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Clubs to discuss ditching Easter period

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Championship and League 1 clubs could drop the bust Easter period, RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer has confirmed. Many believe the quickfire fixtures put too much strain on part-time players, with the demands of two games in four games being added to by full-time jobs. A number of players have spoken out on the Easter period and Rimmer admitted it…

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Easter - and Christmas - matches have been played since a time when all players were part-time yet suddenly it has become too much of a strain. There was also a time when matches were played on consecutive days at both Easter and Christmas.

So now having a game on a Friday and then on a Monday is too much for them.

There's no actual difference to when they play a match on a Sunday and then a midweek game on a Wednesday (ie: the same 3 day gap between matches).

So why not just not play any midweek games in the weeks both before and after Easter ?  That would then mean they get at least a four day rest before Good Friday and another five until the following Sunday after Easter Monday.

Next it will be "We don't want any midweek games".

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33 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

Easter - and Christmas - matches have been played since a time when all players were part-time yet suddenly it has become too much of a strain. There was also a time when matches were played on consecutive days at both Easter and Christmas.

So now having a game on a Friday and then on a Monday is too much for them.

There's no actual difference to when they play a match on a Sunday and then a midweek game on a Wednesday (ie: the same 3 day gap between matches).

So why not just not play any midweek games in the weeks both before and after Easter ?  That would then mean they get at least a four day rest before Good Friday and another five until the following Sunday after Easter Monday.

Next it will be "We don't want any midweek games".

When do they play midweek games? And I don't mean midweek.


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Yes, I agree there are not regular midweek games as in the past but there have been odd occasions when a Sunday game has been called off a certain reason and has then had to be rearranged for midweek later in the season.

So, for once in the season to play two games in four days is surely not too much of a hardship.

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I think Easter as a Festival of Rugby is a great tradition. It could be made even better if the games were spread over all four days of the holiday, no club plays more than once, full cooperation between Championship & L1 with Superleague, to offer double or even triple header bills of entertainment. Could be a big draw on the gates, provide huge opportunities for the TV audience, give more exposure to Champ's & L1's teams, as well as safeguarding player welfare. 🦌

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What's wrong with these guys? There was a time when  clubs played around 40 games in a season, the majority in Winter. Quite often due to cancelations they would play three games in a week, often in trying conditions.

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6 hours ago, frank said:

What's wrong with these guys? There was a time when  clubs played around 40 games in a season, the majority in Winter. Quite often due to cancelations they would play three games in a week, often in trying conditions.

And still be back down t’pit the following day.

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As with other professional sports, Rugby league is becoming more of a business rather than a spectator sport and clubs are more bothered about bringing in finances from other means rather than via attendances.

Match attendances for any club don't fluctuate that much from game to game and, yes, even though holiday periods might just attract a few extra to the games, the difference if the match is played on another date wouldn't really be that much, yet the clubs would still gain their usual income from other sources whenever it takes place.

Attendances, especially in the lower divisions, are certainly not showing that RL is attracting thousands of new spectators to live games throughout the season and clubs know that those who are regular followers will still turn up to watch their team whenever a match is played. So, why bother thinking about the fans ?

 

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I think the Easter Monday games offer little. The main selling point is supposedly revenue but as we have seen time and time again many crowds are actually poor or at best are no better than a regular game. It's a flawed argument.

Allied to this Easter Monday games are poor, many players are often missing and two games close together increase the likelihood of further injuries. Just get rid.

Edited by Damien
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League One don’t play Easter Monday, so that’s fine.

The Championship should ditch the Easter Monday game and potentially look at making that weekend their biggest weekend of the season. Whether that’s building their Summer Bash around it (I know it’s not classed as summer, but neither is May) and doing something a bit different to generate some interest, I don’t know but one game is enough. 

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With the speed and physicality of the games these days it would be unfair to compare with the past. 

Easter Monday consistently brings below-average ticket sales and particularly non-attending season ticket holders, while there is the knock on effect of teams struggling for numbers and quality in the following weeks. As above, tonight’s game is a prime example of that. 

Although it does once again open the question of how to fit so many games in to a certain length of season, I think it’s time for just retaining Good Friday games. 

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29 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

League One don’t play Easter Monday, so that’s fine.

The Championship should ditch the Easter Monday game and potentially look at making that weekend their biggest weekend of the season. Whether that’s building their Summer Bash around it (I know it’s not classed as summer, but neither is May) and doing something a bit different to generate some interest, I don’t know but one game is enough. 

Could always play it on the Saturday and Sunday and call it the Easter Bash?

