If you were USA Rugby how would you start a league?

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by voicekiller, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. voicekiller

    voicekiller Guest

    I was just curious what everyone thought on this. If anyone had any suggestions, ideas, things you would like to see...etc

    If you were USA Rugby what would you do?
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  3. Brodizzle

    Brodizzle Guest

    Just have an advert on it showing some big hits and awesome tries with some awesome guitar soloes in the background, hire in some Samoans and some Fijians and tell them to get out there, run like buggery and smash some people, the Chiropractor will surely go down a treat in an upstart US league. At your more prestiguous colleges try to set up rugby scholarships and build a culture through that, get some of the African Americans in the game to take over the Samoans and Fijians and you have yourself a league....

    Focus on tribal-rivalries when setting up teams, you want passion in the game, but yeah, in adverts have guitar solos and big hits followed by explosions to show how big the hit was....maybe bag out NFL saying that only pussies wear padding...

    Maybe when searching for local players have a recruitment for your average couch potato as props, 'Like Ladies, Like food, like money? Well you'll LOVE rugby union' I can see it now. :)
  4. Dmx#1

    Dmx#1 Guest

    I would buy the worlds greatest rugby players! Even the most loyal players wouldnt be able to refuse my generous offers. Then i'd make it compulsory to have hot cheerleaders with skimpy outfits for every team. Then i'd hire someone to do all the work for me, and if USA Rugby went bankrupt i'd fake my death and collect my money insurance and flee to some low key country.
  5. Substitute

    Substitute Guest

    Cheerleaders ALWAYS go down well. :)

    Otherwise you need to set up a league - your choice as to whether its divisions or one big league.

    It wouldn't be popular but promotion and relegation don't half make leagues more exciting.

    No stupid names - we got enough of them in England - I mean no Texas Rednecks, Baltimore Bananas ( :bana: ) or New York Cillit Bang (BANG, AND THE OPPOSITION HAVE GONE).

    Set up a college program similar, but inevitibally more low-key, than that of football/

    Most importantly improve the image of rugby. Show it as the next best after American Football. Get parents proud of their son being in the rugby side.

    As your football is seemingly played every day of the week try and find a day it isn't.

    Do not model yourself on the MLS which - to be honest - sucks.

    And sign a TV deal.

    And obviously get all the money you can out of that Pepsi guy...
  6. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    They're actually trying to start a Super 14 style league in conjunction with Canada and Argentina.

    And yes, Bath is a crap name, whatever you yanks do, don't have a team called "Bath".

    Whatever the yanks would do, it would be huge, sensational and involve huge fog horns.
  7. O'Rothlain

    O'Rothlain Guest

    I would firstly expose the people who play rugby to professional rugby...
    You wouldn't believe how many people I've played the sport with that couldn't hold a conversation on Rugby from super 14, 6 Nations to RWC. They don't know popular players, clubs, anything...They don't even know what League is. It's sort of shocking.
    We have a long way to go.
    Let's get our ameatur game sorted first...they've been making massive improvements. The new NA4 thing looks promising.
    And where does this Americas Super 14 rumor come from (Argies, Canuks, Yanks)?
  8. Surely gridiron has to be a fertile recruiting ground. Market it as gridiron for real men. Show some guy padding up cutting to & fro between a haka and some big hits from international reugby matches.

    Getting some college scholarships for promising players would be a good idea too. Which colleges have strong rugby traditions? If they do it that way there'll always be players coming through. Draft them the North American league when they leave college.
  9. stevemagoo

    stevemagoo Guest

    Sort out high quality Referees - Any of the games i've seen while there (college teams etc..) - The game descends into a farce. High hits all over the place. Breakdown not policed at all....

  10. The US already has a college league
  11. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    It isn't a rumour, it is what the iRB have been trying to plan with the Unions of the USA, Canada and Argentina for quite some time now.

    The idea was that by 2010 or something, Argentina would be in an expanded Tri Nations, the Churchill Cup would be going from stregnth to stregnth and there would be a pan-American super 14 league thing going.
  12. Hazey

    Hazey Guest

    Start it as a major sport in schools, then colleges, and in 15 years you might have enough players to consider starting a proper league.
  13. DC

    DC Guest

    you have enough players now for a proper league just not the skill needed for it to be professional IMO but eventually..
  14. Hazey

    Hazey Guest

    That was really my point, from the US members on this forum, your good self as an example, it is obvious that rugby is at least present in America.
  15. voicekiller

    voicekiller Guest

    Rugby is present but i feel that with the right players, the right exposure and the right marketing, it could be bigger than the nhl...as long as it is marketed towards people who love football, it will do great actually...it will take a couple years to get going but it could be a huge sport here in the States
  16. fcukernaut

    fcukernaut Guest

    Offering scholarships would certainly be a start, but I don't think it's really going to get you anywhere. The best athletes are already playing basketball, football or baseball, and given that there are so many scholarships already available(ie 2925 new football scholarships in Div 1 football alone). And then the other potential athetes are too stupid to make college. One could argue that many of the current athletes are having their tests written for them because they can't do it themselves but I digress. The current state of University rugby in the States is a joke. My high school team was down there for a tournament and we could have beaten every university team handidly.

