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Ideas to make the game better to watch


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Stop focusing on penalising tiny errors, let some stuff go rather than stopping the game all the time. Play the balls are a mess so some leeway from a ref would have a huge impact on the flow of a game.

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5 hours ago, Just Browny said:

1) The game was better and more vivid when we were 12-16 years old.

2) Changing rules/interpretations rarely has the effect we think it will.

Unconsciously, many of us want the game to go back to how we remember it from our high school years. Because we are used to the rules changing every year, we start regular threads thinking about how we could change the rules to make it look more like our idealised vision of the game.

It won't work. Coaches will always find new ways to improve their team's performance, but unfortunately this won't always make the game more attractive. By changing the rules to try to keep ahead of coaches, we just move further and further away from everyone's idealised memory of the game, and make more and more older fans ###### off (c.f. every thread on here). What we should probably accept is that the way the game is played will continue to evolve, but keep the rules as consistent as they can be.

The evolution is turning the game into one with falling participation, falling attendances and a declining TV deal. Watch one of the retro games on Sky from 90s or 00s and see the difference especially at the ptb.

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The game itself doesn’t need much messing about with in fact constantly changing things is what we should stop doing.

 

Bring back scrums (not traditional contested scrums they were a mess)

Im not 100% convinced on the 6 again rule but I was getting a bit annoyed with constant penalties for messing around at the  ruck so that alleviates it.

 

People always hark back to the past saying it was better (in the 00s people were saying it was better in the 80s etc) it’s simply people remembering the good and not the bad stuff. Take last weeks Hull Derby that was as good as those games in the 00s

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16 hours ago, DavidM said:

Can you explain this a bit ? Penalise a  strong tackle ?

Theres no mention of penalising a strong tackle in my post. I'm talking about players who sprint out of the line to try and smash someone, which often ends in an injury to one or both players. And if we think it's good entertainment to watch players suffer whiplash impacts and contribute to brain injuries then it doesn't say much for our sport.

I coached a player who got a contract with a Championship RU club and had to stop playing at 20 years of age due to repeated concussions. He was a back, not a forward. Stevie Ward had to retire at 27 for the same reason.

RL as a game is sleepwalking into massive litigation as apart from the nonsense that is HIA, RL is paying lip service to reducing brain injuries. 

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1 minute ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Theres no mention of penalising a strong tackle in my post. I'm talking about players who sprint out of the line to try and smash someone, which often ends in an injury to one or both players.

So what are you penalising , I don’t understand ? 

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34 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

The evolution is turning the game into one with falling participation, falling attendances and a declining TV deal. Watch one of the retro games on Sky from 90s or 00s and see the difference especially at the ptb.

I am not sure that we can attribute the falling participation numbers on the evolution of the game, it is something that we are seeing across all team sports.

Participation in Rugby League has declined 36% in the last 5 years but Football (-40%), Rugby Union (-44%) and Cricket (-46%) have fared even worse.

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24 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Theres no mention of penalising a strong tackle in my post. I'm talking about players who sprint out of the line to try and smash someone, which often ends in an injury to one or both players. And if we think it's good entertainment to watch players suffer whiplash impacts and contribute to brain injuries then it doesn't say much for our sport.

I coached a player who got a contract with a Championship RU club and had to stop playing at 20 years of age due to repeated concussions. He was a back, not a forward. Stevie Ward had to retire at 27 for the same reason.

RL as a game is sleepwalking into massive litigation as apart from the nonsense that is HIA, RL is paying lip service to reducing brain injuries. 

I agree with DavidM, I am not sure what you are looking to penalise or eliminate from the game here.

If player races out of the line and hits high or uses a shoulder charge then that is already illegal play and would be penalised anyway.  But is he 'smashes' a player with a fair but hard tackle then that is part of the game.  We cannot start penalising tackles because they are too hard.

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2 hours ago, dkw said:

Stop focusing on penalising tiny errors, let some stuff go rather than stopping the game all the time. Play the balls are a mess so some leeway from a ref would have a huge impact on the flow of a game.

Alternatively, penalise the players for deliberately infringing  and after a few games it would sort itself out. 

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8 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I agree with DavidM, I am not sure what you are looking to penalise or eliminate from the game here.

