USA Rugby Board Announces Restructuring Initiative & Task Force

USA Rugby Board of Directors, Restructure Initiative, Task Force, Rugby_Wrap_Up
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LAFAYETTE, CO – The Board and National Office leadership acknowledge the long-standing concerns of our membership regarding financial sustainability, member retention and operational effectiveness. Supported in part by feedback from USA Rugby members, we agree that the National Office under its current form is not in a position to effectively service the diverse needs and wants of all stakeholders, from youth rugby through to senior national teams. Following the Q4 meeting of the Board of Directors, USA Rugby will now expedite the strategic plan objective of decentralizing resource and operation while evaluating what services the National Office can effectively provide to the community game.


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During the formulation of the 10-year Strategic Plan, which included input from all areas of participation across USA Rugby, it was clear that our current organizational structure must evolve. Key objectives solidified the need to empower and enable our existing community rugby organizations across all levels and age groups. These constituents should have more responsibility, direct oversight and administration of both member dues and expenditure decision-making with respect to their sector of the game. The National Office must ensure all national teams and High Performance pathways are fully supported while also ensuring fiscal responsibility. Our Eagles deserve the operational and financial support to compete on the global stage, maximizing the opportunity for our men and women to medal in the Olympics and advance in the Rugby World Cup.

USA Rugby Board of Directors, Restructure Initiative, Task Force, Rugby_Wrap_Up

Considering the current and long-term financial and governance challenges, the Board has decided to accelerate the implementation of this previously identified strategic objective towards a renewed sustainable operating model. During the meeting, the Board approved the formation of an Organizational Task Force to properly evaluate and design a new organizational structure. As this is an urgent matter, the group will provide staged recommendations to the Board. They will do this in consultation with a wide range of constituents, leaders and stakeholders across the organization.

The current financial situation has been a catalyst to this expedited action. The Task Force will focus on regional empowerment, and how the National Office can most effectively support rugby organizations, while also administering and funding national teams at the appropriate levels.

This is a time for the USA Rugby Board and Leadership and the broader rugby community to focus on promoting, protecting and preserving rugby for the long term. We hope we can count on all members of our community during this transition for their constructive thinking and support.

USA Rugby Board of Directors and National Office

Barbara O’Brien, Paul Santinelli, Julie Lau, Mike McKenna, Agustin Pichot, Michael Crafton, Phaidra Knight, Kevin Swiryn.

The Organizational Task Force:

Ross Young | CEO, USA Rugby
Jon Bobbett | Chair, USA Rugby Partners
Eric Gleason | CFOO, USA Rugby
Jim Brown | USA Rugby Board Member
Financial Advisor | Representative TBD
Legal Advisor | Representative TBD

Advisory Panel:

  1. Youth Representative(s) | Representative TBD
  2. College Representative(s) | Representative TBD
  3. Club Representative(s) | Representative TBD
  4. International Athlete(s) | Representative TBD
  5. High Performance Representative(s) | Representative TBD
  6. Referee Representative(s) | Representative TBD

This procedure will conform to the following timeline:

  • December 31, 2019 – Fully seated Organizational Task Force and Advisory Panel
  • January 31, 2020 – New organizational structure is drafted and presented
  • March 31, 2020 – New organizational structure introduced in phases, as appropriate
  • July 31, 2020 – USA Rugby and local member organization implement go-forward dues structure following outcome of new organizational structure.

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Matt McCarthy comes to from their partner in the USA, RWU and MTM feature a stable of diverse contributors, with coverage that is both serious and with a wink. Find him on twitter: @Matt_McCarthy00