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Rugby league-could some lessons be learned from cricket?


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3 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

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.

Not at all, indeed it might not be the answer for Cricket.

But at least they are asking the questions and trying to address them - F1 is doing/has done similar in recent times, even the mighty football has done too. If there is one thing we could learn, in addition to the points on Women's sport and FTA coverage I put in my initial post on this thread, is that being brave enough to ask these searching questions of ourselves is a key aspect of being a modern sport. Elstone tried to do this, with mixed results and having ultimately been kicked out before its impact was felt. 

My concern, given the Elstone era, is that RL doesn't want to ask any questions, wouldn't like any of the answers, and wouldn't even know what to ask in the first place. Without that, a strategy for dealing with problems is impossible.

So you or I can disagree with the WWE Cricket strategy the ECB have come up with, but I am willing to accept at least that they are doing so because they want to address problems within the sport.

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10 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

I thought it was for ' new ' fans ? 

See what was being replied to. It can't be both rubbish for old fans and have no new fans. 

The reality is it is not going to be exclusively either - and for any new idea, they need to bring along a critical mass of existing fans to make it viable for newbies.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

See what was being replied to. It can't be both rubbish for old fans and have no new fans. 

The reality is it is not going to be exclusively either - and for any new idea, they need to bring along a critical mass of existing fans to make it viable for newbies.

Which is why it wouldn't work in RL 

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9 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Not at all, indeed it might not be the answer for Cricket.

But at least they are asking the questions and trying to address them - F1 is doing/has done similar in recent times, even the mighty football has done too. If there is one thing we could learn, in addition to the points on Women's sport and FTA coverage I put in my initial post on this thread, is that being brave enough to ask these searching questions of ourselves is a key aspect of being a modern sport. Elstone tried to do this, with mixed results and having ultimately been kicked out before its impact was felt. 

My concern, given the Elstone era, is that RL doesn't want to ask any questions, wouldn't like any of the answers, and wouldn't even know what to ask in the first place. Without that, a strategy for dealing with problems is impossible.

So you or I can disagree with the WWE Cricket strategy the ECB have come up with, but I am willing to accept at least that they are doing so because they want to address problems within the sport.

Except that, and apologies if I've missed this, but you don't seem to understand that the problem that The Hundred is addressing is nothing to do with the on-field offer, or indeed FTA (the BBC bought a T20 league and now show some internationals) and everything to do with who has ultimate control and takes the profits.

Its nearest comparison in rugby league right now would be the NRL's grab for internationals.

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2 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

Which is why it wouldn't work in RL 

Of course it wouldn't. 

From my understanding this thread isn't "lets take exactly what Cricket has done and do exactly the same". That would make little sense. Rather, its "what have cricket done? Why? And what can we (RL) learn?"

There are certainly aspects of this that RL should bear in mind, look into and take on. Its not surprising that the Hundred and the RLWC have similarities regarding presentation and aspirations - FTA, promotion/parity of Women's sport, a desire to have a presence in Urban Areas/a certain distancing from traditional stereotypes of the sport.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

Of course it wouldn't. 

From my understanding this thread isn't "lets take exactly what Cricket has done and do exactly the same". That would make little sense. Rather, its "what have cricket done? Why? And what can we (RL) learn?"

There are certainly aspects of this that RL should bear in mind, look into and take on. Its not surprising that the Hundred and the RLWC have similarities regarding presentation and aspirations - FTA, promotion/parity of Women's sport, a desire to have a presence in Urban Areas/a certain distancing from traditional stereotypes of the sport.

All well and good 

So how exactly ?

Oh , and I've just watched the highlights of today's women's ' 100 ' , very enjoyable , very close to the men's game in truth , but women's RL is light years from men's RL 

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25 minutes ago, NW10LDN said:

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.

I get why they’ve done something, I just don’t know if this is the right approach to resolving their issue(s). 

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7 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Of course it wouldn't. 

From my understanding this thread isn't "lets take exactly what Cricket has done and do exactly the same". That would make little sense. Rather, its "what have cricket done? Why? And what can we (RL) learn?"

There are certainly aspects of this that RL should bear in mind, look into and take on. Its not surprising that the Hundred and the RLWC have similarities regarding presentation and aspirations - FTA, promotion/parity of Women's sport, a desire to have a presence in Urban Areas/a certain distancing from traditional stereotypes of the sport.

Leaving aside my thoughts on The Hundred and taking the point about what RL could take, here are some thoughts:

- Pricing and ground set-up. The Hundred has consistent pricing across all matches and its encourages family attendance *except for* areas that are there for the after-work crowd looking for a fun night out. I like this approach. There's also a family 'no booze' section that as well as non-drinking dads is a discreet way for people whose faith doesn't allow them to like booze to come along too.

- FTA. I think RL is fine here TBH but we could work harder on the assets we have. This would involve more aggressive promotion of the Challenge Cup and, possibly, RFL subsidy of tickets in the earlier rounds.

- Women's. Without investment I don't see how we can do much more than we are doing *but* the Women's Super League seems to be suffering from a lack of attention from the centre. Matches being postponed because there aren't enough qualified medics able to give up more time to do it.

- Coordinated sponsorship. The ECB owning all the franchises means they were able to go to a single snack company and then coordinate sponsorship across all the teams. It looks a bit iffy but it's obviously a smart approach.

