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Offline Rugby01

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Adult male competition structure review
« on: September 13, 2019, 04:21:56 PM »
Another RFU review into the structure of the game.

(Note the bold formatting is mine)


Adult male competition structure review

Important work to ensure that we preserve the future health of the game will be undertaken through a competition structure review by the Adult Male Competition Structure Group (the Group) commencing the month.

The Group is a task group of the Community Game Board and its membership will include representatives from the game, RFU staff, other national rugby union and other sports governing bodies.

The Group’s purpose is to review the adult male competition structure of the English Club Championship from Level 3 downwards and recommend an optimal playing offer and structure that protects the future health of the game for adult men by meeting the needs of current and future players, balancing quality of experience and player welfare needs with less travel, while at the same time protecting the financial and other sustainability of clubs.

The Group’s work will include gathering evidence from desk research, Electronic Match Card, the National Rugby Survey, alongside assessing historical and current knowledge from within the Group. The review will importantly include listening to players, administrators and practitioners involved in delivering the game, to enable recommendations to be made to Council on the future competition landscape. A report will be presented for discussion at Council in February with the intention of reaching a resolution at Council in April. This will enable recommendations to be implemented in time for the start of the 2020 season.

The Group first met on Wednesday 11 September. Further updates will be made available during the 2019-20 season.

Offline avinastella

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2019, 04:26:04 PM »
They are like the opposition MPs.
Won't give up until they get their way.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 10:13:26 PM by avinastella »
"Bother!" said Pooh, as he found his smack had talc in it.

Offline davie

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2019, 06:02:38 PM »
Perhaps they are going to do it every year so they can travel the country on expenses

Offline backrowbandit

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 07:14:30 AM »
This does seem a bit like Groundhog Day....
Loving all rugby but especially at grassroots level.

Offline Dan Nulty

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2019, 03:20:38 PM »
Perhaps they are going to do it every year so they can travel the country on expenses

No, in this day and age, the impact on climate change, focus on saving momeybat the rfu given lack of money now for community game, it will all be down by Skype...

Offline Harry Hotspur

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2019, 05:59:55 PM »
Looks like there is another meeting on 14th November

