Just done a quick calculation, and the maximum number of games will likely be the same as they play currently, regardless of which option they end up going with. Just a shame there isn't the scope for one or two extra blank weekends to fit in some international games.
This year the Exiles game was played on a stand alone weekend, so you would have one week free. The proposed 12x12x8 format gives an odd number of games in the last third of the season. So just have 6 games (3home & 3 away games) then you free up a second weekend. Surely a third weekend could be found.
The rescheduling of SoO could be the catalyst to grow the game worldwide. Here is my dream. Imagine a 3 week slot solely dedicated to the promotion and playing of international RL throughout the world.
Lets leave England and NZ in their respective hemispheres. And Australia can put out a team to prove that their 3rd team is as good as anyone else. You could then easily develop the following world wide format with leagues of 4 teams playing in a round robin format i.e.
Leagues are based on RLIF rankings.
Northern Hemisphere Europe - Euro League 1 - England, Wales, Ireland, France Euro League 2 - Scotland, Russia, Serbia, Italy. Euro League 3 - Lebanon, Germany, Malta, Norway. League 3 - Ukraine, Latvia, Czech republic, Denmark. League 4 - sweden, Netherlands, Hungary and so on so that all Euro teams are placed in an appropriate league.
Northern Hemisphere America's - similar format . America's League 1 - Canada, USA, Jamaica (anyone else out there?).
Southern Hemisphere - PanAsia League 1 - Aus, NZ, PNG, Samoa. PanAsia League 2 - Tonga, Fiji, Cook Islands, Japan PanAsian League 3 - India, Pakistan, Phillipines, Singapore
Africa League 1 - South Africa, Morocco, Ghana (or you could put Lebanon in here).
This format would mean you had;
Year 1 - round robin games in all leagues. You could have P&R after one season. End of season have a 5 nations tournament in the UK. Due to the current strength of European and Australasian teams the top 2 from their League 1 qualify and the winners of the Amercia,s and African League 1 play off for the fifth spot. Imagine England, Wales, NZ, Aus and Canada qualifying. The 5 team tournament will take 1 week longer than present 4 Nations.
Year 2 - same again for a 5 nations tournament in Australia/ NZ
Year 3 - repeat year 1
Year 4 - repeat year 2
Year 5 - World Cup - use league structures to determine who qualifies.
For teams that miss out on the 5 Nations you could still have a series of other comps that we have now. European Bowl, European Cup, Euro Shield etc.
Anyway thats my dream. The above ain't perfect and can be tweaked. It will cost money and take strong commitment but in the long term it gives a solid structure for teams to progress through at their own pace. And teams can choose to enter the league structure when they feel ready.
Edited by Adelaide Tiger, 17 July 2013 - 03:48 AM.