Friday, March 23, 2012

Three Unions plan to merge into one Geographical Union (GU)

Courtesy of USA Rugby

Three Unions plan to merge into one Geographical Union (GU)
BOULDER, Colo. -- On Wednesday March 28, 2012 the officers from the former Territorial Union (TU) Northeast RFU and two former Local Area Unions (LAUs) New York State RFU and Metropolitan New York RFU are gathering to vote to create a novel Geographical Union (GU). Along with the approval of new bylaws, new provisional officers for the GU will be selected. The new GU will be called the Empire RFU and will chiefly consist of the three former unions.

The Empire RFU is one of four pilot GUs that were approved in mid-2011 as part of a program to review the organizational structure of USA Rugby and to create a new more streamlined structure that will more effectively support the anticipated growth in the game and provide increased member services in local areas.
A key feature of GUs is that eventually a paid USA Rugby administrator will be appointed in each GU in order to provide excellent member services to its members. GUs will start with part-time administrators and transition to full-time administrators over a two to four year period.

Promising results from the pilot GUs have led the USA Rugby Board of Directors and Congress to encourage existing Local Area Unions and Territorial Unions to submit an application to become GUs. Interested parties can apply to become a Geographical Union by completing the initial GU application.

“This is an exciting time for rugby administrators,” said Gary Lee Heavner, current president of the soon to be defunct Northeast Rugby Union. “By merging these three unions and consolidating all of their former administration duties into one level of administration, the business of making sure rugby gets played is streamlined.”

The new Empire RFU will encompass all senior clubs within the political boundaries of New York State as well as some clubs from both northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut. It will be the first GU in the nation to be created by merging multiple former unions. Some college teams will also be included in the new GU.

Heavner said, “Being the only level of administration between member clubs and USA Rugby, the new union will be able to provide better services to its member clubs.”

Any member of a club located within the new Empire RFU boundaries who is interested in being considered in becoming an interim officer at next week’s meeting should contact their current union president immediately. The first order of business for the new officers will be adopting a budget, hiring a paid GU Staff Administrator and scheduling fall league play across all divisions.
 "GUs represent an exciting new development in American rugby that includes professionalism at the administrative level.  The current youth and high school State-Based Rugby Organization structure is a similar model and after just a few years the youth game has made huge improvements and is already producing excellent results both in terms of quality of rugby and in the perception of the game," said USA Rugby Chief Executive, Nigel Melville.


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