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Defender1

State of the Game?

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I thought I would not go back on the forum as I was sick of feeling dizzy going round in circles, and then we have Bowes talking tosh, but I have some views to share but feel like a bit of a leper as my view seems to be only spoken about behind closed doors, everyone appears frightened by the new buzz word “Sanctions”
In No Particular Order
BARLA is a spent force so why does Bowes say start a new association for the ”So Called” Summer teams and leave the winter teams with BARLA I ask WHY? To be fair this would not be allowed under the Operational Rules and now all leagues have signed the RFL they have a monopoly, as was stated in a recent document the RFL is the only body that can run RL think it said “The RFL is the only body recognised by HM Government for Rugby League in the UK” Nev v Dawn makes some good points about leagues dropping BARLA and moving to the RFL, this would not now be allowed to happen in reverse.
As I say BARLA is a spent force and I would say dissolve it and split its assets with the members before the RFL get their hands on it, there was a case recently where the RFL had no money to pursue a project so BARLA were going to pay for it.
The Hull Youth constitution has just been re-written and more or less all reference to BARLA having been replaced by RFL, the Operational Rules is now to be followed and takes precedence.
The Operational rules was agreed by all leagues in the end with some minor adjustments with the “threat of sanctions” I know Hull OA, Hull Youth and NW 8-12s were all threatened, this can be seen in the community board minutes
If the Pennine Secretary has said maybe now is the time to go summer I ask WHY? What benefit has there been, the worse thing it has split the game, and seems to have increased the decline.
Participation: “You will have that many players you won’t know what to do with them” (David Gent)
Reality: There has been a decline, last year when Sports England said the game had increased numbers the RFL went to print saying how great things are, this year when Sports England say there was a decline, the RFL say the survey was wrong, we now appear to have the lowest numbers playing the game for 20-30 years. The amount of teams playing summer is increasing but at the expense of winter teams where are all these new teams? Summer is not new but has never really taken off, realistically the NWC who were a huge supporter have seen a decline in teams, look at last Saturdays Forum on the latest to fold, please look at the NCL clubs that don’t now run an “A” team, this was a stipulation of entering the league, now as long as you have an under 18s this appears to tick the box, I think the new YJ Under 18s league has about than 12 teams and no team from Hull for the first time ever. Bowes gets all excited about teams entering the Merit leagues, we entered last year and could not fulfil all our 8 fixtures due to other teams, most of these teams are playing the game part time like most of the leagues outside of the heartlands, Scotland with 3 clubs, Wales not sure if there is now a league in South Wales and the rest of the country struggling, May to August seems the popular season, why are all the leagues not bulging? Now we have youth players going to RU and Football how do you entice them back half way through their season, our Under 11s had a friendly this weekend with 6 players at football, I also think RU has shown an increase during the same period. A junior club close to me has recorded its players they have lost 61 players at 12-18 season on season, only a few have transferred, they have counter balanced this as they have been very active at 6-7-8s, but you can’t keep losing them at that rate.
Despite the reduction in participation figures the RFL have said the plan for the next 7 years is to increase communication about RL to 700,000 that’s 100,000 a year. Looking at a recent e mail the Yorkshire Juniors have said they have the roughly the following

