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Declining participation and ARU plans for the future

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by RugbyReg, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. RugbyReg Nathan Sharpe (72)

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  2. RugbyReg Nathan Sharpe (72)

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    there really is a lot to go over in this document and I encourage all of you to take the time to read it. I got mention lots of stuff, but one I will is around the new pathway chart (p31 of the doc) has a few new comps IDed:

    - a University competition
    - NRC U19s
    - NAtional U20s
    - National 7s champs (open and youth)
    - NAtional 7s series
    Rugbynutter39 and kiap like this.
  3. Brumby Runner David Codey (61)

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    Are you taking the piss RR? That link leads nowhere, which of course could be just where the ARU 5 year plan is going also.
  4. neilc Tom Lawton (22)

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    Not working for me either. Can't see it on the home page either.
  5. brokendown Dave Cowper (27)

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    probably found in the worlds shortest document category
  6. Paty305 Bill Watson (15)

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  7. dru Peter Sullivan (51)

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    Scoey, kiap and TOCC like this.
  8. Quick Hands John Eales (66)

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    More worrying that the mulit-million dollar loss suffered by the ARU is the decline in participation in 15 a side rugby.

    And just to show that he has little grasp of reality, he thinks schools will solve the problem. Alas, even Sydney GPS schools are experiencing a decline in teams.

    Meanwhile, rugby participation across the country increased by 2.7 per cent in 2015, but a 7.6 per cent decline in club XV participation has once again thrown the spotlight on whether rugby is being deserted for other major footballing codes.
    However, the ARU says growth in club sevens, non-contact VIVA7s and schools rugby programs will fill the void of evaporating club players.
    "I'm not happy with the figure," said Pulver of the decline in club rugby XV players. "Overall I still think there's probably a decline in regular clubs fifteens which is problematic and we want to address, but the really good news is the new parts of the game like women's sevens grew 33 per cent. There are a lot of codes out there vying for the hearts and minds of young fans and young players and we've got to make sure we've got the right strategy in place to win our fair share."

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/aru-announce-98m-deficit-for-2015-20160411-go3o9m.html#ixzz45ZovmQvz
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
  9. barbarian David Codey (61)

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    What about this indicates Pulver has 'little grasp on reality'??

    Sounds to me like we are actually acknowledging the problem for the first time in years.

    I'm not sure the downward trend in 15s participation will ever be reversed, at a senior level especially. It's just the way the world is going, and is being felt by all contact sports.

    Without starting on the issues currently faced at Subbies level, I think the ARU need to move with the times and try and develop ways to play the game that don't involve contact or take up multiple weekend hours.
  10. dru Peter Sullivan (51)

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    ^^^Fair question!^^^

    To be honest, my background defines "rugby" as a 15 person game that revels in contact. But there is logic behind the ARU plan.

    One fundamental is to get the clubs, RUs and the ARU singing from one hymn sheet. Given that the Premier comps arent mentioned in the 5 year plan, I imagine some will be difficult to get on board. I might not love everything that Bill is doing, but he is doing a great job in difficult times. He has my best wishes as he goes from strategy to detail action.
  11. RugbyReg Nathan Sharpe (72)

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    Why should there be mention of premier clubs? Engagement and recognition and development of club rugby is a big part of the strategy.

    Why should premier clubs be singled out?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Quick Hands John Eales (66)

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    Because the "schools rugby programs won't be filling the void of evaporating club players". There's FEWER players involved in private schools. There's FEWER players involved in state schools.

    I'd be interested in your theory as to how the fewer players in the school systems are going to fill the void left by the evaporationof players from the club system.

    I agree with you on the point that the ARU have finally acknowledged it, but that's cold comfort.

    The issues faced at subbies level are being faced at every level - including schools. Assuming that the ARU rely on the Wallabies to fund the game, then the narrower the pyramid is at the bottom, the weaker the structure will be at the top (i.e. the Wallabies).

    I'll give you a little example at primary school level. For the first time as I understand it there will be a regular AFL Saturday morning competiton for private primary schools under the IPSHA banner. The majority of these players have come from rugby, which has experienced a decline in teams - soccer unchanged. So much for schools filling the void left in clubs.
  13. Quick Hands John Eales (66)

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    He has my best wishes too, but I'm not sure it's going to help.

    I don't agree with some things he's done and he's made progress in other areas, for which he deserves credit.

    He needs to get away from his obsession with schools and do something about the sport at club level. The private schools are quite well-funded, well-resourced and well-organised. The game has almost disappeared in the state system and will take at least a generation to rebuild.

    Whether rugby likes it or not, competitive sport in Australia is club-based and we need to recognise that.

    I'm with you, rugby is a 15 person game. 7s is definitely a way of introducing new players and new fans, but as the ARU themselves continually say; the Wallabies finance the game in Australia. A solid club base at both junior and senior level is essential to the success of the Wallabies.
    Silverado and JuanBarn like this.
  14. barbarian David Codey (61)

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    Well I'm not sure if you have read the 5-year plan, but a central tenet of it is a big expansion of the primary schools program with a big increase in DOs to carry it out.

