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RL is in the best shape it's ever been


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I mentioned it elsewhere, but I feel it deserves its own thread.  Seeing as we always hear people saying the game is declining in the UK or some even go as far as to say things like "dying a slow death", I dug up some figures that prove otherwise:

2015:  Increase of 9,900 reported on previous year:  https://www.rugby-league.com/article/33357/participation-increases-are-testament-to

2017:  Year-on-year increases since 2012 confirmed as well as a 40% increase over the last 10 years:  https://www.totalrl.com/exclusive-rfl-issue-response-participation-figures-sport-england/

2020:  RFL reports increase in participation in 2019, from 102,304 to 109,501:  https://www.rugby-league.com/article/56906/rfl-confirms-return-to-profit-and-increased-participation-in-

This is not even factoring the (undeniable) growth of the international game either.  I don't have any figures of other countries, but I know there has been significant growth across Europe in the last decade as well.

 

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Rugby League is the 5th most popular sport in the country.  https://www.statista.com/statistics/686971/highest-attended-types-of-sport-in-the-uk/ Of course we can all just use whatever stats

I wouldn’t put a penny on the validly of RFL participation figures being correct Ive worked within multiple youth set ups, schools and the amateur game for decades and will trust the veracity of

I mentioned it elsewhere, but I feel it deserves its own thread.  Seeing as we always hear people saying the game is declining in the UK or some even go as far as to say things like "dying a slow deat

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I wouldn’t put a penny on the validly of RFL participation figures being correct

Ive worked within multiple youth set ups, schools and the amateur game for decades and will trust the veracity of my own eyes and experiences over massaged figures designed to impress Sport England Fund underwriters.

Ill give you one absolutely true example of how these numbers are counted.

One 14 year old player: plays for his school team, local amateur team, in a Pro Scholarship and sometimes plays in a touch n pass League with his dad.

He counted 4X on the participation numbers.

Repeat that to one extent or another for hundreds if not the low thousands of lads doing similar. The same for girls and masters who also play T&P.

Sometimes trying to see the positives in everything and denying the evidence in front of your eyes can be the absolute worst thing to do. We need to recognise the issues we have as a game and take some pretty immediate and meaningful actions to arrest the slide.

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20 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

 Rugby league is the 27th most-popular sport in the country 

Using what criteria? It’s certainly not the 27th most popular spectator sport. 

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30 minutes ago, OMEGA said:

 

Sometimes trying to see the positives in everything and denying the evidence in front of your eyes can be the absolute worst thing to do. We need to recognise the issues we have as a game and take some pretty immediate and meaningful actions to arrest the slide.

I don't think RL can be accused of that. 

Knowing what actions to take is the challenge, we are seeing team sport participation drop across most sports, so it isn't just a case of the RFL being incompetent. 

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think i prefer the days of offiah hanley - kangaroo tours- top ru talent signing up and off season aussies gracing the english game, stadiums with atmosphere, car parking spaces at grounds, pubs with a stripper on before the game, etc etc

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they come swinging round that corner, they think they're benny goodman

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As I covered in a similar topic, participation in teams sports for 16+ has been on a steady decline.  Rugby League has suffered but not as much as some (although based on smaller numbers).  This is based on the Active Lives survey and uses a public survey method and so the data is not coming from the various sports governing bodies.

Data below shows participation in the survey for period end Nov-16 to the survey for May-20 (then the change and Change %)

Basketball: 325,200 to 264,600 (-60,600/-19%)

Cricket: 364,600 to 294,000 (-70,600/-19%)

Football: 2,299,000 to 1,866,200 (-432,800/-19%)

Rugby League: 68,400 to 58,800 (-9,600/-14%)

Rugby Union: 259,600 to 195,300 (-64,300/-25%)

What is somewhat encouraging is that Rugby League increased from 57,500 in November 19 survey to 58,800 in the May 20 survey and was the only one of the teams sports above to post and increase in the most recent survey.

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30 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

That’s what it says in one of the articles in the OP

It’s blatant rubbish then. If you can name six more popular spectator sports in England I’ll eat my hat. 

