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There's a 5-aside beach rugby league event in Istanbul this weekend (in its 5th year) which features a load of teams from Turkey, plus a couple from Serbia, one from Bulgaria, one from Lebanon but also a team from Iran in the women's competition and two Iranian teams in the men's competition. That must be a first, surely?

Edited by JonM
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Great to hear. But as far as I know, "beach rugby" exists in only one form. There is no beach RL and beach RU, just beach rugby, so a lot of the teams will be from RU.

But who knows, let's hope they get talking and it may lead to something. Side note, there is actually an Iranian referee living in Istanbul and is now Turkish RLs top ref. I think he refereed a couple of women's international matches a few years ago.

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28 minutes ago, langpark said:

Great to hear. But as far as I know, "beach rugby" exists in only one form. There is no beach RL and beach RU, just beach rugby, so a lot of the teams will be from RU.

But who knows, let's hope they get talking and it may lead to something. Side note, there is actually an Iranian referee living in Istanbul and is now Turkish RLs top ref. I think he refereed a couple of women's international matches a few years ago.

I`ve seen some YouTube footage, must have been 2019, of the Turkish event and they use a PTB. A correct PTB, not a crummy rollball. And six tackles, handover, etc, it`s genuine RL on sand. Only downside was a very small playing area.

I`ve also seen some Italian beach event where they used a Union ruck. So there is a difference.

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41 minutes ago, langpark said:

Side note, there is actually an Iranian referee living in Istanbul and is now Turkish RLs top ref. I think he refereed a couple of women's international matches a few years ago.

Sounds as though this bloke`s contacts back in Iran could have been instrumental in arranging the participation of the Iranian teams mentioned in the OP.

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It's organised by the Turkish RL, the photos of it in previous years definitely look like RL, some of the visiting clubs (e.g. Lokomotiv Sofia, Red Star Belgrade) are RL clubs, as are many of the home clubs. Some of the competing teams are from RU clubs, clearly, and some of them are scratch teams of expats. 5-aside on sand is probably more akin to touch, but still, seems like a pretty good thing. 

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2 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I`ve seen some YouTube footage, must have been 2019, of the Turkish event and they use a PTB. A correct PTB, not a crummy rollball. And six tackles, handover, etc, it`s genuine RL on sand. Only downside was a very small playing area.

I`ve also seen some Italian beach event where they used a Union ruck. So there is a difference.

My mistake, I have only been to on beach rugby tournament, and there they would stand then, sort of "place" the ball on the ground for the next person. Not quite RL nor RU. 

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13 hours ago, JonM said:

It's organised by the Turkish RL, the photos of it in previous years definitely look like RL, some of the visiting clubs (e.g. Lokomotiv Sofia, Red Star Belgrade) are RL clubs, as are many of the home clubs. Some of the competing teams are from RU clubs, clearly, and some of them are scratch teams of expats. 5-aside on sand is probably more akin to touch, but still, seems like a pretty good thing. 

Just been watching again part of a Red Star women`s game from the 2019 beach tournament on the Turkish RL YouTube channel. I`d post a link if I knew how to.

It`s not like Touch at all, the tackling is pretty robust. Was reminded of a couple of things from when I first saw it a couple of years back.-

They sometimes flatten the sand first with the ball to enable a clean PTB. Hence the conspicuously correct PTBs.

The sand probably helps in the avoidance of injury. Those instances where a leg gets in an awkward position seem less of a problem when there`s some give in the surface.

And to reiterate a point I made up the page, because the games are played in some sort of beachside enclosure, the playing area is a bit too small.

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5 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

It`s not like Touch at all, the tackling is pretty robust. 

Indeed - some of the tackling in the women's game is pretty impressive. I meant it was more like touch tactically - in the sense of it being a small sided, small pitch. 

Those youtube links:

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

The sand probably helps in the avoidance of injury. Those instances where a leg gets in an awkward position seem less of a problem when there`s some give in the surface.

Probably also helps that nobody is really able to pick up any huge amount of speed. I guess like in the old days when we all played on mudbaths...

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@fighting irishYou often like to point out that League has an incredible habit of popping up spontaneously around the globe, if you`ve got time have a look at the second video posted by JonM on Wednesday at 18.51. 

Madness, could be a million miles from the NRL and Super League heartlands and here they are dancing, playing League and having a great time with Rugby League banners everywhere. Blows me away.

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1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

@fighting irishYou often like to point out that League has an incredible habit of popping up spontaneously around the globe, if you`ve got time have a look at the second video posted by JonM on Wednesday at 18.51. 

Madness, could be a million miles from the NRL and Super League heartlands and here they are dancing, playing League and having a great time with Rugby League banners everywhere. Blows me away.

Cheers Rocket for pointing out that video. Wonderful to see all those youngsters having a great time,  playing and enjoying league.

The game could have  a big future in Turkey.  

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8 hours ago, The Rocket said:

@fighting irishYou often like to point out that League has an incredible habit of popping up spontaneously around the globe, if you`ve got time have a look at the second video posted by JonM on Wednesday at 18.51. 

Madness, could be a million miles from the NRL and Super League heartlands and here they are dancing, playing League and having a great time with Rugby League banners everywhere. Blows me away.

Thank you for showing me these films mate. Wasn't it great?

