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Rugby league-could some lessons be learned from cricket?


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I have watched some of the new 100 ball format of cricket which I have to say was entertaining and it seems to get(as far as is allowed at present)decent crowds as at Headingley for the Northern Super Chargers v Welsh Fire.Of course this format is less balls than 20/20 cricket...and funny enough 20 balls less.

Now upon looking at this a bit deeper it seems that there are 8 100 ball clubs(franchises)which are centred around the major cities ie Leeds,Manchester,Birmingham and others.

Now of course I accept rugby league and cricket are very different sports,I am not that stupid.

But I wonder if a shorter rugby league format ie say a 7 or 9 player  format which I think might see the ball thrown around more seeing more tries and played faster would attract more fans and put more ***** on seats with say instead of 80 minutes it is 60 minutes. And yes like with the 100 ball format of cricket it is a double header where the ladies team plays first and the men second no doubt of course included in the same matchday ticket.

And yes have say a 8 or 10 team competition where it is a franchise and like with the 100 ball format cricket,based in the big cities.

Now of course I realise that many will not agree but thinking out aloud because as it is right now,the game we love is frankly on it’s ######,it is not attracting new fans to my knowledge and from my observations.And from reading other posts it seems that some clubs are seeing lower gates though it could be said that Covid restrictions are a big part of that.

Now in cricket there is no doubt in my mind that the shorter format is very popular and it gets ***** on seats.

Could something similar I wonder be what could see rugby league get out of the doldrums and see a renaissance like has happened with cricket at club level?

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22 minutes ago, Robthegasman said:

I have watched some of the new 100 ball format of cricket which I have to say was entertaining and it seems to get(as far as is allowed at present)decent crowds as at Headingley for the Northern Super Chargers v Welsh Fire.Of course this format is less balls than 20/20 cricket...and funny enough 20 balls less.

Now upon looking at this a bit deeper it seems that there are 8 100 ball clubs(franchises)which are centred around the major cities ie Leeds,Manchester,Birmingham and others.

Now 

Could something similar I wonder be what could see rugby league get out of the doldrums and see a renaissance like has happened with cricket at club level?

I like your enthusiasm,  but no. 7s and 9s rugby is just a circus act. 

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57 minutes ago, Robthegasman said:

I have watched some of the new 100 ball format of cricket which I have to say was entertaining and it seems to get(as far as is allowed at present)decent crowds as at Headingley for the Northern Super Chargers v Welsh Fire.Of course this format is less balls than 20/20 cricket...and funny enough 20 balls less.

Now upon looking at this a bit deeper it seems that there are 8 100 ball clubs(franchises)which are centred around the major cities ie Leeds,Manchester,Birmingham and others.

Now of course I accept rugby league and cricket are very different sports,I am not that stupid.

But I wonder if a shorter rugby league format ie say a 7 or 9 player  format which I think might see the ball thrown around more seeing more tries and played faster would attract more fans and put more ***** on seats with say instead of 80 minutes it is 60 minutes. And yes like with the 100 ball format of cricket it is a double header where the ladies team plays first and the men second no doubt of course included in the same matchday ticket.

And yes have say a 8 or 10 team competition where it is a franchise and like with the 100 ball format cricket,based in the big cities.

Now of course I realise that many will not agree but thinking out aloud because as it is right now,the game we love is frankly on it’s ######,it is not attracting new fans to my knowledge and from my observations.And from reading other posts it seems that some clubs are seeing lower gates though it could be said that Covid restrictions are a big part of that.

Now in cricket there is no doubt in my mind that the shorter format is very popular and it gets ***** on seats.

Could something similar I wonder be what could see rugby league get out of the doldrums and see a renaissance like has happened with cricket at club level?

They are allowed anything up to capacity for these 100 matches.
 

The attendance at Headingley this evening did not look that spectacular compared to T20 matches held in previous more normal seasons and that is despite the very heavy marketing and the availability of very cheap tickets  

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The Hundred may be based around major cities but those cities and grounds such as The Oval and Lords in London, Headingley in Leeds, Manchester (who will presumably play at Old Trafford), Birmingham (Edgbaston) etc benefit from the fact that the major counties play the majority of their games in those cities and grounds. They therefore have an established audience which the novelty of the relatively much shorter format can supplement by attracting a few more. We also have the unique situation of people suddenly being able to attend sports fixtures having not been able to do so for over a year to boost willingness to attend further.

