I'm big enough to take it, If I was on the BARLA committee I'd be looking at some of the summer ideas from the none heartlands and taking them on board for the winter season, I'm a big fan of Tim2 and many of his ideas which border on the BARLA ethos.
Cheers Jim! I don't have much direct experience of BARLA other than when I asked them about starting up a summer Merit league they sent me to the RFL.
The amateur game needs a strong voice and for whatever reason BARLA lost the mandate to provide it. Many of the people I have met who are now working in the summer based leagues are ex-BARLA and simply got sick of the politics. Without that voice the pro game and the performance department could (and have shown the inclination to) ride roughshod over the amateur game without thought of the consequences.
Whatever ethos I have, it doesn't involve endless committees and rules, although I do understand why some of the BARLA rules, which seem to be obscure and a "barrier" to people doing what they want, came into being.
I am a big fan of playing junior rugby in the summer for all the obvious reasons. We at my club have been doing it for 5 years now and it can work, but I can see how managing the transition at Youth and Open Age is far more complicated. It's just a shame that views have become so polarised that everyone now seems to have blinkers on.