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New Registration, Competition Management System for Upcoming Season

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New Registration, Competition Management System for Upcoming Season

Image from Rugby Australia in their promotion of the use of Rugby Xplorer, which they adopted in 2019.

The three competition councils in USA Rugby have decided to switch player registration and competition management systems.

General dissatisfaction with the SportLomo system, which was created for a variety of sports, was one of the reasons the change has been made. Instead, beginning with the upcoming season registration period in August, Rugby Xplorer will be the interface players, coaches, referees, and teams will use.

Rugby Xplorer, or RX, was designed in Australia specifically for the sport. The system is used by Rugby Australia and already has it app in various app stores—that app is listed as for "Rugby Australia" but it's expected there will be a USA-specific version. The USA Youth & High School National Council, USA Rugby Collegiate National Council, and Senior Club National Council will all switch to this system for the upcoming season, with administrators (especially State Rugby Organization administrators) receiving training on the system this summer.

USA Youth & HS President David Pool discussed the switch with GRR, and said that while many felt SportLomo was not meeting the needs of organizations, and in fact USY&HS had switched to Fuse Sport's sports management software for that reason. The wholesale switch to RX was prompted by several factors, Pool said:

1. It's a system developed by rugby people for the sport of rugby.

2. It was created relatively recently, which means it was created for how people use these systems today and ...

3. "its architecture is pretty flexible," said Pool.

(Rugby Xplorer was adopted by Rugby Australia in 2019)

The system will be used to register players, manage compliance, and manage competitions. Currently, college conferences, club leagues, and State Rugby Organizations use a mishmash of competition systems, from posting image files of scores to using Google spreadsheets to using the Sportsengine app to using the old USA Rugby Stats system that has officially be out of favor for a few years now.

The RX app also integrates communications—so news and content from USA Rugby would also be accessible there.

"This is a better platform," said Pool, adding that the synergy between registration of players and game reporting will allow much better tracking of basic stats (games, tries, points), and will also allow competitions to track red cards and concussion stand-downs, allowing those running competitions to ensure a player is allowed to play ... or not.

What is interesting about this move is partly the unified decision. SportLomo was essentially foisted upon teams as USA Rugby clawed its way out of bankruptcy proceedings in 2020. Several members voiced concern about that system, saying they didn't think it was ready. Certainly the competition management system part of the equation wasn't embraced.  

This all will be live for the beginning of the 2022-2023 season, and, as stated above, SRO adminstrators are set to receive training before then.