October 19, 2020

Dear SoCal Youth Rugby Members —

As mentioned in last Friday’s email, I have been working closely with a consortium of California youth sports organizations to address the need for specific guidelines from the state to safely return to play during these challenging times. Governor Newsom’s recent tier-system did not address youth sports.  As a group, we penned a letter to the Governor noting this omission. We highlighted the need for our kids to be active — not only for their physical health, but for their emotional well being. As well, once the state outlines parameters for a safe return to play, the youth sporting jobs affected by the coronavirus could come back on line. We also shared how some California families are traveling to other states in order to play. This not only transfers the economic impact, but opens the doors for Covid-19 transmission back into California.

Governor Newsom received the letter last week and has already responded positively.  He will be outlining California’s Return to Youth Sports specifically in a few short days. 

I am proud to be at the helm of such a warmly, connected youth rugby community. My goal throughout this pandemic has been to ensure the safety of our SCYR families, while still maintaining — if not growing, your love of the game.

I will follow up with you upon hearing from Governor Newsom. 

Letter to Governor Newsom from Youth Sports Organizations in CA

Kind Regards,
Giovanni Vaglietti
SoCal Youth Rugby, CEO

August 4, 2020

Dear SoCal Youth Rugby Members –

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has just released their “COVID-19 INTERIM GUIDANCE: Youth Sports” parameters. Within our youth rugby community, it is important we oblige these health and safety rules. This paragraph from the CDPH document is the most pertinent to youth rugby:

“For sports that cannot be conducted with sufficient distancing or cohorting, only physical conditioning and training is permitted and ONLY where physical distancing can be maintained. Conditioning and training should focus on individual skill-building (e.g., running drills and body weight resistance training) and should take place outside, where practicable. Indoor physical conditioning and training is allowed only in counties where gyms and fitness centers are allowed to operate indoors.”

Please review the CDPH document in total in ensure your club understands the state’s expectations for the safety of youth athletes:  

California Department of Public Health – COVID-19 INTERIM GUIDANCE: Youth Sports

It is a requirement each SCYR Member Club, denote a Covid-19 Manager and submit a Practice Plan. If your club has not submitted these details, please do as soon as possible to meet compliance. As well, the SoCal Youth Rugby Return to Youth Rugby Covid-19 Policies are updated. 

We are excited for this step forward in getting our rugby youth active again.  We will continue to keep you updated as guidelines progress. Soon, we will release our 2021 SCYR Competition Calendar so our clubs can prepare for the upcoming Youngers, Olders, and High School rugby seasons.

Kind Regards,
Giovanni Vaglietti, SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

June 19, 2020

Dear SCYR Members,

While practices are open for youth sports in a few counties, competition has yet to be allowed.  Given this hurdle and the inaccessibility of fields, we sadly will be cancelling the SCYR Summer 7s season.  We had high hopes of an abbreviated season, however the variables didn’t fall in place.

With that said, we do hope those in San Diego and Orange County are able to work towards your Return to Practice.  As a reminder, you need to uphold the SCYR Covid-19 Policies & Procedures and submit the required practice plan documentation.

We will continue to update you frequently as more information about youth sports becomes available.

Kind Regards,

Giovanni Vaglietti
SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

June 12, 2020

Dear SCYR Members,

California is moving into Stage 3 today, June 12th, in its Resilience Roadmap. Stage 3 opens more entertainment, recreational and sporting opportunities — albeit with guidelines and mandates in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Within Stage 3, Youth Day Camps can resume; though youth sports cannot yet. Youth Day Camps within San Diego County are read as permissible for youth sports practicing. The practice size limit is 12 athletes and a coach. Unfortunately, the other counties have yet to receive this clearance or provide this detail. We will update you as soon as these parameters become available. 

With rugby returning to non-contact practice in San Diego County and other SCYR counties likely to follow shortly after, we are sharing with you the SoCal Youth Rugby Covid-19 Policies. These policies must be adhered to. The document also includes helpful tools for your club to navigate the Coronavirus environment. Each county is shaping up to have different interpretations, mandates and timelines, which we must all uphold. We have provided individual county resources for you with links in the document as well. 

Return to Youth Rugby in Southern California – SCYR Covid-19 Policies

Please read through this entire document carefully and complete the necessary items such as declaring your Club’s Covid-19 Manager and uploading your club’s Coronavirus Practice and Prevention Plan.  

