The Florida Rugby Union is proud to announce the re-establishment of the Mens High Performance Program. The program focuses on running Florida Select Teams for both 15s and 7s along with elite player development.
Program Objective and Goal:
The High Performance Program (HPP) is intended for athletes that want to play at a higher level of competition and improve their play. Participation will provide athletes with training and competitive opportunities needed to improve their skills through exposure to coaching and competition not available at the local level.
2014/15 – Scheduled Games
Saturday, October 11th @ Life University – 15s Squad
Saturday, February 21st @ RuggerFest versus Life University – 15s Squad
Sunday, February 22nd @Ruggerfest versus Argentina Alumni – 15s Squad
Saturday, May 2 @ TBA in Florida v Trinidad Caribs – 15s Squad
Saturday & Sunday, October 24th & 25th at All Florida Day- 7s Squad
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, February 12th, 13th & 14th @ Las Vegas 7s – 7s Squad
Please also note only players who are registered with USA Rugby for the 2014/15 season are eligible to tryout for the team.
Player tryouts will be held Sunday September 14th at the Indian River Club. Start and finish times will be announced closer to the date.
Nominations for all coaching Positions
- To apply to any of the coaching positions Click Here
- Click Here for job description details.
- Applications Close this Friday, September 5th.
- Sunday September 14th – Player Tryouts
- Sunday September 28th – 15s Squad Practice
- Sunday October 5th – 15s Squad Practice
- Sunday October 25th – 7s Squad Practice
Saturday & Sunday August 23rd & 24th
The first annual Florida Rugby Development Summit brings together the best practices in rugby development for all coaches, referees, and administrators from across the Country.
The Out of Door Academy 5950 Deer DR, Sarasota, 34240
Holiday Inn Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch 6231 Lake Osprey Dr, Sarasota, FL 34240
- Rugby Room Rate – $94 + 11.5% tax
- Call 941-782-4400 – Ask to for the “US Rugby Room Rate”
- Deadline for Hotel Reservations is Monday, August 18th.
Saturday August 23rd – 12pm to 7pm
Day One of the summit will include panel discussions, keynote speakers, and on field technical workshops on a variety of topics. Every attending coach will receive Professional Development Credits towards their annual continuing education requirements for USA Rugby.
Only $40 if you register by August 18th after August 18th the price will go up to $50 per person. This prices includes 7 plus hours of Nationally Recognized Coach Education and a BBQ dinner on Saturday evening.
- Click here to complete your registration for the course.
- Click here to complete your payment for the course. (Please note that the early registration fee is only valid if full payment is made by Monday August 18th)
12pm to 1pm – Review of the USA Rugby Game Day Management Guidelines
1pm to 430pm - Coach Education – Topics: Club Management, Scrums, Lineouts, Continuity of Play & Defense.
5pm to 7pm – Open Table on the Game in Florida – Presenters (Evan Haigh – FYRU & FRU Executive Director, Richard Every – USA Rugby High Performance Referee Manager, Frank Tito – Boca Raon Head Coach & Kerri O’Malley – FRU President)
7pm to 9pm – Summit BBQ and Social – Hosted by Sarasota Rugby Club
Coach Education Track
Five presenters, presenting on the following topics:
- Club Management & 2014/15 Competition Regulations by Evan Haigh
- Scrums by Frank Tito
- Lineouts by Chris Oostthuizen
- Continuity of Play by David “Dai” Morgan
- Defense by TBC
Sunday August 24th – 8am to 4pm
USA Rugby – Level 200 Coaching Course
Level 200 will be the minimum certification requirement for all coaches of contact teams starting on 8/31/2014. That includes assistant and head coaches. This will be your first chance to complete the certification the 2014/15 Season.
This workshop is aligned with the ARM (American Rugby Model) designed to continue the learning process and education of a coach with a focus on the progressive implementation. The new coaching structure focuses on coaching the right thing at the right time with the best interest of the players at hand.
- Course Cost is $90 per person.
- Please click here for more information and to register.
IRB Level 1 Referee Courses
This is the entry or introductory level course to rugby refereeing. The purpose of this introductory course is to enable officials to acquire basic skills to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. Course certification is required for anyone who wishes to referee any match that could potentially lead to a National Championship.
For the 2014/15 season all teams must have at least one registered Referee affiliated with their team. This course is the first step in ensuring that every team is able to meet this requirement.
- Course Cost is $50 per person.
- Please click here for more information and to register.
IRB Level 2 Referee Courses
The purpose of this course is to enable officials to develop further the skills acquired in the introductory course so as to officiate safe, enjoyable competition.
- Course Cost is $100 per person.
- Please click here for more information and to register.
By Stephen Sheehan, FRU Media Intern
For years, the Gulf Coast 7s Tournament was a staple of the Florida 7s circuit. The tournament’s host, the Pelican Rugby Club, put on strong showings before struggling in recent years.
But after winning the tournament last weekend, the future looks bright for Pelican RFC.
