Jump to content

Growth of the game


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I think Union 7s is superficial garbage. League 9s has more substance to it, particularly in certain junior grades.

Worth saying too that the non-contact forms don`t amount to much as spectator sports. That`s not the point of them. They`re ways of addressing the fact that Tackle RL will never be a mass participation sport like Soccer. As Harrogate Knights sets out we have to be offering as many alternative versions to attract interest as are possible or affordable.

In Aus I`ve heard many lifelong NRL fans say their club allegiance dates to when they or a family member played in the club`s junior League. This means of forging a loyalty can be as effective with non-contact forms as with Tackle. The NSWRL have started to exploit such opportunities through "Monarch Blues Tag" which is mainly metropolitan, and Ladies League Tag in some country groups.

Tag is especially popular in Ireland. About 5 to 10 years ago, they used a "Rollball", i.e. tagged player rolled the ball between their legs. This is surmise, but I suspect this was to distance it from RL, since it was supported by the IRFU and largely played through RU clubs.

All fine, so long as their only international fixtures were against GB. However, as Tag grew, and games against Southern Hemisphere teams became possible, this meant playing Oztag or NZTFI teams who used a proper League PTB with the foot. Not just Aus and NZ, but also the Pacific Island teams and Aussie heritage players representing China, Vietnam, Lebanon and others. So when the Irish played in the 2015 Tag World Cup on the Sunshine Coast they had to fall in line with the SH. Likewise, the British.

I don`t know if there was some sort of power struggle, but ever since, Irish Tag has domestically played the ball with the foot, and they seem to be organisationally less connected to the IRFU.

 

So in this internationalised version of TT Rugby where do they set the defensive line?  Level with the marker, which would substitute for the last person in the ruck as in union, or does the referee retreat 5/10 metres like League.

My other question is,  in these union affiliated TT competitions do they play unlimited tag/touch with the ball only changing hands after an error or kick, once again like union. Or do they like League have a turnover after a set number of plays.

You may be surprised with my ignorance regards these issues, but in OZ I have only ever seen a form which is indisputably League orientated. 

Your last two paragraphs sound like a win for Rugby League. It confirms what I wanted to add on my last post .That no matter who claims what regards the origins of TTR, the idea of all those union enthusiasts playing a version of our sport gives me a certain amount of optimism.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Replies 76
  • Created
  • Last Reply
13 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Other than giving Try Tag Rugby (League?) a platform to advertise at Magic Weekend, I`m not aware of the RFL doing anything to connect Tag specifically to League, either centrally or via the clubs, pro and community.

Virtually all the outward signs of TTR in London have a Union feel. In any team photo if a player is wearing League merchandise it`s usually an Aussie. Everyone else is bedecked in RU clobber. There should have been an effort to have all these organised Leagues affiliated with the Broncos or Skolars or the London community clubs. Similar to the junior Leagues of NRL clubs.

 

The main/only link is on the RFLs social media and website and with TTR with shorts being a standard you can't really help that there will be union players however on signatures around covid we are getting emails signed off by "The RFL’s Social Rugby League team (Ant and Ashleigh) and X-League’s RL Management Team (Declan and Desmond)" which is something I haven't seen before. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Although ultimately non contact won't bring in the crowds it does help with the community. I personally think every pro clubs foundation should have a program in place, its a great way to bring in new fans and links to the community and sponsors etc. 

As is a beer festival 😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Why don’t all clubs hold at least 1 annual beer festival at a game? We play through the summer, all they need is a marquee or a bit of tarmac space.

Some possibly because the sale of alcohol is out of their hands due to renting , others because they have deals with specific breweries or supply companies 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, The Rocket said:

So in this internationalised version of TT Rugby where do they set the defensive line?  Level with the marker, which would substitute for the last person in the ruck as in union, or does the referee retreat 5/10 metres like League.

