But they have a job ahead of them,touch & oz tag are firmly entrenched in most areas.
Schools. It looks a good initiative. They should be pushing it hard at the primary school level. Get young kids playing it, link with clubs and you will have something to build on.
Especially in state and parish primary schools - you don't need highly qualified coaches to run it.
I play for Wanneroo Rugby Club in WA, we trialled the new super touch over Christmas, and as I was playing "old Dogs" touch on the other pitch, I can answer a few questions straight off - 1)This super touch will not bring more Rugby players into the clubs, it will bring in more touch players - definitely a distinction that needs to be made2) for us the subs required for the Super touch and normal touch teams this year caused much grumbling, and the number of teams entered in each code was way down on previous years - 4 years ago we had 4 fields and three kick off times each Thursday for the normal touch comp, this year we ran both competitions and did it all on two pitches. I'm not sure if the subs level was set by club or by Rugby WA, but either way a lot of teams were put off this year.3) the actual "post subs" funds generated by the club was woeful this year - the Touch Fraternity just weren't particularly keen to stay behind for a jar and a pie - not sure if this is local to us, or if its a general thing, but these are definitely not folks that will be swelling the numbers on the sidelines each Saturday afternoon during the regular season. The usual club functions were attended by the usual stalwarts, but I haven't seen a major influx of new faces caused by any event or campaign.
The only really unique non contact game that could have been exploited was flag rugby. Unfortunately league got a hold of it first and OzTag is huge. In my experience, touch is a poor recruitment tool for rugby, although the 7s element in this game is a positive use of the 7s brand
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The ARU GM Participation seems to be pretty proud of the efforts to invent touch, according to an article on the blog.
We have recently developed a new program for the community with the Australian Sports Commission, VIVA7s (website is now live, viva7s.com.au). VIVA7s is non-contact, a way we’ve proactively put our effort, energy and some funds into a rugby product, an experience that is inclusive for all ages, abilities and genders, and can be hosted by a club and drive a new revenue stream for them, as well as BBQ revenue and so on.
In the comments below the article, Stu from Warneroo in WA had this to say about an implementation of Viva 7's over Christmas.
I really hope it will reverse the decline in rugby's fortunes, but I remain a little skeptical of its ability to do so.