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Defender1

Can the Future of Open Age RL be Sustained?

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Hessle rugby union take a pre season fee from its players . But the players get more back by the end of the season . Hessle also have two good pitches and a very nice club house . Do Norland still play on the local school pitch and run from a pub . Maybe that might be the reason Norland have lost a few players to Hessle .

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Hessle rugby union take a pre season fee from its players . But the players get more back by the end of the season . Hessle also have two good pitches and a very nice club house . Do Norland still play on the local school pitch and run from a pub . Maybe that might be the reason Norland have lost a few players to Hessle .

 

Norland now play from Sirius School, Sydney Smith is no longer there, they still go back to Norland, a couple of years ago Hessle's pitches were flooded quite bad and had to play somewhere else I cannot remember where but think Norland played from Hessle before they moved to Sirius for a short time, Sirius is a nice pitch, Hull FC had it for a while

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And what do you think the RFU do? They're masters of making up figures, just look at some of their attendances. And most touch rugby does count under Union figures despite it being more like league.

And going back to the original point, the change in rugby playing season has no correlation to any supposed 'increase' in union .

You are wrong , many of our kids in the NW play RU in our inactive months and are late returning to our season .

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That's due to the proliferation of touch rugby. Certainly in Yorkshire, many union clubs have suffered significant drops, so any link to the change in rugby season to summer is inaccurate

Numbers in Union was being propped up by clubs running the occasional 3rd or 4th team and a vets team, once they started to play in proper leagues and not merit tables the lack of numbers where found out, this has now settled and  Since the rush to summer rugby league in he last 3 to 4 seasons union in Yorkshire has seen a steady growth, Union also seems to be attracting the league lads who are returning to the amateur game


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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Hessle rugby union take a pre season fee from its players . But the players get more back by the end of the season . Hessle also have two good pitches and a very nice club house . Do Norland still play on the local school pitch and run from a pub . Maybe that might be the reason Norland have lost a few players to Hessle .

The amateur rugby league market has become flooded with the ability to play 12 months of the year, it's now secondary even behind taking the dog for walk, this has impacted on team spirit (Can we put the same team out every week) on the other hand because union have kept heir 9 month season the lads tend not to want to miss a game so have to turn up or they're out of the team, this builds the team spirit. 


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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Playing RL is a tough thing to do. Just the game itself, with the risk of even minor injury impacting upon work and everyday life, family, etc. Then add in the commitment to training on top of that. It's easy to see why people would prefer to play other, easier, sports or simply go to the gym. On top of that we have a less active population. And, of course, at a very simple level RL is more difficult to play these days - for decades all of the rule changes have been made with professional athletes in mind not amateurs who play for the love of the game.

 

There is a very obvious and quantifiable global trend away from contact sports. 

 

Now there may be other factors, distinct to RL in the UK, that have exacerbated that trend.


"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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Playing RL is a tough thing to do. Just the game itself, with the risk of even minor injury impacting upon work and everyday life, family, etc. Then add in the commitment to training on top of that. It's easy to see why people would prefer to play other, easier, sports or simply go to the gym. On top of that we have a less active population. And, of course, at a very simple level RL is more difficult to play these days - for decades all of the rule changes have been made with professional athletes in mind not amateurs who play for the love of the game.

 

There is a very obvious and quantifiable global trend away from contact sports. 

 

Now there may be other factors, distinct to RL in the UK, that have exacerbated that trend.

I understand what you are trying to say, but RU and a lot of other sports have increased participation and is one of the fastest growing sports not UFC and I think that is brutal

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Sorry I have to disagree on this point

 

I know the Chairman of Hull RU and he said at youth changing seasons is the best thing that has happened to RU in Hull, Lee Radford and Motu Tony played for Hull RU and when they had taster days all the kids wore Hull and Rovers tops but were playing Union, Lee told me this after his condemnation of summer rugby in the Hull Daily mail.

 

Hullensions at I think Under 12s got to a Yorkshire Final and the team was full of RL players, some of our lads played and our coach helped them out.

 

There was a recent vote on going back to winter at youth and Cottingham voted against as it said nearly all their youth teams would fold as nearly all their players play union

 

Hull Ionions again got to a Yorkshire Final and the team was made up of West Hull players

 

I ran the mini's and Youth at Hull RU a few years ago we merged with Beverley to get sides out neither of us could get full teams we sometimes merged 3 age groups to get one team and not always 15

 

Norland won every honour in the Hull open age 2014-15 and decided to try YML during the break a lot of their players played for Hessle RU and not all came back, they are now struggling for numbers and I have heard could struggle to finish the season

 

Not sure of the team or age but was told by a committee member of NWC that a junior team won all the trophies including the league and pulled out with games to go to go play union and win their trophies.

 

last season the start of the Under 11's in Hull was put off for a month as too many teams had players playing union and could not make sides

 

2 years ago at the local Hull finals day Hull Rugby Union had the full back page of the program in colour offering taster days and games in the winter I have the evidence

 

Not blaming Union but West Hull and Lock Lane are struggling to put out 2 teams at open age and are having to use their older 16s, they have no 17 or 18, when clubs like this are struggling the game has a problem

 

I find this hard to believe it is only Hull (and ref to LL) where this is happening

 

Of course there will be lads wearing Hull FC or KR shirts who play union! There are also players who wear Union shirts who play league! They're not mutually exclusive!!!

 

So Hull rugby union are doing well from a low base? The decline in league numbers in Hull is at much the fault of the pro clubs there as anything else.

 

Some players do actually prefer playing rugby union to league you know? As strange as it may seem

 

And some amateur clubs do not do enough or offer as good an environment as some union clubs.

 

The change in season with winter and summer breaks and 9's in the summer makes sense but any suggestion that union has had a massive increase at the expense of league isn't true as they are struggling for numbers too. You can always find exceptions to the rule.

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Of course there will be lads wearing Hull FC or KR shirts who play union! There are also players who wear Union shirts who play league! They're not mutually exclusive!!!

 

So Hull rugby union are doing well from a low base? The decline in league numbers in Hull is at much the fault of the pro clubs there as anything else.

 

Some players do actually prefer playing rugby union to league you know? As strange as it may seem

 

And some amateur clubs do not do enough or offer as good an environment as some union clubs.

 

The change in season with winter and summer breaks and 9's in the summer makes sense but any suggestion that union has had a massive increase at the expense of league isn't true as they are struggling for numbers too. You can always find exceptions to the rule.

Quite a few a few exceptions and these are the ones I know about. I have been involved at a RU club and was also youth secretary at a RL club and can tell you we did not have this issue before the switch, those that wanted to play RU or RL did, in Hull RL was dominate. Now they have the choice the 6 week break does not help as if their team is not doing well they go to football or RU and don't finish the season and I am sure this is reversed, in these days of political correctness players still want to win. I also agree some are impressed by the set up and the fact you can get county honours a little easier

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I have been reading this thread as it has progressed and it throws up the same old arguements as numerous threads or debates have in the past.

 

Surely we need to look at the cause of why players from 16 onwards do not transition to OA like they used to?

 

Something to consider, when a young player moves into a SL academy environment at 14/15 years old less than 1.5% of them actually go on to become regular SL players, which means the other 98.5% or so don't!!!

 

Whilst some will go into Championship RL (I cannot tell you how many as I have seen no conversion rates for this) it will still no doubt leave 90%+ that don't, so what happens to them? Well many exit the game at that point and do not return to Community RL, they feel they have failed and the dream of playing Pro RL has gone forever because they have been released by the club that sold them a dream which they pinned all their hopes on. It is now however nothing more than a embarrassing nightmare, getting as far away from it as possible is often the thought process for many.

 

Of those 16/17 year olds that return to Community RL, they still either want to make it at pro level or play at the highest level possible which is another negative at this stage. Why? well that is down to the U18's comps that are falling apart the length and breadth of the country and for those who's club don't have an 18's they are plunged straight into OA rugby with the mistake there being they are possibly not ready physically or mentally for what can be a real challenge for such a young player. 