We as a sport on the other hand when it comes to clubs in cities have Leeds, Hull, York, London, Salford, Wakefield, Bradford, Coventry, Newcastle and Sheffield (plus Toulouse if we want to include them but as they decline entering cups I doubt they would go for this either). So those are the only cities where we would have an existing audience to give a starting base of attendees. Putting clubs in such a competition in other cities is back to pins in maps which as we all know has failed many times before.

Looking at our realistic city options 6 of the 10 are in Yorkshire with 3 of them in close proximity in West Yorkshire so we wouldn't be getting a big geographic footprint for the tournament (it would be worse than the one SL has). Only Leeds, Hull and Bradford would stand a chance of getting crowds of 10k+ and the Hull and Bradford ones would be affected by the willingness to support a joint City of Hull club in Hull (likely would go down like a lead balloon as it would be perceived as an attempt to move towards the dreaded M word) and the recent fall in the fortunes of Bradford affecting their chances of garnering such large crowds. In all likelihood only Leeds would pull big crowds but that too depends on their willingness to support 9s, which recent history shows is not anywhere near as big a draw as games of 13 a side. Also of that potential 10 city group only four have SL clubs and the others would need to recruit players for this tournament to have any hope of competing. The likelihood of the SL clubs not taking part allowing their players to take part for other clubs and risk injury in this would be zero, whilst the ability (or not) of the non SL city clubs to pay those guest players would also hit their ability to assemble competitive squads anyway.

If the will was there then RL could hold a 9s tournament but it would have to involve teams in towns, not just cities (as that is where the supporter base exists - we simply don't have the mass appeal to stick pins in maps and relocate teams and expect success) and it would not be the saviour of the sport many think it would IMHO. It would likely attract smaller crowds than regular SL fixtures do as that is what history tells us.

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If you ignore the 100 and take the success of T20 over the last decade or so, then yes, parallels can be drawn with Nines. The 100 is less than a week old and nobody, especially those who say they know, can say how successful it will be. However, T20 has been a proven success for long enough.

Given the skill and athleticism of Rugby League players, Sevens is a relic of the past*. Too open, easy and end-to-end, compared to the semi-pro days. Nines is a much better combination of speed, skill and physicality for an Olympic-style tournament, but needs the major clubs/nations to commit to it.

And, as we know all too well, club chairmen will chuck anything and everything, including their own long-term existence, under the bus if there's an immediate quid or two to be made.

*to be honest, Sevens are even getting a bit past it for Rugby Union, at their current level of ability.

Edited by Futtocks
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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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They’re giving tickets away for the hundred. I’ve got 6 free tickets for Manchester Originals vs Southern Brave on the 5th August. I don’t think the sales have been anything like they hoped and it will probably be running at a loss this year. It’s giving off a hugely positive vibe though and I think they’re speculating to accumulate in the years to come. Another freebie in our local area was to get a free hundred branded cricket bat and ball for the kids. It must be costing a fortune but they’re pushing the marketing hard. 

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100 might work, it might fail, but point is that pro cricket have learnt to work on and test formats which might appeal to new fans. We don't do that at all, it's still 13 or nothing.

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It is FTA and free tickets will be a loss leader. Streaming means inevitably that the need for filler sports like ours on pay tv is coming to an end. Hell it is likely even clubs below Prem in association football will be cut off when Prem eventually sets up own streaming provider.  

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8 hours ago, LeeF said:

They are allowed anything up to capacity for these 100 matches.
 

The attendance at Headingley this evening did not look that spectacular compared to T20 matches held in previous more normal seasons and that is despite the very heavy marketing and the availability of very cheap tickets  

Just to make this point: the crowds so far, which feature up to 75% given away tickets, are *at best* equal to what a T20 match whose tickets start at three times the most expensive price for The Hundred.

