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Academy Licensing (2022 - 27) - (Merged threads)


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11 minutes ago, RigbyLuger said:

If Paul Sculthorpe is so upset about this decision, as he seems to be, will he be quitting his roles with the RFL?

He doesn't come across well on Twitter on a number of subjects

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47 minutes ago, RigbyLuger said:

If Paul Sculthorpe is so upset about this decision, as he seems to be, will he be quitting his roles with the RFL?

Isn’t this the debating equivalent of “if you don’t like it here you can F off”...? Surely there’s no contradiction between working for a body and holding some differing views on one of its policies 

 

There’s a valid debate to be had on the process undertaken here & consequent quality of decision - especially given it was wholly paper based, no site visits, no interviews, no “2nd layer” assessment, nada... shame people with vested interests on the other side of the debate would prefer to close it down with ad hominem 

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The RFL were widely criticised for not upholding certain criteria when licences for SL were dished out

The RFL are now being widely criticised for upholding certain criteria when licences for Academies are being dished out

They can't win

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8 minutes ago, Spidey said:

The RFL were widely criticised for not upholding certain criteria when licences for SL were dished out

The RFL are now being widely criticised for upholding certain criteria when licences for Academies are being dished out

They can't win

It would be easier for the RFL to actually send the written decisions out, rather than just saying - we've sent the written decisions out...

As of this morning, Bradford still don't have the written explanation.

Once it's seen, I'm sure there will be a challenge/additional evidence on the perceived weaknesses of the application. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Spidey said:

The RFL were widely criticised for not upholding certain criteria when licences for SL were dished out

The RFL are now being widely criticised for upholding certain criteria when licences for Academies are being dished out

They can't win

They have yet to publish their rationale, so how do we know they have? I’d suggest it’s much more likely that - as with the former case - they’ve selectively interpreted information to come to a pre-determined conclusion. So actually the behaviour is consistent, as is the criticism.

 

The one thing that has leaked out is that a factor was their unilateral decision that some geographic areas could only support 1 academy. No reason to believe the Hull KR and Cas decisions were anything other than along the lines of “your academy is up to standard, but the other bid in the same area is better in our opinion”. That is not acceptable. 

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13 minutes ago, Hull Kingston Bronco said:

They have yet to publish their rationale, so how do we know they have? I’d suggest it’s much more likely that - as with the former case - they’ve selectively interpreted information to come to a pre-determined conclusion. So actually the behaviour is consistent, as is the criticism.

 

The one thing that has leaked out is that a factor was their unilateral decision that some geographic areas could only support 1 academy. No reason to believe the Hull KR and Cas decisions were anything other than along the lines of “your academy is up to standard, but the other bid in the same area is better in our opinion”. That is not acceptable. 

Cas academy is not fit for purpose.

Apparently, they haven't produced a first team player since Adam Milner in 2011. Wakefield have 14 academy products in their current first team squad.

You do the maths.

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18 minutes ago, dboy said:

Cas academy is not fit for purpose.

Apparently, they haven't produced a first team player since Adam Milner in 2011. Wakefield have 14 academy products in their current first team squad.

You do the maths.

True, also the community game suffers if you take 140 kids out of one area, not all will be elite and this is damaging for the community game with evidence showing that most will walk away from the game

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12 minutes ago, dboy said:

Cas academy is not fit for purpose.

Apparently, they haven't produced a first team player since Adam Milner in 2011. Wakefield have 14 academy products in their current first team squad.

You do the maths.

I can’t speak for Cas. What I can say with absolute certainty is that backward-looking data, especially something with a large time-lag like this, is a poor predictor of future performance in any area of rapid change. Just because data enables an “easier” surface-justifiable decision, does not mean it’s an effective path to take. 
 

I do know more about Hull KR however. They have invested hugely in the academy in the last 2 years, including the recruitment of a world-class team most significantly John Bastian who was critical in the famous Leeds academy production line that almost defined the last 15 years of our league. The club has ‘beaten’ Hull FC to several academy prospects who have had the opportunity to assess the respective set-ups on a wider range of present-day factors than old data, and has the support of local community teams (undermining the RFL’s specious saturation or crowding-out argument). Hull also has a growing community game, so may not be “ill” and require a generalised cure - let alone a poorly designed, short-sighted one like this.

 

This is not a zero-sum game, and it’d be nice if opposition fans could look beyond the “I’m alright jack” and schadenfreude reflex responses for 5 minutes. Local kids, and our game, are going to have much reduced opportunity if this goes ahead - really depressing 

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38 minutes ago, Hull Kingston Bronco said:

I can’t speak for Cas. What I can say with absolute certainty is that backward-looking data, especially something with a large time-lag like this, is a poor predictor of future performance in any area of rapid change. Just because data enables an “easier” surface-justifiable decision, does not mean it’s an effective path to take. 
 

