It’s fascinating. So many people have so many ideas; new college leagues/divisions, ARC will help Pro rugby in the USA, completely abandon the national teams, et al…everyone has an idea. Some are good, some great, some shocking, but in the end…
…In the absence of a strongly vetted Strategic Plan issued by the NGB USA Rugby, every single one of these ideas stand to fail. Reason…because mature organizations don’t allow free-for-alls within their borders. And, this is a free-for-all.
It will only end with the execution of a powerful and well aligned Strategic Plan. Here are a few ideas I have regarding the content/construction of such a Plan. It should include, but not be limited to:
- Top Tier Competition / Openings for professional competitions and franchises (see “Structure/Organization” below”)
- Pathways for Players and Clubs (dual track academy/university programs)
- Result of Comprehensive Audit of all Clubs/Colleges/Programs in the USA. This is a membership audit.
- We must know who plays (and played), when, and where. We must recognize all potential members (not just current players) to include all past players, fans, and find our future fans.
- Results must include retention data, suggestions for improvement.
- Encourage Men’s and Women’s clubs to merge when applicable for the ever important economies of scale.
- We must describe to clubs what they look like relative to others, assist them to decide what type of club they want to be, and what participation do they want to have within the new structure that will exist utilizing hubs/major markets.
- Encourage clubs to partner with clubs of other demographics (i.e., top level clubs creating partnerships with youth/HS/College programs).
- Encourage SBO’s to run/facilitate all rugby in a particular state (realistically this will not initially include College or Club Rugby – but should later to ensure accountability for the growth of our individual “Performance to Participation” pyramids.
- Use these results to draw investment into focused/concentrated and organized geographies (major hubs/minor hubs)
- Results of Comprehensive Audit of all High Performance Program’s (M/W). This will include scrutiny of budgets, spending (and overspending to budget!) and comparison to on field results.
- Results of Comprehensive Audit of all issues related to gender equity.
- Result of Comprehensive Audit regarding the establishment and future viability of RIM.
- Immediate initiation of a program to win the RWC 2027 Host bid. A massive pay day awaits
- Must clearly enunciate the vision and the mission of the organization. All USAR programs should support the mission of the organization.
The Plan must go out to independent, top level Sports & Business executives for vetting/evaluation/recommendations/amendments before it is implemented.
This article is first in a series of my thoughts re: Strategic Plan, Structure/Organization, Pathways, Finance/Funding, and some other ideas (for example…reigniting the Can Am series to include men/women, U/20’s in a festival home-and-home environment that is profitable, every year. Let’s utilize this natural rivalry! For on field, and monetary gain).
Other articles I have written on this subject include: