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Defender1

Height of Summer Rugby?

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The clocks altering in October and the Christmas break always had a diminishing effect on player numbers at both training and matchdays when I played in the traditional season, so what makes you think it will be any better now?

 

If anything it will be worse as players really don't give two hoots about the clubs, leagues, or anything else but themselves. It doesn't matter what time of year you play, they will always just do what they want, when they want

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Sorry to say not much better this week I am afraid, a few more results in some of the leagues but more PP and 24-0 or 18-0 than last week

 

NW Mens League has 5 Divisions and only played 17 fixtures in total this weekend.

 

So out of 60 teams only 34 actually played.

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DTTRR the point I keep making and nobody seems to want to answer is, the switch to summer was supposed to halt the decline and increase participation please tell me if I am wrong is that not the case. The game was in decline that is why the powers to be thought a switch to summer would change this but it has not or again am I wrong.

I totally agree commitment from players is poor but do we just accept the game is in decline till we have no game (or very little) I have heard the RFL will only be happy with one strong club in each area or more in the larger population areas, this appears to be happening.

The RFL are not daft and switched hoping to make things better, we all agree we have a good product, why has it not grown, what are we going to do or do we just accept this is how it is.

As I have said before the voice of the community game seems to come from the people involved at clubs who are doing well out of this debacle, nobody listens to the smaller clubs who are struggling, or do they really care.

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NW Mens League has 5 Divisions and only played 17 fixtures in total this weekend.

So out of 60 teams only 34 actually played.

And there were less entry games than the week before

In the Yorkshire Mens League there should have been 11 fixtures and 6 were completed 54% (more entry games this week but they do not count as was pointed out last week)

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DTTRR the point I keep making and nobody seems to want to answer is, the switch to summer was supposed to halt the decline and increase participation please tell me if I am wrong is that not the case. The game was in decline that is why the powers to be thought a switch to summer would change this but it has not or again am I wrong.

I totally agree commitment from players is poor but do we just accept the game is in decline till we have no game (or very little) I have heard the RFL will only be happy with one strong club in each area or more in the larger population areas, this appears to be happening.

The RFL are not daft and switched hoping to make things better, we all agree we have a good product, why has it not grown, what are we going to do or do we just accept this is how it is.

As I have said before the voice of the community game seems to come from the people involved at clubs who are doing well out of this debacle, nobody listens to the smaller clubs who are struggling, or do they really care.

Halting a decline was never on the agenda, what was the selling point was the numbers playing, watching, administrating would increase.

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And there were less entry games than the week before

In the Yorkshire Mens League there should have been 11 fixtures and 6 were completed 54% (more entry games this week but they do not count as was pointed out last week)

The entry teams are mainly winter teams on a jolly and normally get a fixture every two weeks.

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I always maintained that the merit / entry league would promote a CBA attitude seems I could be right .

Lets all go play tick and pass.

Ah well all is ok and we have nothing to worry about everybody is happy and there are no real issues / problems .

It's the Clegg and Cameron syndrome .

/

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The merit league is a huge development tool which has nothing to do with a CBA attitude in formal rugby. The CBA attitude is a complicated mix of societal change, impacts of a flexible labour market, and in some cases I suspect a down-talking of their own product at some clubs (why play at a club in summer if the attitude of some at the club is they don't want to be doing it?)

I also don't think it's just CBA but a sad reality of societal change and the huge 'flexibalisation' of labour markets since the mid 1980s - this is the biggest single issue impacting on player commitment and there is NOTHING the sport can do to counter it other than recognising it and trying to create new playing options - of which merit league rugby is actually a tool!

Just look at who plays merit league rugby - not many would be able to play in formal leagues because they are either development area teams, new sides, or A Teams at clubs who traditionally haven't run A Team sides. Even where a 'traditional' club is running an A Team in a merit league they tend to be clubs who struggled to run a full side in formal leagues in the past (folly lane often conceded A Team fixtures in the old NWC as did Eccles who we often short of numbers and were in/out from one year to next) - what the merit league does is open the door to keeping more involved.

The sniping at merit rugby is unhelpful - we need to be encouraging more to come forward as these forums keep forgetting just how much of "the heartlands" still doesn't have an option for actually playing our sport while we need to grasp every tool we can to keep people involved in the game in an increasingly difficult society to play sport, and our sport in particular.

And it is a stepping stone to formal rugby. Bury, Chester and Mancunians (all areas without RL traditionally) have all used merit rugby as stepping stones into formal leagues. Two of those sides now run regular A Teams (and we both struggled to run one side for years!) using the merit league again as an expansion tool for their club and the game. Rather than knocking it, we need to be embracing it.

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Ps. It's not tick and pass either.

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The tick and pas was reference to touch rugby Michael .

 

Merit leagues do have their merits but imo and it is just my opinion ( I DONT LIKE MARMITE DO YOU ? ) it does  foster a  CBA attitude in some cases.

 

The NWML is becoming a bit of a joke with the number of  games being conceded which brings the integrity of the competition into question.