Did you see the 2019 Turkish Grand Final too?

Popped up as a window at the end of the first film. They certainly know how to play.

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10 hours ago, The Rocket said:

@fighting irishYou often like to point out that League has an incredible habit of popping up spontaneously around the globe, if you`ve got time have a look at the second video posted by JonM on Wednesday at 18.51. 

I didn`t mention this earlier, because it seemed such an obscure detail, but for anyone interested -

At 11 seconds into that second video there are pictures of a women`s team in grey vests. At the front I spotted Ecem Acikgoz, who came to England in 2019 via the Global Rugby League Academy. Very promising player.

She played a number of games for Halifax in a lower tier of women`s RL, and impressed so much that Bradford picked her up for WSL. I think she played two games for the Bulls before returning to Turkey to finish her studies. No idea what`s happened to her subsequently.

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There's also videos of full games from the 2018 or 2019 tournament too, rather than just the highlights reel with the camera pointed at attractive young women 🙂 

There's no reason why this format couldn't be a success anywhere else that has a beach. You could imagine a made for tv package - say 4 or  6 x 8-women squads from different countries, temporary stand to hold a couple of hundred people at Bridlington, or Blackpool or Barry or somewhere should be easy to fill, turn up the music, spot prizes for best dancing in the crowd and generally play up the fun aspect of it. Take a look at what the Beach Volleyball tour does.

Or it could be done as a pre-season/end of season event for amateur clubs - nice day out for all the kids teams in a league for example. Or as a taster session/ spur for new clubs - can't find 13 players to start a women's team, but you can get together some friends to play a 5-aside, 10 minute games. Problem of course is that it doesn't work quite so well on a cold rainy day at Whitley Bay or wherever... 

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And going back to the original point - Iran has clamped down pretty hard on women playing sport in recent years. I'm assuming the women's team will be playing in hijabs and will be accompanied by their husbands.

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16 minutes ago, JonM said:

There's also videos of full games from the 2018 or 2019 tournament too, rather than just the highlights reel with the camera pointed at attractive young women 🙂 

There's no reason why this format couldn't be a success anywhere else that has a beach. You could imagine a made for tv package - say 4 or  6 x 8-women squads from different countries, temporary stand to hold a couple of hundred people at Bridlington, or Blackpool or Barry or somewhere should be easy to fill, turn up the music, spot prizes for best dancing in the crowd and generally play up the fun aspect of it. Take a look at what the Beach Volleyball tour does.

Or it could be done as a pre-season/end of season event for amateur clubs - nice day out for all the kids teams in a league for example. Or as a taster session/ spur for new clubs - can't find 13 players to start a women's team, but you can get together some friends to play a 5-aside, 10 minute games. Problem of course is that it doesn't work quite so well on a cold rainy day at Whitley Bay or wherever... 

I think there is an X League beach tournament in Bridlington at the end of next month.

Full contact, 9 a side, touch, tag, X League, Wheelchair and beach RL. The more he merrier I say as long as Rugby League bring them under their umbrella and advertise them as RL

 

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3 hours ago, JonM said:

And going back to the original point - Iran has clamped down pretty hard on women playing sport in recent years. I'm assuming the women's team will be playing in hijabs and will be accompanied by their husbands.

I see plenty of women and girl RL players wearing a hijab or compatible equivalent. Mainly in Western Sydney, but also Lyon and other French teams. They wear leggings too.

From memory, Keighley`s Saima Hussain wore leggings but no hair covering. Probably the most high-profile female Muslim RL player Haneen Zreika, who moved from Canterbury to Souths this year, wears neither leg nor hair covering. Whatever the individual is comfortable with should be fine.

On the subject of potentially hampering RL player accoutrements, some juniors now wear goggles. They must be better and tighter fitting than the ones I used for swimming lessons, which always came loose and took in water.

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Iran goes much further than normal Muslim practice though - some sports have been banned entirely at times eg weightlifting for women. The national women's soccer team which previously won championships was not able to play for a couple of years.

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17 minutes ago, JonM said:

Iran goes much further than normal Muslim practice though - some sports have been banned entirely at times eg weightlifting for women. The national women's soccer team which previously won championships was not able to play for a couple of years.

It will be interesting to see how the Iranian women`s team are attired, assuming they make it to the tournament.

Point I was making is that some form of hijab can`t be too much of an encumbrance when playing RL. Probably similar to wearing protective headgear.

A niqab would be a different story.

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19 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

It will be interesting to see how the Iranian women`s team are attired, assuming they make it to the tournament.

Point I was making is that some form of hijab can`t be too much of an encumbrance when playing RL. Probably similar to wearing protective headgear.

A niqab would be a different story.

which tournament are you referring to? 

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19 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

It will be interesting to see how the Iranian women`s team are attired, assuming they make it to the tournament.

Point I was making is that some form of hijab can`t be too much of an encumbrance when playing RL. Probably similar to wearing protective headgear.

Hijab + leggings it is.

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The Iranian women lost their first game 6 tries to 0 against Ankara. The Iranian mens team (Sardar seemingly a team of Firefighters) were beaten 9 tries to 2 against Lebanese side Lycans in their first game, but beat the Bosphorus Wolves 3-1 in their second game.

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