Vancouver, BC – April 1, 2019 – BC Rugby has issued the following response to recent social media posts.
Over the last few years, BC Rugby has made the following steps to support the growth and development of the women and girls in rugby:
- In 2017, removed pay to play for the BC Rugby Senior Women’s XVs Team and remain the only Provincial team to maintain this investment
- Changed Rules of Competition to move Women’s Premier League to have a standard kick-off time of 12.45pm (from 11.15am)
- In 2017 & 2018, toured the BC U18 Girls XVs Teams to Ireland and England respectively
- Supporting the BC High Schools Girls Rugby Association which has grown to have over 70 teams compete in the 2018 season
- Growing age-grade club rugby through a combined 7s and 15s schedule
- Targeted development of women as officials, resulting in three BC female officials receiving international appointments in both 7s and 15s
- Increased the number of female coaches to now represent 25% of all registered coaches, a jump from 21% in 2016
- Marketing materials present a balance of male and female imagery
- Greater visibility of strong female performances and role models from our sport highlighted to the community.
These initiatives have resulted in BC Rugby having now over 40% female membership, culminating in a Board with 50% female representation over the past three years.
The incident on March 30th that has been shared via social media was a result of the day’s schedule being squeezed at both ends. The first fixture of the day, a Women’s Division 1 match, ran over time. The final fixture of the day, a Men’s Premiership match, required a kick-off time no later than 3pm to allow the away team to make the ferry back to Tsawwassen to connect with a pre-booked bus.
With this constraint at the end of the day, the officials followed due procedure and reduced the playing time of all three subsequent matches being the Women’s Premier, Men’s Premier Reserve and Men’s Premier Leagues.
This situation exemplifies some of the many variables that affect rugby fixtures, especially at single-field venues hosting multiple matches, that our Rules of Competition tries to manage in a fair and equitable manner.
BC Rugby is continuing to work with match officials and member clubs to ensure that all teams and players get a fair amount of game time, but also that there is a greater awareness of the protocols that exist for particular scenarios such as we saw this weekend at Westshore.
As part of our usual processes, the Competitions & Events Committee is already reviewing Rules of Competition for improvement and anyone with suggestions should communicate with BC Rugby through the appropriate channels.