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2017-18 Continental Shield

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 19:49

Canalina, I know you are a curious and wise man but... Are you really aware of how big handball is in continental Europe almost only bar Italy? How serious TV coverage and organisation is? And still you see teams declining to take part in some of its club competitions if flights are too expensive.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Canalina » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 20:58

No, to say the truth no: I thought it was popular just in a minor part of european nations, even if I know that when there are the World Championships handball can conquer for example the whole first page of french L'Equipe. I thought that the third continental rugby cup was comparable to the first handball european rugby cup but maybe I was wrong.

An other example could be the roller hockey one: roller hockey (I read now on wikipedia) has two continental cup for clubs, the first one involving 16 clubs, the second one involving 32 clubs. All from Western Europe.
Italy is the third strongest nation of the world in roller hockey, after Spain and Portugal, but also here roller hockey is very few popular, outside the small towns where it is played; so I doubt it's popular in France, Switzerland, Austria, England, Germany, id est the other nations playing in the euro cups.
So my wonder remains the same, even if maybe it's a naive question: how roller hockey can manage to play every year two euro competitions for 48 clubs from eight different nations while the much more globally popular rugby can't give solidity to its third european cup potentially involving the best clubs of big nations like Spain, Germany, Russia...?

But maybe I'm going off topic, let's forget it and wait for official info about this new Continental Shield

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 22:26

OK, don't forget European handball club competitions have been around for decades, even second or third-tier ones. Handball was big on both sides of the Iron Curtain. It can be played in winter. It holds its international competitions in January, when football stops in many Northern European countries. Squads are half if not one third of rugby ones, so less expensive and the impact of a big signing is even bigger: anybody with a little economical push can be competitive. And even national teams work that way since it is extremely easy to switch eligibility. Facilities can be shared with basically any indoor sport, while rugby can hardy coexist with football or hockey. And I could go on... It's got many competitive advantages over rugby.

EPCR would basically die for half of EHF sponsors and TV broadcasters. They may not pay as much, but the net is way wider. And let me add something. Probably the reason why EPCR is failing at expansion beyond its basic countries is because they aren't poaching talent from other sports marketing-wise. Watch how PRO14 has changed under Martin Anayi's guidance, a guy who came from motorsports... If I were EPCR I would have already signed guys with experience in Euroleague, EHF, KHL...
Last edited by Armchair Fan on Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 22:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Blurandski » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 22:45

What if the Pro14 is pushing for the SA sides to replace the RE ones, hence the CS would lose their slots.

IMO the entire structure of European rugby needs to change. Make the Champions cup a 16 team 4*4 competition. 5 from each league, with the winner of the Challenge being 16th, with a clause that qualification can be rejigged between years.


Challenge cup should then be 6-9 Prem, 6-10 T14+P14, then 2 Russian sides, two Italian sides then a club each from 1st and 2nd of the REC. Maybe then expand it to 24 sides if the RE teams are competitive. EPCR needs the growth opportunity that the continent provides.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby FLIDTA RISXVA » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 05:53

SOME LOGISTICS

At present (2018)

Handball match squad has 16 persons
whereas rugby's 23 =
not a big difference expenses-wise

Handball's staff is limited just to 4 persons on bench (tech zone)
Rugby uses much more (bar SAMOA) = pls, count yourself

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Canalina » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 07:21

One of the two questioned italian clubs answered on facebook: "unfortunately we are still waiting to receive all the infos about the Continental Shield. EPCR should send communications very soon"

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby FLIDTA RISXVA » Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 07:58


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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Bogdan_DC » Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 10:00

Good coach for Batumi :)

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Tobar » Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 17:09

Blurandski wrote:What if the Pro14 is pushing for the SA sides to replace the RE ones, hence the CS would lose their slots.

IMO the entire structure of European rugby needs to change. Make the Champions cup a 16 team 4*4 competition. 5 from each league, with the winner of the Challenge being 16th, with a clause that qualification can be rejigged between years.


Challenge cup should then be 6-9 Prem, 6-10 T14+P14, then 2 Russian sides, two Italian sides then a club each from 1st and 2nd of the REC. Maybe then expand it to 24 sides if the RE teams are competitive. EPCR needs the growth opportunity that the continent provides.


I think it's important to have more RE sides included in the Challenge Cup from a financial standpoint. This allows for a lot more stability, even if only 2 teams are added instead of the 6 you suggested. Constantly having to compete to go back into the Challenge Cup every year cannot be good for sponsorship of viewership. If you have consistency you can get some sort of sponsors to defray the cost and actually have fans tune in expecting to see the same team each year.

Theoretically this means more sponsors = more money = more funding for players = more local development = more chances of success in the future. For example, if Russia has 2 sides in it each year they'll get the sponsors and maybe attract a local audience to come out each year knowing there are a minimum of 3 home games. It'll likely only be the group stage for the near future but one day they'll be able to regularly advance to the knockout stages and build something nice.