    What really needs to happen is at the grassroots level. You have to establish rugby as a school sponsored sport. Right now it is not. It has something to do with having to have a girls sport for every guys sport, I believe DC can fully explain this. You can't even begin to consider creating under 9's and house league stuff until you've established it in the high schools.

    Next never consider drop out football players as a suggestion. It is stupid and you will never see it happen. Every rugby skill translates into football but no football skill translates into rugby. Taking the ball into contact is so drastically different, the contact situation is monumentally different. It's not just teaching players how to ruck, it's teaching players how to tackle. Football players haven't got a clue how to tackle. In football you lead with your head, in rugby that's a concussion waiting to happen. They don't know how to wrap properly and they especially don't know how to tackle from behind either. Don't believe me? look at the NFL. They actually had to create a rule so that you don't horsecollar someone(grabbing their collar from behind). Any half brained idiot would tell you to tackle their legs. You have to get to them early enough i.e beginning of high school or you have no shot at teaching the game.

    Canada has had a shockingly terrible system for a long time and I believe it's finally coming around. Before it was once the high school season is over in June, you play either play club for the rest, you do nothing for the summer or you play for your province(if you're "good" enough. The main problem with that is the Provincial, for lack of a better word, headquarters is situated far away from where a lot of the talented players were. It's not their fault that because Canada is so large and the population dispersed, that there are inconviences with travel. For example in Ontario, the main training ground is near Toronto. Big shock. The only problem is rugby in Toronto blows and the real rugby is played away from there. When I played Ontario there was a guy who had to drive four hours to make a rugby practice. He often just stayed with someone half way, but still. In the end it costed me, well my family, around $5000 to play for the provincial side for about 2 months. Now excuse me but that just about limits the opportunity to only people who can afford it. Should you wish to play for Canada? That's another $500 for a week training camp and then whatever it costs to fly to whereever the next camp is. If the National Union had a brain in their head they'd make some major changes.

    Firstly, you need to spend the money given to them by the iRB wisely. Look it's great that Canada paid for a backs coach, but you know what? That money could have found a much better destination. Work with the grassroots. If you have to, split the money 50/50 down the middle. Half goes to the national mens team, half goes grassroots. With that money going to the grass roots, develop a transportation system to get those kids into the training sessions, so it doesn't cost them an arm and a leg. And especially don't make them pay for the kit. Make your sponsors cough up extra jerseys, or here's a smart idea just have sets of jerseys, everyone doesn't need their own to keep.

    Secondly, you need better coaching. I chose to forgoe the Ontario team despite knowing that I could walk onto the team, because I'm not going to learn anything. Sure I may be a special case that had been playing rugby since I was nine years old and know the game rather well, but still the coaching desperately needs to get better. The option I chose this year was to play both U18's(they play wednesday) and senior men's for my club. I know I'll learn more out at the club from the older guys or playing against older guys than I will with those who are my age.

    Thirdly, you need stepping stones. Canada currently has been getting them. There may become a time when the provincial jersey becomes redundent or at least redundent at the junior level. I will continue to use the Canadian and Ontario example. As you may or may not know there is something called the "Super League". It is a league made up of amatuer Canadian players from different provinces around the country. They get their tickets paid for and they fly around the country and in the end the winner from the East plays the winner from the West. Well now there is junior affiliates to this. They are U20 sides, though there are rules that make these comprised mostly of U19's. This is a much better alternative to Ontario in my opinion. It's a much more local competition. For example, Ontario has three teams so travelling times to and from practices should take no longer than a half hour each way. This makes a far more economical system and puts the stepping stones in place. If you're a little lost I'll break it down. First you play high school, then club, U20 superleague, Superleague, then on to NA4 and finally Canada. To me that makes more sense than Provincial team to Canadian junior teams and hopefully Canada men's.

    This may be Canada centric but it can easily applied to the American game. You need stepping stones up to NA4 and the American team.

    What voicekiller said is mostly a vast crock of ****. For one there is no way that the iRB will ever be able to have the money to get that "right exposure". It's just simply not going to happen. Ever. To even think about taking down the NHL is a goal far and a way beyond what is reasonably expectable. Even when the NHL is in complete shambles. The Versus TV contract is worth over US$100million and the Canadian broadcasting deals are worth even more. I'd like to see the total value of the Six Nations TV deal but I doubt it reaches the sum of about US$240million. Do you know what the average attendance is for the Heineken Cup? About 12000. That's about what the worst team in the NHL averages a night and there are 41 games at home for each team. To tell you the truth rugby has an evern longer road than you might think. The top TV sports in the States are:
    1. The NFL
    2. NASCAR
    3. NBA
    4. Baseball
    5. NCAA Football
    6. NCAA Basketball
    7. Poker
    8. NHL
    Besides even on a popular sports scene for rugby to take the number four slot they'd have to beat out not only Hockey but Soccer and Lacrosse. They'd have a shot at lacrosse but soccer is well and truley out of the question. For one the player base of soccer in America is greater than that of American football and rugby will never rival American football.

