Proposed U16's National Youth League

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Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by Sam Armstrong on Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:53 am

The announcement, without consultation, that BARLA are seeking to go behind the backs of their own Member Regional Leagues and set up a new U16's National Youth League is, yet again, a return to the old days of mistrust and subterfuge which is highly likely to re-open old wounds and quite simply beggars belief. How odd that this piece sneaks in quietly on the website and yet is just about the only news item not to have been repeated on here .... how very very convenient ... or deliberate??

I was always led to believe that the Youth & Junior Council was the forum at which issues of this magnitude should be raised and discussed i.e. amongst those who may be affected and have practical knowledge of those particular age-groups, and not merely for the Board to create a new competition on the seeming whim of one or two individuals? It is somewhat disconcerting that, no matter which Minutes I read, I cannot find any references nor can I recall this matter relating to the Under 16's National Youth League ever being discussed by the floor.

It is hard enough already to get straight answers on any simple basic BARLA rugby issues let alone specific Youth/Junior matters, so who the hell from the Associaton is actually, physically, going to going to run, coordinate fixtures, collect results, organise registrations and, most importantly, finance this competition. ... I dare say it'll be another bit of backtracking and hypocrisy on the part of the Board and be passed on to the RFL/RL Services who, most of the time they call not fit to burn.

Frankly, in the view of many, there is quite simply no-one currently masquerading as a BARLA Youth & Junior Representative, with a clue about how to coordinate a competition of this scale for the younger age-groups .. if they can't run a small Cup competition over several months what chance have they of basically repeating that feat on a weekly basis?

I am astounded that, after the abject failure of their previous attempt at undermining the NW Counties 16-18's League last season, that this attempt at poaching has again apparently re-appeared under another guise. The County and National Cups are to all intents and purposes already ran, outside of BARLA by the same Leagues which the Association now wishes to slap in the face as thanks for their previous support and yet somehow our Governing Body is going to try repeat what they cannot manage to do on an annual basis but think they can manage weekly?? Are they serious??

What about the additional costs for coaches and travel where is that going to come from? When will clubs have to register? There is only about 16 weeks left to the start of many Regional Playing League's new seasons so when was the Association going to have the courtesy to inform them their Leagues that had been again circumvented and that those with, allegedly, their Members interests at heart had purloined most of their teams?? This action could quite possibly not only decimate their own Member Leagues but may lead to their collapse all together?

One seriously has to ask questions about the motives behind the move. Is it, as I have already stated, another attempt to undermine those Leagues that have had the nerve to leave the fold by Board Members, with their own personal agendas, hell bent on revenge??? Suspect

Can we, please, be informed which of our three "Youth & Junior Representatives", who are, as I was led to believe supposed to reflect their Members wishes, proposed this and, again, ask with what consultation? I am sure that, when they come to try to curry favour when seeking re-election the Association's youth/junior members would like to know exactly who the Judas is amongst them or will their identity yet again conveniently remain protected?

I am incensed by this decision which throws oil back on the fire and destroys any goodwill which seemed to be re-appearing following hard work by the BARLA Chair.

For those Board Members who are struggling with the concept ... what you have done is ... YET AGAIN, pointed that gun barrel at your foot and pulled the trigger!

Well done on another calamity! You are truly doing the Association proud and may well be amongst it's last Board Members as it continues, with your assistance, to collapse around you.



Last edited by Sam Armstrong on Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by mick doyle on Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:01 am

Well said Sam , this needs a response from Carol as youth chair if true its an absolute disgrace .

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by clowesey on Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:08 am

Mick

It was posted on the BARLA website yesterday. First news article. I emailed Carole earlier today and am now awaiting an official response.

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by mick doyle on Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:24 am

Jackie dont hold your breath Embarassed

Has this been discussed at the youth table recently Question

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by Sam Armstrong on Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:55 am

At League level, if an individual team tried to poach/encourage players to join them at the expense of their existing team then we would not hesitate to bring that team in front of the disciplinary panel ....and yet here we have our own Governing Body to all intents and purposes condoning their actions by trying to poach entire teams!! Will they be brought to account by someone before it is too late??? Or do they now feel that the are above reproach??
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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by YAKC on Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:08 am

Just by veiwing the few posts its clearly obvious this never was and has not been discussed with the reletive leagues and once again we have a major confrontation situation with the BARLA officials.
The things that spring to mind coming from Hull are the cost of this proposed league and the admin side of things. Most succesful Hull sides from 16 upwards to 18,s already play in the Yorkshire combination league at a great cost why do we need to burden the clubs even further.
This is my 1st post on here but I have to say IF WE WANT BARLA TO SURVIVE then things have to change no good just griping on here, the knifes are out with the RFL and NCL skipping along hand in hand what do we want ??

