With a focus on improving USA Rugby member services and organizational performance, the USA Rugby Board of Directors have approved a $10 increase to the USA Rugby membership fee for the 2023-24 membership season.
Providing necessary funding for additional USA Rugby staff and resources, the dues increase is centered on bettering the member experience. Effective on August 17 when the 2023-24 season officially begins, the increased fee will be applied to all levels of play and member categories. The dues change and organizational plan was presented to each of the USA Rugby Community Councils, with additional funds focused on the following critical hires to the National Office:
• Three community support positions across each of the playing categories: Youth & High School, College and Senior Club. These positions will be focused on providing first line support to each community council, and to individual clubs and members of their respective communities.
• A Compliance Director, focused on organizational and membership requirements of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and the US Center for Safe Sport.
• A Chief Financial Officer, a critical oversight position vacant since 2020.
• In addition, salaries for current staff have lagged behind inflation and the market due to budget constraints.
USA Rugby Board Chair, Tom Cusack said on the step forward, “Participation in rugby is back in full swing, following the last three years of lower participation due to COVID. As operations, competitions and the need for full and effective member services continue to expand, it is critical that USA Rugby headquarters meet the demands of our communities and return necessary resources to the National Office. Both the planning and execution of this dues increase are focused on member support and building a fully functional USA Rugby.”
“The Board of Directors carefully analyzed the proposed increase in registration fees, looking at the immediate needs for the 2023-24 season and beyond, and presented that data for community stakeholder input through the Council representatives on the Board, alongside the USA Rugby Audit & Risk Committee. We are committed to seeing an immediate impact on the overall member services experience this year as we look ahead to another thriving season of rugby.”
USA Rugby COO, Johnathan Atkeison added, “It’s no secret that as we have rebuilt over the last three years, we’ve been working with a very small number of staff. As we’ve engaged in strategic review and planning processes in the past year, and based on the feedback from our community partners, it became apparent that we need more hands on deck to meet our organizational objectives and properly service the USA Rugby Membership.”
Looking ahead, Atkeison further noted, “As a community, we’re targeting aggressive growth goals over the next decade. Adding these positions not only gives us the ability to serve our current needs, but also adds skills and capabilities necessary to enable future growth.”
Membership for the 2023-2024 competitive cycle is set to launch on August 17th, 2023.