My other question is,  in these union affiliated TT competitions do they play unlimited tag/touch with the ball only changing hands after an error or kick, once again like union. Or do they like League have a turnover after a set number of plays.

You may be surprised with my ignorance regards these issues, but in OZ I have only ever seen a form which is indisputably League orientated. 

Your last two paragraphs sound like a win for Rugby League. It confirms what I wanted to add on my last post .That no matter who claims what regards the origins of TTR, the idea of all those union enthusiasts playing a version of our sport gives me a certain amount of optimism.  

 

 

The international rules are the Oztag/NZTFI rules. The defensive line is 7m back. Of course, like with the 10m in the Tackle game, and unlike what the Gerrumonside brigade think, this isn`t intended to be meticulously measured out to the cm. It`s purpose is a general one to put sufficient space between the mark and defenders.

All versions of Tag or Touch have a handover after six plays, including the NZRU`s "Rippa Rugby" which is a version of Tag without any form of PTB. In this, the tagged player just has to immediately pass the ball. As you can imagine, the result is chaotic. It doesn`t look like a game, more a bunch of people milling around with a football. At best, a training drill.

The RFU`s "Tag Rugby" is the same as the NZRU`s "Rippa". It`s obvious both governing bodies want the benefits of Tag, but are equally desperate to avoid too many features of League. That`s why they eschew placing the ball on the ground post-tag. Same reason why the IRFU persisted with the "rollball".

The TTR Leagues have no official connection with the RFU (unlike England Touch, which is under their aegis). The fact that they don`t need one for the whole thing to be Union-dominated, brings me to your final paragraph. Your optimism, I`m afraid, is misplaced.

This may be hard for an Aussie to understand, but the Tag players in the South of England regard the game they play as non-contact "Rugby". And however many aspects of League it comprises (PTB, marker, dummy-half, defensive line back from the mark, limited six-play possession, handover), they will still instinctively see it as a version of "Rugby" and therefore of Rugby Union. Many would even regard Tackle RL as merely a version of RU.

And in Ireland it would not be a surprise if some "Tag Rugby" players had no idea what Rugby League was.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, HarrogateKnights said:

To be fair, that's why Batley is up there for me as one of the best away trips. Their beer garden behind the main stand is epic. 

Voted favourite by the Leythers , Kevin the chair serving you beer to help wash down your cheesy chips 👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, HarrogateKnights said:

To be fair, that's why Batley is up there for me as one of the best away trips. Their beer garden behind the main stand is epic. 

Mount Pleasant is probably the best justification in the League for moving the season to summer. I first went 40 years ago, which meant two trips a season when Hunslet were sharing, and the difference between then and now is beyond measure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/09/2020 at 07:14, fighting irish said:

How on earth the RFL have not connected these games to the organisation beggars belief.

These are our potential live and television audiences.

Allowing the dark side to usurp these players/fans is at best, utterly inept and at worst criminally negligent. 

This is a thought in my mind every time I see footage of a metropolitan office-worker playing the ball to a dummy-half with a marker in front. When you think of our perennial struggle to reach beyond the Northern working-class, to have substantial numbers of what appear to be mostly middle-class Southerners playing a version of RL, with the RFL hitherto oblivious or indifferent is remiss to put it at its very best.

I hope what Harrogate Knights says is a sign that they`re waking up. And what about the London RL clubs?

Other than the customary incompetence, the only additional explanation I can think of is the "that`s not Rugby" tendency, i.e. we don`t want Tag-playing sissies filling up our grounds. If they can`t front up and make some decent tackles, then let them spend their money somewhere else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

This is a thought in my mind every time I see footage of a metropolitan office-worker playing the ball to a dummy-half with a marker in front. When you think of our perennial struggle to reach beyond the Northern working-class, to have substantial numbers of what appear to be mostly middle-class Southerners playing a version of RL, with the RFL hitherto oblivious or indifferent is remiss to put it at its very best.

I hope what Harrogate Knights says is a sign that they`re waking up. And what about the London RL clubs?

