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9s - the missing link?


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On 06/01/2018 at 10:55 AM, Harry Stottle said:

Very eloquently drafted, will it work in practise, doubt it very much, you say:-

"I'm not a marketing professional, but surely after all these years the RFL/SL have all the data and know who attends and why. More importantly, who doesn't attend and why"

Maybe it has already been considered and that data you elude to has been evaluated by Marketing Professional's, that could be the reason we don't have it. 

Your last paragraph ... we’re talking the RFL here!

Nottingham Outlaws Rugby League

Harry Jepson Winners 2008

RLC Midlands Premier Champions 2006 & 2008

East Midlands Challenge Cup Winners 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008

Rotterdam International 9's Cup Winners 2005

RLC North Midlands Champions 2003 & 2004

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I think there is a place for club level 9s particularly in the Pre-season window. Plenty of clubs go to the Med or the Canary islands etc. already and building off of that shouldn't be too hard. Perhaps rotating between Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta or something like that could be a way forward for it. I'd have spots reserved for invitational sides too.

Fundamentally for me, what makes 9s better than 7s union as a shortened version of the game is that it is still played tactically like proper RL and can be played by standard RL players (and even a few retired ones as the Auckland event has shown). Also, As an expansion tool it can be a way of introducing RL to new countries/players without having to have over 26 players, whilst still retaining the features of proper RL. 

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have to say I'm not sold on the shorter version being the way to sell the game. 7s is a very similar sport but on the domestic front it is pre season beers in the sun at domestic level and from what I have seen on TV when I have stumbled across it (as SKY dont really push it) there arent that many people in the stands, even at the 7s international tournaments around the world they dont pack them in like they do for internationals. 

it has helped RU spread internationally a bit more and helped them get Olympic Status (which is not a small thing I know but I cannot see RL getting 9s into Olympic status as it would be deemed too similar, even if it were to get the requisite national bodies etc) but at anything under the top international level it doesnt seem to really get people that excited. 

I could see 9s possibly working internationally but dont see it working domestically and internationally I think we have some really easy fixes for the 13 a side game that need to be put in place before trying to work on this etc.

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