I do know more about Hull KR however. They have invested hugely in the academy in the last 2 years, including the recruitment of a world-class team most significantly John Bastian who was critical in the famous Leeds academy production line that almost defined the last 15 years of our league. The club has ‘beaten’ Hull FC to several academy prospects who have had the opportunity to assess the respective set-ups on a wider range of present-day factors than old data, and has the support of local community teams (undermining the RFL’s specious saturation or crowding-out argument). Hull also has a growing community game, so may not be “ill” and require a generalised cure - let alone a poorly designed, short-sighted one like this.

 

This is not a zero-sum game, and it’d be nice if opposition fans could look beyond the “I’m alright jack” and schadenfreude reflex responses for 5 minutes. Local kids, and our game, are going to have much reduced opportunity if this goes ahead - really depressing 

But you wrote "No reason to believe the Hull KR and Cas decisions were anything other than along the lines of “your academy is up to standard, but the other bid in the same area is better in our opinion”. That is not acceptable."

The scenario that you are suggesting is behind the decision is false.

Wakefield have an excellent academy set up and fully deserve their place.

It does seem odd that they have chosen not fill all the available academy slots - it makes me worry about just how bad the Cas/HKR bids were!

Don't forget though - these clubs can still run academies, they just don't meet the criteria to be a centrally funded elite academy.

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If the answer is to have fewer elite academies - what was the question?

Because if it is about fewer players in the community/grassroots game - then that's a societal issue - austerity (NHS waiting times), zero hours contracts, injuries. RL is a tough sport. There will always be injuries. A zero hours contract job and playing RL do not go together well. NHS waiting times are massive at the moment, again impacts on injuries. 

If the question was about areas/regions, then that is fundamentally unfair - someone at RFL can't decide that East Yorkshire only has capacity for one academy. 

 Being cynical, If the question is "How do we save money?" then short term , possibly, but please RFL have done some 6year projections and be confident enough to be transparent and show that the forecasts are positive, both for young players and money saved. 

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12 minutes ago, TrueBull said:

If the answer is to have fewer elite academies - what was the question?

Because if it is about fewer players in the community/grassroots game - then that's a societal issue - austerity (NHS waiting times), zero hours contracts, injuries. RL is a tough sport. There will always be injuries. A zero hours contract job and playing RL do not go together well. NHS waiting times are massive at the moment, again impacts on injuries. 

If the question was about areas/regions, then that is fundamentally unfair - someone at RFL can't decide that East Yorkshire only has capacity for one academy. 

 Being cynical, If the question is "How do we save money?" then short term , possibly, but please RFL have done some 6year projections and be confident enough to be transparent and show that the forecasts are positive, both for young players and money saved. 

Players get picked up for scholarships, then get dropped before academy and don't return to the community game. That's one reason why numbers are down, as in my experience the numbers up to u14s are very good compared to when I played. Academies do affect the community game, maybe a necessary evil as without then you cannot lush the elite, but how many are elite? 

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42 minutes ago, dboy said:

But you wrote "No reason to believe the Hull KR and Cas decisions were anything other than along the lines of “your academy is up to standard, but the other bid in the same area is better in our opinion”. That is not acceptable."

The scenario that you are suggesting is behind the decision is false.

Wakefield have an excellent academy set up and fully deserve their place.

It does seem odd that they have chosen not fill all the available academy slots - it makes me worry about just how bad the Cas/HKR bids were!

Don't forget though - these clubs can still run academies, they just don't meet the criteria to be a centrally funded elite academy.

Mate, I’m not questioning Trinity’s academy, please get a grip on your defensiveness - it’s unnecessary here. I’ve also answered the point re: prior data versus weight on current capability future plans, and the need a more balanced set of assessment methodologies. Hull KR’s elite academy isn’t centrally funded, the RFL past contribution is minor, the club would continue without it but is barred from doing so. 

 

For a process of this importance (one which prevents clubs from doing something they would choose to invest their own money in for future talent) to be a paper-based exercise, with unsubstantiated, inconsistent and previously unpublished geographic exclusion criteria isn’t reasonable. Your petty local rivalry with Cas is irrelevant to my thought process. 

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56 minutes ago, TrueBull said:

If the answer is to have fewer elite academies - what was the question?

Because if it is about fewer players in the community/grassroots game - then that's a societal issue - austerity (NHS waiting times), zero hours contracts, injuries. RL is a tough sport. There will always be injuries. A zero hours contract job and playing RL do not go together well. NHS waiting times are massive at the moment, again impacts on injuries. 

If the question was about areas/regions, then that is fundamentally unfair - someone at RFL can't decide that East Yorkshire only has capacity for one academy. 

