Saturday, 16 January 2010

Here comes the summer?

I should be playing rugby today. I'm not, for various reasons including the fact that it's my son's 7th birthday party (although you'd think a clever Dad might manage to avoid that particular punishment) and, of course, my continued obesity and lack of fitness. Even if fit and available, however, my game this weekend would have been cancelled owing to the continuing wintry conditions.

This brings me on to my thought for the day (it's dangerous to have more than one)...

The weather has meant that Chesham 1st XV, for example, haven't played a fixture for more than a month and I'm sure that amateur rugby clubs up and down the land are experiencing similar problems.

Which begs the question: isn't it about time that we sorted out the northern hemisphere rugby season so that we avoid playing in December and January?

Not only are matches lost to the weather, but so are training sessions at both senior and - perhaps more importantly - mini rugby level. And when training does take place it is cold, wet and thoroughly miserable, hardly the environment to nurture and encourage our future talent.

It makes eminent sense to me to look very seriously at the feasibility of summer rugby. As well as being far more enjoyable, playing rugby in decent conditions would undoubtedly allow skills to develop more readily and the game would be far more entertaining to watch (and - with the prospect of cold beers and and a barbeque - a far more pleasant experience).

There may be an argument that harder ground might lead to more injuries but, let's be honest, how often do we have a long dry summer these days? And, even if we did, I'm sure we'd adapt.

Perhaps more importantly, a switch to summer rugby would finally provide the opportunity for the northern and southern hemispheres to align their respective rugby seasons, giving us that long sought-after holy grail - the global season.

You know it makes sense.

1 comment:

Nursedude said...

One of the reasons I have a lot of admiration for British and Irish players is the conditions in which you play rugby-playing rugby when it is around freezing with driving rain or sleet just sucks. It was the coldest I have ever been in my life, and I am from a part of the USA that is synonomous with cold, rotten weather. I had experience playing in that down in St. Louis, Missouri 3 years ago at Ruggerfest, and I thought to myself that I could not imagine playing in conditions like that all of the time-yet teams in the UK and Ireland do that in December and January on a regular basis. On the one hand you have to admire their toughness, but on the other hand, it is not much fun for the players or fans(a lot of empty seats)-and let's face it, it is not much fun to watch trench warfare in the mud for two months.

I think given the number of matches so many of the international players do these days, I think taking a break from mid December to mid January is not a bad idea.