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2019 Club Play Begins

  • 04 Jan 2019
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Houston Athletic began the Red River season with an important win. / Photo courtesy HARC Facebook

The club scene revives next weekend, Jan. 12, as the spring-based leagues get moving, but it’ll be a few months before those fall-centric competitions resurface. Only the Midwest Competitive Region (CR) has named its representatives to the DI and DII national championships, while the New England Geographic Union (GU) has named its finalists, which advance to the Atlantic North CR semifinals. Included in the updates are links to the leagues’ USA Rugby CMS pages.

BC PREMIER (link)

Six teams. Seattle is the lone American team in this British Columbia elite league. Read more. Games begin Jan. 12.

DIVISION I

EAST (link)

Six teams from Massachusetts to North Carolina compete in this new league. Philadelphia is 4-0 with one more league game to play against NOVA (1-1) on March 23 followed by four Gold Cup matches through mid-April. Boston (3-1) sits in second, and that missing score from Oct. 20 – Raleigh (1-2) beat NOVA 25-20.

FRONTIER (link)

Three teams. Utah Vipers won its two league games convincingly over Glendale and Black Ice so far. Schedule is still awaiting 2019 fixtures, but the Vipers will be playing DI Pacific South’s Belmont Shore and Santa Monica in late January.

GOLD CUP (link)

This is just an interesting competition to watch as top DI teams from different regions face off. Last year there were implications on playoffs – involving that second eastern seed that was made available by the South – but that won’t be the case this year. So far, the Atlantic North and Red River teams have played each other and Boston went 2-0.

MIDWEST (link)

After dropping two regular-season games against the Minnesota Valkyries, Detroit won the third and most important match-up 12-5 for the DI Midwest title. Detroit is the only team that has guaranteed its spot in the DI national championship and will ramp up with Gold Cup matches this spring. The Valkyries will also play Gold Cup matches.

PACIFIC NORTH

There are no DI teams in the Pacific Northwest or NorCal (excluding Life West, which is heading to the WPL).

PACIFIC SOUTH (link)

Three teams. There are five teams worked into the schedule, but San Diego doesn’t field a playoff-bound team and Utah Vipers compete in Frontier. These games get Tempe, Santa Monica and Belmont Shore playoff eligible. Play kicks off Jan. 26.

RED RIVER (link)

Three teams. It might sound monotonous – playing the same two teams three times each during the season – but there are some up sides. First, both Austin and Houston Athletic play teams from the Atlantic North, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest through the Gold Cup. Second, the season has started with some drama, as HARC beat the Valkyries by three tries to start the competition. Play restarts Jan. 19.

DIVISION II

ATLANTIC NORTH

• Empire (link)

13 teams. This competition is divided into four pools and contested its regular season in the fall. Quarterfinals are set for April 6, and championship will be held April 27.

• New England (link)

Nine teams. A tense regular season saw Providence repeat as champion and Worcester finish runner-up. The duo advances to the CR semifinals against the Empire finalists, and the Atlantic North championship occurs May 4.

MID-AMERICA (link)

Six teams. Omaha (3-1) leads in the standings by virtue of playing more games than second-place KC Jazz (2-0), but when the teams faced each other, the latter won 74-12. Play resumes early March.

MID-ATLANTIC

North Division (5 teams). Harrisburg (6-0) has outscored opponents 250-79, while DII newcomer Northeast Philly and White Horse are both 3-3. Play resumes March 30.

South Division (5 teams). Severn River is also undefeated at 5-0 and has outscored opponents 310-34. Norfolk sits in second at 3-1. Play resumes March 23.

MIDWEST

Buffalo is heading to the DII national championship after defeating Milwaukee Scylla in the Midwest championship, held in mid-November. The western New York team played three great games in the post-season, defeating Cincinnati 13-10, Pittsburgh Forge 22-10 and Scylla 15-10 before the long winter break.

PACIFIC NORTH

• NorCal (link)

With Life West out of the picture, NorCal is back to a DII designation and involves five teams. Games begin January 12.

• Pacific Northwest (link)

Emerald City (4-0) and Bend (3-1) continue to lead the nine-team competition. The Mudhens triumphed 24-7 when they traveled to the Roughriders in early October. Mixed into this split season are a few games from DII Associate members, most notably the South Sound Assassins, but also the Salem Attack Owls and Spokane.

PACIFIC SOUTH (link)

Four teams. Another big reorganization has occurred in SoCal, as the former eight-team DII has split into a four-team DII and four-team DIII. Las Vegas, Old Pueblo, Pasadena and San Fernando Valley will play home-and-away, and then the top seed gets a bye to the SoCal championship, while #2 and #3 contest a play-in game to the final. League play begins with Old Pueblo and Las Vegas on Jan. 12. San Luis Obispo does not feature in DII or DIII.

RED RIVER (link)

Six teams. Four teams contested their league-openers on Dec. 15, with Austin Valkyries and Dallas logging wins. Bay Area and San Antonio restart the competition on Jan. 12 and games continue through April 13.

SOUTH

• Carolinas-Georgia (link)

Eight teams (Asheville doesn’t have any matrix games scheduled). Atlanta Harlequins are out in front at 4-0, outscoring opponents 258-5. League play resumes in late February.

• Florida (link)

Five teams. Fort Miami shut out Indian River before the year turned, and the remainder of the league will resume Jan. 19.

• True South (link)

Five teams. Nashville and Knoxville are 2-0 so far, and play resumes on Feb. 9.

DIVISION III

MID-ATLANTIC

South Jersey (4-0) leads the four-team North, while the Maryland Stingers (5-0) headline the five-team South. The CR holds a proper final four for its DIII competition, but there are no regional playoffs beyond the Mid-Atlantic championship.

PACIFIC SOUTH

Three former DII teams – Fullerton, Santa Barbara and Ventura County – and union newcomer Northern Arizona (Flagstaff/NAU) comprise the new DIII league. Games begin Jan. 19 and will culminate on April 27 with a DIII champ.

RED RIVER

San Marcos has cancelled its 2019 matrix matches per the schedule, leaving five teams in the competition. League play begins Feb. 16.

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