- Lastly ... EVERY MATCH HAS STARTED ON TIME. And they give the media full access all the time.

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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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5 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Except that, and apologies if I've missed this, but you don't seem to understand that the problem that The Hundred is addressing is nothing to do with the on-field offer, or indeed FTA (the BBC bought a T20 league and now show some internationals) and everything to do with who has ultimate control and takes the profits.

Its nearest comparison in rugby league right now would be the NRL's grab for internationals.

You're focusing far too much on it being 100 balls rather than 120 as if the Beeb etc care. Its honestly not that important other than being obviously and objectively "new", indeed, not the cricket you may have heard of.

Its fundamentally difficult to address the problems cricket has, particularly from an image POV, within the existing county structure. Indeed, even counties themselves sound a bit old hat, especially in places where they hold a declining relevance. Moreover, the turkeys of Northants, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire etc aren't going to "vote for xmas" as Hela put it and go for a less lucrative FTA incorporating TV deal that they probably won't even play in. First class Cricket has always been a private members club, they may as well use that principle to get some things done every once in a while.

More than anything, I think the Hundred is about image and addressing the more negative perceptions of cricket in this country.

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4 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Moreover, the turkeys of Northants, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire etc aren't going to "vote for xmas"

Except they did

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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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Leaving aside my thoughts on The Hundred and taking the point about what RL could take, here are some thoughts:

- Pricing and ground set-up. The Hundred has consistent pricing across all matches and its encourages family attendance *except for* areas that are there for the after-work crowd looking for a fun night out. I like this approach. There's also a family 'no booze' section that as well as non-drinking dads is a discreet way for people whose faith doesn't allow them to like booze to come along too.

- FTA. I think RL is fine here TBH but we could work harder on the assets we have. This would involve more aggressive promotion of the Challenge Cup and, possibly, RFL subsidy of tickets in the earlier rounds.

- Women's. Without investment I don't see how we can do much more than we are doing *but* the Women's Super League seems to be suffering from a lack of attention from the centre. Matches being postponed because there aren't enough qualified medics able to give up more time to do it.

- Coordinated sponsorship. The ECB owning all the franchises means they were able to go to a single snack company and then coordinate sponsorship across all the teams. It looks a bit iffy but it's obviously a smart approach.

- Lastly ... EVERY MATCH HAS STARTED ON TIME. And they give the media full access all the time.

I totally agree with those points.

I think the reshaping/cutting down of numbers is unlikely and unnecessary in RL unless there is a huge cash injection. In that case, I think international games should be the primary focus for casual interest. England should play a lot of games and play them regularly - as should the other home nations and France.

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2 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

So virtually all the best known players ( English ) won't be playing in the 100 after this round as they are on England duty ? 

Confusing 

Perfect preparation for playing India in a test series . 

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23 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

All well and good 

So how exactly ?

Oh , and I've just watched the highlights of today's women's ' 100 ' , very enjoyable , very close to the men's game in truth , but women's RL is light years from men's RL 

Look at what RLWC is doing.

Don't assume anyone knows anything about RL either. 

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3 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

So virtually all the best known players ( English ) won't be playing in the 100 after this round as they are on England duty ? 

Confusing 

Agreed that is daft. As are the shiny helmets.

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I totally agree with those points.

I think the reshaping/cutting down of numbers is unlikely and unnecessary in RL unless there is a huge cash injection. In that case, I think international games should be the primary focus for casual interest. England should play a lot of games and play them regularly - as should the other home nations and France.

England can’t play so many games without a reduction in clubs and subsequently meaningless fixtures at domestic level. It would have a massive knock-on effect to the domestic game and harm the sport far more. 

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

 

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.

I'm sure I'm not alone in a spot of 'spite buying' of tickets for the One Day Cup. Haven't actually been to a game in that comp for years, but The Hundred has done a good job of getting me along to The County Ground in Chelsmford.

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1 minute ago, Hela Wigmen said:

England can’t play so many games without a reduction in clubs and subsequently meaningless fixtures at domestic level. It would have a massive knock-on effect to the domestic game and harm the sport far more. 

England currently, at best, play 4 games a year outside of world cups. That is pitifully low.

Other sports manage it, we can too.

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

England currently, at best, play 4 games a year outside of world cups. That is pitifully low.

Other sports manage it, we can too.

They have other countries who want to play them , we don't , well none that are any good 

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

England currently, at best, play 4 games a year outside of world cups. That is pitifully low.

Other sports manage it, we can too.

Apples and oranges stuff, that, about other sports. 

Unequivocally, I agree but you need to get turkeys like Carter to vote for Christmas or have some leadership to reduce the amount of domestic games to allow England to play and to not have a knock on effect on the domestic competition. 

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27 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

They have other countries who want to play them , we don't , well none that are any good 

Paying the price for not doing much for 125 years really aren't we. Poor excuse to do nothing more for another 125.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

Paying the price for not doing much for 125 years really aren't we. Poor excuse to do nothing more for another 125.

Absolutely , between a rock and a hard place , we need international ' competition ' to make money , creating International ' competition ' costs money 

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On the topic of reducing fixtures. Start with just having home and away fixtures in SL. That's 22 weeks. I know the clubs will complain about less money but it doesn't require a reduction in clubs. Although, West Wales Raiders don't seem to add anything to League 1.

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