Tour Director Jim Orandash, who took over coaching the side in October, couldn’t have been more pleased with the way the tournament turned out.
“Last year we didn’t even have a 7s team,” he said. “We wanted to re-establish the Gulf Coast 7s and bring the tournament back to St. Petersburg.”
The tournament featured five women’s teams and nine men’s teams, as several of the men’s clubs could not participate at the last minute. Orlando won the women’s division and “played their hearts out” according to Orandash.
The former Division III football player is just one of many passionate members of the Florida rugby community, and it’s easy to see why the Pelicans are back on the right track. Orandash was introduced to rugby after college and latched on with the Pelicans in 1992 before shifting to coaching in the late 90s. He spent some time developing the program at Eckerd College before moving on to coach Tampa Krewe in both 7s and 15s before returning home to the Pelicans.
With the team down to just six players when Orandash was asked to turn things around, and while the journey is far from complete, the club’s victory at Gulf Coast 7s was certainly a noticeable step in the right direction.
The Pelicans went 5-1 on the weekend, with their only loss coming to the USF Memorial All-Star team that they ended up facing in the finals.
“The finals came down to the wire,” Orandash said. “In the last seconds of the game they were going to score but we were fortunate to get a knock-on about five meters outside of the try zone. It was a hard-fought match.”
With a talented group of athletes and a strong administrative core, the Pelicans are trending in the right direction as they look to get back to playing D-II rugby.
Besides his own squad, Orandash singled out the Indian River club as one that made a strong impression on the crowd.
“They’ve been in a rebuilding mode but they were tough,” Orandash said. “The score was 0-0 at half. We went on to win handily but they came out and played their hearts out.”
For a self-described rugby junkie who has experience both as a player, coach and administrator, Orandash is excited more than ever to be part of growing the game from within the Sunshine State.
He highlighted the great work done by Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Boca to establish strong youth programs and noted that both Tampa Krewe and Sarasota are looking to follow suit. The sport should only gain more traction with the 2016 Summer Olympics, when rugby 7s will make its return to the world’s premier sports display.
“Once we get the youth involved, we’ll be able to make our club stronger and more money will come into the state,” Orandash said. “The FRU and USA Rugby are really making a difference in making the sport more structured. I think rugby is really going to explode in the next five years.”
Please take a moment and use this link to vote in the election on behalf of your club.
By Stephen Sheehan, FRU Media Intern
Most boys grow up wanting to be a rock star, baseball player or maybe even an actor. For Lucas Baistrocchi, his life’s dream has always been about rugby.
From the time he first picked up a rugby ball at the age of 5 for Manuel Belgrano, a club in his hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to most recently suiting up for the USA Rugby Collegiate All-American team, rugby has been the focus of Baistrocchi’s life.
His rugby journey started back in Buenos Aires, and also included stops with Stade Francais, Nido de Aguilas and Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile. But it wasn’t until 2006 when he moved to Weston, located in South Florida, that Baistrocchi’s rugby aspirations really took off.
With an intense hunger to develop his game, Baistrocchi searched for clubs around the area to play with. However, he couldn’t satiate his appetite and even considered playing men’s rugby with the Ft. Lauderdale club. Not yet 16, he was ineligible to play for Fort Lauderdale. So, as he’s done his entire life, Baistrocchi took it upon himself to grow the game.
With the help of a teacher at his school (Cypress Bay High), and a few friends, the group started the Weston U-19 club. For three years, Baistrocchi not only starred for the team but he also started and coached the Weston U-14 team alongside some of his close friends.
“Luckily, the small operation we started went on to expand and now the kids I used to coach are developing into outstanding rugby players and adults,” he said.
Baistrocchi’s list of accolades from his early playing days include playing for the Florida Thunder U-20 on a North Carolina tour, playing for Rugby Academy of America U-20 against Georgia U-20 as the curtain opener match for the Rugby World Cup Qualifier game between USA and Uraguay in 2009 and playing for the Florida Juice U-20 against a New Zealand touring side. It was through his experience with the Juice playing at Fort Lauderdale Ruggerfest that Baistrocchi would be introduced to the University of Florida Men’s Rugby Club’s coaches and players—a moment he will never forget.
“After I met Coach Ken Simmons and Gary Byrne and was introduced to the elite group of players representing the university, I knew that’s where I wanted to study,” he said. “I wanted to be part of that family at all costs.”
Ultimately, Baistrocchi’s dream came true and he quickly became an integral member of the Gators squad. During his four-year career at UF, he enjoyed both individual and team success, often through an incredible work ethic that trickled down to his teammates.
Matt McGee, who played alongside and also lived with Baistrocchi, was floored at his teammate’s dedication both on and off the field.
“He was so strict with his nutrition and measured and tracked every little thing that went into his body,” McGee said. “He’d stretch and foam roll multiple times a day, did yoga and anything that was necessary to get back to full strength. He watched film all the time, and it showed as his knowledge of the game is impeccable.”
