Philadelphia, Pa. – The world’s third largest international multi-sport sporting event – The Maccabiah Games – is held in Israel every four years and sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee. Many notable athletes have competed in the Maccabiah Games including: Mark Spitz, Corey
Pavin, Lenny Krayzelburg, Mitch Gaylord and Jason Lezak. The first Maccabiah Games took place in 1932 and the most recent Games, the 18th Maccabiah, took place in 2009 featuring 7,500 athletes from 51 countries participating in 31 different sports. Team USA consisted of 903 Americans, winning 284 medals. The Maccabi USA Rugby Team took the bronze medal (Watch those highlights here) while Australia beat Great Britain for the gold.
Maccabi USA Rugby has a storied history at the Games and has been represented by top international and national level players including members of the USA Eagles, Senior All-Star teams and Collegiate All-Americans. Zachary Test, a member of the USA National Sevens Team and his cousin Jared Braun, a forward with the University of California Berkeley Bears, were both members of the 18th Maccabiah USA Rugby Team.
The team competed as a territory in the Inter-Territorial Tournament (ITTs) in 1993.
Today the squad has the potential to include a few Eagles and some great territorial players, including Test, current star of the USA 7s team, and former 7s Eagle Dallen ‘Paki’ Stanford. These are exciting times for Maccabiah Rugby with the potential backline in 2013 seeing at least six players that have represented the US, either at senior, U20 and U 18 levels.
The USA Rugby team has competed continuously at the Maccabiah Games since 1985 and won the gold in 1997, defeating South Africa 23-22 and has medaled in all seven Maccabiah Games: ’85 – bronze; ’89 – bronze; ’93 – silver; ’97 – gold; ’01 – silver; ’05 – silver; and ’09 – bronze. Watch highlights of the US winning Gold in 1997.
Shawn Lipman, a former USA Eagle, will be the Head Coach for Maccabi USA Rugby at the 19th Maccabiah Games in 2013. Lipman was the Captain of the USA Team that took the gold in 1997 and has also played in an additional four Maccabiah Games (View feature on Lipman, as well as being chosen as the US Flag Bearer in 1997). He has put together an impressive coaching staff with the primary goal to bring home the gold back to the USA in 2013. Greg Schor-Haskin, a member of the 14th and 18th USA Maccabiah Rugby Team, will join Lipman as the Assistant Coach.
“We are very proud and excited to have Shawn and Greg lead us to gold in 2013.” said Maccabiah Rugby Chairman, Jeff Simon.
The rest of the coaching staff includes:
Marc Stcherbina (Coaching Development Coordinator - Backs) played professionally for well over a decade including the NSW Warratahs, Australian 7''s (winning medals at two Commonwealth Games), Biarritz, Northampton, Cardiff Blues, and Newport Gwent Dragons. His experience as a backline player will be invaluable to the squad.
Norm Mottram (Coaching Development Coordinator - Forwards) played for Scotland at age group level and provincially for Glasgow District. He then moved to the United States, playing for the West and USA Eagles, winning 9 caps and was part of the 1991 RWC squad. For the past two years Mottram served as the Director of Coach Development for USA Rugby and is currently on the IRB Scrum Steering Committee, a worldwide working group tasked with reviewing current scrum research and providing recommendations on potential law changes.
Mike Smith (Director of Fitness and Conditioning – West Coast) is a former US Eagle who now owns and runs CrossfitHB in Huntington Beach, California. He has worked with the All Blacks with rugby specific training and conditioning.
Aaron Manheimer (Director of Fitness and Conditioning – East Coast) is a former Maccabiah silver medalist player who has been instrumental in the success at the Chicago Lions 7s, and also owns and runs Body By Manheimer in Chicago.
David "Buzzy" Rudzinsky (Team Manager) played in the 1989 Maccabiah Games, and has been actively involved with Mystic River and youth rugby in the Boston area for many years.
Recruiting a world-class squad is the priority, with Lipman hoping to create a stand-out team in the USA Rugby community. “My goal is to take the fittest, most skilled and committed team to Israel and bring back the gold medal,” Lippman said. “We’re looking to establish the Maccabiah Games as part of the USA Rugby scene once again, with the hope that some of our team members will go on to represent the USA at other international events.”
