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The Hallucinating Goose

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The Hallucinating Goose last won the day on January 26

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    Spreading the gospel of rugby league around the world!

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  1. I've been doing a bit of reading on this topic since I posted it. I might have found what I'm looking for. Essentially the reason football's pyramid exists is because it was a merger of a number of different leagues. The football league was considered the primary league in the country so when the football association and football alliance (which were two separate organisations) merged, the football alliance became the second division. This was done to try to win support from fans of football alliance clubs, a case of giving those clubs a chance to play in against the primary football league clubs but saying they have to prove they would be competitive enough, hence P&R. The third division was formed when the football league merged with the Southern league. An aspect of this seems similar in rugby league. I think it was the second season of our competition, the number of teams was increased by 8 and this is when the Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues were formed which is similar to conferences in a way, though there wasn't a playoff system to decide on a national champion. That brings up another question of why not? Anyway, the Northern Rugby football league was formed in 1901 when members of the county competitions resigned from those leagues arguing that they weren't competitive enough and together those clubs formed another league. It was intended that there would be a playoff between the champions of the county leagues to decide who would be promoted into this new league but the Yorkshire clubs boycotted the new league and so it was decided that only the Lancashire league champion would be promoted. After a lot of shouting from Yorkshire clubs the new league agreed to expand their competition to 15 teams and promote a Yorkshire side as well. With teams leaving the Lancashire league to join this new league tabled a counter proposal of forming a second division. 21 teams from across the two counties applied to join the league and all were admitted which essentially killed off the County leagues. The Lancashire league wound up completely and the Yorkshire league carried on as a junior competition. So what does all that say? As people have said a conference system is used in a large country and when we had a similar system with the county leagues it was not competitive enough so clubs nationwide formed a new competition. Clubs that were excluded from that formed a second division because their regional competitions were weakened even more from the top clubs buggering off. P&R was put in place so year after year the best clubs could play each other. If some teams declined and there was no P&R then you would have a league that again wasn't as competitive as it could be which makes a lot of sense. It seems that we did sort of try a conference style system but because of the vastly different size of some clubs, with some based in cities with much more money and support than village teams and with the free market transferring of players which obviously benefits the teams with more money regional competitions simply weren't competitive enough. Contrast that with the NFL which has a set number of teams which are placed in massive metropolises with multi-billionaire owners and stricter rules on transfers and what have you, you are manufacturing a league that is more competitive and so there is little need to keep shuffling teams around to ensure the most competitive are always playing each other. I can't be bothered to read back through all that. Take a breath goosey!
  2. I do hate that phrase minority sport, I've had football fans use that as an insult when they've been arguing with me about rugby league v football (you get that debate quite a lot in hull). I do know at least that people on the board here are using it in its accurate sense simply to mean our sport is small compared to others but yeah, as I say I've heard that phrase used so much as a put down.
  3. Don't really know what to say so I'll just say well done saints, you were the better side.
  4. Well done trin, must say it was a surprise when I looked at the score. The league seems really competitive this year. Only one team hasn't won a game yet.
  5. Got into the ground just as the heavens opened, coming down pretty hard at moment.
  6. I was just having a discussion with my brother. I asked him if he knew why sport in this country has historically used a tiered league system with promotion and relegation. We decided that we didn't actually know where the idea originally came from. One of the main reasons is obviously because as more and more teams joined the league it became far too big to accommodate a reasonably sized fixture list. So splitting a league of say 30 teams into two 15s makes sense but then that brings up the question of why structure it based on quality of the team which is what promotion of relegation ultimately creates, moving better teams into a more skilled competition, and vice versa? Splitting the teams by skill should make a league more competitive, and so in theory, more exciting. We then compared this with a North American conference system. Take the NFL, there are 32 teams split into conferences. This keeps all teams on the same level while not creating an enormous fixture list. There is a difference because they don't operate a home and away system but there's no reason why you couldn't really. Now you're not splitting teams based on skill but because all teams are kept on the same level from the start and rules are put in place to try to keep teams equal then they should all be competitive anyway. Let's apply this to rugby league. 1902-03 was the first season with two divisions (according to Wikipedia). There was 36 teams in total, split into two 18 team divisions with promotion and relegation. This could have been two conferences of 18, or maybe 3 of 12 on the same level with a play-off system similar to that used in the NFL now. So what I am wondering is what is the origins of the promotion and relegation system, in terms of where did the idea come from and why was that system always favoured over a conference system?
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