If player races out of the line and hits high or uses a shoulder charge then that is already illegal play and would be penalised anyway.  But is he 'smashes' a player with a fair but hard tackle then that is part of the game.  We cannot start penalising tackles because they are too hard.

Even to reduce brain injuries? When RU brought in that any contact with head or neck was a penalty, there was plenty of moaning from old blokes about the game going soft. Funnily enough, I didn't hear anywhere near as many complaints from players. 

Most "big hits" are high around the chest/shoulder height and that's the problem, any mistiming and you hit the neck/head or get a head clash. Even if you get it right, the tackled players brain will be rattled round inside his skull. 

Just call it a reckless tackle.

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5 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I am not sure that we can attribute the falling participation numbers on the evolution of the game, it is something that we are seeing across all team sports.

Participation in Rugby League has declined 36% in the last 5 years but Football (-40%), Rugby Union (-44%) and Cricket (-46%) have fared even worse.

Participation figures vary (Sport England has the opposite of what you state). 

What are accurate are attendance figures. RL has seen a decline, football an increase.

There just aren’t the star names in RL (nor RU) anymore, and that surely in part (for me the major part) is due to the way the game is played, with players not able to make the same kind of plays they once did. Both rugby codes have more media coverage than ever, yet not one household name has emerged in years. Both have gone too defensive, too physical, with too much emphasis on tight defences and player size. If joe public cannot name one player then what is going to attract them to the game? If you don’t support a team thus have no vested interest in the game then you need stars to drag you in, and the rugby codes are devoid of any.

There are sporadic moments of course, Rangi Chase and his behind the back pass saw him featured in Sky Sports News (a rarity for the sport, but this is what can happen when the game exhibits much more of this type of eye catching play). I’d never heard of him prior to this. Such stand out play makes individuals known. Five years on he features at #1 in this:

 

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26 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I am not sure that we can attribute the falling participation numbers on the evolution of the game, it is something that we are seeing across all team sports.

Participation in Rugby League has declined 36% in the last 5 years but Football (-40%), Rugby Union (-44%) and Cricket (-46%) have fared even worse.

Of course there's society wide changes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and do something to change the trend. 

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2 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Even to reduce brain injuries? When RU brought in that any contact with head or neck was a penalty, there was plenty of moaning from old blokes about the game going soft. Funnily enough, I didn't hear anywhere near as many complaints from players. 

Most "big hits" are high around the chest/shoulder height and that's the problem, any mistiming and you hit the neck/head or get a head clash. Even if you get it right, the tackled players brain will be rattled round inside his skull. 

Just call it a reckless tackle.

Again, apologies if it is my reading of the post, but this seems ambiguous again.

Are you saying that the contact with the chest/shoulders should be a penalty as well - the tackles that was 'got right'.  As the high contact would be penalised today.

If that's your suggestion then fair enough.

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7 minutes ago, DC77 said:

Participation figures vary (Sport England has the opposite of what you state). 

What are accurate are attendance figures. RL has seen a decline, football an increase.

The figures I am quoting are from the Sport England Active Lives Adult Survey November 19-20.

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10 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Again, apologies if it is my reading of the post, but this seems ambiguous again.

Are you saying that the contact with the chest/shoulders should be a penalty as well - the tackles that was 'got right'.  As the high contact would be penalised today.

If that's your suggestion then fair enough.

Appreciate its a fine line but any player suffering a whiplash effect is having the back of their brain banged against the back of their skull and the front part then the front of their brain hits the front of their skull.

I completely get that many won't agree with this and everyone is entitled to their opinion. 

I just posted some ideas, not saying that all or even any of them are the best.

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1 minute ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Appreciate its a fine line but any player suffering a whiplash effect is having the back of their brain banged against the back of their skull and the front part then the front of their brain hits the front of their skull.

I completely get that many won't agree with this and everyone is entitled to their opinion. 

I just posted some ideas, not saying that all or even any of them are the best.

It is very difficult.

While I get frustrated sometimes with games being stopped for a HIA or on field attention for a player, I absolutely accept that this is something we must do to show that we are takin head injury seriously.  As we should with penalising any foul play that has such an impact, late hits, high shots etc.

The problem with Rugby League is that it is a collision sport and even 'fair play' tackles will have the effect you describe.  Even those where the shoulder hits the midrift as a 'classic' fair tackle in rugby.