We also already have two decent vehicles for FTA coverage that get not too dissimilar viewing figures to The Hundred's BBC appearances. They are the Challenge Cup and internationals.

Cricket in England has spent around £40m and entirely divided the sport to create The Hundred. Let's not copy their mistakes.

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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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8 hours ago, Futtocks said:

*to be honest, Sevens are even getting a bit past it for Rugby Union, at their current level of ability.

There has been and are some fantastic 7s players that are exceptionally quick and talented.  You only need to watch the world 7s circuit with venues like Dubai and Singapore plus alot of others with talent like Perry Baker from the USA play and Pedro Leal from Portugal of all places paid over $100,000 a year. Unfortunately they haven't had a shot at a more full sided game so you wouldn't really see if the were capable in league but Perry Baker reportly on over $70,000 (more than likely more) for touring the world playing 7s why would you want to risk a swap to league, where you might get a chance if you are lucky in Super league on no where near the salary or glamour. 

The Canadians push out top rate talent that make their first team and thats before you add the usual Rugby nations into that list. 

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Cricket is addressing once more the fundamental difficulties of what was its core product - that it takes too long. 

Trying to adopt another sport's solution to its own problems makes little sense.

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For me, the biggest pluses of the Hundred (or indeed any cricket franchise league) is that it takes the best players and condenses them into a smaller number of teams, and then plays an intense schedule over a short period, with unified branding. 

High quality, high impact, high stakes, high interest - but only over about a month. 

Could we/should we try and emulate? Well, as others have said, we sort of already do, with the Challenge Cup and internationals, so I'd argue that we just need to do all the above better than we do now, rather than reinvent the wheel. 

The Challenge Cup looks like it's going to become a spring tournament with rounds weekly/fortnightly on FTA, and of course the World Cup would have ticked all the those boxes above in the autumn. 

Our quality levels are still too variable, but English RL is far too tribal to mix up players, and of course we can't draft in top players for a month from elsewhere like the cricket leagues do. So there are limits to the comparison, but there's definitely stuff we can learn from and improve on (albeit none of it should come as a surprise) 

Edited by Toby Chopra
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11 hours ago, Robthegasman said:

I have watched some of the new 100 ball format of cricket which I have to say was entertaining and it seems to get(as far as is allowed at present)decent crowds as at Headingley for the Northern Super Chargers v Welsh Fire.Of course this format is less balls than 20/20 cricket...and funny enough 20 balls less.

Now upon looking at this a bit deeper it seems that there are 8 100 ball clubs(franchises)which are centred around the major cities ie Leeds,Manchester,Birmingham and others.

Now of course I accept rugby league and cricket are very different sports,I am not that stupid.

But I wonder if a shorter rugby league format ie say a 7 or 9 player  format which I think might see the ball thrown around more seeing more tries and played faster would attract more fans and put more ***** on seats with say instead of 80 minutes it is 60 minutes. And yes like with the 100 ball format of cricket it is a double header where the ladies team plays first and the men second no doubt of course included in the same matchday ticket.

And yes have say a 8 or 10 team competition where it is a franchise and like with the 100 ball format cricket,based in the big cities.

Now of course I realise that many will not agree but thinking out aloud because as it is right now,the game we love is frankly on it’s ######,it is not attracting new fans to my knowledge and from my observations.And from reading other posts it seems that some clubs are seeing lower gates though it could be said that Covid restrictions are a big part of that.

Now in cricket there is no doubt in my mind that the shorter format is very popular and it gets ***** on seats.

Could something similar I wonder be what could see rugby league get out of the doldrums and see a renaissance like has happened with cricket at club level?

Once again ( as this question has been asked several times already ever since twenty/20 started ) no 

Even the ' hundred ' is longer than a game of RL , so why do we need to shorten it ?

We just need to see coaches adopting a more open game and inovating more tactics , rather than 5 drives and a kick 

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I know nothing about this (apart from its 100 balls or something) but I've seen absolutely shed loads of advertising for this, which means I am aware of it even if I aren't going to go. It helps having broadcasting partners on board and actively trying to push it.