Adult Male Competition Structure Group
Why is this work happening?
? There has been over 30 years of league rugby in the adult male game in England, with arguably relatively few major changes in recent times, and this is set against the context of a greatly changing socio-economic landscape and new standards of player welfare considerations.
? Whilst the game generally continues to buck the downward participation trend seen in some other team sports, there is an accepted view from all available evidence that it is the female and age grade sectors of the Game that are supporting this. In the adult male game whilst the playing pool continues to grow, players are playing less often, and have different wants and needs than 30 years ago, which with relatively little change in the way competitive rugby is delivered, means more players are required to fulfil a 1st XV league season, which is having a corresponding negative effect on Lower XVs.
? This has been evidenced more clearly in recent times through data from Electronic Matchcards which shows on average 43 players to fulfill a 1st XV league season and some correlation with those clubs that use more players, having declining lower XV teams or increased walkover rates of Lower XVs.
? Alongside this there is a prevailing trend of less teams in the English Clubs Championship with teams dropping out into merit leagues, but also the merit leagues seeing some decline in teams in some regions.
? All of this is supported by insight from sources such as the National Rugby Survey (NRS), as well as anecdotally through club engagement, which highlights that players value ‘flexibility’ and ‘variety’ in their rugby offer as key in allowing them to maintain/increase their frequency of engagement with rugby.
? Whilst it is recognised that different levels of the community game and regions have different challenges and opportunities, the general question as to whether the competitive structure we have is the best one to ensure the future health of the Game had been raising its head in Club and CB forums throughout the last 12 months, and through competitions management issues coming to the surface in various areas of the country.
? With the ongoing work the RFU are undertaking in ‘Project Union’ to, amongst other things, strengthen and unite rugby union in England under the guiding principles of ‘players first’, ‘open to all’ and ‘financially strong’, and set against the context above, The Adult Male Competition Structure Group was created as a task group of the Community Game Board.
What is the purpose/scope?
? The Group’s purpose is to review the adult male competition structure of the English Club Championship from Level 3 downwards and recommend an optimal playing offer and structure that protects the future health of the Game for adult men by meeting the needs of current and future players, balancing quality of experience and player welfare needs with less travel whist at the same time protecting the (financial and other) sustainability of clubs.
? The Group will consider a number of areas and in particular the Group shall review and make recommendations to the CGB on: the principles and rationale behind how league rugby will be organised, the optimal number of matches including any cup and friendlies, the extent to which promotion and relegation is applied and the principles of playoffs, the optimal structure for management of competitions, the extent to which CB boundaries should be used to define leagues; what, if any, restrictions there should be on lower XV teams participating in leagues and the provision of national cup competitions. Finally the group will debate whether any recommendations should be put in place for the 2020/21 or 2021/22 season noting that CGB had already endorsed implementation for 2020/21.
? The group is Chaired by RFU Board member, and also a Council Member, and contains other Council Members including the Chairs of the two major Competitions Committees, members from other Unions / Sports, and RFU Staff.
What is the timeline?
July-Oct 2019: Nov / Dec 2019: Dec 2019:
Jan 2020:
Feb 2020:
March 2020: April 2020:
June 2020: Summer 2020: September 2020:
Information gathering
Wider consultation with the Game via listening group(s) and RFU Council Final update to CGB
CGB decision on recommendations
Discussion at Council
Review work and further information gathering
Council decision
Regulation changes put to Council for approval
Communication with the Game
New structures in place
What is the progress and what next?
? The Group has met twice, and considered insights and data from electronic matchcards, national rugby survey, case studies from the Game, and knowledge / feedback from those who sit on the Group.
? Outline principles have been agreed as; ensuring Competitions are delivering for players fist, a great player experience (convenience, accessible, fun), with less maybe more at certain levels, whilst ensuring appropriate level of competition and financially viability for clubs.
? The next stage of the process is to move to creation of various Competitions ‘models’ based on player insight. These will be agreed by the Group and then presented to CGB at end of October, along with a methodology for how and where these will be socialized, tested, researched with the Game.
? At its meeting on 24th October, CGB were updated on the Groups purpose, terms of ref., membership and headlines on insights, discussions, and direction of travel to date. Included Group member’s views and other feedback given since the last meeting, for example from SRU, NCA and DOCs (via Hertfordshire Clubs Meeting).
? CGB were asked to endorse the principles of the work done, namely creating a future structure that is delivering for players first and a great player experience (taking into account travel, welfare, changing socio-economic factors and the desired amount of matches players want to play at different levels, set against the impact of current structures). CGB were also asked to also feedback on what will be socialised with the Game, how it will be socialised, and the timing of implementation. CGB largely endorsed the principles of the Groups work, and the method / content for socialising with the Game.
? The plan is that this will happen via 8 listening panels covering players and other roles (separately) across regions over the next 4-6 weeks. The Competitions team in Rugby Growth are working through the details on this now and can share more in due course. It is planned that we will provide 3 options for season structure and league structures at these meetings (ranging from an evolution to something that more fully answers the insights and principles discussed), and then a facilitated discussion would be held allowing feedback to be captured and any new models / ideas proposed. The options would not include the status quo. There would also be one listening panel with RFU staff, to provide a comparison. CGB continued to endorse the timing of implementation in September 2020, though it was noted this was particularly tight and there may be areas that should be prioritised over others, in a final recommendation, depending on further feedback. The feedback from these listening panels will support a final recommendation from the Group to CGB and a CGB decision in January.
? The next meeting of the Group is 14th November and there will be an update for discussion at RFU Council is on 29th November. For further information, questions or feedback please contact:
? Competitions-Development@RFU.com

Offline avinastella

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 11:13:36 PM »
Have the LibDums taken up office at the RFU?

