Was player participation dropping prior to the switch?
I'm pretty certain that participation levels are dropping at alarming rates in all sports including cricket, football and rugby union. Junior rugby union in Cumbria has hardly any participation at all, so is that the fault of rugby union staying in winter and asking players to train and play in the cold and wet?
Your quote Nev is exactly the point I was trying to make in an earlier email. All that ever happens on any BARLA related thread on here is to try and have a quick dig and blame everything on the summer switch. I appreciate playing in May, June and July doesn't work in some areas, but it does in others.
So, has BARLA ever consulted the clubs on the state of the game at junior /amateur level?
If they have done, when was the last time?
I'm talking about an in-depth report a well, not just a 'do you want to play in winter or summer question?
The decline in all areas of sport over the last few years has been well documented and recognised. However, when the RFL blindly make a promise to deliver more participation, in their debate for the summer swing, then I believe that they should be held accountable for the acceleration of the appalling decline in numbers, that the summer switch is responsible for.
And how was all this done, on the back of a very highly loaded telephone consultation from which the RFL surprisingly found, "a clear desire to play summer rugby." Well I would hope that the RFL have saved some phone numbers to consult all the "polees" once again and ask, where the hell are they on a Saturday afternoon.
All well and good if the summer switch had done the trick, then hats off to the RFL and Sport England (tax payers') money well spent. I'm sure that the full review of the game when completed will have some highly massaged figures to prop up the RFL's decision to bulldoze the game into summer. Other than that, I would say that it's only a matter of time before the RFL - especially with the youth game - and are forced to admit that it's just not working.
I think that the open age game up in your neck of the woods mainly answers some of your questions DTTRR, it seems that BARLA simply asked the Cumbrians what they needed for their new league and then delivered. No consultation needed and horror of horrors my friend, their season has successfully leapt the boundaries of the traditional season and now starts with a March kick off.
It seems that the wiley Cumbrians found it fit to poll their clubs and acted on their democratic wishes and moved to where the clubs and more importantly the players, had indicated that they wanted to be.
And for the record DTTRR, I can remember our club taking part in a BARLA consultation on behalf of my roughly at the same time as the RFL had their phone in. After consultation with the 30 or so players we have, our club, along with the other 80% of the clubs that took part opted to remain and still are, playing in a traditional season.
Edited by Nev V Dawn, 16 July 2013 - 07:38 PM.