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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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4 hours ago, OMEGA said:

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.

Do you think RL is the only sport to have spotted this loop-hole in counting. All the other sports are saying you can't count twice, we are really honest gov.

Rugby union used to count everyone in a school if the school played union, so a school with 5 teams accounting for 100-200 actual players would count as maybe 1000-2000. I think that one got well and truly rumbled though.

 

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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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3 hours 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.

Why is shagging not top of the list then? 

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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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15 minutes ago, Padge said:

Why is shagging not top of the list then? 

Shagging is on a different list, that`s the `Horizontal Active Lives` List where it comes in just after swimming, also depending on how cold the water is.

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6 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, but for a game that has existed for 125 years purely on the basis of getting people to pay to watch it that isn't brilliant is it?

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1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

Shagging is on a different list, that`s the `Horizontal Active Lives` List where it comes in just after swimming, also depending on how cold the water is.

Is it not top of the Spectator list?

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22 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Absolutely, but for a game that has existed for 125 years purely on the basis of getting people to pay to watch it that isn't brilliant is it?

Why not? Where should it be? 

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5 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

Is it not top of the Spectator list?

I suppose that depends on the definition of `participant` vs. `spectator`. From my limited experience usually at least one has their eyes closed.🥴

Of course unless I am reading you wrong and therefore would offer this advice; " Close the curtains !! ".

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13 hours ago, Dunbar said:

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.

Not questioning you Dunbar as you are quoting figures but the fact basketball is up comparable with Cricket tells us all we need to know on the veracity of the figures from other sports. 

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14 hours ago, graveyard johnny said:

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

Now you're talking 

Bring it back 👍😄

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1 hour ago, RS said:

Not questioning you Dunbar as you are quoting figures but the fact basketball is up comparable with Cricket tells us all we need to know on the veracity of the figures from other sports. 

I cannot validate the quality of the figures, but I will say a couple of things.

1. This is a survey run by Active Lives and so the figures are reporting on a survey with the public and are not coming from the sports governing bodies. This will stop the double accounting of individual who may play for two teams etc.

2. As it is self reporting, the participants may not belong to official clubs. Friends playing basketball after work or college will count and a basketball game is about as easy as 5 aside football to setup... there are plenty of hoops around. Well there are in the parks near me.

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14 hours ago, graveyard johnny said:

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

You were lucky. We lived in a cardboard box, got up for work 2 hours before we went to sleep, walked 47 miles across the moors, ......   great days, great days....

Four legs good - two legs bad

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5 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I cannot validate the quality of the figures, but I will say a couple of things.

1. This is a survey run by Active Lives and so the figures are reporting on a survey with the public and are not coming from the sports governing bodies. This will stop the double accounting of individual who may play for two teams etc.

2. As it is self reporting, the participants may not belong to official clubs. Friends playing basketball after work or college will count and a basketball game is about as easy as 5 aside football to setup... there are plenty of hoops around. Well there are in the parks near me.

I've been called up for the Active Lives survey twice (able to complete once, no time for the call the other time) and Mrs Ginger once. It has absolutely nothing to do with figures given by governing bodies.

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

I cannot validate the quality of the figures, but I will say a couple of things.

1. This is a survey run by Active Lives and so the figures are reporting on a survey with the public and are not coming from the sports governing bodies. This will stop the double accounting of individual who may play for two teams etc.

2. As it is self reporting, the participants may not belong to official clubs. Friends playing basketball after work or college will count and a basketball game is about as easy as 5 aside football to setup... there are plenty of hoops around. Well there are in the parks near me.

But its a pointless list.  People who run or go to the gym may play football or rugby or cricket.  People may play football in winter and cricket in summer.  This is not either or. 

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7 minutes ago, Rupert Prince said:

But its a pointless list.  People who run or go to the gym may play football or rugby or cricket.  People may play football in winter and cricket in summer.  This is not either or. 

Yes, people may play two or more sports or undertake more than one activity. I would say most of the people I know who are sporty do this.

Why does it make the list pointless though?

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40 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

By even the dourest of current ambitions the second most popular in the north of England.

Being the 2nd most popular sport in the North of England would see a hell of a lot of growth for the game to get to that place. I know it is fashionable to mock that comment from Carter/Hudgell (can't remember which one it was), but if we did become bigger than Cricket, RU, Horse Racing in the North, then we would be in a much better place. Don't get me wrong, it's not an objective I'd set if I was in charge, but it is probably far more ambitious than anything we have seen (depending on what the criteria for 'popular' is).

But to your original point, why is being the 5th biggest spectator sport in the UK not where we would realistically expect to be? Why *should* we be higher than that? I understand a want and desire for us to be in a higher place than that, we are RL fans and want our sport to be far more popular than it is, but I don't understand why being behind only Football, Horse Racing, RU and Cricket is a poor result. The number in 2017 according to that report was that RL had 2.3m speccies - we could grow that substantially and deliver real growth and still be 5th.

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Being the 2nd most popular sport in the North of England would see a hell of a lot of growth for the game to get to that place. I know it is fashionable to mock that comment from Carter/Hudgell (can't remember which one it was), but if we did become bigger than Cricket, RU, Horse Racing in the North, then we would be in a much better place. Don't get me wrong, it's not an objective I'd set if I was in charge, but it is probably far more ambitious than anything we have seen (depending on what the criteria for 'popular' is).

But to your original point, why is being the 5th biggest spectator sport in the UK not where we would realistically expect to be? Why *should* we be higher than that? I understand a want and desire for us to be in a higher place than that, we are RL fans and want our sport to be far more popular than it is, but I don't understand why being behind only Football, Horse Racing, RU and Cricket is a poor result. The number in 2017 according to that report was that RL had 2.3m speccies - we could grow that substantially and deliver real growth and still be 5th.

Because RU has only cared about attendances for 25 years(ish) and we have cared about attendances as our sole measure of success for 125 years. I think the point about trajectories and growth shouldn't be underestimated.

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6 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Because RU has only cared about attendances for 25 years(ish) and we have cared about attendances as our sole measure of success for 125 years. I think the point about trajectories and growth shouldn't be underestimated.

This quoting of 125 years to bash RL is a bit of a distraction and a red herring. It doesn't mean anything as it doesn't look at context or any detail at all.

I suspect RL could be twice the size it is now and would still attract the same criticism.

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57 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

I suspect RL could be twice the size it is now and would still attract the same criticism.

It may not be the criticism within the game you are referring to, much of the “criticism” so often quoted on here, is genuine concern at the erosion of the edges of the sport - the lower levels of the pyramid, the community game, junior interest; along with the apparent retreat of the sport to a profile consisting of a few similar teams. It may or may not be considered a valid viewpoint by many, but the word “criticism” is mostly unfair.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

This quoting of 125 years to bash RL is a bit of a distraction and a red herring. It doesn't mean anything as it doesn't look at context or any detail at all.

I suspect RL could be twice the size it is now and would still attract the same criticism.

Equally not recognising that we haven't really grown at all in the past 15 years is no excuse.

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11 minutes ago, Tonka said:

I've always thought "playing numbers" was such a harsh metric for rugby league's success.  Have you tried bloody playing it!? 😆😃

This is very true. And a reason why we must fight hard for touch, tag and masters to be recognised as playing the sport as well as full contact.

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