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ADULT COMPETITION REVIEW 2

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DICKON View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DICKON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: ADULT COMPETITION REVIEW 2
    Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 21:50
Cant believe this is not getting more airtime - you all happy to let this happen from the end of this season?

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: Information gathering Nov / Dec 2019: Wider review with the Game via listening group(s) and RFU Council Dec 2019: Final update to CGB Jan 2020: CGB decision on recommendations Feb 2020: Discussion at Council March 2020: Review work and further information gathering April 2020: Council decision June 2020: Regulation changes put to Council for approval Summer 2020: Communication with the Game September 2020: 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; Competitions are delivering for players fist (i.e. a great player experience - convenience, accessible, fun), with less maybe being more at certain levels, whilst ensuring appropriate level of competition and financial 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 insights, discussions, and direction of travel to date. This Included Group member’s views and other feedback given since the last meeting from stakeholder groups such as the NCA and DOCs.  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 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 all non-playing roles 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 but this will no doubt be discussed. There would also be listening panels 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 from the Game and the nature of recommendation.  The listening panels are not the only stage of this process, nor will a final decision be made at the end of them. They are the first stage in a wider review, which will include with CGB and RFU Council, before wider socialisation of the final options with the Game in the New Year after February. The feedback from these listening panels will support the Group to provide a recommendation to CGB in January.  The most recent meeting of the Group was 14th November, there will be an update for discussion at RFU Council is on 29th November, and the final group meeting is planned in early December. For further information, questions or feedback please contact your RFU Council Member or directly to:  Competitions-Development@RFU.com
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DICKON View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DICKON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 22:03
Think on this - the vast amount of league club rugby in this country is played beneath the national leagues, and GMS has only been in use for 2 seasons at most at those levels. Clearly then, not substantive enough to draw any conclusions about the direction of travel of required squad sizes, and there is no empirical evidence in here to back up any of the claims. There is nothing in this review that addresses player recruitment and retention, bar suggesting that the amount of rugby played is too much and travel too far. Brilliant - so the solution to reducing playing numbers is... to play less rugby and reduce competition. There are some clubs in this country thriving and growing - why not use these as the basis for a best practice study, rather than completely rewire the framework on which they are based? Don't bleat about this once its implemented folks - act now!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Insignificant Tick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2019 at 08:07
"the process is to move to creation of various Competitions ‘models’ based on player insight. These will be agreed by the Group"

I know many players at various levels and not one has been asked for his opinions yet "the Group" are going to make decisions ( on models already decided on apparently) "based on player insight"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marigold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2019 at 09:53
Dickon totally agree re your comments about player retention. Consultation meetings to be held on dates and at venues below. Given the number of rugby clubs within the M25 slightly surprised that if you are a London club the nearest venue will be either Tunbridge Wells or Old Albanians. At these meetings 3 options will be presented. Not sure what listening has occurred prior to these options being formulated. Group being chaired by an RFU Board member and Council member fills me with dread. Have not in last 10 years met any of these who actually are closely involved with the running of a team/club week in week out. Why not ask current players/managers/coaches to take a lead? Very important as many as possible who are closely involved actually attend. My fear is if it is not put right now the game will not recover
  • 25th November - Blaydon and Old Albanian
  • 27th November - West Park Leeds and Tunbridge Wells
  • 2nd December - Peterborough and Bridgwater & Albion
  • 4th December - Silhillians and Havant
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddym Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2019 at 10:16
Originally posted by Insignificant Tick Insignificant Tick wrote:

"<span style="font-family: -webkit-standard; font-size: medium; line-height: 22.4px; : rgb251, 251, 253;">the process is to move to creation of various Competitions ‘models’ based on player insight. These will be agreed by the Group"</span>
<span style="font-family: -webkit-standard; font-size: medium; line-height: 22.4px; : rgb251, 251, 253;">
</span>
<span style="font-family: -webkit-standard; font-size: medium; line-height: 22.4px; : rgb251, 251, 253;">I know many players at various levels and not one has been asked for his opinions yet "the Group" are going to make decisions ( on models already decided on apparently) "based on player insight"</span>


The same happened several years ago when this first reared it’s ugly head. I spoke to
to players, coaches and DoRs of quite a few of our opposition clubs at the time
and none had had any contact from the competition review group. Nor were we asked by
asked by our CB board member what our thoughts were on the subject.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeGC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2019 at 13:08
Originally posted by DICKON DICKON wrote:

There are some clubs in this country thriving and growing - why not use these as the basis for a best practice study, rather than completely rewire the framework on which they are based?


