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Rugby league-could some lessons be learned from cricket?


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2 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

The shortening isn't the only point, and if anything is the last thing I'd be looking at.

Are the games getting shorter ? 

Yes 

Why ? 

Because they've cut out the ' Geoffrey's ' 

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

They chose Cardiff over Bristol, just as they chose Leeds over Durham and Southampton over Northampton.

I couldn't care less where they chose , is there one in Liverpool ?

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Just now, GUBRATS said:

Are the games getting shorter ? 

Yes 

Why ? 

Because they've cut out the ' Geoffrey's ' 

Is the way cricket is presented changing? 

Yes

Why?

Because they have asked people who have told them its confusing, boring, for posh people who live in villages and doesn't have any connection to them. 

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2 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

I couldn't care less where they chose , is there one in Liverpool ?

I mean you chose to bring up the placement of teams but anyway there isn't one in Liverpool currently and if there were they'd have to use Southport which would be a bit silly - same as Newcastle with Durham.

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18 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

What ' new ' have they done ?

Created 8 teams that only play 8 matches, meaning the talent is more concentrated and there are less fixtures for the casual fan to get lost in. Got big name players and coaches involved. They had draft, which I found enjoyable to watch. The women are playing in the same stadiums as part of a bigger occasion. New colours and kits and merchandise. Put some matches on BBC. Etc. I'd say they've done a fair bit, and I'm really enjoying it. I like all forms of cricket, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of matches and end up not really following Hampshire's progress all that closely. I've found that not only have I focused my attention on Southern Brave (because it's high profile but smaller number of matches event), but I've also been watching games involving neutral teams. I'm watching more cricket as a result of the Hundred than I was before, so that's got to be a good thing from an organisers perspective.

Sadly, I don't think that a RL equivalent is possible, because of the geography of the sport.

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4 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I mean you chose to bring up the placement of teams but anyway there isn't one in Liverpool currently and if there were they'd have to use Southport which would be a bit silly - same as Newcastle with Durham.

Have you forgotten about Aigburth ?

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3 minutes ago, del capo said:

Have you forgotten about Aigburth ?

Oh yeah fair enough! Still think given there were only 8 spots open it was unlikely.

Also possibly worth considering that Aigburth is part of the image of cricket that the Hundred is on the opposite end of?

Edited by Tommygilf
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40 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

What ' new ' have they done ?

ALL they have done is got rid of the boring bit , where a batsman ( usually from Yorkshire ) either stops the ball or leaves it completely for 9 out of 10 deliveries , so as I put yesterday , change our rules , start each set on the half way line , you've got 6 tackles to score or the opposition get the ball again on half way and they have to score 

Rugby Basketball , you've got rid of all the boring drives up the middle , we'd see offloading galore , be great man 

On the pitch, not a great deal has changed from the existing t20 competition. In fact, it probably represents the way t20s have started to present itself recently, where commentators would talk about requiring "2 a ball" rather than "12 an over", and stating how many balls a chasing team has left, rather than overs.

The competition format is a massive change though. Less teams, meaning a stronger standard, and all games played in big stadia. Some existing cricket fans will pour scorn, but they aren't the target demographic for this tournament. It's new fans that are wanted, and initial attendances and TV figures are very encouraging.

I don't know what options Rugby League would have open to it, given the resources available, but the sport can't keep on going feeling everything is ok as it is. 

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2 minutes ago, phiggins said:

On the pitch, not a great deal has changed from the existing t20 competition. In fact, it probably represents the way t20s have started to present itself recently, where commentators would talk about requiring "2 a ball" rather than "12 an over", and stating how many balls a chasing team has left, rather than overs.

The competition format is a massive change though. Less teams, meaning a stronger standard, and all games played in big stadia. Some existing cricket fans will pour scorn, but they aren't the target demographic for this tournament. It's new fans that are wanted, and initial attendances and TV figures are very encouraging.

I don't know what options Rugby League would have open to it, given the resources available, but the sport can't keep on going feeling everything is ok as it is. 

Internationals would be a start, though not the whole solution.

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1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

We haven't learned anything yet , because it hasn't succeeded yet , and it might not do , and in 2 years time it'll be a 60 ball game 

You're right that we can't draw conclusions from a concept that is less than a week old, but already there are positive signs that The Hundred can draw new, bigger, younger and more diverse crowds across various different mediums. I suspect that when the competition ends, the ECB will have a lot to work with. 

But this stuff about "we'll end up with 60 ball cricket" is just reductive, slippery slope nonsense. You're better than that. 

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53 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

Created 8 teams that only play 8 matches, meaning the talent is more concentrated and there are less fixtures for the casual fan to get lost in. Got big name players and coaches involved. They had draft, which I found enjoyable to watch. The women are playing in the same stadiums as part of a bigger occasion. New colours and kits and merchandise. Put some matches on BBC. Etc. I'd say they've done a fair bit, and I'm really enjoying it. I like all forms of cricket, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of matches and end up not really following Hampshire's progress all that closely. I've found that not only have I focused my attention on Southern Brave (because it's high profile but smaller number of matches event), but I've also been watching games involving neutral teams. I'm watching more cricket as a result of the Hundred than I was before, so that's got to be a good thing from an organisers perspective.