 

So whats wrong? 

 

For me no matter what system (Pro or Community) these young players are in at a very exciting, difficult and vunerable point in theirs lives, the infrastructure, support and opportunities are limited at best at this stage for many. So when life offers you so many more appealing opportunities at 16,17 or even 18 years of age then the chances are you are going to find it very easy to move away from a sport that actually desperately needs you!!

 

Academies are the start of the problem, the lack of any sort of worthwhile community comp regionally or Nationally at 16-18 just impacts on that further and the developmental mismanagement and demands placed on young players at OA level who do not have an 18's team, effectively puts the final nail in for many.

 

To move forward at OA level there needs to be a considerable rethink about how our sport manages/transitions players from 13/14 through to 16/17, what infrastructure is currently in place and where does it need to improve. If we are serious about ensuring the future retention of players within the sport from late teens through to OA then somebody is going to have to do something quite dramatic if we are going to close the gaping hole that is growing fast between the U15's age group and Open Age community teams and their respective competitions.

 

JMHO!

Edited by LordCharles

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I have been reading this thread as it has progressed and it throws up the same old arguements as numerous threads or debates have in the past.

 

Surely we need to look at the cause of why players from 16 onwards do not transition to OA like they used to?

 

Something to consider, when a young player moves into a SL academy environment at 14/15 years old less than 1.5% of them actually go on to become regular SL players, which means the other 98.5% or so don't!!!

 

Whilst some will go into Championship RL (I cannot tell you how many as I have seen no conversion rates for this) it will still no doubt leave 90%+ that don't, so what happens to them? Well many exit the game at that point and do not return to Community RL, they feel they have failed and the dream of playing Pro RL has gone forever because they have been released by the club that sold them a dream which they pinned all their hopes on. It is now however nothing more than a embarrassing nightmare, getting as far away from it as possible is often the thought process for many.

 

Of those 16/17 year olds that return to Community RL, they still either want to make it at pro level or play at the highest level possible which is another negative at this stage. Why? well that is down to the U18's comps that are falling apart the length and breadth of the country and for those who's club don't have an 18's they are plunged straight into OA rugby with the mistake there being they are possibly not ready physically or mentally for what can be a real challenge for such a young player. 

 

So whats wrong? 

 

For me no matter what system (Pro or Community) these young players are in at a very exciting, difficult and vunerable point in theirs lives, the infrastructure, support and opportunities are limited at best at this stage for many. So when life offers you so many more appealing opportunities at 16,17 or even 18 years of age then the chances are you are going to find it very easy to move away from a sport that actually desperately needs you!!

 

Academies are the start of the problem, the lack of any sort of worthwhile community comp regionally or Nationally at 16-18 just impacts on that further and the developmental mismanagement and demands placed on young players at OA level who do not have an 18's team, effectively puts the final nail in for many.

 

To move forward at OA level there needs to be a considerable rethink about how our sport manages/transitions players from 13/14 through to 16/17, what infrastructure is currently in place and where does it need to improve. If we are serious about ensuring the future retention of players within the sport from late teens through to OA then somebody is going to have to do something quite dramatic if we are going to close the gaping hole that is growing fast between the U15's age group and Open Age community teams and their respective competitions.

 

JMHO!

 

Very good and i would agree with everything, correct me if i am wrong  but someone mentioned the pyramid and the RFL started at the top (Professional) the RFL have tried at the youngest age which is also important but these players will not reach the older age groups for 10 years this is why i say is the game sustainable over the next couple of years? The RFL seem to have forgotten or not done any thing about the 15/16/17/18 and open age Amateur and I agree that is where the hole is developing.

      We all know the traditional game was struggling and needed looking at but there were over 100 teams playing (I understand not every week) in the Yorkshire Combination, this week in Yorkshire 1 x U18 and 2 x U17 and 4 x U16 matches, due to the amount of games in YML don't think many were playing there, WORRYING!!