Yorkshire Junior’s Teams
2015 under 18s, 12 2014 under 17s, 20 -40%
2015 under 17s, 20 2014 under 16s, 37 -46%
2015 under 16s, 40 2014 under 15s, 39 Stable
2015 under 15s, 36 2014 under 14s, 38 Stable
2015 under 14s, 40 2014 under 13s, 49 -18% etc
it does not look good with the U16s as the YJ are saying they are looking at running a 9 or 11 aside tournament to keep teams going after the summer break mainly due to scholarship.
NWC 16-18 Teams
2015 under 17 and 18s, 28 2014 under 16s, 27 Stable
2015 under 16s, 30 2014 under 15s, 32 Stable
This looks Ok but NWC run a combined 17/18 so in reality a decline as you would expect more teams when the 17s progress to full 18s plus the addition of last year’s 16s
RU has been going for over 100 years, their game has more money more coverage and about 300,000 players, so on the figure of 700,000 I say good luck with increasing participation
Better Training: Hull FC reported back for training 1st November, my local NCL Club 1st Dec, most Youth- Junior and the Summer teams reported back 1st Jan, is this not winter? Dark Nights? We still have to hire the 4G surfaces with lights, I think David Gent thinks you only train when the season is on. The first round of the challenge cup in January, friendlies in January and February you can’t make it up the feedback you get is the game is un-playable during these months even though we have done this for years.
Registrations: My son last year played and registered for U17s, U18s, “A” Team, Merit team and College, I keep asking is this one registration or 5, I could name another 10 from the same team who did the same, some may say this irrelevant but nobody will clarify, was someone fudging the figures, I also attended a touch rugby tournament every single person who attended, Parents, Grand-Parents, Girl Friends etc was asked to sign the attendance register. This year you can now register a 5 year old if their birthday is between1st September and 31st August, they used to have to wait until they were six, WHY?
Community Game Board: You have the Chair of BARLA and Secretary of the Pennine league on the CB, the RFL say it is an independent board but most have been installed by the RFL, BARLA has one vote against all the others and since she has started going her stance has changed, the Pennine was the biggest league 18 months ago now look at it, still a big league if it collapses not all will switch to summer more players lost to the game.
Membership: At a recent meeting a club asked David Gent about the membership scheme, I think he was diplomatic with the truth. “He said it was discussed but dropped in Nov-Dec 2013 as it had been stated RU players coming over for those 3 months won’t pay to play” In 2014 at 2 Community Board meetings it was in the minutes with a consultant put in place to see how it can be set up.
So Called Summer Season: Bowes wants a March to November season to stop players from playing both, in my view it will effect both, People are now asking for a summer break, did we not say it is hard to raise teams during these months, for weather is this not the best time of the year, so apart from the start and finish of the main leagues the teams are active nearly the same as they were in the past. Bowes’s club has been bankrolled in the past by the RFL so will not go against anything the RFL want to implement, even Bowes with some of his comments must admit the game is in a mess. The Hull Youth league is playing March through to September with a 3-4 week break this is a 6 month season, there will be cup games outside of this period, we used to play longer. The NWC 13-15 were due to start this weekend and games have already been called off due to the fact players are still playing RU and Football. The RFL have been very cleaver in getting close to high priority clubs, keeping these on side has kept the game on side.
World Cup Legacy: Where is it? Was this not the most successful RLWC ever, ticket sales were good and attendances up on the previous British World Cup. This year it is the RUWC let’s see how they manage it and the legacy it leaves, I seriously worry as this will be a success, I saw bill boards advertising the RUWC before the Rugby Leagues ones went up. I know some schools have cancelled their trips to the Grand Final in favour of going to a RU fixture, England are that confident in their product they have a game verses Uruguay at Manchester City’s ground the same day and more or less time as the Grand Final at Old Trafford. In Hull schools have been offered cash to promote RU and allow development officers into the schools at the expense of RL.
Rugby Football League (RFL) 13-17 National Priorities & County Sport Partnership Support
Below is what the NGB have committed too in terms of spend figure for the game 2013-2017, that is nearly £4.4 million per year, I would ask where has this been spent and who by? Do the RFL only see the amateur game as a Cash Cow? And a way to keep themselves in jobs, it’s funny since Sky have given some money for development there has been a lot of activity is this because it has to be accounted for to Sky.

