Future of recreational rugby?

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chris111
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Future of recreational rugby?

Post by chris111 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:24 pm

Interesting article in Guardian today. Depressing to traditionalists but also plausible.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/ ... -breakdown

Echoes of some of the scenarios I’ve speculated on here in the past - although it gives me no pleasure to see others predicting the same. I count myself as a traditionalist - but one with a pragmatic view of future possibilities!

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by jgriffin » Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:34 pm

Depressing as well to see kids playing football and even at 10 displaying poor sportsmanship, dissent, off the ball hacking and parents being moved from close by. Not to say it doesn't happen in rugby, but watching three football games at different ages at the same time, sad that a generally better game all round is dying.
Having said that, most non elite sports are struggling.
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Old Hob
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Old Hob » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:00 pm

I can understand how the writer thinks that way. Eg, concussion fears? Let's have helmets (not that that has done NFL players much good). But, if that's the way the future looks, then let's work to change it now. Lobbying and supporting the grassroots game. Cheering on our grandchildren and so on.

BTW, The Art of Coarse Rugby was one of my favourite all time reads. Greene was a Leicestershire man I believe and I played for Old R(N)ottinghamians
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Robespierre » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:27 pm

No, it’s sad but things ain’t what they used to be, as they were before professionalism arrived (officially!) with no leagues - only friendlies, and 6 teams in the clubhouse for the post-match fun. The good ol’ days indeed!
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Robespierre » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:29 pm

Old Hob wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:00 pm
I can understand how the writer thinks that way. Eg, concussion fears? Let's have helmets (not that that has done NFL players much good). But, if that's the way the future looks, then let's work to change it now. Lobbying and supporting the grassroots game. Cheering on our grandchildren and so on.

BTW, The Art of Coarse Rugby was one of my favourite all time reads. Greene was a Leicestershire man I believe and I played for Old R(N)ottinghamians
Ha! Didn’t we all play at some time or other for the equivalent of Old Rottinghamians’ Extra 4th XV?!!!!
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Scott1
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Scott1 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:02 pm

Lots of untapped potential out there if the RFU would bother opening up the game for everyone! No sympathy from me I’m afraid!

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Offside » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:34 pm

I would not be too sure. Makes me more convinced hat RFU are out of touch with the grass roots.
1. There are soft helmets available form flag rugby in USA. Us D3O shock absorbing.

https://gamebreaker.com/shop/gamebreake ... -headgear/

Bought one for my son after he fracture his skull playing rugby. He no longer wears it as it is thicker than RFU allow and hot, but was effective. Skull has healed and he still wants to play.

2. He was back from Uni and played with some former junior colts school mates for the local club 3rd team. Due to absence they had junior colts playing and an average age of about 22 but no training or match plan. Opposition included some 40+ year old formed national 1 players and an average age of 35+(being generous). Youth verses guile. Youth won but only just and all ended up in the bar afterward! Until the young guys cannot put boots on there will still be course rugby in the poorly drained fields on England 😁
Last edited by Offside on Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by westwinds31 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:59 pm

Aside from the RFU neglecting the Championship and below, leaving it to rot, I’m not surprised the game is struggling to get players of all ages involved or fans through the gates to watch. If you take that game at the CBS, who in their right mind would watch that and think “I think I’ll go again next week ?” - obviously us as fans can see the intricacies of the game, most of us having played or being passionate about the game, but trying to attract new fans is nigh on impossible with the game being so complicated, nobody having a clue what the officials are looking at, or the decision for that matter. Football….get the ball and try and kick it in the goal - simple. Ok VAR has confused things but it’s basic and you can understand kids wanting to get involved. Rugby….different positions doing different things, knock ons, scrums where nobody has a clue what is going on, even the expert commentators ! The constant reviews of everything. Red card, yellow card…was it wasn’t it ? Oh…penalty….what was that for…not releasing, holding on, off feet, not rolling away, obstruction,,,it’s madness it truly is. I love it but can see why new fans aren’t banging down the door to watch it.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by chris111 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:05 am