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I think the merit league is a good idea for the liked of Bury to run A teams but I don't agree with new clubs setting up on the doorstep of existing clubs, weakening their player pool, then only playing 2 or 3 games a season

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I think the merit league is a good idea for the liked of Bury to run A teams but I don't agree with new clubs setting up on the doorstep of existing clubs, weakening their player pool, then only playing 2 or 3 games a season

 

I can agree with some of that although would probably look at it in the light that it is all well and good promoting the expansion of the game, creating new teams, clubs etc, but hardly effective or a step in the right direction if it just means the player pool is not increased and is stretched across more teams as a result.

 

One thing is for certain..............Summer Rugby, even in the most positive of examples at Youth or Open Age Level, has not improved participation or the level and intensity of any League or Regional competition above and beyond anything that was in existance previously.

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To be the problem is players playing winter and summer rugby league, especially when the seasons overlap, plus too much development based on RU players playing in the off season.

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Take all the RU players away from March-Nov RL and I think you would be shocked at the effect it would have.

 

I would like to know the actual percentage playing now and do maths against RL players participation because for obvious reasons they (RU Players) used to be few and far between during the Sept-May season and without them now would put a whole different perspective on the March-Nov RL season, of that I have no doubt.

 

Given the likely outcome, I cannot see the RFL promoting a survey into a topic as potentially damning for the March-Nov season as that though, could you?

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It clearly wouldn't devastate the March to November season as if they were that reliant on RU players they'd fold from March to May and September to November. If you were to survey the May to August season on the other hand the effects would be devastating. But it's chicken and egg as they can't really expect players to just play 10 games of rugby then rest for the off season so even if they prefer RL they have to play RU.

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Bowes I think you might find it would be more detrimental than you think, I know of youth teams that have deferred their early season fixtures so that RU players could complete their fixtures so that the RL youth team they were set to play for could put a team out to fulfil the allocated league fixtures they had been given. 

 

That is something that has been a factor with more than one team.

 

Currently as coach of a Premier Div side in the NWC we have more RU players than League and need to get our fixtures completed by end of September at the latest or we may be in a position where we have to conceed any unplayed fixtures or play with the 9 or 10 RL players that would remain, again we are not the only team in that position.

 

Many new Open age teams are based around RU players which they are heavily reliant upon to be able to fulfil their allocated RL fixtures, without them they simply would not exist.

 

None of the above is opinion, it is fact.

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But what's the problem with what you've just said?

Bury Broncos U16s formed last year was a group of rugby novices combined with RU players. A total of 24 new participants to RL who are almost all still playing in 2014, either in the U18s (alongside some more converts), or still in the U16s (alongside more converts). A notable number committed to complete their RL season and not their RU season, a number have switched entirely.

It's simply weird to have an issue with new people playing the game!

Have confidence in our product as a sport - we have nothing to fear in this scenario given how good our sport is...

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It is a problem as the game outside the heartlands with a few exceptions (Coventry, Peterlee, Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester and the pro clubs) become exclusively RU based to the point where there's just a short season. If clubs playing a full season have RU players they'll forfeit the start and end of the season which is far worse. If it's players converting to RL from RU then that's different and a good thing.

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What's weird is that you for some reason cannot see the issue!!!

 

The RFL and the likes of yourself bang on about how great the switch from Sept-May to March-Nov is.............yet on what factual evidence is this based?

 

The fact that without all the RU players using RL to keep fit throughout the summer when they can "make it" to training or are "available" at a weekend teams like Bury probably would struggle to exist?

 

I'll say it again, if you remove the RU players from the game that switch over once their season has finished, where is the increased participation? How would teams like Bury survive, compete, fulfil fixture and progress?

 

So where is the actual growth? Where is the revolution that was promised that would deliver all the previously outlined benefits by switching the season? How has the game progressed as a result of the switch?

 

Simply getting RU players to play in a RL season for 75-80% of it is not progress in any way shape or form, also for teams to be in a position that without RU players they would struggle to fulfil fixtures and complete a competitive season within a league is disturbing at best.

 

That is the reality!

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While I am at it here is a thought for you MMP.....................

 

How many players do you have registered in the OA?

 

How many times have you fielded a full 17 within your League fixtures this season?

 

As a percentage average what would you say is the make up of your OA teams that have been fielded so far this season in relation to RL players against RU players that have come in once their season has finished?

 

You will also be interested to note that the thought process of many OA coaches within the NWC is that the cohesive spirit that was once within a team or group has almost died due to the lack of consistency in numbers at training and on match days. 

 

Attempting to build a team when your playing roster and availabilty changes drastically (Sometimes 10-12 players) from week to week throughout the Summer is almost impossible and the lack of consistency is bourne out by the apathy within the existing RL Community at OA level due to players being regularly otherwise engaged.........Holidays, Music Festivals, Weddings, Cricket.......you name it...........as a consequence the value of any league competition is only seen by a few teams that are competing at the top end of it.

 

This weekend an U18's team had to cancel their fixture as the players played in the open age on the Saturday so that the club could fulfil the fixture!!!!