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And what do you think the RFU do? They're masters of making up figures, just look at some of their attendances. And most touch rugby does count under Union figures despite it being more like league.

And going back to the original point, the change in rugby playing season has no correlation to any supposed 'increase' in union figures

I'm not bothered about union or league's made up figures, what I would like to see is the truth, But I can't actually see the truth ever coming out now simply because the lies are all about gaining money from the government one way or another.

 

 Our leaders aren't to fussed about the little pub teams either, for some reason they think all the elite plyers come into the game via the NCL so the conveyor belt will keep rolling along to produce a product for Sky TV  which in turn keeps them in a very well paid ob.


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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Unfortunately the YM Premier Division game between Mirfield and Doncaster Toll Bar has been called off, the home team couldn't raise a side. I think that's two or three weeks on the trot Toll Bar haven't played.


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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open age RL in Cumbria has seen a huge drop in playing numbers this season, to the point where teams putting out 17 players each week are in the minority.

I've also noticed attendances are well down in nearly every game I've watched this season, and I'm taking 50-60% down on previous seasons, this in turn knocks bar revenue at clubs.

There doesn't seem to be as much publicity in the local media which may have something to do with the dramatic fall in spectators, but it's just another nail in the coffin at the lowest level of RL.

Can anything be done to reverse the rot, I don't honestly know, but one things for certain, sitting about and doing nothing won't help.

I would like to see a breakdown of how Sport England money is spent within the current structure of the game. Only then can the hard work start to rebuild the game

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open age RL in Cumbria has seen a huge drop in playing numbers this season, to the point where teams putting out 17 players each week are in the minority.

I've also noticed attendances are well down in nearly every game I've watched this season, and I'm taking 50-60% down on previous seasons, this in turn knocks bar revenue at clubs.

There doesn't seem to be as much publicity in the local media which may have something to do with the dramatic fall in spectators, but it's just another nail in the coffin at the lowest level of RL.

Can anything be done to reverse the rot, I don't honestly know, but one things for certain, sitting about and doing nothing won't help.

I would like to see a breakdown of how Sport England money is spent within the current structure of the game. Only then can the hard work start to rebuild the game

The fact are there, we've been getting told that playing in the summer would produce more players, more fixture fulfilment, more revenue when in fact the opposite has happened and it's not getting any better, yes a few clubs seem to be doing OK but is that because other clubs around them have gone to the wall, have a lot of clubs gone to the wall because the more established clubs in their area plundered to keep themselves alive, these are all the questions that need looking at but I can't see any club admitting to poaching players.

 

Didn't Cumbria enter into a trial period of playing in the summer ? If so and numbers are down why aren't the leaders up there taking action.

 

Over the last 12 months or so the only argument coming back seems to be the amateur game like other sports was on the decline anyway :)

Edited by Marauder

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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open age RL in Cumbria has seen a huge drop in playing numbers this season, to the point where teams putting out 17 players each week are in the minority.

I've also noticed attendances are well down in nearly every game I've watched this season, and I'm taking 50-60% down on previous seasons, this in turn knocks bar revenue at clubs.

There doesn't seem to be as much publicity in the local media which may have something to do with the dramatic fall in spectators, but it's just another nail in the coffin at the lowest level of RL.

Can anything be done to reverse the rot, I don't honestly know, but one things for certain, sitting about and doing nothing won't help.

I would like to see a breakdown of how Sport England money is spent within the current structure of the game. Only then can the hard work start to rebuild the game

I suspect the sports England money is paying for the wages and running Red Hall rather than on the amateur game, no amateur game no future.

The game seems happy back slapping when things look good, a successful youth 7 a side yesterday run by City of Hull Academy, lots of players and spectators but all together at one venue from all teams will always look good, Hull Ionions RU club were also there, I would also ask was this held so C of H can look for next years crop of players? One lad who was refereeing has been on Hull since the age of 12 will be turning 20 and is not being kept on, as he had a contract when not playing for Hull he could not play amateur RL so played Union on the next pitch to us, will be interesting where he ends up.

