As an update to USA Rugby Members; the Board of Directors, Governance Reorganization Group and National Office would like to provide the below information as most recent details regarding the Chapter 11 bankruptcy and continued union restructure.
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CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY
On March 31st, USA Rugby officially filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy as revenue reductions from the COVID-19 suspension compounded with existing deficits, caused an insurmountable financial burden on the Union. The Board of Directors elected Chapter 11 as the best possible path for the organization to overcome the economic situation and maximize the opportunity to restructure. USA Rugby Congress ratified the Chapter 11 course of action. On April 24th, a motion was filed for Sub-Chapter 5 bankruptcy and approved. In short, this allows a streamlined process of Chapter 11 through the court via the appointment of a Trustee, enabling the opportunity to prioritize the governance reorganization as well as finance and operations during this expedited 90-day window.
USA RUGBY OPERATIONS
The USA Rugby National Office and Chula Vista are now operating on a significantly reduced staff of department heads and national team leadership to manage critical business functions through the Chapter 11 process. This group continues to work through what rugby operations are feasible during the COVID-19 hiatus and support the restructure planning efforts.
The reorganization efforts of the Task Force have been combined with other work streams to form a Governance Reorganization Group, consisting of representatives from the Board, Congress, International Athletes and court-appointed agents ensuring a sustainable business structure through this process. In collaboration with community stakeholders, proposals for a new governance model have been officially presented to form National Councils across the Youth & High School, Collegiate, Senior Club and International Athlete level – effectively devolving the existing Congress structure. Each Council will then nominate their dedicated representatives to the new USA Rugby Board of Directors.
Each level of the game may also establish individual entities to administer rugby in their respective groups. USA Rugby encourages all interested members to contact their Congress representative for information on how the new proposed structure and corresponding bylaws effect and support their individual sector of the game.
COMMUNITY SERVICES AGREEMENTS
If Congress votes to ratify the new governance structure into the bylaws, each community would then collaborate with the USA Rugby National Office to work together on community agreements that will reflect a mutually beneficial relationship between the communities and the NGB. While each level of play will self-administer competitions and growth of their respective groups within rugby, a new membership dues structure will assist to fulfill the obligations included in the community agreements.
Core membership services could include but are not limited to; liability insurance, referee and coach training and certification, compliance services including SafeSport, background checks and the establishment of a reserves endowment fund to support community rugby sustainability. Each level of play will likely require different add-on amenities; therefore USA Rugby will collaborate on community agreements with each constituent group.
COVID-19 SUSPENSION OF PLAY
USA Rugby has been actively monitoring the current status of the COVID-19 virus as provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Following further consideration, USA Rugby’s suspension of all sanctioned rugby activities will continue through the month of May. The welfare of our rugby community and social contribution to limit the effect of the virus remains first priority, as we hope everyone is remaining healthy and safe. Updates on a mapped out return to play and determination of the USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship will be provided by June 1, 2020.
USA Rugby would like to thank the rugby community for their support during this period, as leadership and the community collectively unite to better govern and truly grow the game moving forward. Further information regarding governance restructure and bylaws will be communicated when possible through USA Rugby Communication channels.