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

 Rugby league is the 27th most-popular sport in the country 

 

1 hour ago, Eddie said:

Using what criteria? It’s certainly not the 27th most popular spectator sport. 

 

35 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

That’s what it says in one of the articles in the OP

No it doesn't, it says participation figures showed rugby league was the 27th most-popular sport in the country based on ages 16 and over.

So playing numbers, not spectators.

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For interest, Rugby League is listed as the 41st most popular activity for those over 16+ in May 2020.

The full list above Rugby League is below (in order of popularity).  I will it to you to decide which are sports and which are activities.

Running

Fitness class

Gym session1

Swimming

Exercise machines1

Hill and mountain walking2

Interval sessions

Weights session1

Generic fitness training1

Football

Golf

Boxing (includes boxing fitness classes)

Badminton

Tennis

Rowing (includes indoor rowing)1

Table Tennis

Climbing and bouldering2

Fell running

Cricket

Netball

Equestrian

Garden trampolining

Squash

Martial Arts

Basketball

Bowls

Gymnastics (includes trampolining)

Tai Chi

Rugby Union

Snowsport

Track and field athletics

Canoeing

Surfing, board surfing, body boarding, kite surfing

Hockey

Angling

Sailing

Parkour or free running

Shooting

Rounders

Ice skating

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3 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

No it doesn't, it says participation figures showed rugby league was the 27th most-popular sport in the country based on ages 16 and over.

So playing numbers, not spectators.

I find that very hard to believe.  I cannot think of many individual sports that could possibly have bigger numbers.  Unless they start counting "recreational" things like:  jogging, running, walking, gym, cycling, fixed bicycle, weights etc. all as separate "sports".

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2 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

For interest, Rugby League is listed as the 41st most popular activity for those over 16+ in May 2020.

The full list above Rugby League is below (in order of popularity).  I will it to you to decide which are sports and which are activities.

As I thought, pretty dodgy list, isn't it?

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1 minute ago, langpark said:

As I thought, pretty dodgy list, isn't it?

Yes, but the Active Lives survey is really all about physical activity and the 'wellbeing' of the nation.  So, they will always list any physical activity whether a sport or not.

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7 minutes ago, langpark said:

As I thought, pretty dodgy list, isn't it?

 

5 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Yes, but the Active Lives survey is really all about physical activity and the 'wellbeing' of the nation.  So, they will always list any physical activity whether a sport or not.

It all depends what you are looking for. It's a valid list when looking at participation and how we get people involved in the sport, although the most important numbers fkr that are your own, it's not overly important to know how many play table tennis. 

But there are loads of ways of cutting it, we can do crowds, tv figures, players, a combination, commercial value etc. they'll all tell a slightly different story. 

It can be useful to check in and benchmark against others, but ultimately our own trends are what we need to really focus on. 

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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

Rugby League is the 5th most popular sport in the country. 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/686971/highest-attended-types-of-sport-in-the-uk/

Of course we can all just use whatever stats use our argument. 

Absolutely, often such statements are vague and little more than marketing or something similar.  It would be better to state "xxx is the ....... based on ". Often you will find a mix of statistical information which can be misleading. For instance absolute numbers of a given situation, then in the same press release or article will use a different type of statistical information. London Broncos in their last stint in SL if they increase their attendance by as little as 500 that is a 25% increase, that would have been less than 4% for Leeds Rhinos. It is clear that a percentage figure sounds far more impressive than actual numbers.

 

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47 minutes ago, langpark said:

As I thought, pretty dodgy list, isn't it?

It depends on your criteria for popularity. Participation can be measured in several ways, as can attendances, TV ratings are highly dependent on the channel or platform and what other programs are being broadcast at the same time. How many people attend dog racing because their main reason is they love to watch dogs run. Compare the latter track athletics and you will get a vastly different result.

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58 minutes ago, langpark said:

As I thought, pretty dodgy list, isn't it?

Seeing equestrian as high as it is on that list is all you need to know, after all we all have our own horse tethered in the back yard don’t we?

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