Participation
£11,100,000
Talent Pathway
£4,500,000
Capital
£1,000,000
Core
£900,000

Operational Rules
These were thought up and are nothing new as I think they were based on something BARLA and the NCL had used in the past. Due to the death of a player it took nearly 5 years to come up with them and nobody can argue that Health and Safety should be important, of the 30+ pages there is less than one on the subject of H&S, 90% was being followed anyway but in my view a small amount now enables the RFL to do what they want with the game, don’t sign you get sanctions, don’t follow the OR you get sanctions.
Primary RL
The RFL have put a lot of time and money looking at a new concept with the Primary game, they piloted this throughout 2014 with all leagues having some trial games. You would think a vote would be allowed but strange that at the Primary League meeting the rule book which had been printed was discussed before a vote had been done, not very diplomatic? London had a vote, they had 13 players take part, Cumbria and Barrow had a vote I think, in Hull it was discussed but not voted on by the clubs, Yorkshire Juniors did not allow a vote, it was agreed to be done by their committee, funny how some of these are paid to do their roles, the league with the largest amount of players at under 7s did allow a democratic vote for the new guideline, all clubs in attendance voted “NO” and wanted to stay more or less as it was, they have now been threatened with “Sanctions” unless they follow the new rules, these will be rolled out to Under 8s and 9s in the next 2 years.
Revenue
With the switch to summer it was said there would be that many opportunities to increase revenue, in reality there has been a decrease in most clubs with attendances down, increased travel costs, apparently less bar takings and more cost for qualifications to meet RFL standards
Standards
There has been a decline, more players being used makes it difficult for coaches, if there are less players there will be less cream to rise to the top, looking at the 3 world club matches we are further away than ever. There have been as many if not more cancellations than ever, one under 16s team played very few games all season, a team had not been beaten in one under 16s league but with teams dropping out they lost the league on count back, even the winners were embarrassed.
Qualifications
The RFL are introducing new badges and qualifications for volunteers, the RFL have a learning centre which has been set up and I think I have this right, Level 1, 2 day course , new level 2 award, Level 2, 4 day course on top of this, not sure on the total cost, you cannot just do a level 2 as you need to have supervisory skills if you want to coach 7-11 age groups, Club Child Welfare Officer, TLM, Team Manager, First Aider, Treasurer.
Appendix
I may be wrong with some facts and figures but am in the ball park with most of my opinions, are we becoming a part time sport with the game playing less than we used too to try to accommodate RU and Football players to try to boost participation figures.
When the decisions are made I am sure it is all done in good intentions, but nobody will discuss they may have got it wrong, I would ask who is ever going to be held accountable is it the RFL or the clubs that have voted for what we have?

Edited by Defender1

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Please put me straight, indiviual teams and clubs will have done very well you can see this, the bigger picture has to be the game as a whole.

 

Its there for debate

Edited by Defender1

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Great to have someone like Sky involved but is it a way of increasing Participation or selling boxes.

 

https://theta.ecommzone.com/lz/RFL/00AQE4/06cf1d802a7fd25e9a0dd7fa8d6174950a/story5.htm

 

Reaching For The Sky

The RFL and Sky Sports have launched Sky Try, an exciting new initiative that will reach 700,000 people over the course of the next seven years.

Sky Try is a multi-million pound project that will empower Rugby League clubs’ charitable Foundations across the country to make a massive difference by delivering new opportunities to play, watch and become involved in the sport.

Players from many First Utility Super League, Kingstone Press Championship and Kingstone Press League 1 clubs joined over 100 local schoolchildren at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes today to give Sky Try a memorable launch in front of specially invited guests.

With strong input from the club Foundations, the players, including Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield put the youngsters through their paces with a series of skills and drills that introduced the stars of tomorrow to the joys of playing Rugby League.

Sky Try will target development in four key areas between now and the end of 2020 – Primary Rugby League, Secondary Rugby League, Play Touch Rugby League and the ‘Making The Big Games Bigger’ campaign.

The initiative will reach over 100,000 people of all ages each year with the intention of increasing the number of people regularly involved in community clubs or as spectators and viewers.