 Being cynical, If the question is "How do we save money?" then short term , possibly, but please RFL have done some 6year projections and be confident enough to be transparent and show that the forecasts are positive, both for young players and money saved. 

Someone at the RFL can judge east hull though, thats the point, looking at size of the pyramid, registered junior players and numbers that make it to pro level.

The RFL can rightly choose how to centrally fund and no one is saying another academy cannot exsist.

What would be interesting is to ask the kids which academy if given the choice they eould pick and this would give a 360 view 

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8 minutes ago, yipyee said:

Someone at the RFL can judge east hull though, thats the point, looking at size of the pyramid, registered junior players and numbers that make it to pro level.

The RFL can rightly choose how to centrally fund and no one is saying another academy cannot exsist.

What would be interesting is to ask the kids which academy if given the choice they eould pick and this would give a 360 view 

Ah, I was under the impression that only academies with an elite license could play against each other in the season, so even if your club could find the £200k it takes to run an academy, they would never be able to play a game as they would be excluded from the comp. So it would be fairly pointless. But you're confident the opposite is true and that other elite academies can exist, just without central funding. Which isn't quite as bad as I thought

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50 minutes ago, Impartial Observer said:

Do you know what % do not return to the community game? 

Sadly I don't have the data, if someone does it would be great to see.

I can comment from my direct experience it's significant.

You also have those who don't make scholarships and decide to leave.

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21 minutes ago, TrueBull said:

Ah, I was under the impression that only academies with an elite license could play against each other in the season, so even if your club could find the £200k it takes to run an academy, they would never be able to play a game as they would be excluded from the comp. So it would be fairly pointless. But you're confident the opposite is true and that other elite academies can exist, just without central funding. Which isn't quite as bad as I thought

It is true, have you read the facts? The other academys can play in the colleges comp so do have somewhere to play. 200k is nothing if it will produce half your first team... if it wont then its hardly elite.

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16 minutes ago, TrueBull said:

Ah, I was under the impression that only academies with an elite license could play against each other in the season, so even if your club could find the £200k it takes to run an academy, they would never be able to play a game as they would be excluded from the comp. So it would be fairly pointless. But you're confident the opposite is true and that other elite academies can exist, just without central funding. Which isn't quite as bad as I thought

I don't believe they could play in the competition even if they were self funded 

They can sign players on full contracts

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7 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Sadly I don't have the data, if someone does it would be great to see.

I can comment from my direct experience it's significant.

You also have those who don't make scholarships and decide to leave.

True if over half your mates leave your team you have been in together since knee high its demoralising especially when you then dont have a team to play in. 

Now if only a couple left most would stay

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2 hours ago, yipyee said:

It is true, have you read the facts? The other academys can play in the colleges comp so do have somewhere to play. 200k is nothing if it will produce half your first team... if it wont then its hardly elite.

You’re talking about the Cat 3 academies, which are attached to a local college. They’re designed to churn out part time rugby league players with a good trade. And they play in a winter league. Any club can set them up, before last week’s decision, Bradford were planning on running both a Cat 1 & a Cat3 from next year. I can’t see an SL club being excited about having a large pool of part time players training in the evenings. 

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2 hours ago, yipyee said:

It is true, have you read the facts? The other academys can play in the colleges comp so do have somewhere to play. 200k is nothing if it will produce half your first team... if it wont then its hardly elite.

The non-elite status academies are excluded from the academy league, even if they’re prepared to forgo the RFL contribution. The best scholarship kids will choose to switch to an elite academy in order to play at the highest level, so frankly it’s close to meaningless to offer that as a viable development pathway.
 

It also removes the incentive for clubs to do all of the other “upstream”, early-years and community-club-integrated development activity at their cost. Why do that if the cream switches to Hull FC at 18 after you’ve done all the hard yards? That means less investment in the community, and less work to attract, develop and retain young people into the game 
 

Plus aside from the “whole game” downsides, at club level 25% of SL clubs will be operating at a competitive disadvantage in SuperLeague over the long term as a result. 

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4 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Players get picked up for scholarships, then get dropped before academy and don't return to the community game. That's one reason why numbers are down, as in my experience the numbers up to u14s are very good compared to when I played. Academies do affect the community game, maybe a necessary evil as without then you cannot lush the elite, but how many are elite? 

You've lost me there , as I understand it , while on scholarship , players still play for their community clubs as well , unless things have changed 

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7 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

You've lost me there , as I understand it , while on scholarship , players still play for their community clubs as well , unless things have changed 

Yeah there's only 8 scholarship games, spread out. 

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  • Glensider changed the title to RL decision on Academies
  • John Drake changed the title to Academy Licensing (2022 - 27) - (Merged threads)

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