The Division (D) II Tampa Bay Krewe Rugby Football Club (RFC) released its preliminary schedule for the 2012-2013 Rugby Season on Monday. Due to some changes and implementations put into place by the Florida Rugby Union (FRU) during the summer Fifteens break, this season itself will run and be organized a bit differently than in years past.
How Florida D II teams are broken up by the FRU for the 2012-2013 Season
There will be a total of ten teams in the Division II FRU, with five teams in the north and five teams in the south. The North Division will consist of N1 Daytona RFC, N2 Jacksonville RFC, N3 (Tampa Bay) Krewe RFC, N4 Orlando RFC, and N5 (St Petersburg) Pelicans RFC.
The South Division includes S1 Boca RFC, S2 Fort Lauderdale RFC, S3 Miami RFC, S4 Naples RFC, and S5 (Miami) Tridents RFC. This has been implemented for the process of “Crossover Games”, for which Krewe President Jeff Kerron provides an insightuful explanation during the second half of the matrix season.
October through December for the Krewe
There will be a pre-FRU Season a home game against the Charleston Outlaws in early October. This will be followed by the annual All Florida Weekend scheduled for 20-21 October in Tavares, Florida. The venue once again will be Hickory Point Park, located at 27343 State Road 19, Tavares, Florida 32778. The first regular season match will be a home game against the Orlando Rugby Club on 03 November. This is to be followed by away games against Jacksonville Rugby Club on 10 November, and the St. Petersburg Pelicans on 17 November.
There will be a bye weekend for the Krewe in honor of the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Krewe will host the Daytona Beach Rugby Club on 01 December, have another bye Saturday on 08 December, and will travel to Orlando on 15 December. The last two Saturdays in December, 22 and 29, will also be bye weekends in honor of the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.
January through early March: Regular season and explaining ‘Crossover Games’
The Tampa Bay Krewe will start of 2013 by hosting Jacksonville on 05 January and St. Petersburg on 12 January. Tampa Bay will travel to Daytona on 19 of January before taking a bye weekend on 26 January to celebrate the Gasparilla Holiday.
February begins the “Crossover Games” segment of the season. Krewe President Jeff Herron spoke with the Tampa Bay Rugby Examiner on Monday about the implementation of the Crossover Games through the Florida Rugby Union (FRU):
FRU plans on having two divisions in Florida, a North and a South. We (The Tampa Bay Krewe) will compete in the North. After a home and away schedule with the other teams in the North division, a crossover will be done. This will match the top four [teams] from the North division against the top four [teams] from the South division. After the crossover competition, the top four overall teams will move on to a Florida semifinal, [and] then [a] Finals [match].
‘Crossover Games’ Begin
The 02 February weekend set aside for a match-up of the last place teams from the North Division and from the South Division. Weekend one of the Crossover Games will be 09 February, followed by weekend two on 16 February. The Krewe has decided to take part in “Ruggerfest” in Fort Lauderdale on 23 February, so it will not take part in any crossover action that weekend. The last of the club’s three weekends of Crossover Games will be 02 March, with an open Saturday set aside on 09 March for a possible match-up between the winner of the game from 02 February and a potential Division (D) III “promotee”.
FRU Playoffs scheduled for last three weekends in March
The Florida Rugby Union (FRU) will begin its first round of the playoffs on 16 March. This will involve the quarterfinals matches between the seeds in the North and the South. The following weekend, 23 March, will be the semifinals rounds for the FRU playoffs. The winner of the D II FRU will be decided in a Finals match on Saturday, 30 March.
Details and dates beyond FRU season yet to be determined
The timetable for playoff games after the champion from the FRU has been crown has yet to be finalized, but as more details become available, the Tampa Bay Rugby Examiner will provide them. For more information on the Tampa Bay Krewe RFC and its upcoming season, please visit the club’s website. For more information on the Florida Rugby Union, please visit the organization’s website.