Everyone knows I love the concept of an Aboriginal All Stars team taking on an NRL All Stars team. It will make for a great game, it will be a great way to kick off the season and it will celebrate the fact that Rugby League has a higher percentage of Aboriginal players than any other sport in Australia.
Good all round.
Things are starting to get a bit weird though….
First of all, the Aboriginal All Stars team, yeah I see why they went in that direction. I’d have rather seen a proper Aboriginals representative side with players picked on form rather than by fans, but either way it will be an amazing side.
Then we have the NRL All Stars team, and here is where it gets complicated, stupid and it starts to lose me.
They wanted to have the Australian and New Zealand captains taking part, thats fine. Then they wanted to have no more than one player per NRL team in the side, and I see where they are coming from.
The last thing NRL teams need is for half their first grade squad to be selected in this game and it become a disruption to their pre season. It also gets every team involved, so its not a bad idea.
But this voting process, my god….
I think between both teams I have voted in 4 different stages of selection, and they still don’t have the bloody sides worked out!
Voting started last year, in fact, we were still playing Rugby League at that stage. Its going to take four months to select these two teams, and that is just beyond stupid!
There are very few representative games around the world that I can think of where fans get to chose the teams. One notable one is the NBA All Star game.
The NBA puts together a ballot, you have to chose a Center, two Forwards and Two Guards for the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. The top vote getters are the starters for either teams, and the benches are selected by the coaches of the respective teams, which allows players to be rewarded that might normally get over looked.
Its a very simple system, it works, you start voting on one date, its ends and the teams are announced.
This is what the NRL should have been aiming for, simplicity.
I’m a footy tragic, I’ve been looking forward to this game since it was first announced, but this convoluted, dragged out voting system just has me not really being all that bothered any more.
So how should it all be done?
Fans select their teams for both sides, the votes are tallied and then the coaches pick the teams from the top vote getters based on the one team per NRL club rule. Run the voting from January 1st to the 31st, the teams are announced and we play the game two weeks later.
Is there anything wrong with that? Would we really miss out on anything by cutting down the 50 stages of the voting process into just two stages, one where fans select who they want to play, and one where the coaches form the sides from those picks.
Hell you could stream the coaches announcements online, they could talk about the top vote getters, the players they selected and who missed out because a club team mate was already selected.
What ever the case, this current voting system is simply stupid. It needs changed if this game is going to retain the general fans interest.
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
Oct 15, 2019 0