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The Bryant Model

The Bryant Model

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The Bryant Model
How To Start A High School Rugby ProgramThat Will Thrive Beyond Your Leadership Term
Phillip C. Bryant, MBAINTRODUCTIONAuthor Biograpahy
A. Start a 'League'B. High School AffiliationC. Organize For League SuccessD. A State TournamentE. High School age first
 
A. Coaching IssuesB. Uniform purchase issuesC. Student athlete issuesD. Budget issuesE. Growth issues
A. Private schoolsB. Public schools1. The arguments against having a rugby program.2. The answers to the arguments.3. Coach training and certificationC. School Boards approvalD. No Student Clubs allowed
A. Be an "official" clubB. Benefits vs. Obligations P.9C. Athletic Directors and Football CoachesD. Start another team for girls (boys) next
A. Player Development, "Age Grade Rugby".B. College Rugby Clubs for Coaches and RefereesC. Teaching the game at the "teaching" Universities.
A. Raising money from your player's families.B. Raising money working for others as a club.
A. The students on your team.B. The other students at the school.C. The High School Staff.
 
D. The Parents and Family members.E. Other Rugby Clubs in your LAU.F. F. The Community where the club members live.
A. Follow the Chain of CommandB. Put it in writing and copy others.C. Look for Institutional LiteratureD. The Last Resort, when all else fails.
A. Where to go for help.B. Know why you want to start a youth rugby program.C. Just Do It!
 
INTRODUCTION
 There are many different ways to start a new rugby club. An established club may'Sponsor' a new club. An individual may start a new club in a community, a school, oras an adjunct to an "athletic organization" like a Boy's/Girl's Club, etc. Or, on a rareoccasion a school athletic department will even sponsor a 'varsity' team. The USARFUsupplies a guide that will work very well for beginning a community based club or acollege club. If your purpose is to start clubs in either of these categories, contact theUSA Rugby office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the "Start Up Kit." (see pg. 20)However, based on my experience establishing many clubs at all levels, I can tell youthat success at the high school level requires an entirely different approach from theothers. In fact, the youth club growth success that is currently enjoyed by the MidWest RFU, Follows the high school model that I developed in 1990-91. That modelproved so successful that it was named the "Bryant Model" by the United StatesRugby Football Foundation. (See Appendix 1. Sample Grant Application) Thefoundation board believed in the model requirements enough to publish the modeloutline and mandate that they would only provide start up grants to new youth rugbyefforts following this plan. With this paper, I have reprinted the "Bryant Model" in anexpanded format including some seasoned reasons as to why you should follow thismodel for making your high school program a legacy rather than a memory whenyou, the initial leader, must move on. The following is a marketing study thatcontinues to evolve. You are encouraged to send me your experiences so that thisstudy may expand our collective body of knowledge. Enjoy the study and take action,for the love of the game.
I. The Bryant Model
A) Start a "league."
If you are planning to start a high school age rugby program, be prepared to start alocal 'league' of at least four clubs in the first year. Never consider starting a singlehigh school club unless there is already an established league in your area to provide'local' competition. A good rule of thumb is a travel time of about one hour from yourtarget high school in after school traffic. This distance may be considered, localenough to play a match before dark in the early spring. The reasons for this
 
suggestion are numerous: 1) The kids play rugby in this country because it is a FUNgame to play. If your students don't get enough competition, they will lose interest,very rapidly. 2)Most of your referee and coaching support must come from thecurrent college and community club structure. The big boys and girls play theirmatches on Saturdays, and your high school club can't compete without a coach anda referee present. 3) The number of referees available on weekends is limited so anyscheduled weekend matches should be in conjunction with the "High School Coach's"Rugby Club's home match. 4) Parents and students are already familiar with weekdaycompetition. 5)Finally, mid week matches along with a Friday, Saturday or Sundaymatch, allows for you to double amount of competition in a season that loses a weekbecause of Spring Break, and ends early because or graduation, proms, and thecurrent national high school tournament in mid May. High School graduation datesvary widely across the nation. 
Back to the TopB) School Affiliation.
Always affiliate with a high school. A School has instant community recognition andidentification for the student participants. If your target school Is a public school, thenthe school is a community asset owned by the tax payers. As you are a taxpayer, youcannot legally be denied access to the school activities and property as long as yourrequests are reasonable and do not interfere with other scheduled events. If thetarget school is a private institution, then you must rally the support of severalparents of current or future students and then meet with the President or HeadMaster. Once again, with the support of " those paying the bills," you will not bedenied the opportunity to start a rugby club. In fact, you may achieve instant"varsity" status with full school financial support in a private school. Either way,affiliation with a school solves many problems. Uniform colors and a mascot arealready in place, even a fight song if you have the need to use one, and of course,instant community presence. These things alone, are enough to guarantee thecontinuation of your club when you have to move on. The institution will haveinvested in the rugby club and will even recruit a new coach to replace you becauseyou established a "market demand" in younger brothers and sisters while you wereteaching their older siblings and their parents. It certainly is all right to team up withthe local community rugby clubs, if they currently exist. Many senior rugby clubs"sponsor" one or more high school clubs. However, if the local town doesn't have acollege club or town club, it soon could develop a club a few years after your highschool club is rooted. The leadership to start those new clubs will actually come fromthe ranks of students that you have introduced to the game and those who play incollege and then return to the community to work. In Indiana, three years afterstarting the High School program, the local union enjoyed a surge of growth in newcollege clubs. In ten years, the local union is starting to see new town clubs form inthose same communities.
 
C) Organize for "league" success.
Set your league eligible rules to protect your high school clubs from predatoryrecruiting practices. All students must play for their own high school, if their schoolhas a rugby team. Students from other schools may play with your team only untilthere are enough students to start a club at their school. (Some school rules maydictate your policy on other students.) Encourage the post match get together… as isour rugby tradition. This will break down cross town rivalries that have disruptedsome programs. The home club should provide drinks and snacks for the visitingclub. After the match have each of your players go to the ice chest, get two drinksand deliver one of them to the person he played opposite in the match. Encouragethe kids to engage in light conversation. Most clubs have T-shirts made up, extrascan be presented to the outstanding back, and forward of your opponents team. I

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