Maccabi USA is seeking Jewish Rugby athletes who are interested in representing the USA at the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 2013. Tryouts for the team will be held in Chicago this year over Labor Day weekend from August 31st to September 3rd. The squad will then look to assemble two more times, one of them possibly during the Las Vegas Invitational, before leaving for Israel to take part in the 19th Maccabiah Games from 18th – 30th July 2013.
Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs. The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America. As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.
MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities. It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings. MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport. Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.
The USA 7s team has made a last-minute change to its lineup set for Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Wing Maka Unufe has had to withdraw due to a death in the family. His place has been taken by former Bowling Green All American Rocco Mauer. Mauer played for the Eagles in the Pan-Am Games, but did not break into the team in the first five tournaments of the IRB Sevens World Series.
Mauer was one of the stars of the 2010 USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship, leading the tournament with 11 tries and helping Bowling Green win the Challenge Bracket (the plate).
That tournament put him on the map, and he later played for the Chicago Lions and the All Americans in 7s.
Two undefeated single-school teams face off this weekend (we hope) in Northern California, and perhaps part of the big news is that neither is Jesuit of Sacramento.
The high school competition in NorCal keeps getting tough, and this week Bellarmine Prep (4-0) and Dixon (4-0) will play to see who is the better right now. The game is threatened by rain, but if it comes off, it will headline the slate in the region.
Dixon is undefeated in part because they returned six starters who were Pacific Coast U17 all-stars last year - Anthony Salaber, Patrick Barientes, both High School All Americans, Josh Short, Chris Rico, Giuseppe Semeraro, Kyle Garlick, and Nick Bonovich.
Head Coach Rob Salaber has worked up a team that plays to its strengths.
"We don't come from a big town and we don't necessarily have the pool of athletes other teams do, but the guys work very hard and we play good team rugby," he said. "They are a good group of boys and O'm proud of them. This game promises to be tough, though."
These two teams have a history. Bellarmine beat Dixon to advance to the NorCal championship in 2010 and Dixon made the championship in 2011.
The Bellarmine attack has looked solid under the leadership of flyhalf Joe Burson-Ryan. Center Justin Taliaferro has been unstoppable this year, scoring 10 tries in his past four games, while flanker Elton Rangel is coming off a 4 try game on Monday night against Bishop O'Dowd. Fullback John Lencioni is an outstanding goalkicker.
The game is slated for noon Saturday at Hall Park in Dixon, rain permitting.
The Appellate Panel convened to decide whether the University of California rugby team could be eligible for the D1-AA playoffs has decided that Cal cannot seek an at-large bid to the D1-AA championship.
The Panel, made up of Gary Lee Heavner, Jim Russell and Francois Viljoen, with the assistance of Ed Todd, interviewed Cal Head Coach Jack Clark, Cal Athletics COO Solly Fulp, USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate Competition Committee chair Kevin Battle, and USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville during their month-long deliberations.
The Panel examined the ramifications of USA Rugby’s Collegiate Operating Document, which holds that conferences must submit their competition plans by June 1 of each year. The COD defines a “Regular Season” as “the period between September 1 and the start of the USAR playoffs.”
It also defines the pathway to a playoff is through conference player. Teams can qualify for the playoffs by winning their Automatic Qualifier conference; or, if they are in a non-automatic conference (because the conference is too small), they can apply for an at-large bit. The Panel found that the COD requires at-large teams to be in a conference.
Cal pulled out of D1-A December 23, 2011, and then in January petitioned to join the Northern California D1-AA, a request that was denied by that league because it was made after teams had finalized their schedules.
The program’s next choice has been to petition USA Rugby for an at-large big. The USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate Competition Committee denied that request, and Cal appealed.
As stated in the Appellate Panel’s decision:
“It is the opinion of this Panel that because Cal is not a member of any USAR conference, according to COD 1.7(a)(ii) and COD 3.3(c)(i)(2) Cal shall not be permitted to be eligible to be considered for an at large spot in the 2012 Division I-AA playoffs and hereby affirm the ruling of the USAR Men’s Collegiate Competition Committee.
It is with difficulty that the Panel has determined to bar Cal from contending for a USAR National Championship due to their exemplary competitive history and their outstanding record of achieving success while demonstrating high levels of sportsmanship and character. Notwithstanding any of the unsettled issues referred to above, the undisputed fact remains that Cal is not a member of a USAR Division 1-AA conference, much less any USAR conference. Without being a member of any USAR conference, Cal cannot be, and is not, eligible for the 2012 Division I-AA playoffs.