Robert Roux, who played rugby for the Gators for five years, met Baistrocchi before he had even been accepted into UF and immediately knew there was something different about him.
“Even though I had only been playing rugby for a year, I could tell he was a special player,” Roux said. “He already had all the rugby skills needed to be a great rugby player in college, but that didn’t stop him from working harder than anyone else. During the four years I’ve known Lucas, I have seen him develop into an extraordinary rugby player but more importantly I watched him become a great leader in the club and a person who everyone can aspire to be.”
With Baistrocchi dictating the game at flyhalf, the Gators captured three Florida Cup championships, won the inaugural SCRC championship, made two appearances at the Collegiate Rugby Championship and won second place at the SCRC 7s Championship. Of course, he couldn’t have done it without the help of his teammates, coaches or his father, who he named as his biggest inspiration.
“My father cut his playing career short when he suffered an accident working underwater,” Baistrocchi said. “Ever since I was born he has been there for all of my accomplishments. Just watching him succeed in the professional world and making my mom and siblings happy serves as my constant motivation to improve as a person and make him proud every single day.”
While many players are satisfied with just playing rugby in college and perhaps for a men’s club after graduating, Baistrocchi has been and continues to be intimately involved with growing the game in the United States. He interned with Florida Rugby Union, where he got a firsthand glimpse at the dedication it takes to help grow the game he’s loved since the age of 5.
“Getting involved with the day-to-day operations and all the planning involved to grow rugby in Florida gave me a better insight to just how hard people like Evan Haigh work to expose our athletes to higher-level rugby,” he said. “During my time as an intern, I was able to sharpen my time management, organization and research skills. These skills are fundamental to success in any aspect of life, so I believe that any time I was able to work on them I got better as a person and as a player.”
Following his final game with the Gators in the SCRC semifinal against LSU, Baistrocchi set out follow his dream of working for USA Rugby. The sport management major went through a thorough application and interview process with the organization before the exciting news came. This summer he’s working in the Youth Development department, which is a great fit with his experience starting the club in Weston.
“Moving to Boulder was a smoother transition than I thought, and so far I’m loving it,” he said. “To see rugby grow across the nation is my motivation to always give 100 percent in everything I do.”
Baistrocchi’s summer has been jam-packed, as he was named to the USA Rugby Collegiate All-American team after a grueling four-day training camp that he described as one of the toughest moments of his playing career. Never one for settling, Baistrocchi’s ultimate goal is to be an Eagle.
“I don’t think there is a greater honor than standing with the best of the best in the country representing the United States of America,” he said. “Our generation has the power to move American rugby in the right direction and eventually compete with tier 1 nations. I think we are getting very close to that and I want to be able to say that I was lucky to be involved in that movement.”
Of course, there comes a day where any athlete’s playing days come to an end, but Baistrocchi hopes to be one of the pioneers of growing the game on the home front. He’s a classic example of never forgetting where you came from.
“The dedication and passion that many of the FRU members have for this sport is very encouraging for the future of Florida Rugby,” he said. “I believe that the state has some of the best athletes in the nation, and due to geographical distances they are hardly ever recognized. If I can help other players from Florida reach out and play competitive rugby at a higher level I think I can become a small part of the movement to put Florida Rugby on the map.”
Please see the only nomination for the Men’s Vice President Position.
- Eric Jacovetti – Click Here to see his Bio
Voting will take place online from July 14 to July 19. Each member club will receive one vote per club.
We are soliciting nominations for a new Men’s VP until July 6. On July 8 we will post the candidates and their bios to be available for review until July 13. Voting will take place online from July 14 to July 19. Interested candidates should send in an email with their intent to run along with a short description of what experience they have that will make them a good candidate for this position, and if there is anything else they feel may be pertinent to the position, such as ways to improve men’s rugby in the state. Below is a description of the position, but the ideal candidate is someone that is fair and unbiased. They will assist with dispute resolution if and when needed, and is able to respond to emails/inquiries within 2 business days at a maximum. Our previous VP, Frank Tito, needed to step down, but he is an excellent example of someone who was level-headed and fair to all parties. Please send nominations to President Kerri O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VICE-PRESIDENT MEN’S RUGBY. The Vice-President Men’s Rugby shall perform all duties incident to such office and other duties as may be required by law, by the Articles of Incorporation of the FRU, or by these Bylaws, or which may be prescribed from time to time by the Board of Directors, including, but not limited to, (1) being the primary person of contact for all men’s senior rugby football clubs in the FRU or those touring within the FRU, (2) organizing and coordinating league fixtures, playoffs, championships, and tournaments within all divisions of men’s rugby football in the FRU (3) organizing and coordinating select sides, (4) establishing such subordinate personnel as needed by the Vice-President Men’s Rugby to perform all duties incident to such office with the consent of the President. “Men’s Rugby” consists of all member clubs that play:
1. Men’s USAR Division 1 Senior Club Rugby;
2. Men’s USAR Division 2 Senior Club;
3. Men’s USAR Division 3 Senior Clubs;