Other than the customary incompetence, the only additional explanation I can think of is the "that`s not Rugby" tendency, i.e. we don`t want Tag-playing sissies filling up our grounds. If they can`t front up and make some decent tackles, then let them spend their money somewhere else.

Perhaps it is about time that some of those large `working-class` Northern towns and cities start holding some large TTR tournaments, with teams from all the heartlands clubs , wearing all the heartlands colours and jerseys and reclaiming TTR as our rightful offspring.  Is there any way it can be worked in around Magic Weekend. North versus South.

Also showing those southerners a thing or two on the park as well. What a great touch player Jason Robinson would have been. You could call it the Jason Robinson Cup, that might get  a bit of media coverage. He might even help promote it. The whole thing could be done as celebration of Rugby League or if you didn`t want to frighten off or deter the `ring ins` just a bloody good tournament. 125 years and still going.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 27/08/2020 at 16:58, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

How many rugby league players do we have world wide? Is this increasing or decreasing and at what rate. Are there figures for this anywhere?

This is something I often think about a lot.  If we are to look specifically at the period between 1995 and 2020, there can be absolutely ZERO doubt that the games has seen tremendous growth since then.  Which is why I get frustrated by the constant negativity and pessimism by Rugby League fans.  I will try my best to break it down.

1) Australia is obviously the top performer, with over 170,000 registered players (plus another 680,000 that only play touch rugby league).  These figures are from 2019 and cover all ages (source: https://ministryofsport.com.au/nrl-releases-participation-figures-and-seeks-naming-rights-partner-for-junior-program/

2) Here is where it gets hazy, I think there is a possible 3-way tie between PNG, England and NZ.  I will say PNG.  While their actual official registered number of players may be quite low, say 10-20,000, they are comparable to poor Brazilian kids playing football in the streets, that are practicing the sport every day, but not appearing in any actual statistics.  So if you include the unofficial participation then I am sure it would be in the six-figures also.

3) England, from what I have found, in 2019 had a figure of 62,900.  Source:  https://www.statista.com/statistics/899302/rugby-league-participation-uk/

4) New Zealand has 24,000 according to wikipedia.

5) France I believe would be just under 10,000.

Then it gets hazy again.  I would say 6th place would be between Wales and Fiji, followed by Tonga and Samoa, then there is another big drop after that.

Other notable places, that were not even playing Rugby League in 1995:

Serbia and Jamaica (approx. 300 players), Ukraine (approx. 250), Greece/Czech/Norway/Turkey would all be around the 200-mark.  Obviously they are not contributing a lot to the worldwide total yet, but possibly will be in the next 25 years.

And, the big game-changer has to be the women's game, which was barely existent ten years ago even in the tier one nations and has now come on in leaps and bounds. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, langpark said:

If we are to look specifically at the period between 1995 and 2020, there can be absolutely ZERO doubt that the games has seen tremendous growth since then.  Which is why I get frustrated by the constant negativity and pessimism by Rugby League fans.  I will try my best to break it down.

Great stuff, I was watching the local news last night and they had the highlights of the local women`s Grand Final, all these fantastic fit looking girls playing fast open League with length of the field tries and everything. They interviewed a couple after the game and they were a breath of fresh air.

Back to your article, thanks for that. I had been wondering a similar thing recently in response to someone on another thread comparing the watchability of the different codes. A list of other sporting codes was mentioned and made me think that when it actually comes to actual participation numbers on a global scale you would think that League would fare pretty well. Top 5 a possibility. Soccer, Cricket, Union, NFL, League, hockey.

And League actually has a country where it is the recognised national sport.

Your observation about touch/tag League participation numbers relative to contact participation numbers  in OZ only confirms to me that we have to have a call to arms on this issue and that they have to be rightfully considered part of the League family world wide.

Some body very cleverly bundled them together the other day by calling them the " contact and non-contact versions of the sport".