In Yorkshire ML yesterday there were 24 fixtures 14 went ahead meaning 42% didn't, in Lancashire NWC 22 fixtures 16 went ahead 27% didn't.

In 1988 Elland v WSP BARLA national cup final set a record crowd of 6000, yesterday Elland could only muster 8 players to travel so cancelled their NCL fixture, no A team or U18-17-16-15 how long will they survive?

People will say you cannot dwell on the past, but what were we doing right that we aren't doing now? With the success of the Olympics will we lose more players from an ever decreasing base, players train to play without games they will only stick around for a short time.

When will either of the governing bodies come out with a statement on the "state of the game" or would that admit to failure if they quoted the truth, possibly too busy back slapping when finding some "over hyped" success in one corner of the country, tweeting with a video that an under 7s have managed to put 3 passes together, while overall the big lad was still dominant, thought the new concept was to stop this?

We seem to have a few people on the forum trying to highlight the games plight, while most stay silent or ignore the reality, the RFL in public ignore the reality while in private individuals admit they are concerned, are they concerned for the game or their job?

The statement "The strong will survive" has never been more true, the rumour of 1 club per town is it becoming a reality meaning all will have to enter a national league to get games, meaning more expense for the amateur club and their legion of "volunteers" The next great growth area London no youth games since July with none of the regions showing any growth.

Please tell me I am wrong so I can slap someone's back

Edited by Defender1

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You have a good memory Maurader, the CARL league did initially trial the switch to summer which was a result of the game struggling in the winter months.

For the first 2-3 of seasons it went pretty well, there was a definite bounce in playing numbers, partly boosted by RU players in their off season and there were very few postponements with very good crowds watching games.

One of the deciding factors in switching to summer was that the next generation of junior players moving into open age wouldn't play in winter as they had played all their youth in summer.

I can't speak for clubs outside of west Cumbria, but the 'next generation' are the ones who have not progressed in sufficient numbers into open age to sustain the amateur game.

Would a switch back to winter solve the problem?

No of course it won't. The problems the game faces are much bigger than the winter/summer debate.

The London 2012 Olympics created a legacy which has carried on to Rio and resulted in team GBs medal haul being the highest ever. The RFL had a golden opportunity to create their own legacy after the success of th last World Cup. What did they do to capitalise on that success? - nothing at all.

The game needs a transformation to save it from itself - the current RFL Board are not equipped to undertake the task of moving the game forward.

Questions need to be asked, and which of the regional leagues will take the lead and start to challenge the RFL.

There are some very knowledgable people currently standing on the sidelines watching the sport die a painful death, and I sense that some of these people may be ready to pick up the gauntlet and fight for the future of the game

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For the first 2-3 of seasons it went pretty well, there was a definite bounce in playing numbers, partly boosted by RU players in their off season and there were very few postponements with very good crowds watching games.

 

 

Sorry but this must be regional as the experiment in our area was a failure, Cottingham Phoenix, Haworth Park, Bridlington all experimented with Summer before the introduction of the YML, all played with winter RL players and very few RU players and were watched by 1 man and his dog.

I ran an age group from U8-18, in Hull U8-U11 played summer Tues, Wed, Thurs nights and were great (Easy in Hull due to the proximity of the clubs with about 14 youth teams) U11 were played in the summer on Sunday mornings, April to July and was a nightmare with people not being available, from September we went to U12s and things went back to normal, we are now at open age and have about 12 lads still playing on a regular basis not all at our club, but 4 playing regular NCL, one still on Hull and we are not what would be called a club where we attract other players, a recent NCL game 16 of the 17 players came through our youth.

 

20th February 2015

Over 50 clubs attended the Yorkshire Men’s League Pre-season meeting on Wednesday night at Shaw Cross, this included a new number of new clubs to the competition for 2015.

