Few would suggest Americans are among the world's technical leaders.
Why not? Our heritage and aptitude extends from investing the spin pass and modern throw-in to the tackling doctrine of the NFL's best defensive team.
One reason is shortage of opportunity. The ballyhooed growth in playing numbers has not been matched by a new generation of representative and international coaches.
Succeed or fail, a domestic coach's plans for and responses to overseas competition make it possible for erstwhile rivals to participate vicariously, on the basis of shared local experience. It's harder to connect with foreign approaches, for lack of established bonds and since communication is stunted by dialect as well as the pressure of events.
With the goal of promoting innovation in America, the objective is not jobs for locals, but establishing a hothouse environment. Over the past decade, however, representative competition has all but died, and with it coaching slots. Meanwhile, although USARFU has had to detail its rationale for every foreign hire to the INS, the union hasn't troubled to consolidate its views into a public policy.
Fewer games and no yardsticks on the way to international coaching berths: by consequence, America is deprived of the bracing, win-or-else stimulus that validates inventiveness.
In describing the work of a compatriot filmmaker confronting cultural imperialism, the political economist Amartya Sen observed that '[Satyajit Ray] never fashioned his creation to cater to what the West may expect from India, but nor did he refuse to enjoy and learn from what Western and other cultures offered'.
Substituting Commonwealth and America for the West and India, one perceives a useful model of equilibrium for coaching opportunities and technical inspiration alike. It remains for Boulder to convert policy to action.