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It's time to change positions


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11 hours ago, Trojan said:

Once the covid scare is over, I'd like to see a couple of experimental games with scrums that observe the laws and see what the outcome is.  The scrum removes twelve players from the open field, and if for no other reason has its place in the game.

NZ Warriors scored a late try from a scrum late on this week... But was chalked off by a bit af a bizarre gand in touch.  But otherwise it was good play straight from scrum 20m out.

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22 hours ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

Just leave the Centres. Right centre, left centre, working with their corresponding wings.

We hear of middles and edges.  The Edges are the halves and three-quarters and second rows. 8 players, split left and right.  So the inside edges can be say 6 and 11 and outside edges can be say 2 and 3.

In terms of Middles, the front row can be forward middles and the 1 and 13 can be the back middles.  

As you can see the phrase Middle clearly seems contradictory when the 13 can rove somewhat and the fullback can come in next too the winger.  

Quite what the better express terminology it should be I'm not sure.  I hesitate to hint at NFL, but RL plays in a line, so may be front row forwards can be called Middle Linebackers (or Linemen) and 1 and 13 Open, (or 'Free') Linemen.  With the others as before, Edges or Edge Linemen.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

How do you mean? What do you want doing with the try line? 

Even if it's something simple like your teams colours (branding) and perhaps a small message. Like #UnfinishedBusiness in the case of Featherstone. It ties in with the clubs current social branding. 

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1 hour ago, Rupert Prince said:

Is this the right time to start talking about squad numbers or the repeal there of?

So when number 17 (or 20, 39 or 40 as was often seen in Australian RL back in the 1990s) comes off the bench, how does his number relate to his normal position in the team?

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2 hours ago, Rupert Prince said:

NZ Warriors scored a late try from a scrum late on this week... But was chalked off by a bit af a bizarre gand in touch.  But otherwise it was good play straight from scrum 20m out.

I think the scrums will be making a comeback in the SuperLeague for those for those very reasons Rupert.

NRL teams seem to be (finally) utilising them as opportunities for strike moves, and no doubt the clubs in Europe will follow that lead. 

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7 hours ago, Chris Taylor said:

Even if it's something simple like your teams colours (branding) and perhaps a small message. Like #UnfinishedBusiness in the case of Featherstone. It ties in with the clubs current social branding. 

Yes sorry, wasn't following. Iirc around the 1997 World Club games they made an effort with this and it looked good. 

From memory, one of the big challenges was the inconsistency as shared grounds couldn't have this, so it did look a very mixed bag, even just with sponsors. 

 

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9 hours ago, Big Picture said:

So when number 17 (or 20, 39 or 40 as was often seen in Australian RL back in the 1990s) comes off the bench, how does his number relate to his normal position in the team?

I was being a bit droll.  There seemed to be a bit of an obsession with lines.

(FWIW I think we should have a standard size pitch)

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Sorry, one not read the entire thread, but I'll put my two pennies in...

If the scrum goes, then yeah I'd say rename some positions. I mean hooker is long overdue being renamed anyway. They're not really a forward anymore.

Hooker as quarter back works for me. If we talk about where they are in relation to the play, they're a quarter back from the line (at the play the ball), with the halves standing off him, the three-quarters receive from them (wingers and centres), then the full back is furthest of the play usually.

Speaking of centres, are they called that because they're the centre of the three-quarters? In terms of the actual pitch, it's a pretty confusing term! They're pretty interchangeable with some second rowers these days because of the similarity of the position on the field. Maybe Edge Back and Edge Forward (since there are no scrums, so 2nd row would be a dead term)?

That leaves the props and loose forward (the latter of which has changed massively in the last decade) - they're affectively a 3rd prop these days. These three are your "centres" really (in relation to the pitch). Would you call all three "centre forwards" or give them left centre/right centre forward positional terms?

In terms of numbers, the only one I advocated changing in the past was swapping 9 and 13 as most hookers pack down in the back now to deliver the ball quickly (again adding to that "quarter back" tag), with the loose being in the middle of the other 2 props due to their role changing in that respect. 8, 9, 10 makes more sense that way.