We understand more items to complete in your volunteer roles is challenging.  However, these expectations will be common across all sports and are for the safety of the entire rugby community.

We will continue to keep you apprised of playing details as they become available.  We are thrilled that kids will soon be safely be on the pitch together in some areas!

Kind Regards,

Giovanni Vaglietti
SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

June 2, 2020

Dear SCYR Members,

First and foremost — we hope you, your families and all in your rugby community are safe and healthy. It has been a bumpy ride this spring and we greatly appreciate your patience as we tried to understand the rugby landscape for our SCYR membership.

California has begun opening various businesses and sectors. Youth sports organizations have been in discussions with the government to put a return to play on the reopening agenda. There are encouraging signs and we hope to receive more clarity next week.

At this time, we remain in Phase 2 of the USA Rugby Return to Play scale — of which gatherings and contact practices are not permitted. We ask that all SCYR Clubs and Teams continue to meet virtually. Local and state guidelines are the indicators of the USA Rugby return to play phases. This means we could have counties in Southern California on different return to action timelines. We encourage all SCYR Clubs to carefully review USA Rugby’s Return to Play Guidelines and utilize this tool for your own club’s Coronavirus safety measures.

If we are able to return to the pitch this summer, we will be looking to start in the month of July and run our traditional Summer 7’s as an abbreviated season. As well, we have been discussing with our postponed Spring 15’s clubs about potential return dates and competition format.  We will continue to do so and provide updates as new information comes through from the government, as mentioned previously. 

There are still many hurdles to overcome and safety measures to be explored during this process. We will continue to provide the latest updates and details as they become available to us.

Kind Regards,

Giovanni Vaglietti
SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

May 26, 2020

“This information is a proposed framework for USA Rugby Clubs and Members to reference as they determine potential return to play plans amidst the COVID-19 climate.

These Return to Play Guidelines are to be implemented starting June 1, 2020.

The collective information is in reference to general protocol offered by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Rugby and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC); tailored to the common activities of USA Rugby Members. It is important to understand that the following outline is not official medical advice, whereby your club and athletes should more definitively refer to the instruction of your local health officials when determining a return to play calendar.

Given the close contact nature of rugby, it is important to note that our sport lives beyond most when it comes to the threat of spreading respiratory diseases. The collective rugby community must remain patient and considerate through this process. While we are all eager to return to rugby, the wellbeing of our friends, family and teammates must remain priority. It is on all of us to acknowledge responsibility and do our part to combat the spread of COVID-19.”

May 5, 2020

Dear SCYR Members,

As many of you are aware, USA Rugby has extended the suspension of rugby play through the end of May. This was expected and in accordance with California and much of the country’s stay-at-home measures. It is encouraging California is very slowly returning to elements of normalcy in the coming weeks, while still keeping good health top of mind.  

We are in frequent contact with USA Rugby and our local health agencies to understand our options for the return of youth rugby in Southern California. We realize this may look different in each community and the safety of the SCYR young athletes and their families take precedence.  

With that said, we are still planning for 15s (moved from Spring) and Summer 7’s, although potentially in a shortened calendar versus originally planned. We will connect with you once we have more concrete details and a green light to be back on the pitch. The month of May is a transitional month for us all as information changes on a daily basis.

Kind Regards,

Giovanni Vaglietti
SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

March 31, 2020

First and foremost, we hope you and your families are healthy and have been able to stay home to protect yourselves during this time. After evaluation of current state, federal and local government mandates and school district timelines of return, the current spring season structure will need re-evaluation. Like many, we are itching to get rugby played as soon as we are allowed. We want to provide an outlet for the athletes to be able to feel like their lives return to some normality once this ends. We are are also taking into account those players that are aging out this year, so we want to try to potentially get in some rugby for them. In saying all that, we want to exhaust all options to try and get rugby played for our Older season. We would like to explore shifting the 15s season into the Summer and we need your feedback on the viability of this.

Below is a framework we have in mind: 
Olders Summer 15s – for BU16, BU18, and GU18 XVs. This would potentially start mid-June.
Youngers Summer 7s as originally scheduled – for U8, U10, U12, BU14. This would alter the Summer 7s to just the youngers age divisions and start in early June. 
* GU15 and GU18 7s – can fit into either of the above based upon feedback and desire.