Funding for individual projects will be distributed by the RFL, who will also monitor and influence the work done by the Foundations to ensure that the aims of Sky Try are being met.

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “On behalf of everyone involved in Rugby League I would like to thank Sky Sports for this significant investment: Sky Try will make a huge difference to hundreds of thousands of people, by involving them in this great sport in a wide variety of ways.

“Like all major sports, most players come to Rugby League as schoolchildren and thanks to this excellent initiative our sport now has the resources to deliver a co-ordinated series of programmes to reach children in both a club and school environment.

“It is terrific that Sky Sports are involved in Rugby League; they are more than mere broadcasters, they are true partners who share our commitment to the sport at every level.”

Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield said: “Sky Sports have made a massive difference to Rugby League over the last 20 years and Sky Try demonstrates their commitment across the whole sport.

“As a Super League player I feel very fortunate to be living the dream of playing for an elite club like the Rhinos: Sky Try will give thousands of boys and girls that same opportunity.”

Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, commented: “Sky Sports is delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to the development of Rugby League via the Sky Try initiative which I am sure will have a long and lasting impact on the sport.

“Our partnership in Rugby League extends beyond broadcast rights because here at Sky we are committed to making a difference at every level of sport.

“The Rugby League club Foundations are well placed to deliver the Sky Try programme across the UK because of their local connections and we are aware that they are already producing outstanding results.

“Sky Try will allow the Foundations to build on the great work they are already doing and Sky Sports will do what it can to play a full role in what I am sure will be a sporting success story.”

Further details of Sky Try can be found by clicking here 


 

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Nobody likes debating though D because you'll tell them your opinions right and their's are wrong.

Perhaps it's time you "supported" another sport because Rugby League clearly disappoints you.

Edited by The 4 of Us

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Nobody likes debating though D because you'll tell them your opinions right and their's are wrong.

Perhaps it's time you "supported" another sport because Rugby League clearly disappoints you.

The subjects are there for debate, you have it the wrong way round I live for the game that is why I am concerned, please answer the topics I mention with your opinion or put me right, you may struggle with a few as they are true, unless you are like David Gent and are diplomatic with the truth.

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The subjects are there for debate, you have it the wrong way round I live for the game that is why I am concerned, please answer the topics I mention with your opinion or put me right, you may struggle with a few as they are true, unless you are like David Gent and are diplomatic with the truth.

Thank you. The theory is sound.

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Thank you. The theory is sound.

Well no disagreement then and possibly one of the clubs that has done well from the switch, are you one of the high profile clubs I speak about?

Edited by Defender1

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Funny reading the NRL website tonight

Sports England say we have about 30,000 participants

What is the RFL figure if they don't agree?

Looking at the NRL 1.3 million

They say nearly 10,000 Women actuall players

Please look at the information we have the same game why are we so far behind, RL had the 3 most watched TV program's out of anything in Australia, not just sport, so better Than Eastenders and Coronation Street

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The problem is Defender not many have the guts to say it as it is, the ones that do are often ridiculed without giving an argument against most of the points you raise .

The fault lies at the Top the fat cats who are taking the cream .

I fear for our game like you and because we challenge the NGB we are dismissed as cranks .

But funny is it not the facts are stacked against the RFL and even Sport England are wrong according to our Chief executive .

How many youth and junior games will be cancelled this week end due to kids playing union and not returning back to rugby league perhaps the knockers can answer all the questions ?

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...looking at the 3 world club matches we are further away than ever...

Not relevant.

We haven't won the Ashes or World Cup since BARLA was formed.

We won them largely with players signed from schools rugby or Rugby Union.

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I emphasise with Defender and agree with most of his points, but the game is in one almighty mess now, and its difficult to see a way out of it.

 

Summer rugby has worked for some, and not for others, but I personally think the winter/summer debate is only the tip of the iceberg with other underlying problems being the main cause of falling participation throughout all levels of the game in the last 20 years.