Not sure if I'd change the whole numbers to match where they would stand on the pitch. I still think the idea of "forwards" and "backs" has some merit, as well as the "spine" that gets referred to now (1, 6, 7, 9). If we did, I'd consider having the spine players numbered first (1-FB, 2-HB, 3-HB, 4-QB), then 5-10 as your line, with 11-13 as your centre forwards.

 

I am just riffing here though. This isn't serious thought and open to logical challenge! 

 

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Firstly, the side show of the thread, the obsession with white lines is enough to put Johnny Depp to shame.

The main point is the positions are just names, simple as, they're out-dated for sure but so are mince pies. The most out-dated term in our sport is "try" anyway. If a casual supporter or new fan or passer by wants to learn the game then part of that is learning the terminology, however out-dated it is.

I am not maliciously calling out @Wholly Trinity here but I find it highly ironic considering "Trinity" is hugely old-fashioned and irrelevant term for a club moniker in this day and age.

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12 hours ago, hindle xiii said:

Firstly, the side show of the thread, the obsession with white lines is enough to put Johnny Depp to shame.

The main point is the positions are just names, simple as, they're out-dated for sure but so are mince pies. The most out-dated term in our sport is "try" anyway. If a casual supporter or new fan or passer by wants to learn the game then part of that is learning the terminology, however out-dated it is.

I am not maliciously calling out @Wholly Trinity here but I find it highly ironic considering "Trinity" is hugely old-fashioned and irrelevant term for a club moniker in this day and age.

It's about attracting new casual fans. The main reason is to make a clear distinction from the other code. If you've not yet got your GNVQ in RL then we need to make it as accessible as possible. Position names that have some relevance to the way the game is played in the 21st century will help with that and also help commentators.

How many fans never watch RL because they've seen 'rugby' on the telly - probably the 6 nations - and found the rules confusing and a bit too complex and arbitrary - and all those long-winded set pieces?

Yeah, like wildcats was much more relevant?

What is the purpose of these monikers and who is the target audience?

Trinity is a fine moniker that has worked well for 148 years. (and the fleur-de-lys associated with the city since the 14th/15th century) 

Which is better, Trinity and a fleur-de-lys or Wildcats and a cartoon cat? It works ok for the New Orleans Saints. 

If people have heard of Wakefield (increasingly rarely) it's usually followed by, oh yeah, Wakefield Trinity. If you want to pick on nicknames you should try the Hull clubs or even St Helens.

94px-Wakefiec.jpg

 

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47 minutes ago, Wholly Trinity said:

It's about attracting new casual fans. The main reason is to make a clear distinction from the other code. If you've not yet got your GNVQ in RL then we need to make it as accessible as possible. Position names that have some relevance to the way the game is played in the 21st century will help with that and also help commentators.

How many fans never watch RL because they've seen 'rugby' on the telly - probably the 6 nations - and found the rules confusing and a bit too complex and arbitrary - and all those long-winded set pieces?

Yeah, like wildcats was much more relevant?

What is the purpose of these monikers and who is the target audience?

Trinity is a fine moniker that has worked well for 148 years. (and the fleur-de-lys associated with the city since the 14th/15th century) 

Which is better, Trinity and a fleur-de-lys or Wildcats and a cartoon cat? It works ok for the New Orleans Saints. 

If people have heard of Wakefield (increasingly rarely) it's usually followed by, oh yeah, Wakefield Trinity. If you want to pick on nicknames you should try the Hull clubs or even St Helens.

94px-Wakefiec.jpg

 

There's nothing wrong with Trinity, I was just highlighting that it's just a name, an old-fashioned name but there's nothing wrong with that.

Any wholesale changes would mean everyone has to get to grips with it, and it's no guarantee of attracting new supporters.

For example, I know little about golf, but if I were to become attracted to watching or playing golf then I would learn the terminology associated with that game like; birdie, eagle, albatross, etc.

Anyway, that's my take on it, no offence intended.

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1 hour ago, Wholly Trinity said:

It's about attracting new casual fans. The main reason is to make a clear distinction from the other code. If you've not yet got your GNVQ in RL then we need to make it as accessible as possible. Position names that have some relevance to the way the game is played in the 21st century will help with that and also help commentators.