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by Sam Armstrong on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:00 pm

YAKC wrote:... IF WE WANT BARLA TO SURVIVE then things have to change no good just griping on here, the knifes are out with the RFL and NCL skipping along hand in hand what do we want ??
YAKC this is not an attempt to undermine the Association, God knows they seem hell bent on doing that themselves at present, but where are the people who are supposed to represent our views??? Are they proposing this? If they are then they clearly are out of line with those they purport to represent or are they just sycophantically nodding in unison with the OA reps instead of arguing the case for those Youth & Junior Leagues who voted for them?

At the very least this should have been discussed at the Y & J Council ... if not then why not??
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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by clowesey on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:17 pm

YAKC wrote:This is my 1st post on here but I have to say IF WE WANT BARLA TO SURVIVE then things have to change no good just griping on here, the knifes are out with the RFL and NCL skipping along hand in hand what do we want ??

YAKC we are not just griping on here. Read other posts on similar threads. We are trying to work with everyone, BARLA and the RFL. Only a couple of months ago the BARLA chair and Y&J chair attended our league meeting to answer delegates questions before our league vote on whether or not to remain as Associate BARLA members. We attended the last Y&J council meeting at which there was no mention whatsoever about any proposed new league so when was this thought of?

As a fixtures secretary for the under 15s and also 16-18 in the NWC I NEED to know what's going on. I have a season to plan (yes I know we've only just finished one) but clubs want to know who their likely opponents are next season. How can I do that when I don't even know what teams I will have playing at under 16s.

The 13-15 league has a meeting next week - how can we answer any questions about something that may be of interest to some of our members for next season?

I came across the article on the website last night, purely by chance, if I hadn't when would anyone have told us?


Last edited by clowesey on Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos)

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by YAKC on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:23 pm

I agree totally with what your saying, what I was trying to get across is that in my time veiwing this and the NCL forum it seems there are plenty of people with good ideas on taking BARLA forward but they always finish on a negative note.
Can BARLA survive as it is ?, I very much doubt it will with attacks on all fronts, but like you and many others keep saying it can and and will if we can change it.
Its our organisation and we can,t change it looking through windows.

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by Sam Armstrong on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:54 pm

The problem is at Board level where several seemed to have lost touch with the membership, and I agree that the only way to amend it is from within, however, those that are likely to be able to make a difference are already either tied up with other commitments which they don't wish to suffer as they inevitably will if they take on other roles or are simply so disillusioned that they feel that a fight with the "old guard" is not the best use of their time or worth their effort.

Catch 22 ... can't get involved to improve it but can't improve it unless they get involved!!
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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by mick doyle on Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:13 pm

I was previously a board member and belive you me I tried to change the train of thought without any joy.
In the year I attended board meetings they were completly non productive so I resigned I was not travelling to and from lancashire after working full time for nothing.
The problem is the association is ruled by district league votes which is an absolute joke as almost 99% of rugby is provided by the regional leagues.

And the board have an allegiance with the districts not the regionals.

The only way forward for Barla is to modernise and change the voting structures.

The regional leagues should be the policy makers because they have the finger on the pulse and deal with issues on a day to day basis not once every blue moon when the districts can be bothered.

Modernise or die its a simple equation.

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by pandasdad on Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:07 am

Even if everybody thought this was a good idea, and it was to be run by people capable of doing so, it is far too late to be introduced in 2009! To achieve that, they should have started 12 months ago.

I also suspect that if implemented, it will cause some problems to the RFL's recently announced revisions to the Player Pathway. If I was a cynic, I would even suggested that that is the aim.

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by YAKC on Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:56 am

Thanks for the reply Sam and Mick my point is how many more guys like you are out there ??.
Lets have a go at changing the Can,t do attitude a little to maybe will do and when BARLA finally listen and move on maybe then the whole system can be dragged into the modern era.
My real concern is that the whole thing will splinter off into different governing bodies because I honestly think people will get up of the RFL sooner rather then later.
Yes its a big ask but if you look at how things are dividing already then I think some of the blame lies with both BARLA and the RFL, the problem with the RFL is we can,t vote to change that.

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by Normy Knight on Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:15 am

Would all this be because Yorkshire juniors are trying to poach the U16's age group from Yorkshire Youth?

It would certainly make teams think a bit more if there is direct competition from say BARLA.

I think there is more to it than meets the eye.

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by samsung on Sat May 02, 2009 8:17 am

"The problem is the association is ruled by district league votes which is an absolute joke as almost 99% of rugby is provided by the regional leagues.

And the board have an allegiance with the districts not the regionals."