The room was full of positivity as clubs were informed of the 2015 leagues and structure. The league will be made up of 5 divisions plus an entry league. The Premier Division & Division 1 will be made up of 10 teams playing 18 fixtures and finish with a play-off Grand Final double header on Saturday 26th September. Divisions 2-4 will be made up of 8 teams playing 14 fixtures with the team finishing top of the league crowned champions. The Entry League currently has 18 clubs and is still accepting applications until 30th March. This will provide teams with 8 games between May and August.

The action kicks off on Saturday 28th February with the annual Forty-20 pre-season cup involving 12 teams with the final to be held at Heworth on Friday 22nd May.

New for 2015 will be a Summer 9s competition to be held in August.

If I was the RFL would you not question what is going on? There were 62 teams going to play in 2015 with more to follow, there were 14 results this week meaning a 55% reduction, the entry league was a great idea, 18 teams entered in 2015, there were no games played in this weeks fixture, have we lost 18 teams? As far as I am aware the 9's tournament was cancelled due to lack of interest.

 

One of the deciding factors in switching to summer was that the next generation of junior players moving into open age wouldn't play in winter as they had played all their youth in summer.

I can't speak for clubs outside of west Cumbria, but the 'next generation' are the ones who have not progressed in sufficient numbers into open age to sustain the amateur game.

I would agree, but until the RFL say something is possibly wrong nothing will be done, in the last full year before the switch there were over 100 teams in the Yorkshire Youth at 16-18, I agree a struggle, games were off, but now are these age groups are in a worse position?

 

Would a switch back to winter solve the problem?

No of course it won't. The problems the game faces are much bigger than the winter/summer debate.

 

 

Possibly not, but would it be any worse? I think traditional with a break could be better this possibly should have been tried across the game, we are playing March to November, training starts Jan, what is wrong going back to September May-June with a break all that is changing would be the start and finish, leaving the problem months free.

Unfortunately the RFL in my opinion have dropped the biggest B.....K in over 100 years and will not admit failure, this brave face could be the destroyer of the game as we know it.

Edited by Defender1

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Under the current circumstances, the decline across the game will not even start to flatline until the RFL board start to listen to the community clubs.

 

The current game at present is ran for the elite and from the top down, rather than the bottom up.

 

I don't know how you feel, but I've stopped watching Super League games as the quality is the poorest since its inception.

 

I'm enjoying watching the NRL as the quality and skill levels are so much higher.

 

There needs to be a total restructure of the game from the bottom up, the Community Board needs scrapped and the amateur game needs to be able to look after its own affairs again, with clerical and financial support from central coffers.

 

The Colleges, schools, armed forces etc.also need their voice to be heard, but they don't need to sit at the table with the amateur game.

 

U17 and 19 Academies should be scrapped immediately, but I do think the professional game should run with an U23 league with provision to allow game time for injured players getting back to full fitness.

 

The way the game has been ran for the last 10 years has been an absolute joke, and we are now paying the price at grassroots level for the RFL's incompetence.

 

When the game is struggling in the traditional heartlands like Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Humberside then we are in big big trouble. Workington, Whitehaven and Barrow will be in the lowest level of professional RL next season, and interest will be even lower than it is now.

 

Out if interest, why are the administrators of the Regional Leagues not getting together and challenging the RFL as one voice?

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I cannot disagree with anything you say

 

Super league

I have watched Hulls last 2 games and the ball retention, skill levels and core skills by both Widnes and Catalans were embarrassing, Hull are top of the league and in my opinion have still not hit their straps, I see less mistakes at my local NCL game

 

Academy's

I agree scrap the U16-19's and play U23's this would help massively rather than signing players just to tick a box, if the club thinks they are good enough they would then have to offer them a contract, people would say where are they going to play well some of the best players the game has seen played at 16 that is the gamble they take, I get sick of the phrase youngster when the players are 21-22 Richard Horne had been playing for 5 years by that time. 

 

Standing up to the RFL

Administrators did try NWC 8-11 Hull and District, they were told do as you are told or we withdraw insurance and referee's again like Hull and the Pennine are the only leagues to have a winter licence, whats that all about

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You have a good memory Maurader, the CARL league did initially trial the switch to summer which was a result of the game struggling in the winter months.