How many fans never watch RL because they've seen 'rugby' on the telly - probably the 6 nations - and found the rules confusing and a bit too complex and arbitrary - and all those long-winded set pieces?

Yeah, like wildcats was much more relevant?

What is the purpose of these monikers and who is the target audience?

Trinity is a fine moniker that has worked well for 148 years. (and the fleur-de-lys associated with the city since the 14th/15th century) 

Which is better, Trinity and a fleur-de-lys or Wildcats and a cartoon cat? It works ok for the New Orleans Saints. 

If people have heard of Wakefield (increasingly rarely) it's usually followed by, oh yeah, Wakefield Trinity. If you want to pick on nicknames you should try the Hull clubs or even St Helens.

94px-Wakefiec.jpg

 

I think when it comes to making a distinction with the other code that position names is firmly at the bottom. As long as our game contains Rugby in the title and is played with a Rugby ball then I don't think changing a few names will make any difference.

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I don't think there is any need for any changes to position names, and tbh, I disagree that the roles have changed that much.

If I think about when I started watching the game 35 years ago, I see little change.

Fullback, Wings, Centres - the same - and when you compare to historic players in those positions, it is pretty easy to compare like for like.

Halfbacks - whilst they may play slightly differently, that will always happen, but they are ultimately still the creative engine of the team, linking between forwards and backs, often kickers, decision making. Again, direct comparisons to players in these positions in history is easy.

Props and 2nd rowers are just the same. I can easily compare Chris Hill and Mike Cooper to props in the 80's.

Hookers may not hook in the scrum any more, but they are still doing 95% of the same stuff. 

So that just brings us onto the 13. Whilst many clubs use the 13 as an extra prop, there is still the option of using an extra playmaker there, O'Loughlin for example was more of a traditional 13. But whilst we used to have plenty of 13's who could be 6's back in the 80's, the likes of Mike Gregory when playing at 13 was absolutely a forward and not a halfback. 

So I just don't see this mass change of roles that people often refer to, I think they are all fair titles for their position, and easily comparable with history. There is no reason to change just for the sake of it. Also, position names don't really confuse people do they? If somebody is casual, they probably don't care less about things like position names, if they are into stuff like that, it won't confuse them and put them off. 

I like the current names, the links to players in history, we should keep them as they are.

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6 minutes ago, Damien said:

I think when it comes to making a distinction with the other code that position names is firmly at the bottom. As long as our game contains Rugby in the title and is played with a Rugby ball then I don't think changing a few names will make any difference.

It's amazing how many people who think differentiating ourselves is such a crucial thing - yet they ignore the elephant in the room.

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As far as the game in its own right goes, I feel like changing the names is trying to solve a problem that isn't really there.

In terms of distinguishing it from Union, name changes don't really achieve this on their own.  The sad thing is Union and League are too close to peacefully coexist and too different to re-merge.  The latter is the logical route, but like most fans I'd never want it because we'd end up with Union rules (although ironically Union would probably become more League-like over the next 100 years as a result). 

But I wouldn't bother tinkering with the positional names now.

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23 hours ago, Damien said:

I think when it comes to making a distinction with the other code that position names is firmly at the bottom. As long as our game contains Rugby in the title and is played with a Rugby ball then I don't think changing a few names will make any difference.

To be fair, I made 3 suggestions and the first one was to change the name of the sport. I suggested using RL in all media. It works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), BT (formerly British Telecommunications) and LG (formerly Lucky Goldstar).

The rest was about making it more accessible to new fans and allowing more relevant position names was one way to make it easier to understand tactics.

The 3rd was to make the pitch markings distinctive (i.e. split into 5 x 20m zones) so that field position is clear throughout the game, particularly on TV.

 

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57 minutes ago, Wholly Trinity said:

To be fair, I made 3 suggestions and the first one was to change the name of the sport. I suggested using RL in all media. It works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), BT (formerly British Telecommunications) and LG (formerly Lucky Goldstar).

The rest was about making it more accessible to new fans and allowing more relevant position names was one way to make it easier to understand tactics.

The 3rd was to make the pitch markings distinctive (i.e. split into 5 x 20m zones) so that field position is clear throughout the game, particularly on TV.

