Rugby Association, also known as the ACRA, "is withdrawing from any official capacity of running and hosting the fall 2015 post-season." The ACRA had been involved with tournaments in 2013 and 2014. 2013 was an independent competition for teams who felt they needed a fall championship and U.S.A. Rugby wasn't providing one. In 2014 U.S.A. Rugby instituted a fall championship and partnered with the ACRA to pull it off. This year it didn't work out.

Here is the ACRA release about the issue:

It’s October 21, and as a coach, member, or fan of a collegiate women’s rugby team, you may be starting to think of the post-season. As the last few games of the regular season are played, you need information about tournament dates and locations, right? Unfortunately, other than playoff dates that were agreed upon at a summit meeting between USA Rugby, ACRA, and NSCRO in March, that information has not been released by USA Rugby yet, despite numerous efforts and pleas by well-meaning individuals and organizations.

Take the jump to read more.

Since the summer of 2015, ACRA has asked USA Rugby to confirm play-off dates and locations. On August 29, a verbal agreement was made that the Final Four would be held in Palm Coast, Florida, the weekend after Thanksgiving; however, no formal recognition of this information was provided by USA Rugby. Throughout the summer and fall rugby season, ACRA has offered help and done much of the logistical and organizational work to host another quality Fall 15s Championship. ACRA has asked for early selection and confirmation of both regional and Final Four competition sites, with little or no response from USA Rugby. Last week, ACRA asked Richard Cortez and Tam Breckenridge for the location of the Final Four for Division I & II collegiate women to be released by October 16 at noon. At 3pm, Richard Cortez contacted ACRA, postponing the announcement once again. This is a long line of delays and a shameful way to treat women’s rugby. One of the founding missions of ACRA is to advance collegiate women’s rugby. Unfortunately, this mission is being derailed by our colleagues at USA Rugby once again discarding, ignoring, and devaluing women’s rugby.

May this announcement serve to inform you that as soon as we know something from USA Rugby, so will you. ACRA greatly enjoyed the collaborative efforts of many people working hard in 2013 and 2014 to put on successful Fall 15s Women’s Collegiate Championships. At this point, ACRA is withdrawing from any official capacity of running and hosting the fall 2015 post-season, due to USA Rugby’s untenable business practices and disregard. We wish the very best for all teams.

In doing so, ACRA will continue to promote and support the growth of collegiate women's teams.  ACRA will be the voice of women's rugby, lobbying the national office to make decisions in women's rugby that are in the best interests of women's rugby, not men's rugby, the national team, or a select group of women's teams.  ACRA is actively supporting women’s rugby, and will continue do so, via:

  • a weekly coaching series of articles on a variety of relevant topics; visit acra-rugby.com
  • updated conference scores and rankings
  • a post-season forum to address the issues with this year's championship
  • continue to pressure USAR to hold a national conversation with all groups and regions represented, for equitable and appropriate divisions and levels of play, separate from the CMC
  • a staff of coaches and athletic directors working with students and administrators seeking information on varsity status
  • ongoing support for teams and conferences, as shifts to and from varsity and NSCRO continue
  • supporting a quality Spring 7s Championship with the student-athletes' best interests in mind
  • player and conference highlights
  • a valuable link with the National Collegiate Varsity Women's Rugby group, also eager to support the women's collegiate game (contacts and info on acra-rugby.com)

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