Consistency and regularity are key when it comes to building support for a new sport in a country. If fans know when these games are and where to watch it they can tune in. If they have to search for an obscure Tier 2 rugby forum and find out a half hour before that some random club will happen to be live streaming it on Facebook then no one will watch.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Tobar » Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 17:33

On a similar note, I just looked up HRK and saw this ESPN article on them. It's a great story but in hindsight...well...obviously not so much. But then I realized that HRK and Stade Francais aren't even playing each other in the Challenge Cup unless they advance to the knockout stage which is highly unlikely. I'm sure you guys all realized this already but man this bites even more. Stade also sucked last year so the chances of them playing each other before the final would be low as hell.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby FLIDTA RISXVA » Fri, 14 Sep 2018, 18:23

CONGRATS to ALL :!:

Enisey and Timis'oara will play off H&A to stay in Challenge for 2019/20

In 6-team Shield there are 6 rounds (with each team having 2 byes)
and Pool Winners play off H&A to make Challenge for 2019/20

:::

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Hernan14 » Fri, 14 Sep 2018, 21:27

Canalina wrote:Italy is the third strongest nation of the world in roller hockey, after Spain and Portugal


Off-topic...Argentina has 5 WCs, Italy only 4 among mens, in womens there is no discussion, Argentina also has 5 WCs, only behind Spain that has 6 ... Italy 0 :D

Although in reality I should say 11 titles in total for San Juan Province, the story of why it's so popular is a set of three concatenated events, at the end of the 20's the Lebanese Athletic Club opened a roller rink, quickly popular between kids, just at that time the city was paving over 500 blocks and a San Juan citizen returned to his city from Buenos Aires where he had seen a roller hockey game...after that hundreds of children started playing it on the new streets :)

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Canalina » Sun, 16 Sep 2018, 07:00

Hernan14 wrote:...
Although in reality I should say 11 titles in total for San Juan Province, the story of why it's so popular is a set of three concatenated events, at the end of the 20's the Lebanese Athletic Club opened a roller rink, quickly popular between kids, just at that time the city was paving over 500 blocks and a San Juan citizen returned to his city from Buenos Aires where he had seen a roller hockey game...after that hundreds of children started playing it on the new streets :)

Nice story
Yes, I knew that also Argentina is strong on roller hockey but I thought it was slightly under the level of Italy. Anyway the point remains the same: in Europe roller hockey is way less popular than rugby, how they manage to organize every year two continental cups involving 48 clubs while rugby seems suffering on giving continuity to its third cup involving the clubs ranked 41-48? Less expenses for an indoor sport like hockey, ok, but there must be some other. Id est, but we all already know this, the potential of the rugby third cup is not fruited at the best.

About the possible belgian team in Continental Shield: considering the incomes of the BeNeCup (a cup between the best four belgian clubs and the four best netherlander ones) that club must be Dendermonde because the others appeared too weak. Or maybe it could be Kituro or Waterloo, which anyway both missed the national semifinals in the past season.
The belgian clubs in the BeNeCup are Dendermonde, La Hulpe, ROC and Soignies. The final will be between two Netherlands' clubs

Image

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Canalina » Mon, 17 Sep 2018, 11:11

Calvisano said they should receive the Shield calendar from EPCR not later than this Wednesday. Maybe already today

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby FLIDTA RISXVA » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 06:14

LOK of GEO got it as late as Fri 14/09
(when the Union forwarded it to me - their consultant on vast array of matters)
but it is TABOOed until EPCR makes official announcement - probably in mid-week

:::

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 07:16

Canalina wrote:So my wonder remains the same, even if maybe it's a naive question: how roller hockey can manage to play every year two euro competitions for 48 clubs from eight different nations while the much more globally popular rugby can't give solidity to its third european cup potentially involving the best clubs of big nations like Spain, Germany, Russia...?


My answer is that out of the 5 most important nations playing that sport in Europe, four basically give a sh*t if it is played somewhere else. France has done at least something in this regard, but as long as our sport is managed by mostly British this will stay like this. Closed shop.
Kind of a mentality thing, most probably indoctrinated by the private school system, which is unknown i.e. to most of the rest of Europe (if you go to a private school in Germany, most people will think that you are too stupid to make the public school).
And believe me, nobody would be happier than me if I was wrong here.

Handball is managed from the beginning by Scandinavians who were always interested to include everyone. And post-war Germany as the best-paying-league also has a history of trying to bring more countries in. The German beach handball championship's statistics are better managed than every rugby competition I know. And that's a fun competition with more or less beer teams. If rugby was managed like handball it would be a way bigger sport in Europe.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby FLIDTA RISXVA » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 08:12

I have *NOTHING* to add:

My son Luka works as full-time web-admin in HANDBALL
where GEO is ranked below top 30 in EUROPE

Still they host international (mostly Uxx) tournament EVERY year
and print ~100 page colored program

And my son builds separate, bi-lingual site for each such comp,
live-stream every game in HD and produce basic+advanced game sheets

:::

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Bogdan_DC » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 08:23

Handball is much bigger than rugby in Romania. And in Europe. The best female player in our league (is true that is the best in the world also) is paid almost 300k per year. Half of Tomitanii Superliga team budget per year. It is an enormous amount of money and an aberration for a country like Romania if you ask me, but just to make an idea we have young players in SuperLiga paid with 2-300 euros.
PS. Also to make an idea how Romanians are throwing money on the window :))

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 08:42

Bogdan_DC wrote:Handball is much bigger than rugby in Romania.