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All cricket have done is chop out the boring bits , of which there were loads of in cricket , even one day matches , so the only way to do the same in RL would be to reformatt the rules 

So start every set with a drop out from your sticks , meaning every set becomes an attacking one , you receive the ball on half way , if you don't score with a set of six , you then go back to your line and drop out the ball giving the opposition a set in your half 

Sorted 

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The 100 is a red herring. The reality is regardless of the format if the cricket is good, it entertains. The same should apply to RL.
 

Theres a similarity into the 100 and the early days of Super League. The ECB have made a huge gamble to throw their cash reserves at it partly funded by the broadcasting partners (who continually say everything is exciting / brilliant) and have created franchises which don’t respect local tribalism as one of the sports positives rather than negatives (sound familiar?). Suspect things will go the same way 

 

The only thing RL should be learning from Cricket is that despite all the domestic competition including a ‘jewel in the crown’ of IPL, they respect the international game and the development of the sport. Cricket Australia have just put their necks on the line arranging a tour of Bangladesh. The sport needs its T20 WC to happen as that’s the feed to get nations into the sport. 

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1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

Once again ( as this question has been asked several times already ever since twenty/20 started ) no 

Even the ' hundred ' is longer than a game of RL , so why do we need to shorten it ?

We just need to see coaches adopting a more open game and inovating more tactics , rather than 5 drives and a kick 

  Bring back some kind of competition in the scrums giving the backs more space.At present we get so called props defending in the centre positions how can the backs play more open Rugby with no or very little room.Cut down interchanges so some cream crackered players remain on the field and you will see the game open up more.

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1 hour ago, Toby Chopra said:

For me, the biggest pluses of the Hundred (or indeed any cricket franchise league) is that it takes the best players and condenses them into a smaller number of teams, and then plays an intense schedule over a short period, with unified branding. 

High quality, high impact, high stakes, high interest - but only over about a month. 

 

Is this a bring back Calder suggestion

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15 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

  Bring back some kind of competition in the scrums giving the backs more space.At present we get so called props defending in the centre positions how can the backs play more open Rugby with no or very little room.Cut down interchanges so some cream crackered players remain on the field and you will see the game open up more.

Difficult with the scrums given the situation with head injuries and indeed potential back injuries 

Easy solution is to drop to 11 players , ultimately most team sports weren't designed for full time professional athletes , so the pitches are essentially too small now 

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46 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

All cricket have done is chop out the boring bits , of which there were loads of in cricket , even one day matches , so the only way to do the same in RL would be to reformatt the rules 

So start every set with a drop out from your sticks , meaning every set becomes an attacking one , you receive the ball on half way , if you don't score with a set of six , you then go back to your line and drop out the ball giving the opposition a set in your half 

Sorted 

One criticism of RL is that trys are too common and many of them are not hard earned. (Not saying it's true btw) Not sure how the possibility of scoring every 2 minutes changes that aspect. 'You score we score' is of limited appeal I suspect.

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4 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

One criticism of RL is that trys are too common and many of them are not hard earned. (Not saying it's true btw) Not sure how the possibility of scoring every 2 minutes changes that aspect. 'You score we score' is of limited appeal I suspect.

You mean like scoring off every ball in the 100 ?

Edited by GUBRATS
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12 hours ago, LeeF said:

They are allowed anything up to capacity for these 100 matches.
 

The attendance at Headingley this evening did not look that spectacular compared to T20 matches held in previous more normal seasons and that is despite the very heavy marketing and the availability of very cheap tickets  

Total pile of rubbish I will stick to watching Kent in ALL 3 formats its a disgrace what the ECB have done to the county clubs.

Just devaluing the Vitality Blast T/Twenty which was attracting some great crowds Middlesex v Surrey Lancashire v Yorkshire etc 150 years + of heritage.

 

Paul

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2 minutes ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

Total pile of rubbish I will stick to watching Kent in ALL 3 formats its a disgrace what the ECB have done to the county clubs.

Just devaluing the Vitality Blast T/Twenty which was attracting some great crowds Middlesex v Surrey Lancashire v Yorkshire etc 150 years + of heritage.

 

Paul

Exactly , what will we see next , rules like we used to play indoor cricket wicket ? , where everybody had to bowl as well as bat ?

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