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16 hours ago, graveyard johnny said:

 

That you for posting this, its the most fun, I've had in ages. Please post some more?

I started to read the other posts but I was turning to stone.

You've cheered me up ''no end''.  

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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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Just now, Archie Gordon said:

And I know, as a true League man, that you will have told them that everyone in your household of 16 people plays rugby league several times a day.

"It says here you're in Hastings, could you confirm whereabouts in your head you're doing that particular exercise ..."

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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33 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

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.

Totally 

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13 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

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

I share your frustration that we are in a broadly similar position, but to challenge the negative narrative we could look at some highlights from the last 15 years:

- Expansion into France - Catalans were admitted 15 years ago and are now a strong SL team, Toulouse in lower division.

- A record breaking World Cup in 2013, with a potentially larger one this year

- Big increases in international crowds from the early 00's to get us back to the kind of crowds that we look back fondly on from the 90's

- More terrestrial coverage from internationals, put back on the BBC from behind the paywall

- A record Sky TV audience for SL for the 2019 Grand Final (and 2nd best for over a decade in 2020)

- A new record attendance in SL in Barcelona

- Introduction of Magic Weekend taking the sport to Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle

- Substantial improvement in facilities, including Leeds, Catalans, Hull KR, Salford and Saints

- A record TV deal of £40m per annum from Sky

Now of course that is all cherry picked, and it would be easy for you to do a similar list to highlight the negatives (Cup crowds etc), but my point is that things aren't anywhere near as negative as some would like to portray. There won't always be growth, we will see ups and downs in future just as we have seen over the whole history of RL. That shouldn't stop us challenging the status quo, but that doesn't mean constantly shouting how bad RL is doing.

Things are nowhere near as bad as we sometimes convince ourselves they are. A focused strategy could absolutely leave us with some decent growth in a relatively short period of time.

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19 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

Which Pubs were they?

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8 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I share your frustration that we are in a broadly similar position, but to challenge the negative narrative we could look at some highlights from the last 15 years:

- Expansion into France - Catalans were admitted 15 years ago and are now a strong SL team, Toulouse in lower division.

- A record breaking World Cup in 2013, with a potentially larger one this year

- Big increases in international crowds from the early 00's to get us back to the kind of crowds that we look back fondly on from the 90's

- More terrestrial coverage from internationals, put back on the BBC from behind the paywall

- A record Sky TV audience for SL for the 2019 Grand Final (and 2nd best for over a decade in 2020)

- A new record attendance in SL in Barcelona

- Introduction of Magic Weekend taking the sport to Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle

- Substantial improvement in facilities, including Leeds, Catalans, Hull KR, Salford and Saints

- A record TV deal of £40m per annum from Sky

Now of course that is all cherry picked, and it would be easy for you to do a similar list to highlight the negatives (Cup crowds etc), but my point is that things aren't anywhere near as negative as some would like to portray. There won't always be growth, we will see ups and downs in future just as we have seen over the whole history of RL. That shouldn't stop us challenging the status quo, but that doesn't mean constantly shouting how bad RL is doing.

Things are nowhere near as bad as we sometimes convince ourselves they are. A focused strategy could absolutely leave us with some decent growth in a relatively short period of time.

I agree with all that, my concern would be that the advances have been in some ways small, or at least that growth hasn't been achieved at a significant enough rate.

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11 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I agree with all that, my concern would be that the advances have been in some ways small, or at least that growth hasn't been achieved at a significant enough rate.

my concern is slightly different in that I think the positives have been a bit sporadic rather than part of any holistic strategy.

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3 minutes ago, Dave T said:

my concern is slightly different in that I think the positives have been a bit sporadic rather than part of any holistic strategy.

Perhaps they're symptomatic of the same point.

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3 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

Which Pubs were they?

the one opposite belle vue on donny rd 

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

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3 hours ago, fighting irish said:

That you for posting this, its the most fun, I've had in ages. Please post some more?

I started to read the other posts but I was turning to stone.

You've cheered me up ''no end''.  

not sure if your been ironic here FI? this forum can be a strange place at times

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

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1 hour ago, graveyard johnny said:

not sure if your been ironic here FI? this forum can be a strange place at times

No, I'm being completely authentic. That Rock and Roll music and dancing  just lifts my spirits. Pure joy. Got any more? This discussion was killing me Johnny, you saved my fu....ing day. 

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20 hours ago, Padge said:

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.

 

That's what the AFL do in Australia to get more taxpayers money

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9 hours ago, Dunbar said:

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?

It does not relate to how popular or interesting rugby league is.  It is listed in isolation of viable criteria.