 

Rugby league as a sport has always been good at creating problems for itself, and in most cases the hierarchy (including BARLA) are not prepared to listen to the people who are actively involved on a daily basis with clubs. 

 

The constant threat of not complying with Sport England's 'flavour of the month' policies has meant that sensible ideas are thrown out of the window as the do not meet current targets set by the sport's main funder. In my opinion this amounts to nothing more than self-interest, as without the Sport England money most of the Red Hall employees would be out of a job.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the present target for Sport England funding is for projects from the ages of 14+, so therefore anything from the ages of 6-14 goes unfunded !!!!!

 

Rugby league is a contact sport, so there will always be an annual drop off, as the game in simplistic terms can be too tough for some kids. This can be for a variety of reasons as we all know kids grow at different rates, but what we do know from past experience is, that a kid may try the sport at 7, play until he is 11, then revisit the sport when he's older and more physically developed. If they have never played the sport at 7 or 8, then the chances are they never will take up the sport.

 

The only way to have more kids playing at 14+ is to have more players at ages 6-8 playing the sport.

 

The RL World Cup could have created a legacy by earmarking the profits from the competition to create primary school competitions and get development officers into the schools while linking in with the local community clubs to get more kids playing their clubs as well. This was the system that served the amateur clubs well 20 years ago when youth was booming, so is there any reason why it won't work now?

 

'Sky Try' is a gimmick which may get a few people involved with the sport, but would the money have been better spent working with the community clubs to increase participation? 

 

Coaching courses - totally outdated and out of touch with modern life.

 

Our sport is ran by volunteers. These volunteers already sacrifice two nights a week for training, then every Saturday for 7-8 months to get a team onto the pitch. To then ask them to pay £250 to give up another 4 Sundays, struggling to stay awake as the people delivering the courses are very poor at getting their points over is ridiculous.

 

Anybody can take a coaching course, but does that make them a  good coach? - NO

 

Also, how many amateur clubs 'head coach' is actually qualified? - They will have a qualified coach somewhere in the club to sign the form, but are they the head coach?

 

If the RFL want more coaches in the game then they need to totally overhaul the coaching qualification system. Instead of having a level 1 and level 2 course (and being charged twice!!) these should be merged to combine elements of both then add on the modules which are relevant to each age group. As a coach moves up with his teams, then he can add the relevant module.

 

There should be a compulsory one day course to include H&S, child protection etc. but the rest of the course should be done online, linking in with actual Super League NRL training sessions, then showing you how to deliver this session to your own team. This is the age of the smart phone and tablet - use them!

 

For continuous assessments - the RFL development officer could give a coach three of four dates advance notice and inform them they will be turning up unannounced on one of those dates to observe and assess them, and HELP THEM TO COACH.

 

If the coaching qualifications were modernised then the game would have more coaches!  

 

Sport England do have a big say in the running of the game, but equally rugby league is our sport, the RFL run the game on our behalf, so should be able to construct a counter argument to influence the funders that there system isn't working - in other words RFL - grow some balls and challenge them!

 

rant over!

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Death to the Rah Rah's, excellent!!

Why is it people like us (mainly me) pick out the faults in the game, you have answered with some constructive views, why does nobody seem to take notice and just keep their head in the sand, people are paid to run our game and are making a bloody mess of it. I have said David Gent on his salary would not have a job in a proper business, when some people at the RFL think the guys making the decisions are idiots from a RL perspective, what chance does the game have.

Implement more sanctions I say

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Unfortunately because the people who have the biggest stakehold in the game (ie the amateurs) have the smallest voice!

 

Its the easy option to ponder to your paymasters, and the RFL have done this without question for the last 20 odd years. This period has seen the gradual decline in the number of people playing the game, which to be fair, was happening with BARLA as well.