    The major way of starting a league is to make sure you can get as many of the black atheletes as possible. Let's not fool ourselves, black athetes are, as a general rule the most athletic. They are a generally the fastest, strongest and most agile of all athletes. And lucky for the US they have a plethora of young black men that can leap tall buildings. You pass through any poor New York neighbourhood and on every other street corner you will see world class atheletes playing basketball. These are young men that will never make it pro. If you can somehow bring the game to them you will find yourself with a team of unstopeable atheletes. A huge problem of course is the lack of playing fields. It seems basketball courts are much cheaper in densly populated areas. It is a problem that currently is attempted to be resolved in the aforemention NYC. I truly believe that the fate of American rugby rests squarely in the program run in the depths of the New York ghetto.

    I had a conversation a while ago about black players in the US and rugby with DC and he said that to get blacks to play rugby, there needs to be more financial incentive should they ever be good enough to go pro. He, and I assure you, said this in a much more blunt and quite frankly in a more racially incensitive tone. But he is almost completely right. When you consider what rugby is currently offering, say the reported £250,000 a year contract offer to one of the best inside centres in the world, Luke McCalister. And then compare that to the average salary of an NFL bench player(US$1.5mil), NBA player(US$3.5 million) it pales in comparison. Not to mention the opportunities to play basketball abroad, where an NBA dropout can easily earn six figures for being no where near the top of the heap.

    For the US to be successful they need to spend money far more wisely, and concentrate at the grassroots level. In particular to create stepping stones all the way to the men's national side. As well they need to do their best to attract not only the black athlete but the large contingent of pacific islanders who call America home.
  17. DC

    DC Guest

    It would be more than a start to offer scholarships, that would encourage more players to play the game throughout college, even if it were just a partial or quarter scholarship with health insurance benefits for injuries picked up in the game. Thats a problem plauging the rugby development is a lot of kids will stop playing when they get to college because what do you get from it? Unless your someone whos been scouted etc theres no real incentive to keep playing other for an undying love of the game. I dont know i think ohio state probably would have worked you guys, and their in a down year!

    Theres only one school in my league that is school sponsored, that is st edwards, and that is because a.) their head of program is from new zealand and b.) it's an all boys school, so there is no quota to reach on title IX Title IX. Which factors into part of the reason why we are not school sponsored, not to mention the OHSAA (ohio high school athletic association) doesn't even recognize it as a sport :rolleyes: .

    I agree with that to an extent that you cant rely on drop out football players, but i wouldnt rule them out completely, there have been several players who have made impacts in europe and were former football players. Dan Lyle and Paul Emerick to name a few. Dan Lyle made a profound impact overseas helping bath to lift the heineken cup and was regarded as one of the finest players in the world. But on most cases i would say youre absolutely right.

    Most black people here, not being racist but more factually, are in it for the love of the money not the love of the game. To get them interested in rugby there has to be cold hard cash to shower them in. Thats all there is really to it. But what i think would be beneficial for most aspiring athletes here is that you can still earn a decent living in rugby 100,000 to play a sport is fine money. It may not bring you the glitz an glamour that other professional sports will but you will still make a pretty fine living off it. Afterall you are still playing a sport as a job!

    For us to be successful not only do we need the stepping stones for black athletes but also the stepping stones for every rugby aspiring athlete. Right now our system hurts a potential rugby player not help them. I cant imagine how our system can help considering it goes from u17 to u20 then you drop right off the map unless you miraculously make the collegiate all americans (which is largely determined on how well your team does to make the national championships, if you dont make those you have no shot) and then finally to the mens national team, hopefully the NA4 will provide that vital step from u20 to national team.
  18. feicarsinn

    feicarsinn Guest

    the ideal man to promote rugby in america is johnny wilkinson. its fairly widely noted that in most american sports the set piece is very popular and wilkinson pretty much sums up goalkicking.

    also it would be worth laying the groundwork with a national college system in place to feed players
  19. voicekiller

    voicekiller Guest

    I believe one thing that would help would be to bring in coaches and former stars from all over Europe...like bring in Umaga, Johnny Wilkinson, Jonah, etc... Also see if American stars that play over seas will play in this league.

    In response to fcukernaut...I don't think Rugby will be bigger than the NHL right away, but with the right promotion and media coverage this will be a profitable league...and as the profits grow, so will the salaries of the players and this will attract players from other countries...no one is expecting this to be an overnight thing...but in time this could be just as big as all the other leagues in America, except for maybe MLB and the NFL...but like all great things it will take time.
  20. DC

    DC Guest

    Yea but if i am ever playing for a team in europe theres no chance in hell i'd come here to play instead
  21. voicekiller

    voicekiller Guest

    Yea but if i am ever playing for a team in europe theres no chance in hell i'd come here to play instead

    No but you might be able to do both...if the seasons are at different times then maybe...i mean this is all speculation, but if i played overseas and my season was over and the Americans offered me some money to play and maybe some incentives, id consider it
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