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Community game new structure

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Richard Lowther View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Community game new structure
    Posted: 18 Dec 2020 at 11:26

https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/approval-of-future-competition-structure-202223-in-the-adult-male-game

 

 

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) Council has voted in favour of a number of features for a new competition structure for the adult male game from Level 3 down, scheduled to come into effect in the 2022/23 season.

 

The new measures aim to be more appealing to players as they juggle rugby with increasing demands on their time away from the game. The changes are designed to help arrest a decline in the number of adult men playing rugby union in the community game.

The features include limiting the amount of time players spend travelling to matches and shortening the length of league seasons. The priorities remain player welfare and protecting the sustainability of clubs.

The recommendations follow a series of consultations with clubs, coaches and players, in addition to webinars, a national survey and detailed analysis of the RFU’s Game Management System and Electronic Match Card data.

Evidence shows the number of teams playing in RFU leagues is reducing and players are choosing to play fewer games in a season. As a result, clubs need larger squads to complete their fixtures, which is having an adverse effect on Lower 15 match completion rates.

The features of the new competition structure voted on by Council includes:

•             The size of leagues at Levels 5 and below capped at 12 teams (reduced from 14).

•             The size of leagues at Levels 3 and 4 capped at 14 teams (reduced from 16).

•             The structured season will contain a protected two-week break over the Christmas period, rather than just reserve weekends.

•             The season will also contain protected weekend breaks from league rugby (at points to be determined through the season).

•             A National knockout Cup competition will be introduced at the end of the season (from Level 5 and below), leading to a Community Game Finals Day.

•             A review of specific aspects of the competition structure will take place every three years.

The Community Game Board (CGB), chaired by David Roberts, acted on feedback from the Community Game regarding the competition offering and the consequential player drop out.

The Future Competitions Structure Group was set up by the CGB to conduct the research and the group’s chair, Stephen Pearson, said: “We would like to thank everyone who has shared feedback around the impact the current competition structure is having on participation numbers.

“We have been able to use this period of consultation and evidence-gathering to create a blueprint for a new structure and are pleased that Council has voted overwhelmingly in favour of these proposals. Our fundamental goal is to deliver a competitions structure that works for today’s players and for the players of the future.

“Our recommendations reflect growing feedback from players that shorter bursts of intense rugby are preferable to a long, extended season. Players have reiterated they need breaks in the season and would prefer more localised fixtures. We believe that less intensity to the league system, with shorter travel times to and from games, are important features that today’s players want in their competition structure, to help fit within busy lives.

“By having breaks and shortening the league, space is created at Level 5 and below for an end of season knockout cup competition, which would guarantee clubs the home fixtures they lose from a shorter league season. Clubs would also get to play different teams at their same level and avoid repeating the same fixtures.

“Having both a league and a cup competition would create sustainable excitement for everyone at the end of the season, not just for those teams battling for promotion and relegation.”

Community Game Board chair David Roberts said: “These are the key parts of the agreement that we felt we needed to vote on at this stage and that have been approved by Council. It is an integrated package of measures, not a menu of options, that we believe players will find attractive and will want to participate in.

“By waiting until 2022/23 for full implementation, we have time to work through the precise details and it gives clubs time to return to rugby in a familiar structure in 2021/22, after the disruption of the pandemic.”

Stephen Pearson added: “At the February Council meeting, we will update on further work conducted. This will involve discussions around how flat the pyramid is, local competition, what the cup competition looks like specifically and whether we look to add second and third 15 teams to leagues nationally.

“The rationale for creating additional 15s teams is to help maintain the integrity of a more local competition. As you move to a smaller geographical footprint, there are less clubs at your level. Therefore, it might be better to play a second XV of a higher ranked club in your local area rather than travel a long way to play a team at your level.

“We will explore these areas in more detail in the coming months and a final vote will be taken by the RFU Council in April 2021.”

A video has been created to explain the specific details of the FCS plan. As outlined above some elements of the plan have already been voted on by the RFU Council. However, the video outlines recommendations for the full FCS Plan, which is to be voted on by Council in April 2021, therefore some of the recommendations covered in the video may be subject to change.

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workerbee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote workerbee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2020 at 15:23
There is still two fundamental questions to be resolved , which, whilst not in the remit of the RFU will affect the structures below. 
1. Are the Premiership going to increase their league to 13 or 14 teams with no promotion and relegation?
2. Have the Championship decided what structure that was discussed earlier. i.e. Will they increase the league to 16 teams and play two groups of 8 leading to a further group of fixtures featuring top 8 and bottom 8.

What was not mentioned in the restructuring was the proposal to have three leagues at level 4 has this been scrapped. 

If you consider the two proposals above , these will fundamentally change level three with effectively 5/6 teams being drawn into the championship. If that happens after 22/23 then 5 sides will be relegated and the following year 5/6 being promoted back from level 4.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2020 at 15:27
And I'm guessing next season will have 5 from Level 5 downwards go down? So going from a season with no rugby to a very demanding one. Good logic there RFU.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark W-J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2020 at 15:50
Don't think that's the case, Robb, because the plan (although not mentioned in this press release) is to go from four leagues to six at each level.  So instead of (picking level 7 in the London & SE region) L2NE/ NW/ SE/ SW we presumably get L2NE/ NCentral/ NW, SE, SCentral, SW.  All of which means 72 teams (6x12) rather than 56 (4x14), and if anything a greater variation in standard in some areas.