Sadly, I don't think that a RL equivalent is possible, because of the geography of the sport.

Well the last bit was right , so you've answered the OP 

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The debacle with the World Cup shows me the RFL needs to try and engage with supporters and come up with something new and exiting:

the Tri-Nations was a huge money earner for the RFL and done properly could be the RFL equivalent to the Six Nations

The Aussies have made it clear they see no value in international rugby, but they are precious about the State of Origin, so why not come up with a new tournament to try and invigorate the game and raise much needed TV revenue and the fact the Aussies and New Zealander’s are only traveling every couple of years might make them buy into the new format.

for Example:

year 1:

Great Britain
New South Wales
Tonga
France

year 2:
Great Britain
France
New Zealand
Queensland

….and so on, let France play their home games in France to raise the profile of the game and bring them revenue:

for year 3 if it goes well, expand the tournament and extend the invite to emerging nations and play their games midweek between the main tournament.

We could have another touring side (Fiji, Aberigines, Cook islands, even the USA Or Lebanon and they could play against the top 2 European sides plus a BARLA or Great Britain amateur side 

Maybe the RL World Cup should be played every 5 or 6 years rather than every 4

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, phiggins said:

On the pitch, not a great deal has changed from the existing t20 competition. In fact, it probably represents the way t20s have started to present itself recently, where commentators would talk about requiring "2 a ball" rather than "12 an over", and stating how many balls a chasing team has left, rather than overs.

The competition format is a massive change though. Less teams, meaning a stronger standard, and all games played in big stadia. Some existing cricket fans will pour scorn, but they aren't the target demographic for this tournament. It's new fans that are wanted, and initial attendances and TV figures are very encouraging.

I don't know what options Rugby League would have open to it, given the resources available, but the sport can't keep on going feeling everything is ok as it is. 

There are virtually no new fans attending and crowds are well under projections.

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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23 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

There are virtually no new fans attending and crowds are well under projections.

I wouldn't expect new fans at the ground from day one, but they'll be watching on TV. And there are plenty of young people in the crowds as well.

I don't know what the projections were for attendances, but the actual attendances have been decent from what I've seen.

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Just now, phiggins said:

I wouldn't expect new fans at the ground from day one, but they'll be watching on TV. And there are plenty of young people in the crowds as well.

I don't know what the projections were for attendances, but the actual attendances have been decent from what I've seen.

The projections are that this tournament will, from its first season, outperform all other domestic cricket and generate back to the ECB a profit large enough to support all of its development activities.

The crowds, right now, are down on regular T20 Blast matches despite ticket prices being very low and a significant number of tickets given away for free.

There was no loss leading period built into this.

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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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11 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

So all the diehards who thought it would be rubbish are turning up?

As an example, when Oval and then Birmingham played home matches there was absolutely no difference - aside from the fact the crowd was smaller - in songs, behaviour and look to a regular post-work Blast fixture played at those grounds.

The standalone women's game looked to have a different to Blast audience - but, again, from the fact that large numbers were in county shirts, England tops or All Stars clobber, they weren't people new to cricket.

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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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I do actually have The Hundred on in the background whilst I'm typing this.

Because it's cricket and I like cricket.

It's a joke of a tournament though.

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20 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

As an example, when Oval and then Birmingham played home matches there was absolutely no difference - aside from the fact the crowd was smaller - in songs, behaviour and look to a regular post-work Blast fixture played at those grounds.

The standalone women's game looked to have a different to Blast audience - but, again, from the fact that large numbers were in county shirts, England tops or All Stars clobber, they weren't people new to cricket.

So its not universally hated by Cricket fans then?

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I’ve seen £40m and £50m quoted for The Hundred. I’m not sure how true those figures are and I suspect we’ll see in due course a truer figure. 

As for the concept behind it, I’m not sure on it. Domestic Cricket has the same problem Rugby League has; not enough people watching too many average events. I saw a few years ago that there was talk of going from eighteen counties down to a smaller amount but similarly to Rugby League, the ECB is a members organisation and the turkeys aren’t going to vote for Christmas. 

T20 was the golden goose nearly twenty years ago but the clubs demanded more of it due to its success and T20 become a far longer competition than previous years and longer than it’s direct competitors in India and Australia and players couldn’t commit to such a schedule so T20 took a knock, though was rejuvenated somewhat prior to Covid.

Rather than solve the issues with T20 or the issues with domestic cricket, they’ve doubled down, creating more cricket as the apparent “answer”. They’ve left all eighteen counties playing other forms of cricket (playing alongside The Hundred - what’s the point in that and who is going to pay to watch second rate/inexperienced players while The Hundred is on?) but created eight more teams who’ll play out of existing counties grounds. I’m not really sure that’s the way forwards. If all eighteen existing counties were important, why not invest into that? If that was too many and harmed the future of the sport, why not pump your money into that?

As for Rugby League, how does it compare? I think we have similar issues as Cricket. We’re putting our money behind double the amount of clubs as cricket and like cricket, the turkeys aren’t going to vote for Christmas because it’s a similar set up to Cricket. 

