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Dominic

International Divisions of Four - contested annually

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Heard ideas popping around about a three team pacific league Australia, New Zealand, Tonga... blah blah blah...

Why not just set things up now the way you want it to look in the future as a globally recognised competition that allows for further expansion and development.

Division 1: Australia, New Zealand, England, Tonga

Division 2: PNG, Fiji, France, Scotland

Division 3: Lebanon, Ireland, Wales, Italy

Division 4 and below continue as above or potentially split conferences depending on location

Every year a nation (or two nations e.g. Australia and New Zealand if simple geography allows) hosts a "Four Nations" styled world league.

Winner Division 1 hailed as World League Champions, with the bottom side relegated - or potentially contest a Home play-off against winner of Division below in a "if you want it come and get it" play-off for promotion/relegation.

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The ICC has had success with the World Cricket League, in part because when they run a division and take teams away, they're playing a 50-over match every day and the tournament lasts a week.  It's not a long time commitment and it's not a massive expense, as squads are kept to 15/16 and they don't have a large support staff.  You can be in and out in 10 days.

Realistically, for Rugby League, you can probably play every six days.  So you'd be looking at doing a double-header on Sunday, then the following Saturday and then the following Friday.  You'd need three weekends away, plus a few days before and after.  So it's more like 16/17 days with a much bigger squad and support staff.

I like the idea and think it'd be great, especially at a lower level where you can quickly sort out who can play and who can't.  The big success story of the WCL is the quick emergence of Afghanistan, who had good players but no infrastructure.  It challenged myths and showed how good or bad teams like the United States actually were.  So long as we don't pee in the paddling pool so to speak and put too many heritage players in, which gives a false impression of just how good a country is.

However, as always, it comes down to money.

 

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I have posted about this a few times over the years.

It makes sense to have this type of format where every game counts.  It also should lead to a gradual improvement as promoted teams test themselves against better teams and teams in lower divisions play against a relegated team that should be of a slightly higher standard.

This format should be held in years 1, 2 and 3 of a 4 year cycle with the WC in year 4.  Qualification for the WC would be the 12 or 16 teams in top 3 or 4 divisions at the end of year 3 and the placings in the divisions form the seedings for the WC.

At the end of a each tournament the hosts for each division can be announced straight away for the following year and heaven forbid be able to promote the event.

I would have a different host for each division therefore we spread the games globally.

At a stroke it gets rid if the farcical situation where international games are arranged at short notice

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In the ideal world I’d agree. I actually proposed a similar scenario about ten years ago. The obvious stumbling block is money. There simply isn’t the money in the game to finance three tier two teams going to the host country for a few weeks every non WC season.

Edited by deluded pom?
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On 10/27/2018 at 5:49 PM, deluded pom? said:

In the ideal world I’d agree. I actually proposed a similar scenario about ten years ago. The obvious stumbling block is money. There simply isn’t the money in the game to finance three tier two teams going to the host country for a few weeks every non WC season.

I wonder if anyone has actually costed such an event?

IMHO the game has to try to attract sponsors to such annual events rather than it just being dismissed as too costly.

 

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29 minutes ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

I wonder if anyone has actually costed such an event?

IMHO the game has to try to attract sponsors to such annual events rather than it just being dismissed as too costly.

 

IMO it would work better (and cheaper) if it was done regionally rather than globally to begin with. I just think sending an amateur organisation e.g. USA across the other side of the world to somewhere  like Thailand isn’t feasible or fair on the players. Even football with their billions don’t even try this sort of thing with WC qualifiers.

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I agree.  I think below, two or three global divisions, it'd have to be hemisphere-based.  You look at Davis Cup, that's regionalised from the second tier down.

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It's a nice idea and regionally at first would be good, especially for the lower tiers.  Getting one week off in North America is usually met with consternation that you have to take it; two weeks your boss will be frantic the world is falling followed by a seizure; three weeks you'll get fired, possibly out of a large cannon, for having the gall to even ask.