 

I've always had a bit of an issue with Aussies abandoning the word Rugby in a lot of their stuff, with the focus on League, but maybe on reflection they are right. I think it is tricky to know what the best approach is in this country though tbh. I don't think League is strong enough, League Football not clear enough and Super League is a brand used across a few sports. But if we genuinely think our close association with Rugby Union is a major issue (i'm split on how big an issue it is) then I'm all for looking at the name.

I think on the position names we are overthinking it somewhat - for those who are interested in the tactical side of the game, they will understand the positions, and it won't matter to them whether the title is accurate or a legacy thing. I think we should be very careful about actively changing things like this (we see natural changes as language changes) but I think there needs to be a very compelling reason to call the 13 something different. I like that there is a direct line of comparison between players over history, I think the skills on show are still generally the same as they were a few decades ago, so think they do their job.

On the pitch markings, I'm not sure of the point you make here - how does that make it clearer? We already have markings, we have lines every 10 metres, and I don't think people ever get confused about where we are on the pitch do they? I'm not sure what problem this is resolving. I'm certain that having 5 x 20m zones is no clearer than 10 x 10m zones.  I think if we do want anything doing with the pitch, there is a piece around branding, they can certainly look nicer, but again, we need to understand what problem we are solving there, as RU pitches are as plain as ours, in fact often plainer and it doesn't appear to be an issue there.

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3 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I've always had a bit of an issue with Aussies abandoning the word Rugby in a lot of their stuff, with the focus on League, but maybe on reflection they are right. I think it is tricky to know what the best approach is in this country though tbh. I don't think League is strong enough, League Football not clear enough and Super League is a brand used across a few sports. But if we genuinely think our close association with Rugby Union is a major issue (i'm split on how big an issue it is) then I'm all for looking at the name.

I think on the position names we are overthinking it somewhat - for those who are interested in the tactical side of the game, they will understand the positions, and it won't matter to them whether the title is accurate or a legacy thing. I think we should be very careful about actively changing things like this (we see natural changes as language changes) but I think there needs to be a very compelling reason to call the 13 something different. I like that there is a direct line of comparison between players over history, I think the skills on show are still generally the same as they were a few decades ago, so think they do their job.

On the pitch markings, I'm not sure of the point you make here - how does that make it clearer? We already have markings, we have lines every 10 metres, and I don't think people ever get confused about where we are on the pitch do they? I'm not sure what problem this is resolving. I'm certain that having 5 x 20m zones is no clearer than 10 x 10m zones.  I think if we do want anything doing with the pitch, there is a piece around branding, they can certainly look nicer, but again, we need to understand what problem we are solving there, as RU pitches are as plain as ours, in fact often plainer and it doesn't appear to be an issue there.

Clearly, at the game there is no issue knowing the field position.  However, on TV the shots are usually relatively close and it's difficult to tell where play is, particularly outside the 20m areas. The idea was to have the 20m to try line areas as the red zones and 10m either side of halfway as, say, blue.

This effectively splits the playing area in 5 and makes it easier to see where sets start and finish and so which team is more dominant. 

All current markings would remain, just add coloured vertical lines in these zones joining the markers at 10m and 20m from touch.  

Again, this would make the pitch distinctively an RL pitch to any TV viewers. 

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In football, they don't have set positions. You might have 5 defenders, 3 strikers, attacking midfielders who sit just being the forwards, defensive midfielders who sit in front of the defensive line.

If we get rid of the scrum, we don't necessarily need to stick to set positions. The loose forward seems to be the one people talk about most in terms of their role (are they a ball handling forward? Extra prop?). Who's to say they might play another half back as a forward and stick with one half controlling everything?

Should be more variation in how the positions are described personally.

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  • 1 month later...

Right. I've narrowed my whinge down to one specific thing.

TV and social media presentations of line ups to viewers and fans generally do so as follows:

Right-wing, Right-centre, Left-centre, Left-wing

which correspond to the old 2,3,4,5 across the three quarters.

But, of course, that's the opposite of how they line up visually on the pitch, which is

Left-wing, Left-centre, Right-centre, Right-wing.

Why??

 

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