But other sports are in exactly the same position.  What we know about head injury now shows that repetitive heading the ball in football causes injury not to mention those sports (boxing/MMA) where hitting the head is actually a legal and key part of the sport.

There are big changes in sports coming in the next 10 to 20 years.

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23 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Of course there's society wide changes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and do something to change the trend. 

Completely agree.  And there are plenty of options available such as women's and girls participation, juniors and veterans and variants like touch and tag.  It doesn't all have to be full contact open age Rugby League. 

Edited by Dunbar
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4 hours ago, DavidM said:

For starters bring  back some structure and control  to the play the ball . Get up , get set , play it properly with your foot , slow it down a bit rather than the obsession over years with speeding it up so it’s unravelled to a mess . Scrums with forwards in , feed in the middle and a contest for the ball . I refuse to believe that can’t be enforced with a will to do it. Scrap the no punch rule , what we get now is just silly and looks ridiculous for rugby league . Scrap the video ref . Stop stopping the game for every injury and HIA assessment we never used to , it’s sometimes used tactically and is often unnecessary . Games are taking to long nowadays.   Less ref involvement the better . I don’t blame them , it’s the people above them loading more and more on them to look out for 

Agreed games take time but surely not over player welfare. If the taking the time is really a concern it could be the case they look at reducing games to 70 minutes rather than 80. You 100% need HIAs and it is Rugby not boxing. On the point of the video ref personally I think it should be either available in every Super League game or not at all but then you can't have replays on Sky on super slow mo saying a decision is wrong if you scrap it. 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Completely agree.  And there are plenty of options available such as women's and girls participation, juniors and veterans and variants like touch and tag.  It doesn't all have to be full contact open age Rugby League. 

As a Tag Rugby player in his 50s in a mixed team, I completely agree. Tag Rugby suits all ages and abilities, many of whom aren't suited to full contact rugby, including old blokes like me, but it allows me to play in the same team as my son.

Edited by Wakefield Ram
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1 hour ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Even to reduce brain injuries? When RU brought in that any contact with head or neck was a penalty, there was plenty of moaning from old blokes about the game going soft. Funnily enough, I didn't hear anywhere near as many complaints from players. 

Most "big hits" are high around the chest/shoulder height and that's the problem, any mistiming and you hit the neck/head or get a head clash. Even if you get it right, the tackled players brain will be rattled round inside his skull. 

Just call it a reckless tackle.

 

1 hour ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Appreciate its a fine line but any player suffering a whiplash effect is having the back of their brain banged against the back of their skull and the front part then the front of their brain hits the front of their skull.

I completely get that many won't agree with this and everyone is entitled to their opinion. 

I just posted some ideas, not saying that all or even any of them are the best.

Sorry I don’t mean to be obtuse but I still don’t understand what you’re wanting to penalise . You seem to want to eradicate any forceful tackle with any momentum from a defender in case it has a detrimental effect . Maybe I’m wrong but that’s changing the whole nature of the game … and if the thread is ideas to make the game better to watch then that’s totally counterproductive . That’s what people want to watch - and I include coaches and fellow players . It’s strong defence . Any illegal contact is penalised … you can’t penalise forceful contact or if you do you can keep it 

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It really needs a lot of thought to find ways of improving the game, and making it more entertaining than what it is now.  Yes player welfare is now at the top of the agenda, but it needs to be incorporated without diluting the basics of the game. An example is wrestling techniques used in tackling, for me it has no place in Rugby League. I'm afraid at the moment that's all I can contribute. The more opinions we read on this forum the better. 

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So basically you want netball?

Joking aside, my biggest gripe with the modern game is the amount of pointless, unneccesary stoppages ie a ball goes out dead and it takes 3 minutes for all the players to slowly walk into the middle of the field before standing still with their hands on hips for another 2 minutes looking at the Referee until the bloke playing the ball puts it's down, then looks up and puts his hand up before rolling it backwards for the next bloke to run at 5 mph before getting wrestled. Are players so unfit they need a 3 minute break every 5 minutes? it annoys me more because it means every player on the field is in their set position meaning there is absolutely no chance of any broken play running anymore.

