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24 February 2011


Ok, lets talk.

USAR isn't quoted or referred to in the RSL release. Making it clear they have little to nothing to do with the RSL.

Amateur, volunteer, college coaches and administrators look to be doing all the work in mapping and executing the future of college rugby.

The same type volunteers are mapping and executing youth and high school rugby through SBO's.

So explain to us what Boulder and our high priced executives are doing?

And don't say the national teams and the Eagles.

Kids and their parents are funding the age-grade programs. While the Eagles don't have the funds to train or play together in a RWC year.

We are paying more and more for a national rugby administration which is doing less and less.

One would think USA Rugby would get a domestic airline sponsor to help with costs. 32+16+4 is 52 teams of 25 people (player and coaches) which is 1300 tickets for each competitive division. There are easily well over 10,000 airline tickets being purchased by the rugby community each year for playoffs. 10,000 tickets assuming $500 average is $5 million.

Sadly Emirates Airlines does not fly anywhere useful unless we move playoffs to the Middle East.

Another reason National Team should be separate from domestic rugby. The sponsorship needs are totally different.

Does the average rugby play know that if they are successful on the field, they will need to self-fund about $1000 per playoff weekend? $3000 for a run to the finals?

The most galling situation was when the National Guard was sponsoring national championships for hundreds of thousands and the players were self-funding their participation.

This is one of the things which needs to be accounted for in the USA Sevens College Invitational...it was free to the teams! USA Sevens paid for air, lodging, meals, ground, everything.

If this becomes a legit national championship with a south/central/mid/north state university verses the chiro school on one side of the bracket and ASU Boks verses the poly warriors on the other side. Subway and their friends might say, we're going to sponsor something else. Which means NBC broadcast something else. Which means this tournament is self-funded by the participants.

uuuggghhhh.... There are more teams that have left the RSL than teams that currently compete 2011. Doesn't that say enough about viability and sustainment of a nationwide competition? With the lion's share of games being held at Percy Milktoast Elementary School to a crowd of 25-50 close friends, relatives, and B-siders warming up, how can the thought of expanding competition even be considered?
What business wants to throw money at that type of league?

The $6-8K per away match translates into a $30-40K season in a 10-game format (assuming 5 away matches). This doesn't include playoff travel. Who can fundraise this much?

You may see youth clubs subsidizing senior men's teams soon as more and more kids drink the rugby kool-aid and play....

Churchill Cup was losing money when it ws a four team format. They expanded to six teams, increased costs, and lost even more money. Genius.

we have heard for years that RSL is simply a tournament played by like minded organizations and run by that organization.

They are self appointed "foremost senior competition"...

they are self funded...

they are a country club...

the clubs that are in the RSL are truely the ones who care most about the comp.

the remainder just cringe when thier own best players leave to play in the RSL...

since there is zero USARFU money going to RSL - why does anyone else care about the cost of the comp OR how they raise thier funds?

it is country club..

22*18 or 400 players. How do you get to 10k airline tickets exactly?

Here is a suggestion, the RSL champions shouldn't get anywhere close to playing Cal or BYU. For that matter they should stay away from St Mary's, Utah, ASU, Life and Army.

The top two or three RSL teams are good teams, no better than the top college teams, as the record shows, but good nevertheless. How come the NYAC didn't play BYU last year and are they going to play Cal this year.

Wonder which existing RSL teams will fall before the end of this season?

It is a LOT of money to raise.

Old boys can only donate for so long...

Any truth to the rumor that the Barbarians will exit?

We are in the RSL as long as exists!

One of the fundamental issues in the RSL is the cost share.

Many (but not all) of the teams that quit the RSL were those that felt paying into the cost share was not a strong return on investment.

In general, there are two fundamental transfers of wealth in the league:

1. Regular Season: From East Coast to West Coast teams. And within that, a particular wealth transfer to isolated teams -- Denver and OPSB (Seattle).

2. Post-Season: Non-playoff teams to playoff teams.

So if you are an East Coast team, toiling in the middle / bottom of the RSL log, those that fund the club's participation may sour on the league. On the east cost, this is generally funded by the players themselves (ex. NYAC), through dues and fundraising.