Like Cricket, we have not enough people watching too many average events both at stadiums and via other mediums of consuming sport. We have somewhere between twenty-seven to thirty weekly rounds of Super League and people think the quality is pretty poor. I don’t think that’s a surprise at all. There’s little value in so many games and for large parts of the year, games are utterly pointless and it’s little surprise apathy and disillusionment are so rife amongst the sports core support and attendances (or really, the lack of) are a big talking point in our circle. 

Rugby League needs innovation but I’m not sure a shorter form of the game is the way to do it, either. I don’t think we need to “dumb down” the sport too much or dumb it down enough in a different format. In principle, Rugby League isn’t a difficult sport to understand. You have five attempts (tackles, to you and I) to score and then on the sixth you either have to score or make an attacking kick or you give the ball to your opponents. It’s not that difficult to grasp. I think we’ve not helped ourselves by bringing in some of the rules we have at the minute and aesthetically, the game looks messy and can be confusing to the untrained eye. I think small cosmetic changes there would present quantifiable change. I don’t believe dumbing it down would actually help/work for a younger audience. Take console games like a Call of Duty, for example. These types of games aren’t easy to understand and you can’t really just pick a handset up and get it straight away but kids are interested and find the way to understand the game. It’s not presented to them in a basic package. 

Edited by Hela Wigmen
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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

So its not universally hated by Cricket fans then?

Are you moving towards saying that the lesson that rugby league should learn is to create a franchise league, completely removed from all existing clubs, that is "not universally hated"?

Because I think that's both a low bar for The Hundred and not a great example to follow.

It also doesn't really matter if it's universally hated or not. The only thing that matters is the bottom line. And the ECB, now laying off staff, have spent all their reserves putting it in place. The new audience has not, as yet, materialised and the numbers from the existing audience are down on comparable existing games.

As a related aside, even though it's now essentially a development competition with no media coverage, the One Day Cup is reporting higher crowds (and online streaming) than in previous years.

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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 minute ago, Hela Wigmen said:

I’ve seen £40m and £50m quoted for The Hundred. I’m not sure how true those figures are and I suspect we’ll see in due course a truer figure. 

The ECB had spent around £40m - this was publicly stated - on The Hundred by this time last year.

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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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7 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

I’ve seen £40m and £50m quoted for The Hundred. I’m not sure how true those figures are and I suspect we’ll see in due course a truer figure. 

As for the concept behind it, I’m not sure on it. Domestic Cricket has the same problem Rugby League has; not enough people watching too many average events. I saw a few years ago that there was talk of going from eighteen counties down to a smaller amount but similarly to Rugby League, the ECB is a members organisation and the turkeys aren’t going to vote for Christmas. 

T20 was the golden goose nearly twenty years ago but the clubs demanded more of it due to its success and T20 become a far longer competition than previous years and longer than it’s direct competitors in India and Australia and players couldn’t commit to such a schedule so T20 took a knock, though was rejuvenated somewhat prior to Covid.

Rather than solve the issues with T20 or the issues with domestic cricket, they’ve doubled down, creating more cricket as the apparent “answer”. They’ve left all eighteen counties playing other forms of cricket (playing alongside The Hundred - what’s the point in that and who is going to pay to watch second rate/inexperienced players while The Hundred is on?) but created eight more teams who’ll play out of existing counties grounds. I’m not really sure that’s the way forwards. If all eighteen existing counties were important, why not invest into that? If that was too many and harmed the future of the sport, why not pump your money into that?

As for Rugby League, how does it compare? I think we have similar issues as Cricket. We’re putting our money behind double the amount of clubs as cricket and like cricket, the turkeys aren’t going to vote for Christmas because it’s a similar set up to Cricket. 

Like Cricket, we have not enough people watching too many average events both at stadiums and via other mediums of consuming sport. We have somewhere between twenty-seven to thirty weekly rounds of Super League and people think the quality is pretty poor. I don’t think that’s a surprise at all. There’s little value in so many games and for large parts of the year, games are utterly pointless and it’s little surprise apathy and disillusionment are so rife amongst the sports core support and attendances (or really, the lack of) are a big talking point in our circle. 

Rugby League needs innovation but I’m not sure a shorter form of the game is the way to do it, either. I don’t think we need to “dumb down” the sport too much or dumb it down enough in a different format. In principle, Rugby League isn’t a difficult sport to understand. You have five attempts (tackles, to you and I) to score and then on the sixth you either have to score or make an attacking kick or you give the ball to your opponents. It’s not that difficult to grasp. I think we’ve not helped ourselves by bringing in some of the rules we have at the minute and aesthetically, the game looks messy and can be confusing to the untrained eye. I think small cosmetic changes there would present quantifiable change. I don’t believe dumbing it down would actually help/work for a younger audience. Take console games like a Call of Duty, for example. These types of games aren’t easy to understand and you can’t really just pick a handset up and get it straight away but kids are interested and find the way to understand the game. It’s not presented to them in a basic package. 

I understand why they created the Hundred. The county system itself is aging a bit and doesn't reflect modern identity. Splitting London between 4 counties makes no sense.

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