 

The RFL needs to form a taskforce from the community game to highlight the problems the game has in the modern era, and the best way to tackle them

 

What we don't need to be told is that the decline in our sport mirrors that of other sports - as that argument it totally irrelevant! 

 

The more kids introduced to the sport at an early age will ensure that more kids stay involved in the game and this will eventually feed into the open age and professional clubs

 

In West Cumbria this season, I understand there are about 6 x U12 teams and 5 or 6 U14 teams in the league. How the hell are we supposed to sustain the open age game when there are so few players coming through the youth ranks!

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Unfortunately because the people who have the biggest stakehold in the game (ie the amateurs) have the smallest voice!

 

Its the easy option to ponder to your paymasters, and the RFL have done this without question for the last 20 odd years. This period has seen the gradual decline in the number of people playing the game, which to be fair, was happening with BARLA as well.

 

The RFL needs to form a taskforce from the community game to highlight the problems the game has in the modern era, and the best way to tackle them

 

What we don't need to be told is that the decline in our sport mirrors that of other sports - as that argument it totally irrelevant! 

 

The more kids introduced to the sport at an early age will ensure that more kids stay involved in the game and this will eventually feed into the open age and professional clubs

 

In West Cumbria this season, I understand there are about 6 x U12 teams and 5 or 6 U14 teams in the league. How the hell are we supposed to sustain the open age game when there are so few players coming through the youth ranks!

 

Some people within BARLA were concerned with the decline within the game and identified some of the problems surrounding this issue. However, the amateur game sadly missed a great opportunity to be heard a couple of years ago, when Stuart Prior was overlooked in the vote for the BARLA Chair.

 

Very few people outside the "BARLA inner circle" would be aware of the plans on the table that were ready to be rolled out had Stuart won the vote. One such initiative - the BARLA Foundation - would have been implemented immediately and continued onward from it's introduction. 

 

The BARLA Foundation was aimed to provide everything a child would need to start playing rugby; playing kits, balls, coaching equipment and  insurance to name but a few. This would be on offer for any BARLA member club to introduce children of the ages under 6's/7's to the game which would see BARLA providing an excellent way forward and returning to its initial aims to foster and develop rugby league and providing an excellent way forward.

 

With this initiative, BARLA would be providing monetary support for the seed to grow, nurture and develop rugby league players for the next generation of our sport.

Edited by Nev V Dawn

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One major issue at the moment certainly at open age level is the lack of a good insurance policy. One that would cover the recurrent injuries in the game not just the major ones.

Very few players can afford to be off work with a broken leg for example especially the married players with children and household bills.

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Accident or not the first training session for the Barla Emerging Lions Tour to Spain has been arranged to coincide with the kick off of the new North West Youth League season.

Wonder how many Barla alighned individuals will be shouting about cancelled games this weekend as "proof" summer doesn't work.

The amateur game doesn't need a bogey man. It's its own worst enemy.

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Clearly Youth RL is thriving in Yorkshire under the March - November season....................

 

This is what is has been reduced too.................

 

The YJ League took the decision to run under 14, 15 & 16’s in groups of six teams to complete the games by the July six week holidays break, and come back in September for a second competition. 

 

This will hopefully increase the completion rate for games after the six week holiday.  The age groups will now have more divisions, so some teams will think they have been relegate - but they haven’t it’s the number of divisions which have been increased.  I have also tried to included promotions and relegations were possible.

Under 18’s – We have had 12 teams at this age group registered, so it’s two divisions of 6. With a second competition in September & October.

Under 17’s – We have had 20 teams at this age group registered, so it’s two divisions of 10.

Under 16’s – We have re-structured this age group so we can accommodate scholarship games in the league programme.  When teams come back in September we will be running a 9 or 11 a side competition at 16’s.  This is to keep the teams playing with a reduced amount of players for the players who haven’t signed for the Academy team.
     
Under 14’s & 15’s will be full 13 aside for the second half of the season competition.

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