For the first 2-3 of seasons it went pretty well, there was a definite bounce in playing numbers, partly boosted by RU players in their off season and there were very few postponements with very good crowds watching games.

One of the deciding factors in switching to summer was that the next generation of junior players moving into open age wouldn't play in winter as they had played all their youth in summer.

I can't speak for clubs outside of west Cumbria, but the 'next generation' are the ones who have not progressed in sufficient numbers into open age to sustain the amateur game.

Would a switch back to winter solve the problem?

No of course it won't. The problems the game faces are much bigger than the winter/summer debate.

The London 2012 Olympics created a legacy which has carried on to Rio and resulted in team GBs medal haul being the highest ever. The RFL had a golden opportunity to create their own legacy after the success of th last World Cup. What did they do to capitalise on that success? - nothing at all.

The game needs a transformation to save it from itself - the current RFL Board are not equipped to undertake the task of moving the game forward.

Questions need to be asked, and which of the regional leagues will take the lead and start to challenge the RFL.

There are some very knowledgable people currently standing on the sidelines watching the sport die a painful death, and I sense that some of these people may be ready to pick up the gauntlet and fight for the future of the game

At a guess the very very wet winter would have been a factor in the clubs deciding to move seasons, I predict that it's only going to get worse, I was involved with a club who had won a national championship in the summer, the following season we where still riding high with 40 to 50 training twice a week but on 3 occasions could only muster 14 players, some other weeks we could have 40+, far to many distractions in the summer even though the concept is good, in practice it's a slow death. 


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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Rha Rha is spot on its the perverse pursuit of elitism or perceived elitism that is destroying the fabric of the sport .

To give a perfect example the St Helens chair is more bothered about losing two players to a disciplinary decision than he is about the state of the game as a whole .

SL chairmen have to shoulder the bulk of the blame it's their selfish blinkered approach that is killing the game in this country .

We have challenged the RFL and the clubs in the NW have made the RFL sit up and listen the problem is there is no longer a unity in the community leagues because some regional administers think their role is to represent the RFL over and above representing their clubs .

The RFL are trying to bring in OR that will ultimately silence the community game .

I don't know the answer on how to get the community game back round a table to do what's best for the community game .

It's not the RFL that needs to be challenged its ourselves .

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There needs to be a total restructure of the game from the bottom up, the Community Board needs scrapped and the amateur game needs to be able to look after its own affairs again, with clerical and financial support from central coffers.

 

This is correct but we are always trying to come up with ideas to fix the game bottom up when in reality the solution starts top down.

 

The RFL are hell bent on expanding the game. At a recent championship game at Oxford a friend of mine counted in the stands, which included employees of the stadium and RFL officials, 36 people. yet this club continues to receive central money from sponsorship and the RFL as well as bleed players from within the community game. How are they ever going to become a viable entity in todays game. 

 

History tells us we have to have 42 or so professional clubs, well sorry game that money supporting one club for 36 spectators plus paid players can be used for development officers on the ground and financially support the community game to govern its self and grow, Multiply that by x amount of teams who drain our game and we have something to work with.

 

What if we only had a two tier strong professional game of 20 clubs with a much stronger community game to back it up because it had money and purpose for growth, food for thought.

 

The whole professional game, Oxford included, have a potential salary cap of £1.8million next year. I know there are certain triggers to allow them to use it but its laughable. The money used for Championship 1 clubs can be utilised so much better. That's the community's funding stream to grow our game i just wish they would all see it

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It's a bit unfair to pick on Oxford who have not made a great success of turning semi pro. Others such as Coventry and All Golds have shown the way forward and justified that decision to allow them in. You're always going to get the odd failure when this happens. The idea is about widening the player base beyond the heartlands so you get a stronger base. It allows a pathway for people in the Midlands and south west. So to say this decision is the reason for issues with the community game in the north is a bit tenuous

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