The Division I clubs from Northern California have voted not to challenge the West DI champion for a place in this season’s national quarterfinals.
As reported in RUGBYMag.com earlier, the West DI league has collapsed from six teams to three, far below USA Rugby’s minimum. USA Rugby, in an effort to keep the West league going, is allowing the remaining three teams to continue to compete, but added a caveat that their champion would have to play the Northern California 2nd-place team for a place in the national playoffs.
However, Monday night the Northern California clubs met and decided not to participate in that game. The reasons, said league administrator Aaron Frederick, are due to scheduling and cost.
“We already have a great schedule with ten games, quarterfinals, semifinals, and a championship game, and we aren’t going to want to change that,” said Frederick. “It looked like the only day that was going to work was May 10, but the West said that wasn’t going to work for them because it didn’t give them enough time.”
Frederick also said that the cost of getting a flight for the #2 team on short notice would be too great, and the league suggested the West, which would know their champion much earlier, would be in a better position to travel.
However, USA Rugby’s rescue plan for the West league included a statement that the challenging NorCal team would have to be the one to travel.
So the Northern California clubs opted to pass on the challenge match, and the West champion will enter the national quarterfinals.
“We wish them well,” said Frederick.