I would be interested in seeing the strategy followed by these clubs.
We've tried all sorts (fresher's weeks at the local universities; schools initiatives; newspaper coverage & etc.)
Part of our perceived problem is that there are 10+ clubs within a 10 mile radius (i.e. Sale FC - although I note they struggle to get a 2nd XV out) including 3 in the same league last season (two of whom were paying players)
We've recently and very sadly, relinquished our 4th XV.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sidelined Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2019 at 20:34
By my (rough) reckoning there are over 250 clubs, level 3 and below, in the Southwest, yet there is only 1 of the, so called, listening panels (Bridgwater 2nd Dec). If there only 20 spaces for delegates this is can hardly be representative of all the views of these clubs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CalderVale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2019 at 21:01


I would be interested in seeing the strategy followed by these clubs.
We've tried all sorts (fresher's weeks at the local universities; schools initiatives; newspaper coverage & etc.)
Part of our perceived problem is that there are 10+ clubs within a 10 mile radius (i.e. Sale FC - although I note they struggle to get a 2nd XV out) including 3 in the same league last season (two of whom were paying players)
We've recently and very sadly, relinquished our 4th XV.

Which Club?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeGC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2019 at 21:11
Originally posted by CalderVale CalderVale wrote:



Which Club?



Burnage

Edited by MikeGC - 20 Nov 2019 at 07:49
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marigold View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marigold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2019 at 22:53
Was told at our club this evening to attend the listening sessions at the 8 different clubs you actually have to apply to be invited. Anyone know how you apply/actually applied/been invited? Who will end up going to these meetings? Least open consultation process I have ever encountered-even for the RFU!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 06:12
Originally posted by marigold marigold wrote:

Was told at our club this evening to attend the listening sessions at the 8 different clubs you actually have to apply to be invited. Anyone know how you apply/actually applied/been invited? Who will end up going to these meetings? Least open consultation process I have ever encountered-even for the RFU!


Marigold - see https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/have-your-say-in-adult-rugby-review
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marigold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 07:30
Alfred -many thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 08:12
No system is perfect and given the CBs are mainly based on boundaries drawn by the Anglo-Saxons and grouped into Division based on Railway lines it is possible hat there is a better arrangement.

However, that would assume an open mind and we migh end up with something looking like Redcliffe-Maud (though that was 50 years ago and rejected as too radical) and I doubt we need 61 leagues.

I suspect that they will endup doing something trivial that makes no difference to the majority of clubs but adversely affects a minority (which will mainly be the NCA clubs).

I also not sure I trust the figure of 43 players in a season - I can believe it as a maximum, but not an average which would mean many clubs using more than that. Also where a club uses 40 players in its 1st XV - the 20 not selected on any match day are often playing 2nd XV unless they are injured.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote @boatyjames Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 10:38
Hi Dickon - would you like to talk about this and agree some WRFC / LCRFC approach to Surrey etc on this? I have had a few interesting conversations with Paul Ashbury this season and there is something afoot. Think Malcom Caird is on this committee which fills me with an amount of dread based on his club history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 11:11
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

No system is perfect and given the CBs are mainly based on boundaries drawn by the Anglo-Saxons and grouped into Division based on Railway lines it is possible hat there is a better arrangement.

However, that would assume an open mind and we migh end up with something looking like Redcliffe-Maud (though that was 50 years ago and rejected as too radical) and I doubt we need 61 leagues.

I suspect that they will endup doing something trivial that makes no difference to the majority of clubs but adversely affects a minority (which will mainly be the NCA clubs).

I also not sure I trust the figure of 43 players in a season - I can believe it as a maximum, but not an average which would mean many clubs using more than that. Also where a club uses 40 players in its 1st XV - the 20 not selected on any match day are often playing 2nd XV unless they are injured.

Agreed - a more useful figure would take into account the number of teams put out by a club. A single team club using 43 is very different from a club with multiple teams and an active colts side using 43 in it's 1st XV during a season
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PiffPaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 11:35
Interesting that there ate no planned meetings in the North West? maybe they think the issues is sorted?
 
The lowest number of player churn 1st XV selection-wise last season according to GMS occurred in the Lancashire County Leagues. Less travel commitment being the main factor in that and a slightly relaxed competition regulations.
 
I understand that Cheshire have asked the North DOC/RFU competitions to implement a combined Cheshire & Lancashire RFU League structure incorporating all the Lancashire League clubs for next season. Interesting development considering they weren't in favour of it when Lancashire suggested something similar prior to the Lancashire Clubs going their own way 18 months ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DICKON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 11:56
Think the RFU are petrified of a Lancs scenario playing out in other parts of the country, and that driving through change as expediently as possible will head this off at the pass. However, that is a case of taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut, as a blanket approach across the country is simply not required - what works in the South-West may not work in London, for example. As for the Representation Groups and the locations of the meetings, I agree with previous posters - if this is really open, why filter those seeking to attend?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thunderbird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 12:11
Fully agree with all you points Dickon. Some of us have been here before. My clubs 1st tam travel over 5000miles a year, most of which I have organised over the last 3 years I have yet to here a player moan about distance. Its more likley to be the facilities or the pitch that gets the bad press.
    I am really worried for the outcome with regards to National league rugby. As you say the listening sesions are restricted to those chosen after filling in a survey.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DICKON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 12:26
If the RFU are afraid of more splits, they may end up creating some in driving through an over hasty review....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Insignificant Tick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 13:21
If anyone knows of someone being "selected" for the panel in any region can they put up their details on here so as to act as a conduit for points to be made.
( after gaining their permission of course )
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