Friday, 2 March 2018

Ideas For Improving RL

Games need to evolve otherwise they can become predictable and less interesting. I find RL can be at times too much drive up the middle with big forwards. How could that be modified to give more variety?

Minimal change: This would involve a player forced of the pitch along the sideline. Currently that means loss of possession. It encourages teams to stay away from the touchline unless there is a clear defensive deficiency on a particular flank. The change would mean that when a player goes out, it counts as one tackle and the play the ball would be made either five or ten metres infield.

Result. Teams would not be penalised when spreading the ball wide and getting forced out. On the fifth tackle they would lose possession as now but otherwise they could continue with their attack. The game would see more of the field used more often.

Caveat. I can't see a down side to this.

Major change: This would be going back to the five metre defense rather than the current ten metre one. The ten metre gives the big boys more time to wind up and hit the defensive line with greater impact. The attacking side makes plenty of ground by that one dimensional play. It requires high fitness levels as defenses have to run back and forth up to ten metres each set. Less fit amateurs and semi pros cannot keep that up when playing full professional players. It also rewards teams with big, fast players.

Result. Attacking teams would have to have a deeper formation. Passing the ball wider as going up the middle would be less advantageous. Then coupled with the rule above, not such a problem with being forced out. It would mean lower scores and less blow outs of the scoreline. At World Cups for example, the one sided scorelines that blighted the 2017 edition would have been mitigated.

Caveat. Would fans dislike the tighter matches, with less scoring and more emphasis on kicking down field to make yardage? The ease that attacking teams can march down the field would be reduced. I think that's good but some may not.

Summary: The first rule is a no-brainer to me. The second would need trialing to see how it panned out. Coaches would have to rethink strategies big time. I'd like to see them tried at the very least. I hope policy makers read my blog.

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