Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…read more
NRL concern over declining rugby league participant numbers
NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg has admitted that the code has deep concerns about the decline of rugby league player participation.
The issue has emerged as being at the heart of NRL clubs calling for the resignation of Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) Chairman John Grant, with Grant saying that the declining registrations have driven his decision to back out of an in-principle agreement to fund clubs at 130% of the salary cap.
Speaking last week, Greenberg, who took on his current role in March, stated "I made it clear on day one in this job that I had two priorities: I want to see more people playing the game and I want to see more people watching the game and growing the base of our participation's important.
"We're seeing some declining trends in the last past few years of the registered participants playing tackle footy.”
While the NRL hasn’t released national participant numbers, figures from the NSW, Queensland and Country rugby league associations show player numbers are down.
Across all three of the major associations, there is a broad trend towards a slight drop in numbers, driven by declining male participation but largely offset by exponential growth in the women's game.
According to the NSWRL, for the 2016 season, its overall participation dropped from 40,824 in 2015 to just over 39,000.
NSWRL General Manager of Football Barrie-Jon Mather said while males players were down by between 1,000 and 1,500 participants about up to 1,000 females had picked up the game.
Mather said according to a major study of attitudes, the rate of attrition was being driven by three main factors: the standard of coaching, poor sportsmanship and the unevenness of competitions.
Mather told media “the figures don't tell the whole story"In terms of registered participants, people who play rugby league every week, that's down but people who engage in the sport, and maybe dip in and dip out, that's up for the year.
"We've got lots of people interested in playing; we've just got to work on how to convert them into people who want to play on a regular basis."
The QRL said it had 60,794 registered players in 2016, down from 61,291 the year before but with a rise in female numbers (3,405 to 3,832).
There was also an increase in participation in the QRL Northern Division (13,422 to 13,607) driven largely by North Queensland's 2015 NRL premiership win.
The NSW Country Rugby League (CRL) said its numbers had fallen overall, a drop of about 2% to 56,000, with men down 1%.
CRL Chief Executive Terry Quinn said women's numbers climbed from 5,000 to 7,000 and they were expecting further growth with three women's tag competitions to start in 2017.
Quinn stated “we've noticed since registrations opened up in November, there were 5,000 registered already which was probably 2,000 up on this time last year.”
Commenting on the national picture, Greenberg added “we're seeing great growth in the women's game (and) we're seeing great growth in the recreational game, but we've got some great concerns about where we're heading."
Greenberg said rugby league wasn't the only sport with concerns about participation trends, stating “what this means is we've got to think very carefully about our strategy and we've got to think very carefully about where we apply funds, whether it's in regional areas in the bush or whether it's in the city.
"We've got to be very, very careful about what we do next.
"We're going to have some difficult discussions with clubs about funding."
In its 2015 annual report, the NRL highlight how player numbers across rugby league and touch football were up 6% on the previous year to 1.4 million, a growth of 100,000.
Meanwhile, representatives of the NRL clubs and the ARLC met today and agreed to continue discussions to resolve their current disagreements.
Images: Country rugby league in Nowra, NSW (top), Todd Greenberg (middle) and women's rugby league (below).
29th November 2016 - RUGBY LEAGUE COMMISSION BACKS CHAIRMAN JOHN GRANT IN BATTLE WITH CLUBS
17th November 2016 - NRL ANNOUNCES NEW STRUCTURES FOR STATE BASED COMPETITIONS
11th November 2016 - SYDNEY-BASED NRL CLUBS LOST $34.1 MILLION IN 2016 SEASON
17th June 2016 - NRL LEADERS TOLD OF 4% ATTENDANCE RISE THIS SEASON
10th June 2016 - NRL REACHES MEMBERSHIP MILESTONE AS CLUBS HIT 10,000 MARK
27th November 2015 - NRL ANNOUNCES $1.8 BILLION BROADCAST DEAL WITH FOX SPORTS AND CHANNEL NINE
28th August 2015 - RECORD GROWTH IN WOMEN’S RUGBY LEAGUE
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…read more
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing. 19th July 2018 - ENTA…read more
Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…read more
TPEC Pool Enclosures provide a large range of premium commercial and residential retractable swimming pool, spa and terrace enclosures throughout Australia, servicing residential, local government…read more
JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…read more
Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 30 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…read more
Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!