Keep asking the same questions until we give the answers they want.
Much of the 'evidence' they put forward last year was shown to be either flawed, made up or not relevant.
What has changed in the last 12 months?

More importantly, what Survey?
"Bother!" said Pooh, as he found his smack had talc in it.

Offline Fredsbar

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2019, 09:12:50 AM »
Are you saying that the current structure of League rugby suites today’s environment?

Offline avinastella

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2019, 10:34:05 AM »
Are you saying that the current structure of League rugby suites today’s environment?
My views on the subject are hardly a secret.

But lets look at it another way. Last years panel turned up with a clear agenda that they failed to justify (can only comment on Yorkshire meetings).
So it seems they are trying the same process again, especially if some of their statements above are correct.

So what has changed in the 3-5 months from their decision last season ??
"Bother!" said Pooh, as he found his smack had talc in it.

Offline Rob13

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2019, 11:17:42 AM »
what I find most interesting is they recognise the only reason playing numbers appear healthy is because of the women's game and junior game. Been coming for years the current issues that are only getting worse.

Online Oldandslow

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2019, 12:58:52 PM »
Two points from the RFU statements.

1 Status quo not an option.

2. The new proposals will be based on the player and player experience.

I take those two points to mean they will not allow the views of clubs to keep 14 team leagues because they need the revenue to block the changes.

Smaller leagues are going to happen they are already the norm in the South East, some counties now only have 10 team leagues.

This time I expect to ram the changes thru.

Offline backrowbandit

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2019, 06:25:52 AM »
Localisation I completely agree with.

I've said a number of times that playing local sides with all the competition that generates, as well as reduced travelling is more important than promotion & relegation.

I honestly can't see how reducing the number of teams at say level 7 and above will help the game. This year there are 34 Saturdays between the beginning of September and the end of April (that's what I consider the season should be). With 26 league matches that leaves 8 Saturdays free which averages as 1 a month off. At Scarborough for the last two years the decision whether to enter the cup has been left entirely to the players to decide. This year they said yes... That gives an indication of what they wanted to do on one of those 8 Saturdays.

Interest in the game will ebb away if there is not regular rugby.

So in summary LOCAL rugby is the answer NOT less rugby.

Scrap levels 3,4,5. In the north make the top level North Premier and integrate the clubs from 3,4 and 5 back into their regions. A separate question needs to answered about whether level 2 is sustainable...which I doubt.

There can be cross region cups...and top of region play offs either for silverware or for possible promotion to the professional level if a team desires that.
So we would end up with 5 regional (or however many there are) pyramids and a single or possibly 2 professional leagues on top.
Loving all rugby but especially at grassroots level.

Offline davie

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2019, 10:12:02 AM »
Good points BRB .
Another point though - there isn't a game without players but this rush to reduce the number of games played is bad news for club treasurers. Dinno have one home game in November , one in December and one in January. Three home games in three months is no good for attracting spectators or cash flow.

Offline neverplayedstandoff

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2019, 11:42:59 AM »
Almost felt sorry for Dinno until I realised there are only 3 games in Nov and Jan and 2 in Dec.

Obviously all clubs have the same number of home games so currently 13, no flies on me, so some teams will have fewer home games in months with only 3 played, but overall see my previous comment.
Y1 Pundits league winner 2010/11 seems a long time ago

Offline davie

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Re: Adult male competition structure review
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2019, 01:31:03 PM »
Almost felt sorry for Dinno until I realised there are only 3 games in Nov and Jan and 2 in Dec.

Obviously all clubs have the same number of home games so currently 13, no flies on me, so some teams will have fewer home games in months with only 3 played, but overall see my previous comment.

Which identity did you use to post your previous comment? Dual personality?
Point is smaller leagues mean even fewer home games to generate revenue. And cash flow is important so you can meet your monthly bills which remain constant.