Edited by Mark W-J - 18 Dec 2020 at 15:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Halliford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2020 at 17:55
I haven’t had the full document but I’m 95% sure we have 3 Leagues of 14 at Level 4. What the Premiership and Championship do will have bearing on how many teams move up to Level 4/5.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DICKON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2020 at 09:26
A ‘solution’ that treats the symptoms and not the cause, based on a survey that does not give a mandate for wholesale change (indeed, the players surveyed were more ambivalent than in support of less travel). Added to that, an afterthought of a cup at the seasons end, when Cup competitions at grassroots level have withered on the vine in the past 2 decades, as The RFU withdrew financial support for progress thru each round and failed to find a replacement sponsor (or ensure that England rugby sponsors have to share a percentage of that sponsorship revenue with the grassroots game). The time would have been better spent seeking solutions from amateur clubs around the country who are thriving, and sharing best practice on player recruitment and retention, noting that the issues in Cumbria, Cornwall and Lancashire are not the same as those in the home counties, or those in Nat 1 and 2 the same as those at the lower levels, and a broad brush approach simply will not solve for them. I am disappointed this reorg has been waived thru, when the noise at the online presentations I attended was roundly in opposition to it. Lets get the vaccine sorted, and then into battle...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Even Older Hooker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2020 at 10:32
With the evolving infection situation I can imagine a situation that all rugby below Premiership ( which is suffering cancelations ) is put on hold with the result that any Rugby at our level will be unrealistic this season 
Another one against the head
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2020 at 16:50
Dickon

If it treated the symptoms it might be worthwhile - I fear it does not even do that.

It adds travel for at least one third of clubs at levels 5,6,and 7 as they will be promoted to fill the newly created extra leagues.

And then it adds a National cup competition - adding even more travel and more games for those clubs that wanted less of each.

While the National 1 and 2 clubs lose games.

There 2/3rd of clubs at level 7 and the level 8 sides could find themselves with reduced travel - if they created 24 leagues at this level.

But in the old slides.


there were only 16 leagues at this level  - so the sides needing less travel do not get any.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Halliford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2020 at 18:11
Originally posted by DICKON DICKON wrote:

A ‘solution’ that treats the symptoms and not the cause, based on a survey that does not give a mandate for wholesale change (indeed, the players surveyed were more ambivalent than in support of less travel). Added to that, an afterthought of a cup at the seasons end, when Cup competitions at grassroots level have withered on the vine in the past 2 decades, as The RFU withdrew financial support for progress thru each round and failed to find a replacement sponsor (or ensure that England rugby sponsors have to share a percentage of that sponsorship revenue with the grassroots game). The time would have been better spent seeking solutions from amateur clubs around the country who are thriving, and sharing best practice on player recruitment and retention, noting that the issues in Cumbria, Cornwall and Lancashire are not the same as those in the home counties, or those in Nat 1 and 2 the same as those at the lower levels, and a broad brush approach simply will not solve for them. I am disappointed this reorg has been waived thru, when the noise at the online presentations I attended was roundly in opposition to it. Lets get the vaccine sorted, and then into battle...

Having been deeply involved in this at NCA level, it was the view of NCA DoRs almost unanimously that 14 team Leagues was the way forward. I don’t think any of us had thought the 3 Leagues at Level 4 was a good idea, that idea was roundly rejected at the meeting we had at St Georges. I agree with you that weak evidence has been used to support this structure, however, I was quite surprised at a Surrey Meeting to hear the strength of views from Clubs at Levels 6 and 7 to support this.

I’m not sure it will provide the answers we need to the questions that are being asked, mainly because the questions are different in areas of the country - one answer won’t suit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2020 at 22:13
Level 7 are the level I think have been had.
Unless the RFU create extra leagues - and the slides did not show that.
They will either be in the same leagues as now, or promoted to the new level 6.

If you go to 24 or more leagues at level 7, you can have for example one in Cheshire, one in Lancashire, one in Cumbria, one in Northumberland/Durham and  two in Yorkshire and therefore address the travel issues.

But if you stick at sixteen, you cannot resolve the travel issues on the north.

I know the NCA are keen not to dilute the quality, but I would be interested to see a structure that solves the problems at the lower levels without widening the structure at level 4?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2020 at 22:21
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Level 7 are the level I think have been had.
Unless the RFU create extra leagues - and the slides did not show that.
They will either be in the same leagues as now, or promoted to the new level 6.

If
you go to 24 or more leagues at level 7, you can have for example one
in Cheshire, one in Lancashire, one in Cumbria, one in
Northumberland/Durham and  two in Yorkshire and therefore address the
travel issues.

But if you stick at sixteen, you cannot resolve the travel issues on the north.

I
know the NCA are keen not to dilute the quality, but I would be
interested to see a structure that solves the problems at the lower
levels without widening the structure at level 4?





I was under the impression that the decision had been already taken to dilute the standard of level 4 by adding a 3rd level 4 league. Is that still the case?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Halliford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2020 at 22:39
Originally posted by Raider999 Raider999 wrote:

Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Level 7 are the level I think have been had.
Unless the RFU create extra leagues - and the slides did not show that.
They will either be in the same leagues as now, or promoted to the new level 6.

If
you go to 24 or more leagues at level 7, you can have for example one
in Cheshire, one in Lancashire, one in Cumbria, one in
Northumberland/Durham and  two in Yorkshire and therefore address the
travel issues.

But if you stick at sixteen, you cannot resolve the travel issues on the north.

I
know the NCA are keen not to dilute the quality, but I would be
interested to see a structure that solves the problems at the lower
levels without widening the structure at level 4?





I was under the impression that the decision had been already taken to dilute the standard of level 4 by adding a 3rd level 4 league. Is that still the case?

It is
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