The DII Men’s college playoff race is ongoing throughout the country, with 11 bids to the Sweet 16 still to be doled out. We take you coast-to-coast to update you on the respective competitions.
MID-ATLANTIC There are eight teams still in the running for MARFU's two bids to the Sweet 16. The quarterfinals take place March 31 on the campuses of the higher seeds, and the semifinals and finals are April 14-15 at a neutral site. To see the quarterfinal match-ups, follow this link.
WEST Three of the four semifinal spots have already been claimed. It's unfortunate how the seeds work out, as Northern Colorado is the champion on the Eastern Rockies, and they'll take on Lindenwood. Those are probably the two best teams in the West, and two of the best teams in the country. It's going to be very hotly contested, too, as Lindenwood managed to pilfer a lot of its first recruiting class from UNC territory -- Colorado Springs.
In the other semifinal is Central Missouri. The Mules have dominated DII competition in their area, as well as beaten DI-AA Kansas and Truman State. They're an athletic, powerful bunch, but much less polished than UNC and Lindenwood. UCM will play either Texas Tech or St. Edward's, who play March 24 in Austin for the Texas title. When they met earlier this season, St. Ed's won on a last-minute penalty.
DIXIE Dixie play is winding down, with just two weeks left.
In the West, Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and Northern Alabama have played all their games and are left waiting for the result of Harding’s match with Tennessee-Martin this weekend.
No matter what, UAB will make the Dixie semifinals. If Harding beats UT-Martin, Harding will win the West and play the second seed from the East. If Harding doesn’t win, Northern Alabama advances as the conference’s second seed, and UAB as the champ.
In the East, Sewanee has already sewn up the top seed with a 4-0 record. Tennessee Tech is currently in second place, but has played one more game than Lee. Tech and Lee face off this weekend, and if Lee loses, Tech will secure second place.
SOUTHERN The Southern Rugby Conference is a little more muddled, as the last three weeks of the regular season finds eight of 12 teams still in playoff contention. The SRC championship weekend will feature the first and second place team from each division fighting for a spot in the national sweet 16. The event will be April 14th and 15th at Elon University.
In the West, three teams control their own destiny. For Appalachian State, College of Charleston and Lander, it is simple -- win out and move on. UNC-Charlotte is still in the mix, but will need a little help.
In the East, UNC-Wilmington has locked up the no. 1 seed. UNC-Greensboro controls its fate –- it has to do is win, and it’s in. Elon and Coastal Carolina also still have a shot by winning out and getting some help.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Three teams sit atop the Southern California DII college league, with UC San Diego 4-2, Cal State Long Beach 3-1-1, and Santa Barbara City College also 3-1-1, but lacking the bonus points to get out of 3rd.
UCSD has two more matches left, against those very same two teams trying to overhaul them.
Last week the Tritons downed Cal State Fullerton 30-8, a team that edged them earlier in the season, behind tries Isaias Bustos, Steve Lopez, Quintin Dolci, and E.J. Quinto.
It was an important rebound win, and now puts UCSD in a position to take control if they beat Long Beach in San Diego Saturday.
SBCC is probably hoping for a low-scoring tie, and then
PACIFIC COAST In Northern California, Sierra College continues to dominate, beating San Jose State 48-14 to improve to 6-0. Santa Rosa JC and Nevada are battling it out for 2nd, but Sierra looks untouchable at the moment.
Oregon Institute of Technology and Western Oregon are both undefeated in the Pacific Northwest. WOU scored big, 55-31, over Boise State on Saturday and 56-10 over Montana on Sunday to close out their regular season.
The PNW playoffs start March 24. The champion of the PNW draws the NorCal champion in the Pacific Coast semifinals, held April 7 in Northern California.
Utah Valley has already sewn up Utah’s bid to the Pacific Coast semifinals, where the Wolverines will take on the second seed out of NorCal, so likely Santa Rosa JC or Nevada.
SOUTH There are two "conferences" in play. One, the Tournament Conference, consists of Memphis, East Carolina and Western Carolina. These three play each other on March 24th. The winner of that round-robin advances to the South championship April 14-15 in Columbus, Georgia.
They'll play the winner of the Bayou Conference, which is split into two divisions. West Florida is the leader in the East by a large margin. In the West, Tulane is the favorite through three games.
Highlights from last weekend's Pacific Rugby Premiership game between two competitive but winless teams - the Denver Barbarians and the Olympic Club.Highlights from RUGBYMag and Shawn Porter. Read more...
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