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15 hours ago, graveyard johnny said:

not sure if your been ironic here FI? this forum can be a strange place at times

 

13 hours ago, fighting irish said:

No, I'm being completely authentic. That Rock and Roll music and dancing  just lifts my spirits. Pure joy. Got any more? This discussion was killing me Johnny, you saved my fu....ing day. 

There`s a glimpse of Chuck Berry in the montage. If any of the movers and groovers are still with us they`ll be "Too Pooped to Pop".

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19 hours ago, Dave T said:

Things are nowhere near as bad as we sometimes convince ourselves they are. A focused strategy could absolutely leave us with some decent growth in a relatively short period of time.

Yes I agree, just being the fifth most popular spectator sport in the country is an achievement in itself, especially given its` limited geographical footprint. There is no way that League should undersell itself, even if only on that statistic alone.

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19 hours ago, Dave T said:

my concern is slightly different in that I think the positives have been a bit sporadic rather than part of any holistic strategy.

My personal view is that the negatives of the past 21 years (I take the 2000 World Cup as a break between optimism and disaster) are genuinely damaging and will take a long, long time to recover from, if we ever do. That has left us in a position where we are going to struggle to join up the positives that are genuinely happening because we're not able to respond to good fortune in the way we would like, and the way that give us maximum benefits.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

My personal view is that the negatives of the past 21 years (I take the 2000 World Cup as a break between optimism and disaster) are genuinely damaging and will take a long, long time to recover from, if we ever do. That has left us in a position where we are going to struggle to join up the positives that are genuinely happening because we're not able to respond to good fortune in the way we would like, and the way that give us maximum benefits.

I'm not so sure, I don't think I can think of anything that can't be turned round pretty quickly with investment and focus. I'm not sure we have the leadership team to do that, but even that is a change that can happen quickly if the desire is there.  

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18 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'm not so sure, I don't think I can think of anything that can't be turned round pretty quickly with investment and focus. I'm not sure we have the leadership team to do that, but even that is a change that can happen quickly if the desire is there.  

But because of the disjointed nature of our successes, and the impact of things like the effective elimination of the community game outside a handful of areas beyond the heartlands, getting that investment and focus becomes harder.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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I think the popularity of RL is similar to a single Sheffield Wednesday released once with Heaven 17 ( I think) 

It sold a considerable number of copies, mainly in the Sheffield area and enough to get in the charts but was denied access to the charts for some reason that escapes me now. Something to do with the sales all being in too restricted an area or something?

Either way, I'd sum it up as it's quite popular in not enough areas. 

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9 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

But because of the disjointed nature of our successes, and the impact of things like the effective elimination of the community game outside a handful of areas beyond the heartlands, getting that investment and focus becomes harder.

Absolutely, I don't disagree with that, but then I don't think we ever were in a strong place that got us this investment anyway. I suspect we are referring to the public funding - the problem is that the model doesn't particularly work, it was all a short term numbers game which is nigh on impossible to deliver when you are trying to expand into new areas. 

I think my overarching point is that in a perverse way, our small numbers, small amounts of cash we are discussing makes us slightly more dynamic and able to change things relatively quickly. But I do agree that we are making it hard to attract that investment in the first place.

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A few people have mentioned that playing numbers is not a great measure for a sport which is so physically demanding (although as I have mentioned, we should include other less intense versions in our numbers). 

I would be keen to hear what people's opinions are on the relative priorities regarding the metrics we should use for success.  Clearly they are all interconnected but which of these do you feel would be the best to achieve for the benefit of the sport.

  • An increase in junior and community playing numbers (all ages and sexes)
     
  • An increases in attendances in the pro game - particularly elite levels Super League and Championship
     
  • An increase in TV audiences
     
  • An increase in the number of pro clubs and into new geographies

As I say, these can be described as interdependent on each other but they would each have very specific plans and investments needed to get to their respective goals and so where do we think the priorities should lie?

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I am slightly confused by this thread. If it is to do with the global game, then demonstrably and genuinely we have never had it remotely so good. Look at PNG and the Hunters, the NRL’s power, Tonga, Fiji and the NSWRL team, potentially massively fortuitous timing around our World Cup being the first major event post full vax roll out... and the game on the field at the highest level is glorious to watch, and getting better and better with effective tweaks to the rules and increased athleticism. 

In our corner, it feels like we are drifting backwards, with no ability to arrest the decline, but it is possible for the game to have never had it so good, and to look back to, say ‘92, as relative glory days (though oddly enough if you judge our game by size of crowds we are getting far more domestically that in those days...). 

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On 24/01/2021 at 18:45, 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 get it includes participation of 'sports' like Kickboxing, yoga, keep fit classes etc 

In terms of proper sports then for interest/people who follow it / love it then I guess it's behind soccer, union and cricket but what else? 

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