    So that is what they mean when they say this will 'fill the void'. It will boost numbers massively. They will be bullshit numbers, but numbers nonetheless.

    And this doom and gloom about private school rugby has been going on for years. When I started back in 2001 there was talk about soccer taking over the GPS. Now it's AFL, apparently. This neglects the fact that Riverview have been playing AFL for years, and it's been in the GPS since about 2006 in various forms.

    I think there is a broad trend away from contact sport (also evidenced in the growth of water polo and volleyball in the GPS), but that doesn't mean rugby is 'dying out' and will be overtaken by AFL. It's still by far the most dominant sport at those schools.
  15. barbarian David Codey (61)

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    This question will grow in significance over the next 10-20 years- what is rugby?

    The ARU will doubtless make huge strides in 7s, especially with women. Rio will give it a huge boost, and this will continue every four years.

    Viva7s will also grow as people look more and more for non-contact options.

    15s will continue to fall away at a senior level, and I can't really see how this problem can be solved.

    So do we shift the goalposts here? Should we be happy that 7s grows at the expense of 15s, especially amongst people who will never be playing pro rugby anyway?

    Some of our best Wallabies have come through the 7s system, so it may actually help in developing players.

    No-one is arguing that we shift away from having 15s at the heart of our game, but outside the professional level it may be something that we have to consider more and more in the longer term.
    JuanBarn likes this.
  16. Brendan Hume Charlie Fox (21)

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    I think QH's point that competitive sport is club based is a good one. Many schools are gradually moving away from interschool weekly competition to more agreeable formats such as carnivals, and driving strategy with strong school focus carries significant risk. The most likely outcome is that the private schools comps will remain highly subscribed and competitive, but the state school system will be much harder to develop without huge investment of the type that I'd be surprised rugby could afford.

    IMHO developing the capacity of grassroots clubs in administration (touched on in the document but not really fleshed out yet), and improving the quality of our coaches and referees at all levels are the key factors to help address the declining participation rates. The broad concepts of being time-poor/contact averse I think are furphys, perpetuated by people who look for easy answers.
    Gnostic and Quick Hands like this.
  17. barbarian David Codey (61)

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    FWIW Clubs are mentioned a lot in the 5 year plan. Here are a few examples (stupid fucking program won't allow me to cut text directly):

    5yrplan2.JPG 5yrplan.JPG
    dru and RugbyReg like this.
  18. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Increasingly it seems that professional sporting pathways are driving a wedge between participation in a sport and those on an elite pathway due to professional training regimes being adopted from an earlier and earlier age (this isn't really that different to selective schools testing etc. tutoring and coaching from a young age have become the norm because that is what you are competing with and the stakes are high in terms of the benefits of getting into a selective school). This is also happening in many sports aside from rugby and particularly in contact sports.

    I don't think you're really going to see any great change in that and that certainly validates the ARU wanting to increase the focus on the more participatory options like Viva, 7s etc. because the thing that rugby in Australia really needs a lot more of are future fans of the sport. We need bums on seats at test matches, members of Super Rugby franchises etc.

    At the end of the day Australia is producing lots of good professional players and we have a substantial net outflow of players looking for opportunity overseas because not enough opportunity exists here.

    The professional opportunities are always going to drive elite players to seek that pathway. The more fans we have in Australia, the more the ARU can fund the game and keep players in Australia as well as continue expanding the areas of the game that drive greater interest.
    Quick Hands likes this.
  19. Brendan Hume Charlie Fox (21)

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    To their credit, there is a lot of acknowledgement and some soft targets around clubs. The worry is that there are many clubs and competitions that don't have the capacity to support growth even if the ARU programs delivered that. I think that's a more salient point that will require addressing - quality coaches, quality administrators, quality referees and quality facilities are what drive quality and sustained participation. Obviously the facilities is something outside the realm of the ARU's control but the other stuff can be done. This is where I'd like to see more grassroots consultation - there is a vast wealth of knowledge in the rugby community across the country - some people do some things really well. Club's shouldn't be concerned about turning out Wallabies - there are programs and pathways that do that already. Clubs are there to foster the fans of the future and to continue to spread the love of the game with evangelical zeal.
  20. Quick Hands John Eales (66)

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    I've perused the 5 year plan. The point is that at the moment, these players don't exist - and I think it's going to take a lot longer than 5 years to expand the 15 a side game into schools.

    It's not doom and gloom to state facts - there are fewer boys playing rugby in private schools than there were a generation ago. At the majority of Sydney GPS, CAS and ISA schools there are more boys playing soccer than rugby. Schools have a finite number of students at any one time - so any increase in one sport is by definition at the expense of another. Riverview is unique in that it has had an AFL presence for many years, but the sport is quite new to most schools. Rugby has been replaced by league at most state schools (where there is a rugby code played at all)

    This all really adds to what I'm saying - rugby has no control over what goes on in schools. A healthy club structure is necessary to strengthen the game.

    In terms of overtaking rugby in the private schools, soccer already has - whether or not AFL will, I'm not so sure.
    Rugbynutter39 and Eric like this.

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