westwinds31 wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:59 pm
Aside from the RFU neglecting the Championship and below, leaving it to rot, I’m not surprised the game is struggling to get players of all ages involved or fans through the gates to watch. If you take that game at the CBS, who in their right mind would watch that and think “I think I’ll go again next week ?” - obviously us as fans can see the intricacies of the game, most of us having played or being passionate about the game, but trying to attract new fans is nigh on impossible with the game being so complicated, nobody having a clue what the officials are looking at, or the decision for that matter. Football….get the ball and try and kick it in the goal - simple. Ok VAR has confused things but it’s basic and you can understand kids wanting to get involved. Rugby….different positions doing different things, knock ons, scrums where nobody has a clue what is going on, even the expert commentators ! The constant reviews of everything. Red card, yellow card…was it wasn’t it ? Oh…penalty….what was that for…not releasing, holding on, off feet, not rolling away, obstruction,,,it’s madness it truly is. I love it but can see why new fans aren’t banging down the door to watch it.
Interesting you say this - I actually sat next to a couple of people at the Wasps game who were what we here would probably describe as ‘casuals’ - maybe watchers of 6N and RWC but that’s about it. I really enjoyed talking to them - and spent a good deal of the game trying to explain what was going on. Admittedly complicated by the counter-factual narrative from the Wasps fan on the other side of them :smt052

I did come away with a better sense of what it’s like to watch rugby from a less committed/knowledgeable perspective, and so I agree that the game has a difficult balancing act. People who know the sport inside out don’t want it dumbed down - but without simplification it will remain off-putting and elitist to others. I’m not sure how this circle can be squared.

A footnote - my explainer role was made more difficult on Sunday because the Coventry Arena, surprisingly, didn’t have the big screen feature we have at WR, which shows the reason for refereeing decisions. I’d assumed this was an innovation that all Premiership clubs had introduced. It certainly must be a help to newcomers to rugby.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by westwinds31 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:59 pm

You can have all the fireworks, Pete Tong, music, dancing girls and razzamatazz going on to entertain the paying public, but unless they simplify the laws, then it will be forever a niche spectator sport.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by ourla » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:24 pm

Isn't every sport apart from football a niche sport to watch?

Anyhow this article/thread was about recreational rugby. I don't think elite rugby has much of a problem tbh. I mean guys still get in a ring and box.

(Traditional) recreational sport has many challenges in the modern world - rugby maybe as an extra one or two.
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by westwinds31 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:28 pm

ourla wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:24 pm
Isn't every sport apart from football a niche sport to watch?

Anyhow this article/thread was about recreational rugby. I don't think elite rugby has much of a problem tbh. I mean guys still get in a ring and box.

(Traditional) recreational sport has many challenges in the modern world - rugby maybe as an extra one or two.
I moved away from the thread so apologies for that, just got me off on one about how the game doesn't help itself.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by ourla » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:31 pm

westwinds31 wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:28 pm
ourla wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:24 pm
Isn't every sport apart from football a niche sport to watch?

Anyhow this article/thread was about recreational rugby. I don't think elite rugby has much of a problem tbh. I mean guys still get in a ring and box.

(Traditional) recreational sport has many challenges in the modern world - rugby maybe as an extra one or two.
I moved away from the thread so apologies for that, just got me off on one about how the game doesn't help itself.
No worries we all do it :smt023
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Nofrontteeth » Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:49 pm

:smt030 Is it the socialising constraints?

A vicious circle of less local clubs equals greater distances to matches (Home or away) equals constraints on dads taxis, limited ale consumption (rugby club culture and club finance).

You can change the rules all you want to cater for the instant result, "I don't understand" Brigade to appease the TV audiences and dare I suggest the less intelligent :smt018, but rugby is not just a game played with a funny shaped ball.

Give me 80mins of skill, grit and respect, with a civil audience and another 80mins of banter/discussion in the clubhouse bar.
:smt023

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by simoscribbler » Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:39 pm

Head injuries really are an issue. My daughters grew up with the game, but the two who have sons are fine with mini rugby, but are dead against full contact. And honestly I can't disagree - not that it would matter if I did, if course.

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