It is. And the big question is: why? (Okay the change from field to indoor-handball makes sense for countries with a real winter).
And after years of thinking about why this is the case, I fear it is for
a) amateurism in rugby
b) British administration of rugby

Both could have worked out, if only one of those two things would have been the case, but to let guys administer a sport who
a) deem a regular league or even a cup as the wrong thing to do in a sport until 1972 (cup) and 1987 (!!!!!!! league) in England
b) were still racist (yes, that's the word for it) enough to not play anybody who hasn't deemed worthy to play them outside of their regular Commonwealth

would have killed off any growth of every sport.
Especially the first introduction of a league in England as late as 1987 is so unbelievable that I am actually shaking my head now as I write this.

It is a wonder that rugby is even played in so many countries at all. And it is no wonder, that there is no history of things like statistics etc. present, as those 50-60+ aged old boys, who normally collect those stats, simply haven't seen them in their youth. Again, a simple nationwide league system was introduced in England only 31 years ago.
Last edited by RugbyLiebe on Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 08:48, edited 2 times in total.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 08:47

Bogdan_DC wrote:Handball is much bigger than rugby in Romania. And in Europe. The best female player in our league (is true that is the best in the world also) is paid almost 300k per year. Half of Tomitanii Superliga team budget per year. It is an enormous amount of money and an aberration for a country like Romania if you ask me, but just to make an idea we have young players in SuperLiga paid with 2-300 euros.
PS. Also to make an idea how Romanians are throwing money on the window :))

They are probably better paid than some junior world champions in ASOBAL...

Total OT, but I recommend this short documentary from 2014 about the crisis of Spanish handball, which miraculously hasn't prevented to still be competitive

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Bogdan_DC » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 08:59

The truth is that handball is much easier to be played in Romania. Much more indoor courts than grass fields over here.
Still a lot of stereotypes about rugby (brute sports, everything is just a big brawl,players are getting injury every single training, etc).Parents are now extremely protective with their children. And yes, the amateur administration of this sport both in Romania and in the World didn't helps either.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby JamesWales » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 09:30

It's disappointing that the Shield has taken a step backwards this year. It seems rugby is it's own worst enemy sometimes - It is a fairly major sport, and how hard can it be to manage a sensible, simple and fair qualification process to help grow the game?

That said, one hopes lessons have been learned and sometimes what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I am sure that there was the potential for the Shield to cease to exist this year, but it's survived and that's important.

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Canalina » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 09:35

I always remain thunderstruck on viewing how handball is popular in most of the rest of Europe while very few popular and usually considered boring here in Italy.
Before throwing accusations toward the rugby boards we should consider also this: maybe handball is more popular than rugby in most of Europe, but in some other european nations (Italy, GB) and I think in the main part of the world it is some like unknown (the best 14 nations of the World Ranking are european and there are just 50 nations in the ranking, according to http://www.ihf.info/en-us/thegame/ranki ... eamCatID=2). If hanbdall managers are so much more brilliant and open wide than the rugby ones why they don't conquer all the markets?
Maybe the supposed closed mind of the rugby high rooms doesn't explain all

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby Canalina » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 09:37

JamesWales wrote:It's disappointing that the Shield has taken a step backwards this year. It seems rugby is it's own worst enemy sometimes - It is a fairly major sport, and how hard can it be to manage a sensible, simple and fair qualification process to help grow the game?

That said, one hopes lessons have been learned and sometimes what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I am sure that there was the potential for the Shield to cease to exist this year, but it's survived and that's important.

I'm not so optimist. If there are really just six teams in this edition, with four of them from Italy and without a proper trophy final, this could be the end of the Shield. Hope to be wrong of course

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Re: 2017-18 Continental Shield

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 10:02

Bogdan_DC wrote:The truth is that handball is much easier to be played in Romania. Much more indoor courts than grass fields over here.
Still a lot of stereotypes about rugby (brute sports, everything is just a big brawl,players are getting injury every single training, etc).Parents are now extremely protective with their children. And yes, the amateur administration of this sport both in Romania and in the World didn't helps either.


While I have to confess, that really every single Romanian rugby player I met, met this actual desciption of being more like a brute, it is amazing that handball doesn't have this stigma. Handball is in my opinion they way more brutal and more dangerous sport. I remember reading a French study, but I can't find it.

This link from all sports at the Rio Olympics shows, that Gymnastics and Tennis actually had more longer lasting injuries (>7 days) than Rugby. Rugby is high up there with short term injuries though.
An Interesting read (page 3)
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... woM3Nq4dYW
Last edited by RugbyLiebe on Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 10:02, edited 1 time in total.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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