Mick, what don't you understand about District Leagues? Mad

The District Leagues are made up of clubs/teams whose teams play in the Regional Leagues.

You, wrongly, go on about District Leagues. If they wanted to, they could organise their own fixtures (and at one time they did!) - but so you don't have all the Wigan teams playing just Wigan, etc, etc, the District Leagues (and their respective clubs/teams) join Regional Leagues. Then we can all play each other. Simple. It's all detailed on the "family tree" of BARLA or even the RFL.

Districts Leagues comprise ME and YOU, and all those TEAMS THAT ARE IN YOUR REGIONAL LEAGUE. Did you think they were something else? Shocked

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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by Sam Armstrong on Sun May 03, 2009 1:02 am

The problem is the association is ruled by district league votes which is an absolute joke as almost 99% of rugby is provided by the regional leagues
Other than providing fixtures for the local "Scigglethwaite & District" Cups what other roles, apart from an area to debate issues discussed at National & Regional level, do the District Leagues provide that are not already provided by their fixture organising Regional Playing League (RPL).
And the board have an allegiance with the districts not the regionals.
Many of the current Board have a greater affinity to the District Leagues having never truly been involved at Regional level and, as such, are therefore subsequently voted in by their District Leagues who they may feel beholding to.

Would this be the case if proportional representation was implemented? A District League which has 5 clubs has 1 vote whereas an RPL seven or eight times the size with 45 clubs has exactly the same vote? Why?

Should their vote not equal say 8 votes of the District Leagues as they represent several times or more the number of clubs represented by the District? Alternatively let Districts feed their vote into their region and then their region have one vote the same as any other region ... just because your region is split into more and more tiny districts should most definitely NOT mean you have a greater say!!

The District Leagues are made up of clubs/teams whose teams play in the Regional Leagues.
So why is there a need for that additional tier of management/administration at District level?

You, wrongly, go on about District Leagues. If they wanted to, they could organise their own fixtures (and at one time they did!) - but so you don't have all the Wigan teams playing just Wigan, etc, etc, the District Leagues (and their respective clubs/teams) join Regional Leagues. Then we can all play each other.
Samsung, how exactly do District Leagues join Regional Leagues? Years ago they may indeed have "combined" to form the Regional Leagues but you are incorrect in your assumption as they no longer "join".

Yes the District Leagues could, as you rightly say, "organise their own fixtures" in their local area and I'm sure they could occasionally play the next District League along but teams want to test themselves at higher levels and be the best not only locally but regionally and, ultimately, nationally. As such, ultimately I am not against the National Youth Leagues but I do feel it needs properly thinking through before announcing it's launch with no flesh on the bones or there is a risk of it failing farcically.

Simple. It's all detailed on the "family tree" of BARLA or even the RFL.
I'm sure that many gardeners out there will recognise the fact that you need to occasionally "lop off" some of the lower branches and deadwood for the treees to grow!!! Maybe that time for pruning is now here with our "family tree".

Districts Leagues comprise ME and YOU, and all those TEAMS THAT ARE IN YOUR REGIONAL LEAGUE. Did you think they were something else? Shocked
Yes many of those teams in the fixture organising Playing Leagues ARE members of District Leagues but many are there ONLY because the BARLA Constitution says they have to be!!! Given the choice how many do you truly think would be? What benefits from being in one does a newly forming team gain??
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Re: Proposed U16's National Youth League

Post by Sam Armstrong on Tue May 05, 2009 12:16 am

Oh dear ... looks like I've upset one or two of our Board. Barely a word out of them even though they were clearly trying to do a "show of strength" by wheeling out as many of them as possible at yesterday's Finals.

The truth has possibly hurt and the astounding response following their initial press announcement that they had
".. discussed and agreed that next season BARLA WOULD run an Under 16's National Youth League"
has now, even though the wording sounds very specific, miraculously, been downgraded to
" ... merely decided to put forward the NOTION of a National U16's League to see what the response is from Leagues and from Clubs"
So when exactly were they actually going to get around to asking our opinion and gaining our response? That should have been done BEFORE it was ever put to the Board .... not AFTER!!! Have questionnaires been sent out to the clubs AND Leagues (Ken Tinsdales' words) to seek their views or will this be another set of documents conveniently "lost"?

Personally, I'm starting to get dizzy with all these u-turns.


Could the Board take some advice from the sign above and either check the wording of your "press releases" before you actually release them or have the honesty to admit you've dropped a clanger (again)!!

Stop trying to re-write history (and I dare say the minutes too) just to try and save face .. though that wouldn't be the first time for certain parties, as we as a League are all too fully aware, following a major previous attempt at convenient lie/re-writing of history!! Suspect
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