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22 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

I wonder if anyone has actually costed such an event?

Good question. The one off Test in Denver Colorado was a financial disaster waiting to happen.

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The all thing would be a financial disaster. 

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On 11/1/2018 at 9:02 AM, Adelaide Tiger said:

Why? 

It is that type of closed mind thinking that stifles this game.

Or it's the opinion of someone involved in developing the game in a non tier 1 country, who knows how the federations just struggle to get the proper money to tour, ecc.

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1 hour ago, MatthewWoody said:

Or it's the opinion of someone involved in developing the game in a non tier 1 country, who knows how the federations just struggle to get the proper money to tour, ecc.

Indeed.  I completely agree.

Let countries play the games that will pay for themselves.  They do not have money to waste and not profitable means not sustainable.

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Bob and MatthewWoody,

Perhaps I haven't clear in what I have written.

I am not advocating that relatively new countries be included in such a proposal.  By all means let them play games with who they seem fit.

But I believe that we could have an initial 3 or 4 groups with P and R between them i.e. The 12 teams identified in the opening post plus Samoa, USA with possibly Jamiaca, Cook Islands, Serbia.

If we only ever believe that England, Australia, New Zealand and possibly Tonga are the only teams worthy of playing in a group then we are selling the game short.

 

Edited by Adelaide Tiger
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7 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

Bob and MatthewWoody,

Perhaps I haven't clear in what I have written.

I am not advocating that relatively new countries be included in such a proposal.  By all means let them play games with who they seem fit.

But I believe that we could have an initial 3 or 4 groups with P and R between them i.e. The 12 teams identified in the opening post plus Samoa, USA with possibly Jamiaca, Cook Islands, Serbia.

If we only ever believe that England, Australia, New Zealand and possibly Tonga are the only teams worthy of playing in a group then we are selling the game short.

 

Excuse my harsh tone.  And thank you for the suggestion.

My main criticism of PNG, Fiji, France, Scotland is not that of it being uncompetitive.  It is that a PNG Scotland match would be expensive and lose money.  That for me is an absolute killer.  It is the sort of fixture that a P&R system would produce. 

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"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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7 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

Bob and MatthewWoody,

Perhaps I haven't clear in what I have written.

I am not advocating that relatively new countries be included in such a proposal.  By all means let them play games with who they seem fit.

But I believe that we could have an initial 3 or 4 groups with P and R between them i.e. The 12 teams identified in the opening post plus Samoa, USA with possibly Jamiaca, Cook Islands, Serbia.

If we only ever believe that England, Australia, New Zealand and possibly Tonga are the only teams worthy of playing in a group then we are selling the game short.

 

It’s not about who or who isn’t worthy AT, it’s about who can afford to do it. If Tonga had to pay their own way to play in the UK with no guarantee in place to cover their costs they wouldn’t be there. I doubt Australia or New Zealand would turn up under those conditions either. So to send completely amateur leagues possibly to the other side of the world in what would probably be a guaranteed money loser isn’t going to happen unless someone else foots the bills.

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49 minutes ago, deluded pom? said:

It’s not about who or who isn’t worthy AT, it’s about who can afford to do it. If Tonga had to pay their own way to play in the UK with no guarantee in place to cover their costs they wouldn’t be there. I doubt Australia or New Zealand would turn up under those conditions either. So to send completely amateur leagues possibly to the other side of the world in what would probably be a guaranteed money loser isn’t going to happen unless someone else foots the bills.

I can see a structure would look like a successful sport.  But, it is not practical.  A further fundmental reason is the sport has to be in media and entertainment.  Lebanon were able to get support and Government funding through international success, poorer countries where people are lacking in entertainment options can generate crowds.

For a country such as Sweden, even it they were successful, they would gain nothing from such a system.  No-one would care beyond a very small system.  They need a very different approach.