This is a must and must become mandatory language.

Anyway, thank you again for providing those figures they are very heartening.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Perhaps it is about time that some of those large `working-class` Northern towns and cities start holding some large TTR tournaments, with teams from all the heartlands clubs , wearing all the heartlands colours and jerseys and reclaiming TTR as our rightful offspring.  Is there any way it can be worked in around Magic Weekend. North versus South.

Also showing those southerners a thing or two on the park as well. What a great touch player Jason Robinson would have been. You could call it the Jason Robinson Cup, that might get  a bit of media coverage. He might even help promote it. The whole thing could be done as celebration of Rugby League or if you didn`t want to frighten off or deter the `ring ins` just a bloody good tournament. 125 years and still going.

Oztag was originally developed as a way for RL players to maintain their fitness levels and ball skills in the off-season. So it was played exclusively in summer. In NZ it still is, though I think in Aus there are winter and summer seasons, as is the case with Touch. Presumably, climate is the reason for the difference.

This is relevant to who plays Tag. There`s no doubt Tag is made for better weather and firmer grounds. It`s naturally a summer sport. TTR is played in the UK summer. I don`t know how many players are off-season RU players, how many only play Tag. In the North, because the Tag and Tackle RL seasons run concurrently, Tackle players are less likely to be available, which means the Tag player base will have to be grown mostly sui generis.

The best model I`ve seen is Ladies League Tag in NSW. This is different from Oztag. Because it`s fully integrated into the clubs and played alongside Tackle, they can play on a full-size field, 11-aside, and with goalkicking and the RL scoring system. Moreover, there are no restrictions on kicking in general play, so it`s essentially Tackle RL without the tackling. (they also play in RL jerseys rather than Oztag vests).

The truncated Oztag/TTR version is more suited to evening leagues and the sort of big festivals you allude to. Maybe we could have most TTR played on weekday nights, with the best or most committed also playing League Tag at the weekend. Crucial thing is that it should all be aligned to the RFL and RL clubs.

BTW, one of the largest Tag carnivals is the Pig `n` Porter held in Limerick. I followed video posts from a Sydney/Vietnamese team who toured Ireland and took in the Pig`n` Porter a couple of years ago. They saw themselves as Oztag players, and were often puzzled by hearing "Tag Rugby", since where they live "Rugby" means something totally different. It illustrates how important it is for RL to take ownership of the terminology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Oztag was originally developed as a way for RL players to maintain their fitness levels and ball skills in the off-season. So it was played exclusively in summer. In NZ it still is, though I think in Aus there are winter and summer seasons, as is the case with Touch. Presumably, climate is the reason for the difference.

This is relevant to who plays Tag. There`s no doubt Tag is made for better weather and firmer grounds. It`s naturally a summer sport. TTR is played in the UK summer. I don`t know how many players are off-season RU players, how many only play Tag. In the North, because the Tag and Tackle RL seasons run concurrently, Tackle players are less likely to be available, which means the Tag player base will have to be grown mostly sui generis.

The best model I`ve seen is Ladies League Tag in NSW. This is different from Oztag. Because it`s fully integrated into the clubs and played alongside Tackle, they can play on a full-size field, 11-aside, and with goalkicking and the RL scoring system. Moreover, there are no restrictions on kicking in general play, so it`s essentially Tackle RL without the tackling. (they also play in RL jerseys rather than Oztag vests).

The truncated Oztag/TTR version is more suited to evening leagues and the sort of big festivals you allude to. Maybe we could have most TTR played on weekday nights, with the best or most committed also playing League Tag at the weekend. Crucial thing is that it should all be aligned to the RFL and RL clubs.

BTW, one of the largest Tag carnivals is the Pig `n` Porter held in Limerick. I followed video posts from a Sydney/Vietnamese team who toured Ireland and took in the Pig`n` Porter a couple of years ago. They saw themselves as Oztag players, and were often puzzled by hearing "Tag Rugby", since where they live "Rugby" means something totally different. It illustrates how important it is for RL to take ownership of the terminology.

