Between travel, rowdy players and a lack of compensation, referees really do have the hardest job in rugby. That’s why the team at Ruck Science is thrilled to announce our first official sponsorship; the Texas Rugby Referees Association (TRRA).
Sponsorship of TRRA finalized
The sponsorship deal guarantees that rugby referees in Texas will have a major sponsor from now until the end of 2018. The agreement was agreed last week by TRRA President, Butch Neuenschwander & Ruck Science founder, Tim Howard. New TRRA kit will be arriving in January with the Ruck Science logo on the front of every jersey.
You’ll also be seeing Ruck Science on the association’s new website and all social media accounts. Finally, the deal makes the TRRA a beneficiary of the company’s universal sponsorship program. When a member of the TRRA makes a purchase on ruckscience.com, the company will donate 10% of the value of the order to the Texas Rugby Referees Association. Referees are not typically known for using many nutritional supplements, but we’re hopeful that once they give our nitrate powders a try, they’ll be hooked.
“This last clause has the potential to double our total contribution to the association over the next three years and in 2016 especially. With it, the TRRA will be able to get its best young referees access to high-performance coaching and assessment.”
Tim Howard - Founder & Ruck Science
How the TRRA sponsorship will work
The TRRA will be using the contributions to enhance the association’s high-performance refereeing program. Texas has some excellent young referees with the potential to achieve national and international panel status. The company’s contributions will be used to send these referees to nationally recognized tournaments and coaching seminars. Rugby players in Texas will also see a benefit, as the standard of referring across the state continues to increase under the TRRA’s guidance.
Refereeing in Texas
The TRU and the TRRA have been incredibly successful at driving rugby participation in Texas. Over the past 5 years, the number of registered players in the state has risen by some 30%. This kind of increased participation means many more rugby games at all levels: High-School, College, Women’s and Men’s.
Having a qualified referee on hand is one of the few essentials for every rugby game. Most active players probably don’t realize it, but there is an critical lack of rugby referees in the USA. Because rugby clubs in Texas are so geographically disbursed, the few referees we do have travel extensive distances to games. Referees will often drive 4 hours in each direction to referee a game. Some will do this multiple times during a weekend.
With more games in 2016 than ever before, the rugby community needs to actively promote refereeing as a option for younger, injured and soon-to-be-retiring players. Younger players can dramatically increase their rugby IQ by studying the law book and taking up a whistle. Retiring players who choose to referee can bring a wealth of on-field experience to high-school and college matches.
Update from Ruck Science
Those of you that follow us on Facebook might have seen that our first round of donation cheques went out last week. These were delivered to the first five clubs whose players have made purchases through our website. They are:
- Austin Rugby Club
- UT Men’s Rugby Club
- McAllen Rugby Club
- Memphis Blues Rugby Club
- Phoenixville White Horse Rugby
We donate 10% of the value of every purchase made on ruckscience.com to the amateur rugby club of the customer’s choice. You can learn more about our sponsorship program here.