I have a sure fire way to get a version of Rugby League into the Olympics and at the same time, get the sport played in a number of different countries almost straight away.
If you have ever played Touch Football (Also known as “Touch Rugby”) you will know that its basically Rugby League without the tackling.
Its a lot of fun to play, it allows for players of differing physical abilities to participate, its a lot easier to set up and administer, and generally people find it a lot more accessible then the full 13 man game of Rugby League.
I think Rugby League would be doing itself a great favor if it decided to basically fund Touch Football and in return use Touch Football as a way to promote Rugby League.
I’d have no problem with Touch Football being promoted at NRL, Super League or even Test matches. At the same time I think the Touch Football community would enjoy the extra funding and the incredible opportunities to promote the game on a much bigger stage.
Imagine seeing a game of high class Touch Football played in the lead up to a game of Rugby League. I’m sure that Touch Football players would LOVE to show their skills in front of a huge crowd rather then on the local sporting fields as they do now.
We could see a scenario similar to the setup between the NRL and Arena Football league in the U.S. where a number of NFL teams own Arena League teams and use cross promotions to good effect with both sides.
Such a partnership would seem to be in favor of Touch Football, however, I think the fact that Rugby League would be getting exposure in areas it normally wouldn’t would be a MASSIVE boost for the code as it struggles to expand into new areas.
I think this is a case where both sides would gain a lot out of such a partnership. It could also lead to Rugby League taking a more active roll in other versions of “Rugby” such as Wheelchair Rugby.
Neither Rugby league nor touch Football seem to have any immediate plans to step up and enter the Commonwealth or Olympic games, but working together and with an instant supporter, sponsor and player base, it could become a reality with a bit of forward thinking and some team work.
Lets hope the administrators are taking note. 😉
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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