 

Cuckoo land...........if you think what we now have is the answer to taking this sport forward at Community club level, particularly at Youth and OA.

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At open age level, last year, c. 75 registered open age players - I'm not as close to open age this year.

 

We have fielded a full 17, two-teams worth, pretty much every weekend and regularly had spares. We have played 12 merit league fixtures on top of first team commitments.  We put two full teams of 17 (and we had spares) on the field regularly from March - before the RU season had finished.

 

Every player is an RL player (even if coming across for a few games each summer - they are still playing RL!). As said before, we were fielding two full teams from March when the RU season was still going so it's far too simplistic to say development clubs RELY on RU players!  After the RU season finished probably another half dozen or so came over which actually led to some thought of a 3rd team.

 

A significant number of players who have tried RL having come from RU sides over a summer period have then swicthed to be RL players first ahead of their RU commitment. So a lad one year plays a few games, loves it, and makes himself available from the following pre-seaon ahead of his RU commitment.  As a result that lad is a convert - a new player - and an RL player first and foremost - and we have quite a number who have made that switch via that process.  Only one ever has gone the other way (because of £££s offered at a high level amatuer RU club).  The son of the Bury RUFC Chairman has switched to play RL ahead of any RU commitment AND has committed to learning to coach RL.

 

As said, have confidence in the product!

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MMP you need to be in touch with the RFL as you appear to be bucking the trend, and teach them some lessons so they can pass on the way you are doing it.

There is no issue with anybody playing rugby league, the more the merrier

The worry is except a few leagues we are becoming a part time sport May-August and this is sustained by off season RU players as has been the case outside of the heartlands, it has already been pointed out that without these RU players the leagues would possibly fold. RU have been cleaver and is a way of keeping their tills ticking over as well as keeping fit.

Players choosing RL over RU is great but I point out I read a sports England participation survey recently the midlands area saw a decrease in players playing RU, have they come to RL I think not, in the NW there was an increase in players playing RU the only area in the country with an increase, have some come from RL possibly.

The other worry is we now say there are a lot of RU players playing our game (no problem with this) but we all agree there is no increase in participation so have we lost a lot of true RL players since the switch to summer.

One age group league in Hull did postpone the start the start of their season for 1 month due to unavailability of players due to waiting for players coming back from football and RU

2 RU age groups teams in Hull, Hull Ionions and Hullensions reached high profile finals with the majority of players being RL players, they are now playing summer RL, the worry is when are these players going to burn themselves out.

As I have said before go head to head with football and RU as we did and may the best game win we all agree we have a good product, I think this way we could regain some of the commitment as at the moment we appear to have players flitting from one sport to another when it suits

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Just had a look on the Sports England Active Sports Participation Survey, not 100% sure on how to read the figures but it says Adults playing Sport once a week for at least 30 mins open age 16 to O/A, this appears everyone over 16, figures seem to go April to April

Rugby League

2005/6. 73,700

2007/8. 82,000

2011/12. 58,100

2012/13 48,700

2013/14 figures are not in but the target seems to have dropped to 44,000 this may be the ceiling they have to hit to get the funding, 112,000 playing Table Tennis, Football and RU also had a decrease. Touch seems a bit of a grey area as they ask on the night whether RL or RU, so much for an increase in Participation, if these were sales figures it would not look good this is unfortunately why people lost their jobs but the people at the top who make the decisions are still there

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What's weird is that you for some reason cannot see the issue!!!

 

The RFL and the likes of yourself bang on about how great the switch from Sept-May to March-Nov is.............yet on what factual evidence is this based?

 

The fact that without all the RU players using RL to keep fit throughout the summer when they can "make it" to training or are "available" at a weekend teams like Bury probably would struggle to exist?

 

I'll say it again, if you remove the RU players from the game that switch over once their season has finished, where is the increased participation? How would teams like Bury survive, compete, fulfil fixture and progress?

 

So where is the actual growth? Where is the revolution that was promised that would deliver all the previously outlined benefits by switching the season? How has the game progressed as a result of the switch?

 

Simply getting RU players to play in a RL season for 75-80% of it is not progress in any way shape or form, also for teams to be in a position that without RU players they would struggle to fulfil fixtures and complete a competitive season within a league is disturbing at best.

 

That is the reality!

Totally true

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Just had a look on the Sports England Active Sports Participation Survey, not 100% sure on how to read the figures but it says Adults playing Sport once a week for at least 30 mins open age 16 to O/A, this appears everyone over 16, figures seem to go April to April

Rugby League

2005/6. 73,700

2007/8. 82,000

2011/12. 58,100

2012/13 48,700

2013/14 figures are not in but the target seems to have dropped to 44,000 this may be the ceiling they have to hit to get the funding, 112,000 playing Table Tennis, Football and RU also had a decrease. Touch seems a bit of a grey area as they ask on the night whether RL or RU, so much for an increase in Participation, if these were sales figures it would not look good this is unfortunately why people lost their jobs but the people at the top who make the decisions are still there

Did the player participation drop because the RFL got caught cooking the books (When did the BARLA dash to summer start and is it reflected in the numbers)

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