West Coast teams: West Coast teams that make the playoffs should always like the RSL, as they get a two-fold subsidy. West Coast teams toiling in the mid-table or that are isolated (Denver, OPSB), should have partially offsetting effects.

Belmont might be see to debunk my argument. But I think the issue there was they saw an improved local league, and that combined with the financial issues at the club (benefactor(s) drying up), it made staying in SoCal, and only paying for your playoffs more effective.

All in all, the RSL financial costs create a particular challenge to clubs with larger squads that are also self-funded. B and C side guys on non-playoff bound east coast clubs are asked to work on fundraising to pay for the Top 22 to go to the West Coast and get pasted. Club members are instead thinking what is better for them, saving the money towards a tour, or to build a pitch, or build a youth organization?

Some might say that the RSL was a venture capital investment, and that keeping your equity stake alive has value.

As is becomes more and more clear that the RSL will not be a marketable product, staying in the league makes less sense.

From a straight up capitalism perspective, if/when club rugby becomes profitable, why would an investor need to buy out the RSL club stake? Couldn't they just make their own franchises and pull the carpet out?

I could easily see the USARFU office not have the backbone to insist on a buyout, and simply have some guy wave money in front of them, and give them the pro franchise.

It would be interesting to now how many of the Eagles
1) Played for what is now a CPL team
2) Played RSL
3) Never Played RSl
4) Played Professionally (Europe, Japan)

I'm guessing Canada places more of it's palyers professionally than the USA. Would a Super League team actively work to support a player's professional ambitions are would they work against him?

we heard the barbo rumors as well. mostly to do with the current group of actives being small in numbers.

nothing new here, tough economy -

Tough ecomony? Let's not blame the economy. RSL has lost teams during boom times as well. RSL is a broken business model. Current owners might think some big payout is coming on their venture but fact is they have 8 people too many on their sides to be of commercial interest. A Sevens Super League might have a chance with half the travel costs and a tie in with the Olympics.

One and two day Tournamnet rugby is the only format that has ever made money in the US. USA Sevens is the best example on the international level. Dozens of Sevens Tournaments around the country are proftiable even though they are not at the elite level. Even Fifteen Torunaments make money but not with the 80 minute format. Most youth rugby programs are sevens format. Full 80 minute rugby can't make money in the US. Churchill Cup is the best example of losing money on 80 minute fifteens. USA Eagle 15s matches lose money. No Club in the US makes money on 80 minute Fifteens, they only make money on tournaments. Commercially, 80 minute rugby is pig and it will always be player funded. 15s will continue to exist because players will pay for it.

baseball and basketball (billion dollar empires) have the same issues with the smaller markets..


nothing new here...

RSL took a giant step for us all when they took a stand against USARFU. they operate independantly -within USA rugby..

this is the key - it opened doors to youth saying no and the new college league..

RSL is a country club for organizations with money - it is the English (UK) model for rugby - some like it, some dont...

let the free market decide...

For those than say the colligate level is "better," great to have an opinion. Where do you recommend someone go play AFTER the college years are done? Shouldn't we have a level of Rugby about social rugby beyond college in the US?

Talk about beating a dead horse. The so-called ‘Super League’ has been anything but super.

It has diminished most clubs involved in both financial and playing terms. Do a quick analysis of such clubs as Old Blue NY, Washington, PAC, OMBAC or Philadelphia Whitemarsh before and after the Super League. The Super League has bolted on an enormous financial burden on the leading clubs with very little upside in playing terms.

It was also the catalyst behind a catastrophic club consolidation in most metropolitan areas such as New York, Boston and Washington. Previously strong local leagues are now a thing of the past. It also led to the demise of many leading tournaments such as the Cherry Blossom.

The sad thing is that the quality of play is average at best. The fact that the US has gone backwards by most international benchmarks is solid enough evidence since the on-set of the Super League (granted the rest of the world has become professional).

There are numerous other problems facing US rugby such as the brevity of the 15s season and a fixation on sevens rugby. Eliminate or rationalise the Super League and there will be one less.

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