Before we can build a framework to this new summer model, we need to understand your club’s interest, availability, and viability. Please complete this SUMMER SEASON Survey as soon as possible — the deadline is Friday April 3, 2020.

If we build a new Summer 15s program, players already registered for the Spring season will be complete in their registration process for summer. We understand not all families may wish to participate in summer, yet had registered for spring. In that case, we are working to offer a refund and credit program.

In conclusion, the Spring Season will not be played in its original schedule and given timeframe. We’d like to push Olders play from spring to summer, all while keeping the Summer 7s for the youngers. Our goal is to have all of our SCYR rugby players happily running in the summer sun after weeks at home. Please complete the summer survey so we can understand your interest and options.


Best wishes,

Giovanni Vaglietti
SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

March 16, 2020

Dear SCYR Members,

Since we last issued our Covid-19 internal measures on March 12th, 2020, USA Rugby subsequently issued a mandate that all rugby related activities (practice, play, etc.) cease for 30 days. The 30-day timeline will take us through April 12th, 2020. It is important to note that with the USA Rugby mandate, no CIPP insurance will be provided for any rugby activities during this timeframe.

SCYR will continue to monitor the rapidly changing Coronavirus environment and work with all the necessary stakeholders to provide the most up-to-date information available to us. We will also continue to take direction from the USA Rugby national office and any health directives from state and local governments as it relates to Southern California specifically.

We urge our rugby community to not only follow the directives that all rugby activities cease through April 12, 2020, but to practice the measures implemented by local and federal officials to manage the spread of the Coronavirus.  

Kind Regards,

Giovanni Vaglietti
SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

March 12, 2020

Dear SCYR Members,

Effective immediately, we are postponing all scheduled SCYR rugby until March 23rd, 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we are canceling the BU14 Open and Light division finals this coming weekend. We will continue to monitor the fluid and evolving situation on a daily basis with the relevant authorities.

The health and safety of our membership and the wider community is of the utmost importance. In consideration of this and the state government’s mandate, which advises against mass gatherings and events that bring together multiple communities, all these factors have led to SCYR’s decision to postpone rugby activities at this time.

Individual clubs are advised to also cease practice and rugby related activities. We strongly feel in the current climate of uncertainty, sport is secondary to everyone’s health and wellbeing.  We will work with the clubs to rearrange schedules for the spring season as the picture becomes clearer over the coming weeks.

Kind Regards,

Giovanni Vaglietti, SoCal Youth Rugby CEO

March 6, 2020

To our Southern California Youth Rugby membership:

As we begin to wrap up the Southern California Youth Rugby Youngers Club season and move into the Olders Divisions this Spring, we want to address the Coronavirus and share best practices during this period.  Per USA Rugby’s announcement regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus), “… the Medical Committee encourages athletes and administrators to continue with scheduled competition in all regions of the United States.”

If any SCYR member athletes, coaches, administrators, or parents are experiencing a fever or respiratory illness, we highly recommend that you stay home and do not participate in the EOS tournament tomorrow.  We are also especially encouraging everyone to use their own water bottles. There are school districts that have discontinued the use of shared water bottles until further notice and we believe this is the best practice for tomorrow’s events also. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends if you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever or respiratory illness to call your doctor if you have been in close contact with a person known to have Covid-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area known with widespread or increasing spread of Covid-19.

The following are measures that the CDC recommends as every day preventative actions to help prevent the spread the of respiratory diseases: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

Within our rugby framework, SCYR and USA Rugby recommends:

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infection.
  • Use individual water bottles; do not share them.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
  • People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash their hands).
  • Preferably avoid handshakes when greeting players and opponents.
  • Towels, uniforms and training bibs should not be shared, if possible. Frequent laundering of these items is suggested.
  • Training equipment should be cleaned following each session.

As well, USA Rugby noted, “If you are intending to travel internationally with a rugby tour, please coordinate with your host destination and work with them on the feasibility and risk prior to departing. We also advise you check with the CDC, World Health Organization and State Department on current travel advisories.” 

We will continue to keep you up to date of any changes in the Coronavirus environment and how it may affect our SoCal rugby community. 

Best wishes,

Giovanni Vaglietti, SCYR CEO

Resources for SCYR Members about the Coronavirus:

Centers for Disease Control – Coronavirus

USA Rugby 

California Department of Health