Pedant, you are gold.

Any chance of the Warriors beating the Eels this afternoon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I am glad that touch RL stats are counted separately.

I know for a fact that in Australia, touch is so popular because it's main purposes are 1) Socialising and 2) Staying active.  Much in the way that 5 vs 5 soccer is played across Europe as a 'less serious' alternative of the sport.

Of those that play touch, almost all of them are playing it because it is non-contact.  I would say 80% or more are playing for that reason.  The other 20% may have wanted to play full rugby league, but don't because of work and time constraints.  Only having to commit to turning up once a week is very appealing for people, as opposed to the usual THREE (two trainings and a match) per week that would be required if playing proper rugby league.

So, touch is great, but we should always keep the main emphasis on the pure form of RL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, langpark said:

Personally, I am glad that touch RL stats are counted separately.

I know for a fact that in Australia, touch is so popular because it's main purposes are 1) Socialising and 2) Staying active.  Much in the way that 5 vs 5 soccer is played across Europe as a 'less serious' alternative of the sport.

Of those that play touch, almost all of them are playing it because it is non-contact.  I would say 80% or more are playing for that reason.  The other 20% may have wanted to play full rugby league, but don't because of work and time constraints.  Only having to commit to turning up once a week is very appealing for people, as opposed to the usual THREE (two trainings and a match) per week that would be required if playing proper rugby league.

So, touch is great, but we should always keep the main emphasis on the pure form of RL.

I tend to agree that full contact RL has to be the main focus but if all community clubs could set up touch sections, either, just once a week get togethers, or official teams in a organised league or even both then the clubs would become a much bigger part of their community and that could be used to strengthen the full contact side

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Konstantin Bodin said:

In Serbia in 2020 there are 3 u14 clubs, 3 u16 clubs, 4 u19 clubs and 7 senior clubs.

Welcome to the club. 

I used to work with a lot of blokes from the former Yugoslavia, those blokes were made for Rugby league. All came from the same part of Sydney as the Trbojevic Brothers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 06/09/2020 at 20:12, langpark said:

So, touch is great, but we should always keep the main emphasis on the pure form of RL.

No one here is disputing that, more than anything we are just thinking of cost effective ways to grow the game. What better way than to tap into the vast numbers of people who already play a modified version of our game.

Tackle like Test Cricket should always remain the pinnacle of our game.

Cricket has left us for dead in inventing new forms and harnessing their popularity to engage fans, imagine if League had of shown the same foresight 30 years ago when TTRL first appeared . We wouldn`t be having the discussion on the TTRL thread that we are now of trying to salvage something from their popularity.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 01/09/2020 at 16:23, HarrogateKnights said:

Speaking on the above points in about 3 weeks the only form of Rugby League that will be played outside of the Super League is X-league, currently you can play Touch (it's own sport) or Try Tag Rugby. As a chairman of a new club we are using the the above (X-league) to grow our member base and keep players interested and ball handling skills practiced. Yes it doesn't have 1 aspect of Rugby the full contact tackle but practically all other aspects are there. When people say that time old phrase of the "the games going soft"... It really isn't the RFL have the Try Tag Rugby and X-league brands that are linked to RFL development. Try Tag Rugby has massive festivals several times a year and leagues on several days a week, including a lot linked to the corporate market in London, most people play the non-contact form as they can't afford to get injured from a dodgy tackle etc. The non-contact forms offer well organised leagues and structures and other opportunities that you might not get with RL in the full contact form. There aren't many players that step up to RL or RU full contact but that is out of choice of them. 

On top of the work I was doing in setting up the full contact sides, I saw the value in particular in X-league due to the easy nature of the equipment needed and due to us playing under the same name as the open age, we are also putting the name of our first team out there too. When I am securing sponsorship we use the whole package, not just 1 team. 

