The OBBRFC Executive is thrilled to announce that we have joined the Federation of Rugby Quebec going into the 2024 season.
This development provides our Club with access to high quality and stable league competition, and it also opens a number of new opportunities to our players such as provincial-level representative and high performance programming within a much closer proximity to Ottawa than ever before.
This new move uniquely positions the OBBRFC as Ottawa’s Gateway to Quebec Rugby, and we are excited for this new stage of our Club’s evolution.
More information will be shared with respect to everything from league scheduling to rep-level tryouts.
We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to everyone who has helped to make this happen.
The OBBRFC Executive
Questions and Answers:
Why is this better?
It is so, so much better, for so, so many reasons:
To begin, Rugby Quebec is headquartered in Montreal, bringing us closer and under direct authority of a provincial governing body, rather than a provincial subunion as we were with the EORU. Rugby Quebec staff are paid professionals who aim to manage their organization as effectively as possible, and we have seen first-hand their ability to deliver high quality league structures time and time again.
The league play in Quebec is generally regarded as some of the best in Eastern Canada. The level of competition ranges up to some of the most elite club play in the country, and it spans across multiple, fully-fleshed out divisions, with the opportunity for promotion and advancement as our Club grows and improves.
There are triple the number of teams in the Quebec leagues compared to Eastern Ontario, which means a never-ending diversity of competition to suit our needs - for example, both women's teams will play in divisions with 5 teams apeice. The Quebec provincial leagues are also incredibly stable; forfeits are almost unheard of, and rules are well-established and enforced to ensure fair play.
The rugby is not only better, but there’s also more of it - Rugby Quebec has play-off series for their men’s and women’s divisions alike, and they continue to run organized programming through the fall should we be interested in participating.
Our Club has always been vocal in our belief that the Quebec leagues offer a greater depth of play and enhanced level of stability, so this move is the next logical step given the recent challenges we’ve faced with the EORU in pursuing this quality field of competition.
Additionally, both our men’s and women’s 1st XV finished 2nd in the highest tiers of EORU competition this past season, so there is limited room to grow within the local leagues. By contrast, there is an entire division of competition above us in Rugby Quebec that will give us many seasons of improvement to strive for.
Will our training location change?
No, our new governing body has informed us that we can continue to play and practice wherever we like. And we like being in downtown Ottawa.
Will there be extra travel?
Not really. Half of all games will be played at home, and therefore in Ottawa. Almost all away games will be in Montreal, so within a few hours drive (this amounts to 4 or 5 trips to Montreal per team per season). And even within the EORU, there was travel to Kingston, Perth, and Petawawa on almost any given week anyways (and in some instances with the juniors, this even happened on weeknights for some reason).
With the exception of the 2023 season, our men’s and women’s teams have played in the Quebec provincial leagues exclusively for over a decade without any real issue with respect to travel. The opportunity for a few minor day trips provides a better team bonding and social experience for players, and it’s well worth a bit of extra travel time.
Where does this mean we are playing next year?
The men and women will both be reinserted into Provincial League 1 where we left off as we continue to earn our advancement toward the Quebec Superleagues. The Men's 2nd XV will be playing in the LPR 1 Reserve Division, and the Women's 2s will be competing in LPR Div 2.
Juniors will participate in the Quebec junior league, which is itself well-structured to nurture the growth and development of youth rugby programming.
What does this mean for rep players?
This move provides a tremendous benefit for players who aspire to play rep-level rugby. Players now have direct access to try out for full-fledged provincial-level teams (goodbye East/West/South Ontario sub-provincial hubs, and drives to Toronto!), putting them directly in the spotlight at national competitions under many national-level high performance coaches.
The following diagram illustrates how we’re getting players onto podiums, faster - this proof of concept was demonstrated just this year with our own Malorie Tessier winning gold with Quebec u19 at Nationals.
As always, the Club reserves some funding through our Development Fund in order to provide financial support to any players who pursue higher-level competition.
Will my player fees change?
No. The OBBRFC Exec is committed to providing our players with two things: the most affordable registration fees for any club in the area, and the best value for your dollar when you play with us.
Who will ref our games?
The FRQ will assume responsibility for assigning referees to our matches. Additionally, we have begun drastically increasing our Club’s existing referee capacity so that we can ensure there will always be qualified match officials present when we need them.
Can I continue refereeing with your Club?
Of course! Your Match Official registration will carry over to Rugby Quebec, who will assign matches with the same benefits as Ontario (mileage, etc). The rates for referees in Quebec are also higher - they pay $81 per game instead of the $60 in the EORU - and Rugby Quebec pays you directly so you don’t have to chase people for payments on game day. Additionally, we will also cover your referee registration costs.
How can I be part of this?
We always welcome anyone who want to join us! Please contact email@example.com with any questions.