We used to see players chucking the ball back in as quickly as possible to get a quick tap and catch out a retreating defence, todays game just seems to be a case of trying to stop play as much as possible, i remember Eddie and Stevo banging on about how the ball is very rarely out of play etc, total opposite now.

I'd also like to see contested kicks come back, there's nothing worse than a pointless punt to the opposition winger while your men are stood 5 yards away waiting for him to catch it, what the hell is the point of that?.

I actually don't mind the 6 again rule but i also think it should be tweaked or changed to only apply either in the opposition half or after 3 tackles as it's pointless giving it on th 1st tackle 6 metres from your own goal.

Refresh the whole presentation of the game mainly on SKY as they are the flagbearer for the sport, it's awful, tiresome, embarrasing and at time bloody annoying, i want to see the game not the coach sat doing nothing for 10 seconds every set of 6 or a previous tackle where someone thinks they've seen something so they can analyse it and argue about it.

Get Phil Clarke some new clothes or a Top man voucher.

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14 hours ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Even to reduce brain injuries? When RU brought in that any contact with head or neck was a penalty, there was plenty of moaning from old blokes about the game going soft. Funnily enough, I didn't hear anywhere near as many complaints from players. 

Most "big hits" are high around the chest/shoulder height and that's the problem, any mistiming and you hit the neck/head or get a head clash. Even if you get it right, the tackled players brain will be rattled round inside his skull. 

Just call it a reckless tackle.

I agree entirely. There is no skill in someone injuring another player deliberately, especially if they are bigger and stronger.

It's the same type of player that does this anyway. It's usually the only thing they contribute and they get sin binned every other week.

The skilful players get injured and we are then left with dull games.

I admire the strength of players such as Alex Walmsley. However, this is totally different to the hit tackle which looks really bad. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Niels said:

I agree entirely. There is no skill in someone injuring another player deliberately, especially if they are bigger and stronger.

It's the same type of player that does this anyway. It's usually the only thing they contribute and they get sin binned every other week.

The skilful players get injured and we are then left with dull games.

I admire the strength of players such as Alex Walmsley. However, this is totally different to the hit tackle which looks really bad. 

I don't really agree with the sentiment of this post.  The part I do agree with is we shouldn't want to see players deliberately injuring another but I think there is a massive difference between physically dominating a player and deliberately injuring someone.

Rugby League is a sport that allows skillful players to shine and athletic & fast players to shine but it is also a game that allows (legally) aggressive and physical players to assert their dominance of the opposition.  And often that dominance is exerted through a big collision.

I want to see creative halves and I want to see exciting backs but I also want to see big hitting defenders, they are just as much a part of our sport; and for me just as much fun to watch.

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My partner has started watching a bit of RL with me. Watching the NRL yesterday she said how much more exciting it was, it was Melbourne vs Paramatta though 🙂

One thing she mentioned in particular is that there's a lot less niggle in the NRL... PTB, pushing shoving etc. She's right IMO!

She also said it's the toughest sport in terms of intensity, strength, speed, agility etc... she's a bit of a fan now 😄

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I hope that this makes sense.  IMHO the administrators are so wrapped up with increasing the speed of the game I.e. no scrums, reducing stoppages with the 6 again rule so that bits of brilliance can get lost in 10 minutes of continuous play.  In every game of football if something special happens the fans at the ground know that they will have the opportunity to show their appreciation a few seconds later when a natural stoppage occurs and viewers can see a TV replay.  Unlike in RL where they try to cram in a reply during a play the ball and the commentator is trying to describe what happened whilst also trying to commentate on the live action.

What I am suggesting is that a more continuous, speeded up game does not mean it is a better spectacle.  So in RL, more natural breaks gives time for replays with a better explanation of what happened, especially for floating and new viewers, and also give supporters at the game time to digest, discuss and appreciate what happened.

So to balance the speed of the game I would introduce scrums for knock ons but keep the 6 again rule for the minor technical infringements as at present.  Also any infringement on the first play the ball, which is creeping into the game, should result in a penalty and a five minute sin bin.  Finally I would have 4 substitutions per game. Once a player is subbed then that’s it.  The only exception is that a player can return for a blood bin or HIA replacements. This will bring in a fatigue element to open up the game for the backs.

Edited by Adelaide Tiger
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