Thursday - Wakefield v Cas

Friday - 1pm Hull FC vs Hull KR, 3pm Wigan vs Saints, 8pm Leeds vs Huddersfield

Saturday & Sunday - Championship Easter Bash

Monday - 3pm Warrington vs Salford, 5pm Catalans vs London


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tbh I have always enjoyed Easter and the big derby games it used to bring

I do think now that times have changed and perhaps we should now treat it as a normal weekend with just one fixture. 

In recent years we seem to get some great derby games on Good Friday but the follow up fixtures on Easter Monday now seem to feature squad players and one sided scores

I think we need to protect Good Friday games as they are the big crowds but maybe just extend the season by a week would be the answer

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2 minutes ago, headtackle said:

tbh I have always enjoyed Easter and the big derby games it used to bring

I do think now that times have changed and perhaps we should now treat it as a normal weekend with just one fixture. 

In recent years we seem to get some great derby games on Good Friday but the follow up fixtures on Easter Monday now seem to feature squad players and one sided scores

I think we need to protect Good Friday games as they are the big crowds but maybe just extend the season by a week would be the answer

Or have 14 teams and get rid of the loop fixtures and Easter Monday and reduce the season by a week.

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16 minutes ago, headtackle said:

maybe just extend the season by a week would be the answer

If it gets extended any further it'll be two years long!


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58 minutes ago, Damien said:

Or have 14 teams and get rid of the loop fixtures and Easter Monday and reduce the season by a week.

That would comfortably be the winner for me. 

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I believe 3 games in 8 days is too much for all players given the physicality of the game nowadays. However, it begs the question what they are going to do with the 1895 cup, I was under the impression that some of those games are going to be played midweek. So 3 games in 8 days will become a fairly regular occurrence for teams that progress through a few rounds.

 

Edited by DOGFATHER

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17 minutes ago, DOGFATHER said:

I believe 3 games in 8 days is too much for all players given the physicality of the game nowadays. However, it begs the question what they are going to do with the 1895 cup, I was under the impression that some of those games are going to be played midweek. So 3 games in 8 days will become a fairly regular occurrence for teams that progress through a few rounds.

 

Second round is listed as 2-5 June so essentially any ties that involve a Championship side still in the Challenge Cup will have to be played midweek. 

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2 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

Could always play it on the Saturday and Sunday and call it the Easter Bash?

Thursday - Wakefield v Cas

Friday - 1pm Hull FC vs Hull KR, 3pm Wigan vs Saints, 8pm Leeds vs Huddersfield

Saturday & Sunday - Championship Easter Bash

Monday - 3pm Warrington vs Salford, 5pm Catalans vs London

Behave yourself, that’s far too sensible for Rugby League. 

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It’s once a year, it’s not new, people whinging need to get over it .... and the players do get paid for it! And if part time they will maybe even get paid twice in four days!

I’m convinced RL will turn into touch n pass eventually if we keep trying to sanitise the sport.


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9 minutes ago, Odsal Outlaw said:

It’s once a year, it’s not new, people whinging need to get over it .... and the players do get paid for it! And if part time they will maybe even get paid twice in four days!

I’m convinced RL will turn into touch n pass eventually if we keep trying to sanitise the sport.

What's it to do with sanitising the sport? Games are poor, teams are poor due to fatigue, teams are missing players due to injuries and players are more likely to get injured by playing 2 games in 4 days. To top it all crowds are poor. What are the plus points?

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20 hours ago, frank said:

What's wrong with these guys? There was a time when  clubs played around 40 games in a season, the majority in Winter. Quite often due to cancelations they would play three games in a week, often in trying conditions.

Yes ...  And back in the old millennium the forwards barely moved 5 yards at a time and the off side line was only 3 yards.

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Needs to be one game for each team over the weekend, maximise all the possible TV slots and don’t miss out on having games on the following Thursday and Friday slots.

Thursday - Leeds v Huddersfield

Friday - Hull Derby, Wigan v Saints 

Saturday - Wakey v cas, Bradford v York

Sunday - Warrington v Salford, Toronto v Toulouse

Monday - Catalans v London, Leigh v Widnes

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Those harking back to the old days seem to forget that the game is a different beast in the current era... The average RL player is now heavier and faster, the distance between the players at the ptb and set pieces leads to much higher energy impacts, and shot clocks and rule changes/interpretations have increased the amount of time the ball is in play (these deliberately with the aim of increasing player fatigue - see argument for the last round of rule changes). We also now know a lot more about the effects that playing has, both long and short term, on a players body. And we know that recovery time is essential to reduce these effects.

The Easter list fixture is arcane and, pretty much, goes against maintaining an elite sporting event. Change it to a single round played over four days just like all the others.

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