"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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1 hour ago, deluded pom? said:

It’s not about who or who isn’t worthy AT, it’s about who can afford to do it. If Tonga had to pay their own way to play in the UK with no guarantee in place to cover their costs they wouldn’t be there. I doubt Australia or New Zealand would turn up under those conditions either. So to send completely amateur leagues possibly to the other side of the world in what would probably be a guaranteed money loser isn’t going to happen unless someone else foots the bills.

I agree that such a format would be foolhardy if respective countries had to shoulder their financial burden of costs without any gaurantee.

But as i stated in an earlier post such a format would need to be costed and entirely funded by sponsorship.  Is this possible?  I don't know, but having such a regular format played annually except for WC year, may be attractive to sponsors.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bob8 said:

Excuse my harsh tone.  And thank you for the suggestion.

My main criticism of PNG, Fiji, France, Scotland is not that of it being uncompetitive.  It is that a PNG Scotland match would be expensive and lose money.  That for me is an absolute killer.  It is the sort of fixture that a P&R system would produce. 

As i said previously Bob8 if such a proposal can ever be fully funded then your example of PNG, Fiji, France and Scotland ... if this group was held in PNG or France and games were double headers .... would not lose money.

I know it is wishful thinking from me, but just having a four nations tournament, or a three test series, between just an handful of teams will not IMHO grow the international game.

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There's lots of suggestions about how to make the international game bigger and more structured. I've made suggestions myself on other threads but keep changing my mind about what would be best.

The WC is now set in stone in a four year cycle but its the years in between that need sorting.

Should we have international leagues of 4 for the top 8/12 nations then regionalised underneath?

Should there be a larger 6/8 nation competition in the middle year with Euro and Pacific cups at the years either side used as qualifying?

Or maybe test series vs Australia and NZ in two of the three years with a 4/6/8 Nations in the other year with Pacific and Euro cups still running alongside these?

Any other suggestions?

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4 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

As i said previously Bob8 if such a proposal can ever be fully funded then your example of PNG, Fiji, France and Scotland ... if this group was held in PNG or France and games were double headers .... would not lose money.

I know it is wishful thinking from me, but just having a four nations tournament, or a three test series, between just an handful of teams will not IMHO grow the international game.

I agree with needing more internationals.  I consider any global programme would constrict growth though. 

We have to actually start with the funding, identify where money could come from, and tailor to meet that.  Rather than the other way round.

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4 hours ago, JM2010 said:

There's lots of suggestions about how to make the international game bigger and more structured. I've made suggestions myself on other threads but keep changing my mind about what would be best.

The WC is now set in stone in a four year cycle but its the years in between that need sorting.

Should we have international leagues of 4 for the top 8/12 nations then regionalised underneath?

Should there be a larger 6/8 nation competition in the middle year with Euro and Pacific cups at the years either side used as qualifying?

Or maybe test series vs Australia and NZ in two of the three years with a 4/6/8 Nations in the other year with Pacific and Euro cups still running alongside these?

Any other suggestions?

How about telling us where the money is as a first step, and then going from there.

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"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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6 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

As i said previously Bob8 if such a proposal can ever be fully funded then your example of PNG, Fiji, France and Scotland ... if this group was held in PNG or France and games were double headers .... would not lose money.

I know it is wishful thinking from me, but just having a four nations tournament, or a three test series, between just an handful of teams will not IMHO grow the international game.

As I said before AT, I suggested something similar previously but the international game doesn’t have the depth or the finances to go much beyond a couple of groups. I don’t disagree with your last statement.


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5 hours ago, Bob8 said:

I agree with needing more internationals.  I consider any global programme would constrict growth though. 

We have to actually start with the funding, identify where money could come from, and tailor to meet that.  Rather than the other way round.

Excuse my harsh tone, but in what world would a global RL international programme constrict growth? 

That is the most ridiculous paragraph I have ever read on this site .... and I have read quite a few!

As for the funding, I have made in quite clear that in my view the whole concept MUST be funded BEFORE such a event goes ahead.  

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