Couple of things I wanted to clarify please.

Is X-League the same or similar as what Pedant described as `Ladies League Tag` ( I am not casting aspersions) which is played in NSW  involving:

*   full sized field;

*   11 a side;

*   goal kicking;

*   RL scoring system;

*   no restrictions on kicking in general play;

Like what you said about X-League, Tackle RL without the tackle.

The reason that I ask these questions is because I am trying to clarify in my own mind that if a non-contact version of the game was introduced into the RLWC which would be the best version. I do like the sound of the above model, 11 players would open up the field a little, yet being played on a full sized field, I think would look great, especially if you consider the type of athletes it would attract.

As you said it would be like tackle but without the tackle, and I think that is what we should aim for.

Second Question. The `try tag rugby` is affiliated to RLF development? I am a bit confused with that , because I keep on hearing that all these competitions are mostly associated with union, to the point where Pedant said that the next TryTag Rugby WC held in Ireland will be all about union with League not even getting a mention. Is this why you have formed X-League? to wrest back this form of the code to League, where it rightfully belongs.  

Thank You.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

Couple of things I wanted to clarify please.

Is X-League the same or similar as what Pedant described as `Ladies League Tag` ( I am not casting aspersions) which is played in NSW  involving:

*   full sized field;

*   11 a side;

*   goal kicking;

*   RL scoring system;

*   no restrictions on kicking in general play;

Like what you said about X-League, Tackle RL without the tackle.

The reason that I ask these questions is because I am trying to clarify in my own mind that if a non-contact version of the game was introduced into the RLWC which would be the best version. I do like the sound of the above model, 11 players would open up the field a little, yet being played on a full sized field, I think would look great, especially if you consider the type of athletes it would attract.

As you said it would be like tackle but without the tackle, and I think that is what we should aim for.

Second Question. The `try tag rugby` is affiliated to RLF development? I am a bit confused with that , because I keep on hearing that all these competitions are mostly associated with union, to the point where Pedant said that the next TryTag Rugby WC held in Ireland will be all about union with League not even getting a mention. Is this why you have formed X-League? to wrest back this form of the code to League, where it rightfully belongs.  

Thank You.

 

 

 

 

At risk of playing the gooseberry, pending a reply, I`ll just give you a general steer that X-League has no comparison with Tag. The one thing I know about it, is that a play is complete when the defender touches the ball.

Somebody said on your dedicated thread that TTR are affiliated to the RFL. I`m sure that`s wrong. I`ve seen no evidence anywhere of any formal connection. Maybe the RFL allowing TTR to promote themselves at Magic Weekend has given the impression of one.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

Couple of things I wanted to clarify please.

Is X-League the same or similar as what Pedant described as `Ladies League Tag` ( I am not casting aspersions) which is played in NSW  involving:

*   full sized field;

*   11 a side;

*   goal kicking;

*   RL scoring system;

*   no restrictions on kicking in general play;

Like what you said about X-League, Tackle RL without the tackle.

The reason that I ask these questions is because I am trying to clarify in my own mind that if a non-contact version of the game was introduced into the RLWC which would be the best version. I do like the sound of the above model, 11 players would open up the field a little, yet being played on a full sized field, I think would look great, especially if you consider the type of athletes it would attract.

As you said it would be like tackle but without the tackle, and I think that is what we should aim for.

Second Question. The `try tag rugby` is affiliated to RLF development? I am a bit confused with that , because I keep on hearing that all these competitions are mostly associated with union, to the point where Pedant said that the next TryTag Rugby WC held in Ireland will be all about union with League not even getting a mention. Is this why you have formed X-League? to wrest back this form of the code to League, where it rightfully belongs.  

Thank You.

 

 

 

 

Hi mate, 

Euro tag was its previous guise. They are promoting it as 60x40 metre field anything from 6-11 a side. As mentioned above X-league is a touch tackle on the ball. Fending off is allowed 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...